Saturday, January 01, 2005

CAIR Named as a Defendant in 9/11 Terror Lawsuit

This From Daniel Pipes Weblog

A class action lawsuit in the name of John P. O'Neill, Sr., stemming from the 9/11 atrocity, has named the Council on American-Islamic Relations as a defendant. (For those confused about the multiple 9/11 court cases, there is help on the way at http://www.september11terrorlitigation.com/.) Here are the paragraphs dealing with CAIR's role in the events of September 11, 2001, from the second amended class action complaint, filed today:

86. Council on American Islamic Relations and CAIR Canada (collectively, CAIR), have aided, abetted, and materially sponsored and al Qaeda and international terrorism. CAIR is an outgrowth of the Hamas front group the Islamic Association of Palestine. The FBI's former associate director in charge of Investigative and Counter-Intelligence Operations described the Islamic Association of Palestine as an organization that has directly supported Hamas military goals and is a front organization for Hamas that engages in propaganda for Islamic militants. It has produced videotapes that are very hate-filled, full of vehement propaganda. It is an organization that has supported direct confrontation.

87. CAIR and CAIR-Canada have, since their inception, been part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism. These organizations play a unique role in the terrorist network. They emanate from the notorious HAMAS terrorist organization and like so many of the terrorism facilitating charities named and indicted by the United States government they are engaged in fund raising under the guise of assisting humanitarian causes they are, in reality, a key player in international terrorism. The unique role played by CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to manipulate the legal systems of the United States and Canada in a manner that allows them to silence critics, analysts, commentators, media organizations, and government officials by leveling false charges of discrimination, libel, slander and defamation. In addition, both organizations have actively sought to hamper governmental anti-terrorism efforts by direct propaganda activities aimed at police, first-responders, and intelligence agencies through so-called sensitivity training. Their goal is to create as much self-doubt, hesitation, fear of name-calling, and litigation within police departments and intelligence agencies as possible so as to render such authorities ineffective in pursuing international and domestic terrorist entities.

88. The role of CAIR and CAIR-Canada is to wage PSYOPS (psychological warfare) and disinformation activities on behalf of Whabbi-based [Wahhabi-based, DP] Islamic terrorists throughout North America. They are the intellectual "shock troops" of Islamic terrorism. In the years and months leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 these organizations were very effective in helping to ensure that North American law enforcement and intelligence officials were sufficiently deaf, dumb, and blind to help pave the way for the attacks on the United States. The role played by these entities is an absolutely essential part of the mix of forces arrayed against the United States as they help soften-up targeted countries so as to facilitate and enhance the likelihood for a successful attack.

Comment: (1) This filing explicitly ties CAIR to "the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism" that carried out 9/11, a first to the best of my knowledge.

(2) If the suit is successful, CAIR (1) will have been legally tied to Al-Qaeda and (2) will be partially responsible for damages amounting to US$100 billion.

(3) This filing, when added to Anti-CAIR's counter suit, suggest that despite CAIR's growing litigiousness, it will find itself legally more on the defensive than the offensive in coming months. (December 30, 2004) Permalink


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"A Room Full of American Muslim Citizens" Kudos to the American border agency, now known as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, for the courage to stop returning participants from a three-day Islamist conference in Toronto. That event, titled "Reviving the Islamic Spirit," had a rogues' list of speakers and, according to the border agency's spokesperson, Kristie Clemens,

We have ongoing credible information that conferences such as the one that these … individuals just left in Toronto may be used by terrorist organizations to promote terrorist activities, which includes travelling and fundraising. As the front-line border agency, it is our duty to verify the identity of individuals — including U.S. citizens — and one way of doing that is fingerprinting.

Participants at the conference who returned to the United States by land via Niagara Falls, N.Y. said they were detained for as long as six hours at the U.S. side of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and Rainbow Bridge on Dec. 25-26, or until they agreed to be fingerprinted. In the meantime, they were offered coffee and tea. Miriam Soliman, 20, a Brooklyn-born finance major at Pace University reports that a border patrol officer asked her whether the wire in her underwire bra was a weapon. "I refuse to be treated like this in my own country," she declared. One traveler, Galeb Rizek, 32, quotes himself asking a border guard, "If I refuse to give my fingerprints, what will you do?" to which he got a terse reply: "You can refuse, but you'll be here until you do."

Those who flew to the United States also had to endure interrogations by U.S. Customs officials before they boarded their planes at Pearson airport in Toronto. For example, the self-proclaimed extremist Hamza Yusuf, a keynote speaker at the conference, was detained and interrogated for several hours on Dec. 27 before being allowed to board a flight to San Francisco. "They asked me about the religion of my family and wanted to make photocopies of my notebook and other material," he later told a reporter.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, of course, finds this a villainous development and demands an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security. Nihad Awad, CAIR's long-time chieftain, complained in his usual pungent style: "The image of a room full of American Muslim citizens apparently being held solely because of their faith and the fact that they attended an Islamic conference is one that should be disturbing to all Americans who value religious freedom." Actually, as an American who defers to no one in his appreciation of religious freedom – and who has severely criticized the U.S. border service in the past – I am immensely relieved to see it showing some backbone. (December 30, 2004) Permalink


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RatherBiased.com's Top Ten Media Stories of 2004


--Two thousand four was a pivotal role for the many facets of the media business. Here's a look at the most influential developments within the biz. See the online version of this article for links to larger stories about each item.

#1 -- The internet comes of age. Political parties turned to email and the web to fund, run, and spin for their operations. Blog was the most-searched for word on the Merriam-Webster dictionary search, making it "word of the year." Blogs played a crucial role in the ouster of political and media bigwigs like Tom Daschle and Dan Rather and gave the public access to the same exit poll numbers that the legacy media had. ABC launches a cable channel that is also streamed through the internet and to

mobile phones.

#2 -- New campaign regulations impact media and politics. Rules banning soft-money caused Democrats to farm out ground operations and advertising to ostensibly independent groups. Third-party ads proliferated despite promises they'd disappear. Swiftboat Veterans for Truth made one of the most effective ad buys in media history.

#3 -- Americans gravitate toward opinionated media. Democrats flocked to broadcast networks, CNN, and John Stewart while Republicans preferred Fox News Channel, AM radio and online publications like NewsMax.com. The movies with the most buzz were about the death of Jesus and sins of George W. Bush. Talk radio continues to be so popular, FNC and liberal Democrats tried to get in the act.

#4 -- Second Iraq war raises issues. Battlefield reporting changed with the embedded journalist program. Reportorial reliance on anonymous sources changed with the revelation of faulty worldwide intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs and the demands of liberal journalists to know the sources of conservative columnist Robert Novak. Media coverage of casualties and soldier misconduct also provoked debate.

#5 -- Conservatives discover utility of government media apparatus. After years of trying to dismantle agencies like the NPR, the FCC, and PBS, conservatives finally decided to stop letting liberals have all the fun, launching new PBS shows and using the FCC to respond to complaints of indecency.

#6 -- Retirements, deaths. Two thousand four had plenty of media bigwig exits ("Friends," Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, "The Simpsons"). The deaths of important world figures Ronald Reagan and Yasser Arafat received extensive media coverage.

#7 -- New technologies impact all facets of media. In January, Kodak announced it would stop selling almost all film cameras in the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe. To the chagrin of makeup artists and pornographers, HDTV gained momentum throughout the year. Flat-panel displays replaced cathode ray tubes for most computer buyers. Subscription radio and portable music players sold extremely well. DVDs of television shows became highly popular.

#8 -- Digital rights debate becomes more important. Governments, citizens, and companies begin to seriously discuss to where to draw the line on issues like copyright infringement, trademark violations, online privacy, software openness. The music and movie businesses started suing alleged largescale music pirates.

#9 -- Video games hit the big time. Media companies finally start to realize the money-making potential of computer gaming. Consumers react positively, spending more on games than on movies for the first time. Sequels like Grand Theft Auto 3 and Halo 2 sell like wildfire, earning over $100 million in sales in just one day.

#10 -- Demographic research advances by leaps and bounds. Refined polling methods, database integration, natural-language analysis tools made it easier and easier for businesses, organizations, and governments to analyze public opinion from mailing lists, blogs, online bulletin boards and more. Search engine Google debuted an entirely-computer generated news service allowing the public to do the same with the press.


King Features, Rather Agree to Continue Column

--Dan Rather will continue to write his weekly column for King Features Syndicate after he ends his 24-year tenure as anchor of the "CBS Evening News."

"He wants to continue the column," King Managing Editor Glenn Mott told Editor and Publisher, adding that the syndicator wanted the column to continue.

So who runs Dan's column anyway? About 50 newspapers according to E&P. Last we heard, the only major paper to do so is the Houston Chronicle, of Dan's adopted hometown.


Who Should Replace Rather?

--Inspired by The Media Drop and not wanting to skew their results, RatherBiased.com is conducting our own reader poll asking the question, "Who should replace Dan Rather?"

You can vote on any of our news pages. Use the link above to discuss your picks.

* John Roberts
* Scott Pelley
* Tim Russert
* Katie Couric
* Brit Hume
* Anderson Cooper
* Aaron Brown
* Keith Olbermann
* Someone else
* Cancel the show


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Airplanes and Airports still rank high on “Terrorist Wish List”

by Randy Taylor Northeast Intelligence Network

There has been much scuttlebutt and many rumors flying around about terrorists still planning to target airports, airplanes and passengers. A report surfacing earlier this month in the Spanish Press indicates that the State Security forces in Valencia, Spain have been on extremely high alert status after the British Secret Service passed along a report that there are currently nine suspected terrorists from North America who plan to board an airliner and use electronic immobilizers to commit a terrorist act sometime before, during or after the Christmas and New Year Holidays. It was reported that their most likely target for this terrorist act will be either inside of the United States or the United Kingdom. Originally the terrorist cell had thirteen members dedicated to this plot.

