Saturday, January 22, 2005

Mexico's Undeclared War on the United States

by Alan Caruba

If a foreign country was sending more than a million of its people to enter the United States illegally every year surely that would be grounds for war. Mexico is doing that. It is no stretch of imagination to say that Mexico in engaged in an undeclared war on the United States of America.

US Border Patrol Agents, according to a January 10 article in The Washington Times, “apprehended 1.15 million illegal aliens last year trying to sneak into the United States between the nation’s land ports of entry, more than 3,100 a day—a 24 percent increase over the year before.” Among them, 23,000 people with criminal records were identified and arrested. They included 84 murder suspects, 37 suspected kidnappers, 151 who were wanted on charges of sexual assault, 313 robbery suspects, and 2,630 others implicated in drug-related charges.

“There were 8,577 drug seizures that confiscated 1.4 million pounds of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value of $1.62 billion,” according to the Times article by Jerry Seper. In all, the US Customs and Border Protection agency’s inspectors and officers processed 428 million passengers and pedestrians, including 262 million aliens, “denying entry to more than 643,000 aliens under US law.” They were in addition to those trying to steal across the border illegally.

All this was happening as the Mexican Foreign Ministry was publishing “The Guide for the Mexican Immigrant.” It is a guide on how to enter the US illegally. And it is an act of war. It is part of a long-term plan to flood the US, particularly California and the Southwest, with illegal Mexicans in the belief that, once again, the US will grant amnesty to them, thus putting into motion yet another human wave to follow. There must be no amnesty.

President Bush doesn’t see it that way. He calls illegal Mexican aliens “undocumented workers.” That is just pure sophistry. It’s spin. He calls the flood of illegal Mexicans “a problem,” but it is much more than that. It is an undeclared act of war.

We have fought wars with Mexico in the past. Indeed, Mexico had invited Americans to settle Texas after it had won independence from Spain. In 1836, after the Alamo was overrun, the Battle of San Jacinto resulted in Texas becoming an independent republic. By 1845, the US had annexed Texas. This was followed by the Mexican-American war in 1846-7. By September 14, 1847, our Marines were in Mexico City and we are still singing about the “Halls of Montezuma.” The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war with the annexation of the Oregon Territory and much of the Southwest, i.e., California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah. The US paid Mexico $15 million for the land acquired. The US paid additional millions for the Gadsden Purchase of land that now comprises a part of Arizona.

Today, the oligarchy ruling Mexico has hit upon a plan to not only regain its former territory by a de facto form of demographics, deliberately re-populating those States with Mexican citizens and seeking a series of amnesties to confer citizenship that by-passes the normal process, but it is also seeking to suck still more money out of the US with an audacious plan to raid Social Security. It’s not enough that the second largest amount of money Mexico “earns” comes from funds sent home by illegal aliens estimated to number between eight and ten million.

Writing in a recent issue of The American Enterprise, Marti Dinerstein, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, noted that Social Security arrangements between nations are intended to prevent dual taxation of employees who work temporarily in another country and the employers who send them. The second objective is to guarantee an old-age pension for workers who end up paying into the Social Security systems of two countries, but earn insufficient credits to qualify for retirement from either of them alone.

Twenty nations, Mexico included, have Social Security reciprocity agreements with the US. Eight of them have so few of these legal, temporary workers that the US Census Bureau doesn’t even keep track. “By 2000, there were an estimated 9.2 Mexicans living and working in the US.”

I have concluded that no branch of the US government has any realistic idea of how many illegal Mexicans are in the country. One thing’s for sure, though, the Social Security pact currently making its way through Congress, as Dinerstein notes, provides no parity between the US and Mexico which accounts for an estimated 69 percent of all illegal aliens in the nation! The pact would be a windfall calculated in millions of dollars for Mexico.

Advocates of “open borders” want the US to sign this Social Security agreement with Mexico and the Bush administration is claiming only 50,000 Mexicans would qualify for it. That figure is bogus. Rep. Rohrabacher says simply enough, “We are talking about huge sums of money—not just for retirement, but for disability payments, premature deaths, caring for the families of illegal immigrants,” adding that “it is an outrageous violation of our obligation to watch out for senior citizens of the United States.”