Four of the original thirteen terrorist suspects have already been arrested and upon further investigation have apparently given the authorities reason to believe that the other nine will attempt to proceed with their plans to commit an atrocity very soon. These four were arrested in Amsterdam at the Schipol Airport and a full investigation was mounted immediately which has resulted in High Alerts being issued to find the nine remaining terrorist suspects.

The four suspects that were arrested were all North American citizens of Arabic origin aged between 18 and 24 and it was noted that they were unshaven. Each were traveling on single tickets, paid for in cash and they were carrying guns and pepper spray along with photographs and CD’s (contents of the CDs and photographs were not made public).

It has been the contention of this writer, almost to the point of argument with others that the airports, airliners and passengers within these are and will always remain prime targets to the terrorists. Many have argued with me that the security in and around the airline industry makes this scenario very unlikely and always throw into the argument that since they hijacked planes once, they are less likely to do it again.

I think that thought process is not only ridiculous but incredible irresponsible and dangerous. When Al Qaeda’s nineteen agents of death hijacked those airplanes in 2001 they set a precedent within the world of terrorism. They forced the complete shutdown of the entire airline industry within minutes, kept the skies closed for several days and the reality is that the airline industry has never recovered from this frightful chain of events. If the terrorists can succeed in pulling off another 911 like event, they may cripple the industry with a fatal blow. The airline industry is very unstable right now from a financial standpoint, people are still wary of flying, there are constant security breaches by the hundreds every single day at airports around the globe and it doesn’t seem to be getting much better. Airlines are at the brink of bankruptcy and the terrorists know this.

To attack the airline industry again isn’t a question of whether it will happen, it is a question of when it will happen. To attack our airliners again will also be a slap in the face for the simple fact that we have spent billions of dollars trying to make the planes, airports and passengers safer and with another attack on the airline industry itself, the billions will seem to have been wasted in the eyes of many. Think about it. Al Qaeda was smart enough to realize that by striking the airlines they would ultimately cripple the airlines or at least make it very difficult for the airline industry to survive, let alone do well or be profitable. They have and always will consider our economic resources to be our greatest assets, so they will always target those assets. The WTC itself was indeed a symbolic target, but the towers themselves didn’t cripple the economy anywhere near the extent that the four airliners being lost did.


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Overwhelmingly, political hate speech today comes from the Left

Jeff Jacoby
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com
Jeff Jacoby Boston Globe

As it does every year, the empty folder I labeled "Liberal Hate Speech" in January had grown to a thick sheaf of clippings by December. 2004 wasn't even a week old when two videos explicitly comparing George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler appeared on the website of the liberal group MoveOn. They were entries in a contest soliciting "really creative ads" that would help voters "understand the truth about George Bush."

And so began another year in which liberals engaged in, and mostly got away with, grotesque slanders and slurs about conservatives — the kind of poisonous rhetoric that should be unheard-of in a decent society. Once again, too many on the left — not crackpots from the fringe, but mainstream players and pundits — chose to demonize conservatives as monsters rather than debate their ideas on the merits.

As in years past, Republicans were almost routinely associated with Nazi Germany. Former Vice President Al Gore referred to GOP activists as "brown shirts." Newsday columnist Hugh Pearson likened the Republican National Convention to the "Nazi rallies held in Germany during the reign of Adolf Hitler." Linda Ronstadt said that the Republican victory on Election Day meant "we've got a new bunch of Hitlers." Chuck Turner, a Boston city councilor, smeared National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice as "a tool of white leaders," akin to "a Jewish person working for Hitler."

Even a federal judge, Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, couldn't resist a Third Reich comparison. Bush became president because of an "illegitimate" Supreme Court ruling, he told the American Constitution Society. "That is what happened when Hindenburg put Hitler in." (Calabresi later apologized.)

Such Nazi labeling is no less disgusting when it comes from Republicans. According to Bob Woodward, Secretary of State Colin Powell described Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith as running a separate government out of his "Gestapo office."

Commentator Ralph Peters, writing in the New York Post, accused Democrat Howard Dean of using the tactics of Hitler and Goebbels to silence his competitors. Too many conservatives and libertarians refer to antismoking extremists as "tobacco Nazis," or to the humorless critics of fast food as "food Nazis." Whether it comes from the right or the left, language like that is vile.

Overwhelmingly, though, political hate speech today comes from the left. It has increasingly become a habit of leftist argumentation to simply dismiss conservative ideas as evil or noxious rather than rebut them with facts and evidence.

That is why there was no uproar when Cameron Diaz declared that rape might be legalized if women didn't turn out to vote for John Kerry. Or when Walter Cronkite told Larry King that the videotape of Osama bin Laden that surfaced just before the election was "probably set up" by Karl Rove. Or when Alfred A. Knopf published Nicholson Baker's "Checkpoint," a novel in which two Bush-haters talk about assassinating the president. "I'm going to kill that bastard," one character rages.

Bill Moyers warned a television audience on election day that if Kerry won narrowly, "I think there'd be an effort to mount a coup, quite frankly. . . . The right wing is not going to accept it." Chevy Chase, hosting a People for the American Way awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, slammed Bush as a "dumb [f-word]" and "an uneducated, real, lying schmuck." A cartoon by the widely syndicated Ted Rall described Pat Tillman, the NFL athlete who gave up his career to enlist in the Army and was killed in Afghanistan, as a "sap" and an "idiot."

So many examples, so little space. A political flier in Tennessee, depicting Bush as a mentally disabled sprinter, bore the message: "Voting for Bush is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded."

The St. Petersburg, Fla., Democratic Club took out an ad calling for the death of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "Then there's Rumsfeld who said of Iraq, 'We have our good days and our bad days,' " the ad read. "We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say, 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger."

Fantasies of murder likewise animated British pundit Charlie Brooker, who ended his Oct. 24 column in the Guardian with a plea for Bush's death: "John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?" Brooker later assured readers that he "deplores violence of any kind" and had meant his call for an assassin only as "an ironic joke."

But the "joke" of left-wing hate speech stopped being funny a long time ago. There is room in the marketplace of ideas for passionate, even angry, rhetoric, but there are also lines that, as a matter of decency and civic hygiene, should not be crossed. The violent invective so often hurled at conservatives pollutes the democratic stream from which all of us drink. Democrats no less than Republicans should want to shut those polluters down.


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Friday, December 31, 2004

Bulletin Details Al Qaeda Tactics

WASHINGTON — A new government intelligence bulletin describes in the greatest detail yet Al Qaeda's (search) techniques for assessing potential targets, extolling the lethal power of flying, shattered building glass and advising that kerosene and tires are effective for a deadly arson attack.

"The focus is on maximizing the destructive and killing power of an attack," the bulletin says.

The bulletin provides a fresh glimpse of terrorist reports found in computers and disks seized in Pakistan in July. The reports described the casing by terrorists of several buildings in the United States and prompted U.S. authorities to raise the terror threat level earlier this year for high-profile financial facilities in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J.

The heightened alert was eased shortly after the Nov. 2 election, and there is no evidence a potential attack ever moved beyond initial planning.

"Current intelligence provides no indications that Al Qaeda has operatives to conduct an attack based upon the information in these reports," the eight-page bulletin said.

Produced by the FBI and Homeland Security Department (search), the bulletin was circulated Tuesday to law enforcement, government and industry officials nationwide and obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

The excerpts, according to the bulletin, show that Al Qaeda operatives go well beyond basic description of a potential target to sophisticated analysis of vulnerabilities in building construction, an examination of potential police and emergency response and recommendations for possible methods of attack.

In one report, an unidentified Al Qaeda operative notes that a building "is almost completely made to resemble a glass house — which could be devastating in an emergency scenario ... that is to say, that when shattered, each piece of glass becomes a potential flying piece of cutthroat shrapnel!"

Another excerpt calculates that a particular building has precisely 67,000-square-feet of glass, adding for emphasis that it amounts to "an acre and a half of glass."

The author provides five possible methods of attack in one scenario, leading with parking a vehicle packed with explosives next to an exposed building column. The terrorist also suggests that operatives rent space in the building or use any of several substances in an arson attack.

"Combinations with leaking gas cylinders (esp. oxygen), bleach, ammonia and tires (they burn well) could be lethal," the Al Qaeda report says. "Added to this, also be advised that kerosene burns more powerfully than an ordinarily fueled fire (although it may not be hot enough to melt steel unless used in very large quantities)."

The reports note such things as when people take lunch and smoking breaks, where surveillance cameras are positioned, what public events were scheduled near buildings and how many cars and pedestrians typically pass by per minute. Detailed descriptions of security guards included their uniforms, whether they were armed and a notation that one male guard's weapon "appears to be a Colt .45 pistol."

In two reports, the Al Qaeda author assumed that undercover security officers are likely to be stationed near possible targets. That shows that security officials must "regularly review, refresh and reinforce" their undercover teams to prevent them from being identified, the bulletin said.

One Al Qaeda operative also advises where additional reconnaissance could be performed before an attack, such as "inside the coffee shop, restaurants or bars etc. Or even on the upstairs floor of the bookshop (there is one end where people regularly sit and browse through books)."

The bulletin said the casing reports demonstrate a high level of sophistication among Al Qaeda surveillance operatives and suggest that the terror group wants to use people who have experience living in the United States to help choose targets.

Many of the reconnaissance techniques are described in a captured Al Qaeda manual titled "Military Studies in the Jihad Against the Tyrants (search)." That manual says that public information can provide 80 percent of the information needed about a possible target, demonstrating that security officials in government and the private sector must carefully review what is available on the Internet and elsewhere, the bulletin said.

"Surveillance of a potential target can occur as little as one week to as much as three years prior to an attack," the bulletin said

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Homeland Security questions

By Shaun Waterman
UPI

WASHINGTON, (UPI) -- The chaotic and embarrassing departure from the scene of Department of Homeland Security Secretary-designate Bernard Kerik is just the latest, though hopefully last, crisis that the department faced in 2004, and the succession vacuum that resulted -- however brief -- serves to underline the deep and disturbing question marks that hang over the troubled agency.

Set up in March last year by the merger of the 22 agencies that shared responsibility for protecting the country from terrorism and other threats, the Department of Homeland Security is the federal government's newest department -- and, with 180,000 employees, one of its largest.

Proponents argued that the biggest re-organization of the federal government since the formation of the Department of Defense in 1947 was necessary to ensure the integration of U.S. counter-terrorist efforts, and avoid the communications breakdowns and information compartmentalization that helped the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers enter the country and put their deadly scheme into practice.

But at the conclusion of its first full year in existence, many of the department's key objectives -- like a single watch list of known or suspected terrorists, or a complete database of vulnerable critical infrastructure -- remain unfulfilled. Going forward, the department faces a host of enormous challenges, and its spotty track record offers no guarantee that it will be able to rise to meet them.

On the contrary, experts and insiders alike argue that, without major reforms and exceptional leadership, the department is likely to continue stumbling from crisis to crisis, and may eventually be condemned to bureaucratic irrelevance.

"The new secretary will have to defend the department's interests in continuing turf conflicts," John Gannon, staff director of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security told United Press International.

Indeed. In the Byzantine, internecine turf conflicts that shape the bureaucratic landscape of the federal government, Homeland Security has lost out repeatedly.

Part of the department's statutory responsibility, Gannon pointed out, was to integrate intelligence about the threats from terrorist groups with information about the weak points in U.S. infrastructure, in order to identify where the greatest risks of attack are. The only really novel element of the department was the Information Analysis unit -- established to do just that.

But the directorate's work remains radically incomplete, and much of the task of analyzing the risk of terror attacks is currently being done by the CIA's Terrorist Threat Integration Center, which -- following the passage of the Sept. 11 reform bill -- is to be expanded into the National Counter-Terrorism Center.

"The new law raises questions about what responsibilities the NCTC will have that should be in the department," said Gannon, who predicted "bureaucratic tension" over the respective roles and responsibilities of the new center and the Information Analysis unit of homeland security. Gannon said lawmakers will be "watching this closely to protect (the department's) authorities."

Matters are complicated by the recent departure of the Undersecretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Frank Libutti, and the desire -- long reported by a variety of sources -- of both his principle deputies to leave as well.

The Information Analysis unit is "still building its critical capability and turf conflicts should not be allowed to complicate the process," concluded Gannon.

On other fronts, too, Homeland Security has been outmaneuvered by its bureaucratic rivals. The FBI has nibbled away repeatedly at the responsibilities of the department for investigation -- first taking the lead role in tracking terrorist financing and more recently assuming control of arms smuggling investigations, too.

Both these areas were formerly the province of Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- the Homeland Security agency charged with hunting down money launderers, sanctions busters and human traffickers, and which is the sole enforcer of immigration laws inside the United States.

But ICE, as it is known, has other problems, too. A report from the department's inspector general concluded that the agency "fell seriously behind in basic accounting functions," saying in effect that it did not know how much money it was spending. "A void exists in the financial management infrastructure at ICE that likely will continue to jeopardize the integrity" of the whole department's financial reporting, the report concluded.

ICE officials say that the agencies financial woes have not stopped them from more than doubling the number of fugitive aliens they have apprehended to over 7,000; or from bringing nearly 900 indictments for money laundering and other financial crimes.

In many ways ICE is a poster child for the challenges officials faced in merging the 22 entities that went into the new department. The agency is made up of parts of the old Immigration and Naturalization Service combined with elements of Customs. But other parts of those agencies went into different elements of the new department, creating an organizational nightmare for managers.

"This was the biggest government re-organization in half a century, and we did it in the middle of a war," said Frank Cilluffo, the vice president for homeland security at George Washington University. Cilluffo, who was the first homeland security adviser to President Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks, likened it to "trying to rebuild an airplane engine in mid flight."

"We had two different agencies being split among three different components of (the Department of Homeland Security)," said ICE spokesman Dean Boyd, who called the process "challenging."

The way the merger was done, he explained, left many unanswered questions about the allocation of costs -- such as rent on premises -- between three different parts of the new department.

So severe have the tensions been over these questions that the department has commissioned an independent audit to examine the way these costs were apportioned. "These issues are very, very complex. Every agency is making claims about its costs and how the reimbursements should be done," said Boyd. "Going forward, we want to ensure that this is resolved."

In the meantime, ICE has had to take drastic cost-saving measures, like a hiring freeze and a ban on all "non-mission critical" travel or other expenditure, instituted this year.

It is not surprising, perhaps, that the word crisis gets used a lot to describe the state of affairs at Homeland Security.

"If you talk to people in the department, they will tell you there's a crisis," David Heyman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told UPI. "But in Chinese, the character meaning 'crisis' is formed from two other characters -- 'danger' and 'opportunity.'"

Heyman and James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation recently published a report calling for a complete restructuring of the department. They want Congress to legislate radical changes in the way the department is organized, with a flatter management structure and the elimination of the four directorates into which it is currently divided.

"The department is weighed down by layers of unnecessary bureaucracy, rife with turf warfare and lacks a structure for strategic thinking and policy-making," said Heyman.

Carafano added that it would be "much better off if it was managed in a more private sector way" with strong operational agencies, like the Coast Guard, reporting through powerful chief executives directly to the department's leadership -- rather than through undersecretaries, as at present.

On the other hand, management needs to be strengthened by empowering the officials in charge of procurement and information technology -- who are currently unable to effectively impose their will on the various elements of the department -- and by making the deputy secretary a kind of chief operating officer, with the power to run things on a day-to-day level.

Restructuring? Already? But the department has only just been created.

Which is exactly why Carafano said that now is "the magic moment."

"We need to make the changes before the current structure calcifies and the stakeholders get entrenched," he told UPI, pointing out that after President Eisenhower failed to get structures in place to enforce close co-operation between the military services as the Department of Defense was established in 1947, it took 40 years to get the job done -- by the Goldwater-Nichols reforms of 1986.

The lesson is clear, as far as the report's authors are concerned. "If we do not fix (the department) now," said CSIS's John Hamre, "we risk permanently embedding pre-Sept. 11 thinking into the decision-making structures of our nation's homeland security."

The report's authors said they hope Congress will take up the recommendations next year. Gannon said he thought the department ought to "look seriously" at the recommendations, pointing out that the existing structure has not enabled the department's leadership to adequately address management problems like the lack of an information technology architecture, or inadequate financial controls.

Despite several requests, the Homeland Security Department did not make a senior official available to UPI for this article. But Deputy Press Secretary Katie Mynster, while stressing the department welcomed input and suggestions, said that they were "comfortable with the current structure and confident it is working well."

One program that even the department's fiercest critics acknowledge as a success is perhaps its most ambitious undertaking to date.

US-VISIT -- the acronym stands for Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology -- is a massive program to biometrically verify the identities of every foreigner who arrives in the United States, using digital fingerprints and photographs. The system is designed to prevent people using forged or stolen documents, or assuming fake or stolen identities.

Rolled out last January at half a dozen airports, US-VISIT has processed more than 13 million foreigners. Now in place at every airport, the system has also been established out at several major land border crossings and seaports. Checking visitors' fingerprints against FBI databases has caught dozens of criminals trying to enter the country under false names -- but no terrorists so far.

In the year ahead, the department plans to introduce US-VISIT at every land crossing, and to begin exit registration for foreigners leaving the country. Eventually the system should be able to alert officials when visitors remain in the country after their visa has expired.

But land crossings -- with their huge traffic volumes and location on crucial trade routes -- and exit registration -- with no checkpoints to ensure compliance -- are precisely the most difficult elements of the system.

Gannon said could be no guarantee that the roll out would be successful.

"I do not know where the department is going to be in a year's time," he said, "but the quality of congressional oversight will make a big difference in its progress."

Congressional oversight has been another big problem for the department, with jurisdiction split among dozens of congressional committees. Aviation security, for instance, comes under the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, while immigration enforcement is the province of Judiciary. As a result, officials say, the department's leadership spends an inordinate amount of time testifying on Capitol Hill.

"They are spending so much time up here," said one congressional staff member, "that it's a wonder they've got anything to testify about."

Carafano says that establishing a single oversight body is perhaps the most important single reform the department needs.

The Senate recently voted to rename the Government Affairs Committee the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee -- but much of the jurisdiction over the department remains the province of other panels.

Gannon says they want to do better in the House, which will vote in January on a rule making the House committee permanent and outlining new jurisdiction arrangements. He wants the new standing committee established by the rule to be the department's "single authorizing committee, assisting them to establish priorities and to measure progress in meeting them.

To do this effectively, he said, the new committee "will need adequate jurisdiction" to avoid "clashing needlessly with other ... committees."

"We are now engaged in serious negotiations with other committees to get the balance right," he told UPI, acknowledging that it will not be easy to strip powerful committees of their turf.

"As we all know, jurisdiction among congressional committees is the jealously guarded coin of the realm."