Wisely, he calls for “a law specifically banning work by illegal aliens from qualifying for Social Security.” Indeed, he has a bill—HR 1631—to prohibit the work histories of non-citizens who are here illegally from being counted toward Social Security earnings.” If HR 1631 doesn’t become law, millions of illegal aliens, if yet another amnesty is granted, will become part of the Social Security system because all the time they worked here illegally will be credited to their accounts.

Mexico, in collusion with the Bush administration, is maneuvering to suck Social Security funds across the border for millions of their citizens who are currently here illegally. This is the same administration that is telling us that we must “fix” the Social Security system to protect future generations of Americans.

I can’t tell you exactly when the second Mexican-American War began, but I can tell you it is going on right now.

About the Writer: Alan Caruba writes "Warning Signs," a weekly commentary posted on, the website of The National Anxiety Center.


Illegal immigration is a moral issue

By Victor Davis Hanson

As President Bush's guest worker proposals slog through Congress, new reports suggest that there may be not 8 million, but almost 20 million illegal aliens in the United States, a population larger than most entire states. $400 billion in taxes —almost the current annual budget deficit — are not collected due to a growing underground cash economy.

Mexico brazenly issued a survival guide for its intrepid citizens on how to cross illegally into the United States. A 2,000 mile border is porous at a time when stealthy terrorists count on such laxity to enter the United States.

The hallowed assimilationist formula has too few overt defenders these days — even though measured, legal immigration, English emersion, multiracialism instead of multiculturalism, and integration have ensured that past legal immigrants from Mexico are among America's finest citizens.

The laissez-faire right still lectures on open borders as if it were a matter of robust lawful immigration — emphasizing global competitiveness that accrues from cheap labor. The minimum wage, not illegality, supposedly is its only problem: if only the self-correcting market could be set free to adjudicate wages, $2 an hour might not tempt any more from rural Mexico.

The therapeutic left will not even talk of "illegal immigration" — taboo nomenclature that supposedly denotes racism. "Undocumented workers" is the politically correct terminology, even though not all aliens are working or simply misplaced their certification.

If employers count on inexpensive industrious laborers in the shadows, chauvinists envision a revolving, but still permanent unassimilated constituency to enhance their own agendas. In response to the tired rhetoric, perhaps it is better to envision illegal immigration from Mexico not as a question of divisive politics, but of collective morality. Is it ethical for the Mexican government to export annually 1 million to 2 million of its unwanted citizens to avoid long-overdue reform — hoping to free itself of dissidents and earn $12 billion in subsidies from its poorest abroad? No wonder Mexico talks of the problem in terms of U.S. imperialism in lieu of its own cynicism.

Is it moral for employers to count on illegal industrious workers, usually without English or education, to undercut the wages of American citizens — as if a laborer remains youthful and hale in perpetuity with no need of social entitlements when disabled or impoverished years later? No wonder employers claim that they are only providing a service to Mexico's poor.

Is it so liberal that governments must pay for those who ignore the law while citizens go without? In California, the money to incarcerate more than 14,000 felonious illegal aliens from Mexico — well over $400 million — would fund the start-up costs of 20 university campuses like the new University of California at Merced, at a time when Americans (including many first-generation Mexican-American citizens) who are eligible for higher education cannot find access or financial support.

Is it so fair to assume that the unemployed in our midst — over 10 percent of the work force in many counties of the American Southwest that are most affected by illegal immigration — cannot find entry-level work? No wonder we insist that no one can discover a citizen to mow the lawn or cook his food — as if 30 years ago our yards were weedy and we did not eat out, as if states without illegal aliens have poor landscaping and empty restaurants. Picking an illegal worker up at the local lumber yard, paying him in cash for a day of digging, and then dumping him on the curb at twilight — "out of sight, out of mind" — is neither liberal nor humane even if done in Santa Cruz or Carmel.

And is it equitable that laws must be sacred for most, but not for some? Do we really want a bureaucratic system near collapse from fraudulent Social Security numbers, off-the-books wages, false names, cars without registration and insurance, even as millions abroad queue up to enter our shores lawfully? Are we to tell waiting Punjabis or Filipinos to certify their education, skills and method of support — even as we ask far less of those who break the law to cross the border from Mexico?

Who, then, is the real moralist? Is it the police officer who stops an illegal alien but cannot call immigration authorities? The contractor who knowingly accepts falsified identification and pays untaxed cash wages? The La Raza ("The Race") activist who promotes ethnic chauvinism for those to whom it will prove most deleterious? Perhaps the grandstanding Mexican consul who faults the United States for his own country's callousness?

Or is it the rest of us, who in fear of being slurred as "racists" or "nativists" often keep silent — just when candor and honesty on all sides are needed now if we are to avoid becoming an amoral apartheid society with a permanent underclass in the shadows?


Friday, January 21, 2005


The FBI has issued a BOLO to law enforcement to be on the lookout for 11 Chinese nationals. They are reportedly armed and dangerous "All pose a risk to national security".

Mei Xia Dong DOB: 05/30/1982
Xiuming Chen
Chang Yin Liu
Xiujin Chen DOB: 12/15/1984
Guozhi Lin DOB: 03/08/1991
Zengrong Lin DOB: 10/27/1982
Yu Xiang Weng DOB: 10/04/1963 or 04/05/1964
Qiquan Lin
Min Xiu Xie DOB: 11/21/1977
Xing Wei Liu
Liqiang Liang


Jan. 12-18, 2005
The Big Picture
By Avi Jorisch, Jonathan L. Snow

A report released this week by the National Security Council, the CIA's in-house think tank, argues that Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of terrorists. While Iraq clearly provides terrorist recruits with live training situations, it is important to note key differences. The al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan operated freely and openly with the support of the Taliban regime; the Iraqi training grounds are hidden amongst the civilian population and enjoy no formal protection. And, terrorists went to Afghanistan to train for attacks in other countries; terrorists now go to Iraq to stage attacks (drawing Jihadis from around the world who might otherwise focus their efforts elsewhere).

Regional Briefs

North America, Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Europe, Australia

North America
Limousine Terror? (TIME Magazine) - As Washington gears up for the first Inaugural of the post-9/11 era, one potential security threat has emerged as a particular focus of concern: vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, or VBIEDS, possibly disguised as limousines. The fears were prompted in part, say U.S. intelligence sources, by a 39-page document seized from al-Qaeda last year, titled "Rough Presentation for Gas Limo Project."

As Jan. 20 Nears, Terror Warnings Drop (Washington Post) - In April, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced that al-Qaeda terrorists might strike during this week's presidential inauguration festivities in Washington. The warning was part of a drumbeat sounded by U.S. officials throughout 2004 that terrorists were seeking to launch attacks both during and after the election season. Nine months later, the threat level has been lowered, and Ridge, speaking at a news conference last week, said there is no evidence of a plot to disrupt President Bush's inauguration.

Funeral for Murdered NJ Family (WABC) - Four family members were killed, their throats slashed, in a crime being investigated by the FBI for possible links to terrorism. A cousin of the slain family has been a translator working for the prosecution in the trial of Lynne Stewart, the radical lawyer accused of smuggling messages from imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, to terrorist cell members and associates.

Supreme Court Sidesteps Guantanamo Bay Case (Associated Press) - The Supreme Court on Tuesday (1/18) dodged a dispute over the government's plans to conduct military trials for Osama bin Laden's former driver and other foreign terror suspects, avoiding another clash over the president's powers. Justices were asked to decide if the Bush administration is trying to shortcut the rights of non-Americans facing trials at the Guantanamo Bay Navy base in Cuba. They declined, without comment.

Terror Cop: al-Qaeda 'Heavily Damaged' (New York Daily News) - Al-Qaeda is "heavily damaged," constantly on the run and so financially strapped that it is having trouble making payments to the families of its dead fighters, according to a report in the New York Daily News. The terror group remains determined, however, to attack the U.S.

Middle East
Iraq New Terror Breeding Ground (Washington Post) - Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of "professionalized" terrorists, according to a report released by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA director's think tank. Iraq provides terrorists with "a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills," said David B. Low, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats. "There is even, under the best scenario, over time, the likelihood that some of the jihadists who are not killed there will, in a sense, go home, wherever home is, and will therefore disperse to various other countries."

Iraqi Insurgents Fear bin Laden's Moves (Associated Press) - Osama bin Laden has vowed to turn Iraq into the front line of his war against the United States, but Iraqi insurgents seem worried that he's out to hijack their rebellion, according to the Associated Press. "We have concrete information that a sharp division is now broiling between" Iraqis waging a nationalist war and foreign Arabs spurred by militant Islam, said Mouwafak al-Rubaie, the Iraqi government's national security adviser.