But he said he was "pleased" with progress so far and "confident" in the end result.

Personality is also fate when it comes to the department itself, it would seem, and outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge -- affable, straightforward and seemingly tireless -- will be sorely missed on that point.

"In many ways, he embodied the department," says Cilluffo. "He was a voice for the people on the front lines -- the first responders and other state and local officials."

"He wrote the forward and the first couple of chapters of the history of this country at one of its defining moments... Those are big shoes to fill."

Stephen McHale, a career senior official who left the department over the summer, says that Ridge's closeness to the president was also very valuable to the department.

"You need the support of the president to deal with (the Office of Management and Budget) and White House staff," he said.

McHale, who was second in command at the Transportation Security Administration -- the single largest and highest-profile element of the department -- believes that homeland security continues to need that support.

"The DHS is very new, and therefore, in the Washington bureaucracy, it's vulnerable," he said.

And that, argued McHale, makes the selection a replacement crucial. "It will indicate how seriously the administration is going to take the department," he says. "It will send a message."

The nominations of former White House staff members close to the president to Cabinet posts has set the bar, according to McHale. Putting White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales in as attorney general and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice as secretary of State "gives high visibility to those departments," and without a leader who is also close to the president, the department runs the risk of being bureaucratically eclipsed.

George Foresman, homeland security adviser to Virginia's Democratic Gov. Mark Warner, agreed that the selection of a successor to Ridge is crucial, especially with a swathe of other senior officials said to be ready to leave as well.

Because the department is so new, suggested Foresman, it lacks the bureaucratic inertia that carries forward other government departments even in the absence of leadership.

"Every other department has a long established institutional civil service structures that keeps the place running. Although homeland security contains agencies such as the Coast Guard or the Federal Emergency Management Agency with a strong institutional identity and bureaucratic infrastructures, (the Department of Homeland Security) as a whole doesn't have one."

There is one final reason why Foresman thinks the pick is "the most significant appointment in the administration" -- it may well define the president's legacy.

"If there is a major event -- a terrorist attack, or a big earthquake -- in the next four years, how we respond to that, how we share information and work together at all levels of government and how we recover from it, that will all be crucial to how Bush's legacy is seen."

--

(Please send comments to nationaldesk@upi.com.)



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Pentagon Ousts Official Who Tied Russians to Iraqi WMD Removal

By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Pentagon official who publicly disclosed information showing Russian involvement in moving Iraqi weapons out of that country has been dismissed.
John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security and formerly an aide to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, was forced to leave his position Dec. 10 as the result of a "reorganization" that eliminated his job, defense officials said.
Mr. Shaw said he had been asked to resign for "exceeding his authority" in disclosing the information, a charge he called "specious."
In October, Mr. Shaw told The Washington Times that he had received foreign intelligence data showing that Russian special forces units were involved in an effort to remove Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction in the weeks before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began in March 2003.
In a letter to Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Shaw said that information about the covert Russian role in moving Iraqi arms to Syria, Lebanon and possibly Iran was discussed during a meeting that included retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency; the head of Britain's MI6 intelligence service; and the head of a foreign intelligence service that he did not name.
The Pentagon office was conducting "research focused on analyzing Russian documents to determine the pattern of acquisition and dispersal of weaponry in the pre-war period," Mr. Shaw said in the Dec. 3 letter. A copy was obtained by The Washington Times.
The Defense Intelligence Agency has been fully briefed on the Russian covert arms removal, and Mr. Shaw expected additional information from foreign sources to produce more details, he wrote to Mr. Rumsfeld.
Reports of the Russian role in dispersing Iraqi arms made news during the final days of the presidential election campaign, at a time when the Bush administration was being criticized for failing to secure tons of Iraqi high explosives that could be used in developing nuclear arms.
Mr. Shaw went public to counter a political "October surprise" campaign designed to "crucify the president" over the missing explosives, he wrote to Mr. Rumsfeld.
"The Kerry media-driven October surprise attack on us and the president stopped within hours," Mr. Shaw wrote. "If I had not had the openly hostile environment in [Pentagon public affairs], I would have moved the story differently. Getting the truth out instantly was more important than process."
After Mr. Shaw's disclosures, the Pentagon released spy satellite photographs of Iraqi weapons facilities that showed truck convoys at the plants, apparently in preparation to move materials. Further corroborating Mr. Shaw's account, a Russian newspaper reported that two retired Russian generals had received awards from Saddam's government 10 days before the coalition assault on Iraq began.
Mr. Shaw directed a Pentagon program called the Iraq Technology Transfer List that identified foreign weapons and technology discovered in Iraq after the March 2003 invasion.
In his December letter to Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Shaw complained that he had been targeted by "senior members" in the secretary's office.
"I cannot in good conscience resign at this time," Mr. Shaw stated. "I cannot submit my resignation to you until it is clear that this well-orchestrated campaign to obstruct justice and suppress the findings of my office has been properly addressed and stopped."
Mr. Shaw singled out Mr. Rumsfeld's chief of staff, Larry DiRita, and other officials for attempting to "suborn the office of the inspector general" after Mr. Shaw uncovered "a major [Coalition Provisional Authority] fraud and corruption case involving various [Department of Defense] figures."
Mr. DiRita called Mr. Shaw's charges "absurd and without any foundation."
"He has been directed on several occasions to produce evidence of his wide-ranging and fantastic charges and provide it to the DoD inspector general," Mr. DiRita said in an interview. "To my knowledge, he has not done so."
Mr. DiRita declined to comment on specific accusations made by Mr. Shaw.




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The Key to Jihadist Ideology and Strategy

By Lawrence Auster

When trying to explain the Islamists' global campaign of mass murder, both liberals and conservatives, despite their fierce mutual disagreements, make the same underlying mistake. People on the anti-war left believe that Al Qaeda attacked us because we're imperialist, or because we're racist, or because we don't do enough for Third-World hunger (yes, there are people who actually believe the hunger argument; most of them are Episcopalians). By contrast, many people on the pro-war right, especially President Bush, believe that the Islamists hate us for our freedoms, opportunities, and overall success as a society. In other words, the left believes that the Islamists hate us for our sins, and the right believes that they hate us for our virtues. Both sides commit the same narcissistic fallacy of thinking that the Islamist holy war against the West revolves solely around ourselves, around the moral drama of our goodness or our wickedness, rather than having something to do with Islam itself.


A very different perspective on the Islamist challenge comes from Mary Habeck, a military historian at Yale University. Speaking at the Heritage Foundation on August 13, Habeck said that the various jihadist groups base their war against non-Moslems on the Islamic sacred writings, particularly the Sira, which, unlike the Koran, tells the Prophet’s life in chronological sequence. Using Muhammed as their model, the jihadis live and think and act within paradigms provided by the stages of Muhammed’s political and military career. According to Habeck, this internally driven logic of Islam, and not any particular provocation, real or imagined, by some outside power, is the key to understanding why the jihadis do what they do.



The first stage or paradigm is Muhammed’s early life in Mecca, a non-Islamic society where no Islamic way of life is possible, and where Moslems are powerless and oppressed. The second paradigm is the hejira, the escape from Mecca to Medina, a new place that is more pure and where a true Islamic society and state can be founded. After this Islamic state is formed, the third paradigm kicks in. This is jihad, organized violence against non-Moslems for the purpose of building up the wealth and power of the Islamic community and bringing the world under a single Islamic state. Jihadists conceive and rationalize their own activities in terms of these paradigms. Thus when Osama bin Laden left Saudi Arabia for Sudan, and when he later left Sudan for Afghanistan, he saw those journeys as corresponding with the hejira, leaving a corrupt land, where he was powerless, for a more pure Islamic place from which jihad could be waged.



In addition to the three stages in the growth of the Islamic community culminating in jihad, there are three basic approaches to waging jihad, called collectively the Method of Muhammed, that various Islamist groups respectively adopt toward the ultimate goal of establishing the world-wide rule of Islam. The jihadis' choice of method depends on whom they see as their immediate enemy in that larger struggle; each jihadist group, moveover, is defined by which of these methods it adopts. The first method is to fight the Near Enemy prior to fighting the Far Enemy. The Near Enemy is anyone inside Islamic lands, whether it is an occupier or someone who has taken away territory that used to be Islamic. The second method is to fight the Greater Unbelief—the major enemy, which today is the United States—before the Lesser Unbelief. And the third method is to fight the Apostates first, and then the other Unbelievers. Apostates are false Moslems, people who call themselves Moslems but aren't, a group that includes secularist Moslems such as Saddam Hussein as well as Shi’ites, who are considered heretics.



It is these notions, deeply embedded in the jidadis’ reading of the life of Muhammed, and not determined by what is happening in what we think of as the real world, that determine their major strategic directions and whom they choose to kill. For example, the terrorists who murdered 190 people in Madrid on March 11, 2004 did not target Spain because of its involvement with the U.S.-led Iraqi reconstruction; the group had been planning the Madrid attack for two years, going back to before the American invasion of Iraq. They attacked Spain because it was the Near Enemy—a formerly Islamic land that they hoped to win back for Islam. Similarly, regarding the all-important question whether the Wahhabist Osama bin Laden would have been willing to work with the secularist Apostate Saddam Hussein in an attack on America, Habeck says it is entirely possible, because bin Laden believes that his primary enemy is the Greater Unbelief, the United States, and therefore in the short term he would cooperate with an Apostate such as Hussein. Then, after America had been finished off with Hussein's help, bin Laden with the enhanced power and prestige gained from that victory could redirect the jihad back at Hussein and other Moslem Apostates.



The key point is that, while specific actions by the West might provoke the jihadis to greater attacks, their fundamental strategic and military decisions are not determined by anything done by the United States or Europe or by other major enemies of Islam such as the Hindus, but rather by which Method of Muhammed each jihadi faction follows, and each of these strategies has its own internal rationality, though it is not a rationality that makes sense in non-Islamic terms.



The same is true for Wahhabism itself, says Habeck. Wahhabism began in the 18th century when there was no Western colonial power in the Islamic world; it was not set off by any Western intrusion into the Moslem lands. Similarly, the contemporary Islamist idea that America is the center of all that is evil in the world, making America the “Greater Unbelief”, was conceived by a Moslem scholar between 1948 and 1951 when he was residing in the United States. This was decades before the U.S. had any large-scale involvement with Israel, and decades before its culture spiraled downhill, though, from the point of view of that visiting Moslem, America was already quite decadent at that point and ripe for destruction.



What is most striking in the Method of Muhammed is the utter absence of any transcendent notion of morality. Unlike in traditional Western religion and philosophy, where God or the Good is the measure of human actions, in Islamism (which after all is simply a pure form of Islam) the measure of human actions is the shifting power tactics and military strategies of a desert brigand and war leader.



Lawrence Auster is the author of Erasing America: The Politics of the Borderless Nation. He offers his traditionalist conservative perspective at View from the Right


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Thursday, December 30, 2004

More Ranting from Osama

Osama Bin Laden: 'Today There is a Conflict between World Heresy Under the Leadership of America on the One Hand and the Islamic Nation with the Mujahideen in its Vanguard on the Other'

In an audio-cassette tape released on December 16, 2004, Osama bin Laden directs his criticism against Arab rulers in general and against the Saudi royal family in particular, saying that they are no longer to be considered Muslims and calling on them to step down. Portions of the approximately hour and fifteen minutes-long tape were aired on Al-Jazeera. The following are excerpts from the speech:(1)

The Responsibility for the Conflict Falls on the Saudi Regime, which Has Neglected its Duties

"To the Muslims of Saudi Arabia in particular, and to the Muslims in other countries in general:

"This is a message concerning the disagreement and conflict between the rulers of Riyadh and the people of this country, and how to resolve it. There has been much talk in Saudi Arabia about the need to have security and safety and about the inviolability of the blood of Muslims and those who have been granted safe passage, and about the importance of [maintaining] harmonious relations and social cohesion, and the dangers of divisiveness and conflict. It has been claimed that the mujahideen are responsible for that which has befallen Saudi Arabia. However, the self-evident truth is that the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the regime, which has neglected the conditions necessary for guaranteeing security, life, harmonious relations, and social cohesion.

"It did this by disobeying Allah and committing grave sins which expose the land to Allah's warning and punishment. Allah told us the stories of the disobedient and their punishment so that we might take heed. Allah said: 'Allah made an example of a city, which used to be safe and peaceful. Its provisions used to be supplied in abundance from every quarter. But they denied Allah's favors, so Allah brought upon them hunger and fear because of what they did [Koran 16:112].' And Allah said: 'Those who acted as tyrants in the land and increased corruption in it, your Lord unleashed a scourge upon them. Your Lord is always watching [Koran 89:11-14].'

"Similarly, all who help this regime and fawn upon it, as well as those who abstain from denouncing evil - they too are responsible... The acts of disobedience [against Allah] committed by the regime are very grave. They are worse than merely grave offenses and mortal sins; they are so serious that those who commit such things are no longer Muslims. It is worse than acting iniquitously with the people and depriving them of their rights, humiliating them, insulting their intelligence and sentiments, and embezzling the funds of the ummah [the Islamic nation]. Each day, millions of people suffer from poverty and deprivation, while millions of riyals flow into the accounts of the heads of the [Saudi royal] family who wield power. In addition to all this, services are being scaled back, they are stealing lands, they forcibly impose themselves as 'partners' in businesses without giving any compensation, and so forth. The regime has gone beyond all this and has reached actions that clearly remove one from Islam.

"[The regime] has allied itself with infidel America and helped it [in its war] against Muslims, and has made itself a counterpart to Allah by legislating to people both what is permitted and what is forbidden, instead of [leaving this to] Allah...

"That which I just mentioned is one of the important causes of disagreement between the Muslims and the rulers of Riyadh. The solution to this matter is simple and well known in Allah's religion, provided that the ruler honestly wants reform, and [indeed] if he wants it at all. As for us, Allah knows that we want reform and strive for it as much as we can. We left our country only because of our love for reform, for we didn't lack any worldly goods, praise and thanks to Allah...

"The prosperity of this [Islamic] nation will come through that which brought it prosperity in its beginnings. The Arabian Peninsula [before Islam] was [swept by] crashing waves of aggression and killing, and was flooded with barbaric paganism. But when Allah sent our Prophet Muhammad and revealed the Koran, and the people joined him in accepting Islam, then their condition improved and they prospered, and Allah made them mighty after their having been downtrodden...

"The solution to the conflict between the ruler and his subjects is the policy [proposed] by the first caliph [Abu Bakr] to the second caliph ['Umar], may Allah's favor be on them both - namely: 'Be upright, and your subjects will behave properly.' These are the words of the Rightly Guided Caliphs... If a ruler properly observes Allah's law, the subjects will behave properly, and they will be under obligation, by Allah's command, to listen and obey him. If, however, the ruler becomes an apostate and abandons Allah's law, it is incumbent upon the subjects, by Allah's command, to rebel. Obedience to him is not absolute, but rather is conditional upon his probity...

"Thus, if we want to arrive at a proper solution - theoretically and practically - to this conflict [between the ruler and his subjects], we must know its roots and dimensions. For this conflict is partly a local conflict, but in other respects it is a conflict between world heresy - and with it today's apostates - under the leadership of America on the one hand, and on the other, the Islamic nation with the brigades of mujahideen in its vanguard. This oppressive [regime] in the region, which at present represses every movement for reform and imposes upon the peoples policies that contradict both their religion and their worldly interest, is the very same family which helped the Crusaders against the Muslims a century ago. It is doing this on behalf of America and its allies, and this constitutes a continuation of the previous Crusaders' wars against the Islamic world."


The Crusaders and Their Agents have Changed Our School Curricula so as to Dry up the Fountainheads of the Islamic Awakening

"When we look at the domestic policies of our country, we can clearly discern the extent of the Crusader-Zionist control over it. As for American interference in domestic affairs, there is no end to what one can say about it. It is impossible to appoint the king or his viceroy without America's consent. This is based on agreements between previous kings and the American government. The farcical situation of the present government in Saudi Arabia is [maintained] with America's consent, in order to prevent the deterioration of the current situation and the deepening of discord among the princes, especially in these most recent difficult years. History has never witnessed anything like the prevailing condition of the government in Saudi Arabia. It may occur that upon the ruler's death, someone may rule the people in his name, as in the case of Shajarat Al-Durr.(2) However, that the whole land be governed in the name of a king who for a decade already has no idea what is going on - this is unheard of.

"According to Islamic law, he has lost his authority, not only due to his having committed actions which remove one from Islam, but also because of his feebleness of mind and his having lost the mental capacity needed for even the smallest of tasks, let alone for administering the country and the people. His brothers should not charge him with that which he is unable to do. They insist on his staying [on the throne] only because they refuse to see his brother 'Abdallah become king, for then their powers would be reduced, and he would wield exclusive power without them. For his part, he cannot get around them, since they have control of affairs, especially in the ministries of the defense and the interior, as well as in intelligence. What is more important is that they are in control of the royal chancery, which enables them to issue a royal edict in the name of the nominal ruler to remove him [i.e. 'Abdallah] and to appoint someone else. This sharp controversy within the royal family, in addition to their oppressing the people, enables America to go far in blackmailing the competing princes into meeting its demands, and particularly Prince 'Abdallah, since 'Abdallah knows well that if he does not comply with America's orders then he is destined, in the best of circumstances, to be deposed by his brothers, just as they had previously deposed their brother, King Saud. He also knows that his competitors have previous experience, and they are ready to do worse than depose him, if necessary.

"Whoever wants a recent real-life example for the role of America in deciding to depose someone should look at the case of Prince Hassan Ibn Talal of Jordan. After he had been viceroy for a number of decades, his brother Hussein returned from America a few days before his death determined to depose his brother, and [indeed] he deposed him. He [Hassan] acquiesced, and became a mere political footnote. It is this [fate] that Prince 'Abdallah fears [would befall him] should he disobey his protector - America. Thus, it is no secret that those who make decisions about important things are in America.

"The proof of the depth of the Crusaders' control over our country is that their agents carry out the changes imposed on them by those who appointed them - even in our school curricula - with the intention of disfiguring the identity of the Islamic nation and westernizing its children. This is an old plan, which began decades ago, with regard to the curricula of Al-Azhar in Egypt.

"America has also asked the other agent- [Arab] states to change their curricula so as to dry up what it [America] calls: 'The fountainheads of the [Islamic] awakening.'

"America demanded from Yemen that it close its scholarly [Islamic] institutes more than two decades ago; likewise, America required the rulers of Riyadh to change the religious curricula, and this was actually done in deference to its [America's] wishes. All this happened more than 15 years before the attacks on New York and Washington... This Crusader intervention in the changing of the curricula is absolutely the most dangerous intervention in our affairs, because it is, in short, a change in the religion, while the religion is a whole, which is indivisible...

"It is evident that the outcome of changing the religious curricula is damaging both to religion and to material interests. As for [the damage to] religion, you already know that it is blatant apostasy, and as for material interests, the [altered curricula] will eventually produce educated slaves in our country, who will be loyal to America, sell the interests of the country and smile in the face of the Americans, while they conquer the land and defile the [Muslims'] honor, under the pretext of liberty, equality, and the laws of the United Nations. This is one example of the American intervention in domestic policy."