81 Suspected Insurgents Detained in Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. troops detained 81 suspected insurgents and seized several weapons caches in Iraq's volatile Anbar province, the U.S. military said Monday (1/17). A statement said the crackdown, ahead of Jan. 30 elections that guerrillas are expected to target, netted mortars, bomb-making equipment and grenades in the militant stronghold.

6 Arrested in Killing of Baghdad Governor (MSNBC) - U.S. troops have arrested six suspects in the assassination of Baghdad's provincial governor, the highest-ranking official hit so far in attacks to sabotage a Jan. 30 election, the U.S. military said on Wednesday (1/12).

Gunmen Kill Three Iraqi Candidates (Associated Press) - Gunmen shot and killed three candidates running in Iraq's Jan. 30 elections, officials said Tuesday (1/18), as a suicide bombing killed two people outside the offices of a leading Shiite political party. With insurgents trying to ruin the election, officials announced that Iraq will seal its borders, extend a curfew and restrict movement to protect voters during the balloting. Two of the slain candidates belonged to interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's political coalition, the Iraqi National Accord, a member of the group said.

At Least 22 Die in Iraq in Pre-Election Violence (Reuters) - Insurgents bent on sabotaging Iraq's Jan. 30 elections unleashed mortars and bombs and opened fire in several cities Monday, killing at least 22 policemen and soldiers and targeting polling stations.

Video Shows 8 Chinese Held in Iraq (CNN) - A video of eight Chinese construction workers taken hostage in Iraq surfaced Tuesday (1/18), just as the Vatican confirmed a Catholic archbishop had been released a day after he was kidnapped in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The video shows the men holding opened passports as an Arabic speaker demanded that the Chinese government declare it would not allow its citizens to work for Americans in Iraq.

Iraq Rebels in Video Taunt (Reuters) - Departing from fiery Islamic slogans, Iraqi guerrillas have launched a propaganda campaign with an English-language video urging U.S. troops to lay down their weapons and seek refuge in mosques and homes. The video, narrated in fluent English by what sounded like an Iraqi educated in the United States or Britain, also mocked the U.S. president's challenge to rebels in the early days of the insurgency to 'bring it on'.

Car Bomb Outside Mosque Kills Seven (CNN) - A car bomb was detonated outside a Shia mosque Thursday (1/13) night, killing four Iraqi police officers and three civilians and wounding 30 others, a U.S. military spokesman said.

U.S. General to Zarqawi: Your Days Are Numbered (Reuters) - A U.S. commander warned al-Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a driving force behind escalating attacks in the buildup to Iraq's election, that American troops were on his trail and would capture or kill him sooner or later. Branding Zarqawi the "head of the snake," Brig.-Gen. Jeffrey Hammond said on Friday (1/14) that taking out the shadowy Jordanian Islamist leader, who tops America's wanted list, would deal a crippling blow to Iraq's insurgency.

Aramco Confident in Updated Security Measures Following al-Qaeda Threat (Agence France Presse) - Threats by al-Qaeda to attack Gulf oil installations sent jitters through international markets last year but employees at Saudi Arabia's oil giant Aramco are now confident their security measures are adequate. "We have a (security) system in place ... We also cooperate with the government," said a company representative standing on the largest oil tank-farm in the world, which with its adjacent refinery together have a total storage capacity of 52 million barrels.

Kuwait Links Militants to al-Qaeda after Detaining a Dozen, including Saudis (Agence France Presse) - Kuwaiti security forces have arrested at least 10 suspects, including Saudi nationals, after the latest clashes between police and Islamist militants, the interior minister said Monday (1/17) as a top military official linked the unrest to al-Qaeda. The interior minister said there was close security coordination with authorities in neighboring Saudi Arabia, which has been rocked by a spate of terror attacks by suspected al-Qaeda extremists since May 2003.

Israel Attacks Suspected Hezbollah Targets (Associated Press) - Israeli warplanes attacked suspected Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon on Monday (1/17) after the guerrillas detonated a bomb in an Israeli bulldozer in a disputed area near the border, Israel and the guerrillas said. The Israeli army confirmed that the air force responded against a Hezbollah target in Lebanon, but it would not give the location or any other details. The military said there were no casualties in the bulldozer bombing.

Afghanistan and Pakistan
Reconciliation Effort with Taliban Picks up Pace in Afghanistan (Agence France Presse) - The release of some 80 prisoners from US custody in Afghanistan heralds an intensified effort to bring former fighters from the Taliban militia back into mainstream society, officials said. The move could propel a wider amnesty offer aimed at Taliban foot soldiers, some of whom have waged an insurgency from the hills and caves of Afghanistan since the Islamic regime was ousted by a US-led operation in late 2001.