The Conflict is between Two Ways: the Divine, Perfect Way and the Vulgar, Secular Way

"As for intervention in foreign policy, the ruling families defer to America and play their role in its treacheries. [The late Jordanian] King Hussein continued in the treacherous course set by his grandfather, 'Abdallah, son of Sharif Hussein, and his father too, against Palestine. And his [i.e. Hussein's] son, 'Abdallah II, follows this same course. Muhammad VI of Morocco follows the same line of treachery that was followed by his father and his grandfather before him - they continue to implement the Crusader conspiracies. The scope of this support does not permit a complete depiction of it, and so I will only mention some of the most important cases: The government of Riyadh joined a world alliance with the Crusader heresy under the leadership of Bush against Islam and its people, as has happened in Afghanistan, and likewise the conspiracies in Iraq, which have begun and not yet ended. They opened their bases to American forces in order to invade Iraq, which helped them [the Americans] and made it easier for them to conquer Iraq... And now, they have shown us a new chapter in the series of conspiracies with America, which they call 'the initiative of sending Arab and Muslim forces for peacekeeping in Iraq'... With this initiative, they seek to legitimize the American occupation...

"What makes this matter an even worse tragedy for the people is the fact that many of them had believed, when Prince 'Abdallah Ibn 'Abd Al-'Aziz assumed the management of the country, that he would save it from the mire of religious disobedience, corruption in the administration, finance, media, etc, as well as from subservience to America. However, while people were expecting him to do good, he showed them his evil nature... Indeed, Saddam is a thief and an apostate, but the solution should never have been to transfer Iraq from the indigenous thief to the foreign thief. Helping the infidel to rob Muslims' land and to gain control over them is an act that removes one from Islam... Prince Talal Ibn 'Abd Al-'Aziz publicly revealed that his father was receiving money from the English...

"Here, intelligent people must stop to reflect upon the behavior of these rulers, for the dimension of the fault is immense and Muslims cannot accept such people as their rulers.

"Those intelligent people who seek reform, and want to achieve it through these [rulers, should ask themselves]: How can they [i.e. these rulers] carry out reform while swimming in a stormy sea of reprehensible qualities? It is impossible, for they are bound to drown, and no intelligent person should agree to have someone with such qualities as a partner in any action...

"Twenty years ago, I gave good advice [for reform] to the government, through senior ulema - but things have not changed. Then, fifteen years ago, I gave my advice directly to the deputy interior minister, and told him about the grave sins from which the state should desist and the danger of continuing in them, but to no avail... What I told him about their sins - they know that these things are prohibited in Allah's religion, but they do not want anyone to denounce them for a simple reason: because it is not prohibited by the religion of kingly rule...

"Whoever is given the gift of true sight by Allah, and reflects upon the acts of the regime, will clearly see this truth in both domestic and foreign affairs, namely, that people obey the king's orders over Allah's orders, so that what the king declares permissible, becomes permissible, and what he declares forbidden, becomes forbidden. In their view, he has the sovereign right to permit something one year, and to prohibit it another. For example: it is well known that usury is strictly forbidden, for Allah said: 'Allah has permitted trading and made usury unlawful [Koran, 2:275].' However, the regime issued decrees and legislations, which make it [i.e. usury] lawful, and support it, and set penalties for whoever wants to oppose it or avoids paying what they deceitfully call 'profit.' It is well known, however, that to take usury is a grave sin and it is one of the acts that removes one from Islam.

"The second example is allying one's self with the infidels. For example: the Jordanian regime is a pagan infidel regime. Nevertheless, the rulers of Riyadh were allied with King Hussein and if a [Saudi] preacher or writer described him [i.e. Hussein] as an agent of the Jews, he would be subject to penalty on the part of the Riyadh regime, through laws that were legislated specifically for this purpose. However, when King Hussein entered an alliance with Saddam, when he [the latter] invaded Kuwait, King Fahd washed his hands of his former ally, and the Riyadh newspapers filled up with documents and pictures proving that Hussein Ibn Talal was an agent of the Jews - which was true, for he was indeed that. On the other hand, the Jordanian newspapers filled with documents and pictures proving that the rulers of Riyadh were agents of the English, and subsequently, of America, which is true, for they are indeed that.

"Therefore, despite our grave misfortune caused by the rulers of the region, who are agents [of foreign powers], we suffer greater misfortune because of some of the leaders of the Muslim world, who insist on describing these tyrants as legitimate rulers. Some people, therefore, believe that they are the lifeboat, whereas in fact they are the drowning boat... The honest people in these [Islamic] associations should purge the Islamic activities of them [the tyrants]... Such is also the case with 'Abd Al-Nasser, Sadat, Qaddafi, and Saddam. 'Abd Al-Nasser was in conflict with them [i.e. the Saudi regime], so they declared him an infidel from the pulpit of the holy mosque of Mecca, and indeed he was one. However, when he made peace with them, he became a Muslim again. The same with Qaddafi: when he reviled them for three decades, he was an infidel, but when this heretic made peace with them, he became a Muslim, and they let him enter the sacred Ka'ba. And Sadat: when he signed the capitulation initiative with the Jews, the rulers of Riyadh, along with the rest of the Arab countries, accused him of treason and of being a foreign agent, which indeed he was, and their papers cursed and reviled him vehemently. Then, when Prince 'Abdallah acted in the same treacherous manner as a foreign agent in the Beirut initiative, the hypocrites praised him and supported him. The false ulema and mercenary writers turn wherever the ruler turns, and they fall in with him wherever he falls in for the sake of money, and [yet] they still claim religious knowledge and wisdom and guidance and uprightness.

"From all this it becomes clear that the ruler believes in another religion, but he trades with the religion of Islam and deceives people with it... The conflict is a conflict between two ways, and a deep struggle between two beliefs: a conflict between the divine, perfect way, submitting full authority to Allah in all matters ... and the grossly secular way...

"After this has become clear, then the solution to improve the conditions is, as has been made clear by [Islamic] law, to depose the ruler; and if he resists and refuses to go, it is obligatory to start an armed uprising against him and to depose him. This is the dictate of [Islamic] law, which preserves both the religion and the earthly interests of the people... How can any intelligent person, while seeing the apostate ruler and his troops armed to the teeth, claim that he [i.e. the ruler] desires reform and peaceful solution?... And we are not talking here about a ruler guilty of some depravity and debauchery, but rather, about apostasy and serving as an agent to infidels. Just as there is no difference between Bremer, the former American ruler in Baghdad, and 'Allawi, the present ruler, with regard to carrying out American policies in Iraq, so there is no difference between Bremer and the rest of the rulers of the region in carrying out America's policies... The doctrine of rebelling against an apostate ruler is not a doctrine that I invented, but rather, it is a doctrine held by the consensus of all the great religious scholars. Such is the dictate of religious law in a situation such as ours. Therefore, it is obligatory for all Muslims to take action for reform, taking into consideration the dimension of the conflict and the fact that these regimes are nothing but a part of the system of global heresy.

"Reform should be [carried out] according to the law of Allah, otherwise it is a deviation from the law of Allah and a waste of time and effort...

"Those [clerics] who are opposed to the people of the land conducting armed dialogue with the governments in order to regain their rights - those [clerics] practice gross deception... Their approach is extremely dangerous for two reasons: first ... because they let their capricious ideas compete with Allah's law, which is a grave sin, as is well known... Second, because they participate in stopping people from following Allah's course and they mislead them about their religion, by preventing them from taking their rights in the ways prescribed by Allah. This pushes the hypocrites and the ignorant to consider adopting the course of the Northern Alliance [in Afghanistan] and of others like them, such as 'Allawi and his followers. This is absolutely forbidden."


'O Allah, Turn Against the American-Zionist Coalition, Their Allies and Their Agents - Destroy and Break Them'

"Before ending, let me respond to some of the accusations of the regime... They have accused the mujahideen of following the Kharijite sect,(3) but they know that we have absolutely nothing to do with that school [of thought]. Both our messages and our actual behavior attest to this... We do not declare [Muslim] people collectively to be infidels and do not consider the killing of Muslims to be permissible. If some Muslims are killed during the operations of the mujahideen, we pray for Allah's mercy upon them. This is to be considered accidental manslaughter, and we ask Allah to forgive us for it, and we bear responsibility for it...

"But I say to the ruler of Riyadh: if you wish, I'll tell you about the murder of Muslims ... and I shall tell you about the one who declared Muslims collectively to be unbelievers and considered it permissible to kill Muslims - it is your father, 'Abd Al-'Aziz, who went to war and helped the English against the Ottoman state and their [i.e. the Ottomans'] deputy, Ibn Al-Rashid, in Ha'il... You yourselves rebelled with arms against your brother King Saud ... and your clerics did not call you and your father Khawarijites. [Here bin Laden reviles the Saudis for the slaughter of other Muslims by King 'Abd Al-'Aziz Aal Sa'ud in Ta'if, when he fought against the supporters of Sharif Hussein of Mecca in 1924 and defeated them]...

"Is any Muslim ignorant of the fact that assisting infidels against Muslims is prohibited, or that legalizing the taking of interest is prohibited? This is obviously well known in religion, just as one knows that drinking wine and promiscuity are prohibited...

"You permit that which Allah prohibits and you prohibit that which Allah allows, and you issue certificates of absolution to whomever you want, and you accuse the young people [who oppose you] of holding erroneous ideas and being a corrupt gang. But who [in fact] are those who hold erroneous ideas? Are they the ones who follow the order of the Prophet [stating] that it is obligatory to banish the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula, or those who scoff at the traditions of the Prophet?... Are we those who hold erroneous ideas, or is it those who betrayed the Islamic nation and abandoned Muhammad's [Arabian] peninsula to the Jews and the Christians, enabling them to take control of it and giving them military bases in it? That is in addition to betraying Iraq, [bearing in mind that] it is forbidden to betray even an infidel...

"Who are those who have erroneous ideas and who are a corrupt gang? Are they those who defend the Muslims and their honor and property in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Chechnya, or are they those who joined the global alliance of heresy against the Muslims, in addition to robbing the public funds of the [Muslim] nation?... [Here Bin Laden criticizes the Saudi government for wasting money on an arms deal instead of spending the funds on the unemployed, and for seizing private property and wasting public funds on the building of extravagant palaces. He also criticizes King Fahd (then Crown Prince) for violating the sanctity of the Ka'ba in Mecca when he violently quashed a Wahhabi fundamentalist revolt in November 1979.]

"Who are those who have erroneous ideas and who are a corrupt gang? Are they the mujahideen, or are they those who cooperated with America in murdering more than one million children within a few years, during their wicked embargo on Iraq, in what was the biggest massacre of children known to humanity?...

"It is extremely incredible and preposterous that the [Saudi] regime accuses the [Islamist] youth of the sins of which the regime itself is guilty, as when they claim that Zionism stands behind the mujahideen. However, both Muslims and infidels, all over the world, know that the Jihad youth are Zionism's worst enemy, yet the regime accuses us of their own [sins]... Weren't you [Crown Prince 'Abdallah] the author of the Beirut initiative, in which you granted recognition to the Zionists and their conquest of Palestine?(4) How have you lost your mind and your honor, you, the commander of the National Guard, to the extent that you lance such false and vile accusations against the mujahideen?...

"I ask all the Muslims to curse the Zionists and their agents, and I ask of you [Crown Prince 'Abdallah], if you are sincere, that you and those who obey you pronounce the following supplication in the mosques of Mecca and Medina and in all the other mosques [in Saudi Arabia]: 'O Allah, turn against the American-Zionist coalition, their allies, and their agents. O Allah, destroy them and break them; remove them from power and disperse them and scatter them; make their wives widows and turn them against one another. Seek out their weak spots just as they seek out the mujahideen's weak spots. Shame them before all humanity. Rid us of them however you wish'...

"We ask Allah to give His grace to the mujahideen who stormed the American consulate in Jeddah. How can they [i.e. the Americans] expect to enjoy security while they bring death and destruction upon our people in Palestine and in Iraq. They do not deserve to be secure anywhere in the world. As for their presence in Saudi Arabia - or rather in all of the Arabian Peninsula - it is prohibited by Islamic law... And I say to our brethren and our people ... continue in your path, and do not fear difficulties. Do not relent in purifying and cleansing the Arabian Peninsula of polytheists, heretics, and apostates...

"You, the mujahideen: there is now a rare and golden opportunity to make America bleed in Iraq, both economically and in terms of human losses and morale. Don't miss out on this opportunity, lest you regret it. One of the main causes for our enemies' gaining hegemony over our country is their stealing our oil; therefore, you should make every effort in your power to stop the greatest theft in history of the natural resources of both present and future generations, which is being carried out through collaboration between foreigners and [native] agents... Focus your operations on it [oil production], especially in Iraq and the Gulf area, since this [lack of oil] will cause them to die off [on their own].

"In conclusion, I address a brief message to the rulers of Riyadh, and another to those who wield influence. I say to them [i.e. the rulers of Riyadh]: leadership is a contract between the sovereign and his subjects, and both have rights and obligations that derive from the contract. There are also things which nullify it, one of which is when the sovereign betrays his religion and nation - and this is what you did...

"It is no secret to you now that the [Saudi] people have awakened from their apathy ... and the Muslims in Saudi Arabia now insist in reclaiming their stolen rights, no matter what it takes. Therefore, you have to choose between paths. The first is to return the trust to its owners in a peaceful manner and to let the people of the country choose a Muslim ruler so that he might rule them according to Allah's Book and His Prophet's tradition. The second is to refuse to return the people's rights ... and to recruit some of them with money from the public money of the [Islamic] nation to beat up and kill their own brothers and cousins who reject your authority. You should know, however ... that when peoples rise up to demand their rights they can not be stopped by security apparatuses. You should bear in mind the fate of the Shah of Iran, despite the reputation and the power and the experience of his security apparatus, and likewise the fate of Ceausescu in Romania...

"You know that we in the Al-Qa'ida organization are not fighting you over worldly affairs; what offends us rather is that you commit acts which remove you from Islam - among them, ruling by [laws] other than those which Allah has revealed, and making alliances with the infidels.

"I now address the influential people among the honest ulema, the leaders, the dignitaries and notables, and the businessmen. The message is: take action before it's too late... Do everything you can to defuse the crisis, as you know that the mujahideen in Saudi Arabia have not yet launched the war against the regime - for had they launched it in fact, the top priority would have been to get rid of the local leaders of heresy - namely the rulers of Riyadh. However, what is currently going on is merely an extension of the war against the Crusader-American coalition, which is fighting us everywhere, and whom we fight everywhere, including within Saudi Arabia. We strive to expel them from it [i.e. Saudi Arabia], Allah willing. You, the people of influence: fear Allah, for your own sake and for the sake of your nation. Let those of you who can do so emigrate from the country, thus freeing themselves from the imaginary shackles and the psychological pressure that the regime has put on them..."

Endnotes:
(1) http://thisway.to/jabha
(2) Shajarat Al-Durr was an Ayyubid sultana in Egypt, who ruled Egypt for a period of 80 days following the death of her husband in 1250.
(3) The Kharijites were an early Islamic sect known for extremism and violent sectarianism.
(4) The reference is to the 2002 Saudi peace initiative.


*********************
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles
and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077
E-Mail: memri@memri.org
www.memri.org


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Prosecutor: Lawyer Helped Sheik Break Law

A reverse Stockholm syndrome?

By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK -- A lawyer and two co-defendants helped an imprisoned Egyptian sheik commit a sort of "jailbreak" by allowing him to get around prison rules and feed messages to terrorists overseas, a prosecutor told a federal jury Wednesday.

In his closing argument, assistant U.S. attorney Andrew Dember asked the jury to convict the three of a conspiracy to overcome the government's effort to silence the still "powerful and influential" prisoner, Omar Abdel-Rahman.

Civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart and her co-defendants, Ahmed Abdel Sattar and Mohamed Yousry, testified they obeyed the law in the work they did for Abdel-Rahman.

The blind sheik, who entered the United States in 1990, is serving a life prison sentence for his 1995 conviction for inspiring plots to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and blow up New York City landmarks.

Dember told jurors the three defendants in effect "broke Abdel-Rahman out of jail, made him available to the worst kind of criminal we find in this world -- terrorists."

Stewart represented Abdel-Rahman at his trial, while Sattar served as a paralegal. Until their 2002 arrests, Stewart and Yousry, an Arabic translator, continued working on the sheik's legal team while Sattar provided materials to read to the sheik.

The trial, which began with jury selection in May and opening statements in June, has been closely watched in part because of the rarity of a defense lawyer being prosecuted in federal court for actions she took on behalf of her client.

The case was expected to go to the jury next week. Sattar could face life in prison and Stewart and Yousry up to 20 years.

Dember warned jurors that the case was not about the Egyptian government, what the defendants thought about the government's effort to silence the sheik or the religion of Islam.

Those subjects arose as all three defendants testified in recent weeks, saying they kept the convicted sheik informed of world events but did not believe they had committed a crime. The extensive testimony by defendants is rare in a federal trial.

Prosecutors say Sattar brazenly used his telephone and fax machine to conspire with members of an Egyptian terrorist group to kidnap and kill people overseas. They say Stewart and Yousry conspired to provide material support to terrorists.

But Stewart said she felt an ethical obligation as a lawyer to keep the sheik's name and views relevant worldwide so he might someday be transferred to Egyptian prisons, where he would be watched by prison officers who know his language and traditions.

Yousry conceded on the stand that he was not immediately forthcoming with FBI agents who interviewed him after the 2001 terrorist attacks, but said he was worried about the "climate in the country" and how he would be viewed for his work for the sheik.
Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press

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Muslims claim unfair treatment at border

Who should they profile--Methodists?

By CAROLYN THOMPSON
Associated Press Writer

December 29, 2004, 6:27 PM EST

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- An Islamic civil rights group Wednesday accused U.S. border agents of religious profiling after dozens of American Muslims were searched, fingerprinted and photographed while returning from a religious conference in Toronto.

Some of those stopped said they were held at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge for six hours or more with no explanation.

A spokeswoman for Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection said agents stopped anyone who said they attended the three-day convention, titled "Reviving the Islamic Spirit," based on information that such gatherings can be a means for terrorists to promote their cause.

"I asked `If I refuse to give my fingerprints, what will you do?"' said Galeb Rizek, 32, who claimed he arrived at the border around midnight and was held until 6:30 a.m. "(The agent) said, `You can refuse, but you'll be here until you do."'

Rizek, whose family owns a hotel in Niagara Falls, said he is a frequent traveler across the border and has never before been fingerprinted or photographed. He described one woman, traveling with her young daughter, who protested and sobbed through the fingerprinting. The little girl cried as well.

"It was kind of dramatic. You really feel like a criminal and you haven't done anything wrong," said Rizek, who was born in the United States.

"The image of a room full of American Muslim citizens apparently being held solely because of their faith and the fact that they attended an Islamic conference is one that should be disturbing to all Americans who value religious freedom," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The group demanded an investigation by Homeland Security officials.

CBP spokeswoman Kristie Clemens said 34 people were stopped at the Lewiston crossing and four others were checked at the nearby Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls. They were held for an average of 2 1/2 hours and offered coffee and tea, she said.

Clemens acknowledged the inconvenience over the additional security measures, but said with the threat of terrorism, there was no room for error.

"We have ongoing credible information that conferences such as the one that these 34 individuals just left in Toronto may be used by terrorist organizations to promote terrorist activities, which includes traveling and fund raising," Clemens said. "As the front-line border agency, it is our duty to verify the identity of individuals _ including U.S. citizens _ and one way of doing that is fingerprinting."

Mo Rizek, 19, said frustration among those held for several hours boiled over to anger.

"Everyone was yelling," he said. "Some people had a 10-hour drive back to Connecticut in front of them, people had to go to work in the morning ... Every single person there was a U.S. citizen."

He said one of the messages of the convention was how to change for the better the way people feel about Muslims post-Sept. 11.

___P>

On the Net:

Reviving the Islamic Spirit: http://www.revivingtheislamicspirit.com

Department of Homeland Security: http://www.DHS.gov


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Lasers illuminate airline cockpits on approach

Six incidents in four days

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Six commercial airliners in the past four days have had their cockpits illuminated by laser beams while attempting to land, a government official told CNN Wednesday.

The incidents have happened "all over the place" and in "kind of odd places," the official said without elaborating.

None of the flights was affected.

The government official, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, said it was unclear whether this week's incidents were the result of "kids who got a laser light for Christmas" or whether there is "some deliberate attempt to target aircraft."

The cockpit of a Continental Airlines 737 was illuminated by a laser Monday as it approached Cleveland, authorities said.

FBI spokesman Bob Hawk said the light, which shined into the cockpit at around 8 p.m., came from a suburb about 15 miles from the airport.

The FBI said no harm was done and the light did not affect the plane's landing.

On November 22, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security sent an intelligence bulletin to police agencies to alert them that terrorist groups have shown an interest in using laser beams to try to bring down airliners.

"Terrorist groups overseas have expressed interest in using these devices against human sight," the bulletin said. "The U.S. intelligence community has no specific or credible evidence that terrorists intend to use lasers to target pilots in the homeland."

The bulletin said lasers were not a proven method of attacking aircraft but that they could lead to a crash.

"In certain circumstances, if laser weapons adversely affect the eyesight of both pilot and co-pilot during a non-instrument approach, there is a risk of airliner crash," the bulletin said.

It is against federal law to intentionally shine a laser beam at a commercial airline flight.

In September, a Delta Air Lines pilot reported damage to his retina from a laser beam during a landing in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A report for the FAA in June 2004 examined the effect of laser beams on pilots. Of 34 pilots who were exposed to lasers during simulated flights, 67 percent experienced adverse visual effects at even the lowest level of laser exposure. Two high exposure levels resulted in significantly greater performance difficulties and nine aborted landings.

"The potential for an aviation accident definitely exists," said the report.


Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/12/29/laser.plane/index.html


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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Osama's New Rantings

To view this Special Dispatch in HTML format, visit
http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD83704

Osama Bin Laden to the Iraqi People: It Is Forbidden to Participate in Iraqi & PA Elections; Jihad in Palestine and Iraq is Incumbent upon Residents of All Muslim Countries, Not Just Iraqis and Palestinians; Zarqawi is the Commander of Al-Qa'ida in Iraq

On December 27, the Al-Sahab Institute for Media Productions, known to be the institute that distributes Al-Qa'ida's videocassettes, published Osama bin Laden's letter "To the Muslims in Iraq in Particular and The [Islamic] Nation in General." Approximately two minutes of the tape aired on Al-Jazeera - the full tape is over one hour long. The following are excerpts from the main points:(1)


Islam's War on the West

The conflict with the West is "a fateful war between unbelief and Islam, between the army of Muhammad, the army of belief, and the people of the cross...

"The important, tremendous, and dangerous issue today in the entire world is this Third World War, started by the Crusader-Zionist coalition against the Islamic nation."


Bush's Deeds Are Worse than Saddam's

"What is the difference between the massacre by the tyrant Saddam [Hussein] at Halabja and the massacre by Bush at Fallujah? If Saddam killed there [at Halabja] a few thousand of our Kurdish brothers in the name of the odious nationalism, the pharaoh of this era [i.e. Bush] killed only at Fallujah a few thousand, and wounded and crippled twice as many, in addition to expelling and terrifying hundreds of thousands - and all this in the name of the bloodthirsty Zionist Crusade."


The UN is an Atheist Organization of Infidel Countries

According to bin Laden, the UN is "an organization of infidel [countries] that shapes the nature of the relations between the lords of the veto, headed by America, and the slaves of the General Assembly, and then speaks mendaciously and distortingly of justice, equality, and freedom."


Jihad in Palestine and Iraq is Incumbent upon the Residents of All Muslim Countries

Bin Laden criticized the Muslim clerics who argue that Jihad in Iraq and in the Palestinian territories is a commandment incumbent only upon the local residents of these lands. He said that "the Jihad in Palestine and in Iraq is a personal duty incumbent upon the residents of the two countries [alone] - [but] if they are unable to carry it out, [this duty] is incumbent upon [the residents of the] adjacent [countries], and so on and so forth, until the circle includes all the Muslim countries...

"When there is blatant helplessness in Palestine and Iraq, Jihad [becomes] a personal duty incumbent upon those around them, such as the residents of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Iran, and Kuwait, and if [they are also] unable to carry it out, the duty is incumbent upon those around them... Refraining from personal Jihad is the most salient trait of the hypocrites."


Aiding America, the Allawi Government, or Abu Mazen's Government Is Apostasy

"Aiding America, or the Allawi government [in Iraq] which is apostate [Murtada], or the Karzai government [in Afghanistan], or the Mahmoud Abbas government [in the Palestinian Authority] which is apostate, or the other apostate governments in their war against the Muslims, is the greatest apostasy of all, and amounts to abandonment of the Muslim community.

"[This category] includes owners and employees of companies that transfer petroleum, weapons, supplies, or other commodities. Anyone who aids them in any way is an apostate and he must be fought..."

According to bin Laden, such actions do not constitute civil war, and even the Prophet Muhammad fought his own tribe for the sake of the principle of "there is no God but Allah."

Further, bin Laden states that ethnic affiliation is of no importance in this battle: "The Iraqi who wages Jihad against the infidel Americans or against the apostate Allawi government is our brother and ally - whether he is Persian, Kurdish, or Turkmen. [In contrast], the Iraqi who joins this apostate government [i.e. the Allawi government] and fights the Jihad warriors and those resisting the [foreign] occupation is considered an apostate and an infidel, even if he belongs to the [ancient] Arab tribes of Rabi'ah or Mudar."


The Blood of the Iraqi Security Forces Is Permitted

"Personnel of the [Iraqi] military, security apparatuses, and national guard ... their blood is permitted. They are apostates who should not be prayed over upon their deaths. They cannot inherit, and they must not be inherited from [after their deaths]. Their wives are divorced from them, and they must not be buried in Muslim cemeteries."


Participation in the Iraqi or Palestinian Elections Is Apostasy

"Muslims must beware of these kinds of elections. They must unite around the Jihad warriors and those who resist the occupiers." He continued, "Anyone who participates in these elections ... has committed apostasy against Allah."

According to bin Laden, the elections of princes or presidents is "the right of the [Islamic] nation." However, this right is limited to particular circumstances, the most important of which is that "the prince [elected] is a Muslim, and he will institute Islam, that is, Islam is the only source of the rulings and laws."

Bin Laden explained that participation in these elections is apostasy because the Iraqi constitution is "a Jahiliyya(2) constitution that is made by man" and because "the elections are ordered by America, under their airplanes, bombs, and tanks."

On the elections in the Palestinian Authority, he said, "The land is under occupation, the constitution of the land is a Jahili [pre-Islamic constitution] made by man ... and the candidate Mahmoud Abbas is a Bahai who was brought in ... under the Oslo Accords."


Zarqawi Is the Commander [Amir] of Al-Qa'ida in Iraq

"The warrior commander [and] honored comrade Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi and the groups who joined him are the best of the community that is fighting for the sake of the word of Allah. Their courageous operations against the Americans and against the apostate Allawi government have gladdened us...

"We in the Al-Qa'ida organization very much welcome their union with us. This is a tremendous step on the path to the unification of the efforts fighting for the establishment of a State of Truth and for the uprooting of the State of the Lie...

"Know that the warrior comrade Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi is the commander [Amir] of the Al-Qa'ida organization in the land of the Tigris and the Euphrates, and the comrades in the organization there must obey him."

Bin Laden stated in his speech that "the expenses of the Al-Qa'ida organization in Iraq reach ?200,000 per week."


Oil Pipelines Must be Attacked; Company Owners in Islamic Countries Must be Assassinated

Bin Laden said: "I call upon you to attack reinforcement lines and oil [pipe]lines, to sow powerful mines ... and to assassinate the owners of companies aiding the needs of the enemy, whether in Riyadh, Kuwait, Jordan, Turkey, or other [countries]."

Endnotes:
(1) The full version of the speech can be found at http://www.dazzled.com/soiraq/Index.htm , and MEMRI possesses an audio recording of this message.
(2) Jahiliyya - the pre-Islamic era.


*********************
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles
and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with proper attribution.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077
E-Mail: memri@memri.org
www.memri.org

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