Pakistan Detains 17 Suspected Militants (Reuters) - Pakistani troops arrested 17 men suspected of links with al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies on Saturday (1/15) after a raid in a lawless tribal region near the Afghan border, intelligence officials said. The raid came as military officials said al-Qaeda-linked militants were seeking hideouts in North Waziristan after being driven out of South Waziristan. Officials say about 100 foreign militants, mainly from Central Asia, are still hiding in the rugged region, while hundreds of others have been killed or have fled to Afghanistan.

Pakistan Releases Detained Tribal Men (Reuters) - Pakistani troops have released 20 men detained at the weekend for suspected links to al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents after determining they were not militants, officials said on Monday (1/17). The group was detained on Saturday during raids by army commandos in the North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

Petition Against Qari Saif's Arrest Dismissed (Daily Times (Pakistan)) - The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday (1/17) dismissed a petition against the arrest of alleged al-Qaeda operative Qari Saifullah Akhtar and directed the petitioner to first move the High Court by filing a habeas corpus writ petition. Qari Saif, a Pakistani citizen, was arrested in Dubai on August 6, 2004 for his alleged links with al-Qaeda and his possible involvement in the attack on President General Pervez Musharraf.

Germany Holds 22 Islamic Suspects (CNN) - Police have arrested 22 members of a suspected criminal Islamic extremist network thought to be involved in recruiting for jihad, Munich police said. The arrests capped an extended investigation of the group, suspected of helping terrorists and centered in the area of the southern German city of Ulm. There are signs the association has ties to the al-Thawid and Ansar al-Islam organizations, police said. One suspect apparently has attended an al-Qaeda camp in Pakistan.

8 Indicted in Spain for 9/11 Attacks (Associated Press) - A Spanish judge indicted eight people on terrorism charges Monday (1/17), saying they had provided logistical help and false documents for suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks, including Ramzi Binalshibh, an alleged would-be Sept. 11 hijacker who has been in U.S. custody since his 2002 capture in Pakistan. He is believed to have been the main contact between a group of Sept. 11 attackers in Hamburg, Germany, and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

Extremist Cleric Urges Muslims via Internet to Join al-Qaeda (Agence France Presse) - An extremist London cleric is appealing to young British Muslims to join al-Qaeda in live broadcasts on the Internet, according to a British newspaper. The Times said cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who is banned from many British mosques, says a "covenant of security" allowing Muslims to live peacefully in Britain had been "violated" by anti-terrorist legislation enacted after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

UK Embassy in Yemen Re-opens (Reuters) - The British embassy in Yemen has re-opened after a 10-day closure over security concerns, an embassy spokesman says. The spokesman declined to comment on Saturday (1/15) on any possible changes in the security situation in the Arab state. A January 7 warning that "there is specific information that terrorists are in the final stages of planning attacks against British targets and other Western interests" was still valid, the embassy's Web site said on Saturday.

Convicted al-Qaeda Plotter Loses Appeal Against Australian Jail Term (Agence France Presse) - A Muslim convert jailed in Australia for plotting with al-Qaeda to blow up the Israeli embassy in Canberra lost an appeal to have his nine-year sentence reduced. British-born Jack Roche was convicted last May in a test case for new anti-terrorism laws after pleading guilty mid-way through his trial to charges of conspiring to damage the embassy with explosives. Roche had appealed against the length of the sentence, arguing that it did not take into account his extensive cooperation with Australian authorities.

This report was compiled by Jonathan L. Snow and edited by Avi Jorisch.

- Mr. Snow is the Manager of Research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

- Avi Jorisch is an FDD Senior Fellow.

GlobalJihadWatch is a weekly publication that tracks developments in the Global War on Terror (GWOT), specifically focusing on militant groups that adhere to the ideology known as radical Islam. Such groups constitute a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, but their rhetoric and violence affords them disproportional influence in the Muslim world. Some of these groups are affiliated with al-Qaeda, while others are not. Indeed, such nomenclature is increasingly irrelevant, particularly as al-Qaeda evolves from a structured organization into an amorphous global movement. (This series will not cover the activities of militant Palestinian groups, which are covered at length in other publications.)


NH monitoring terrorist threat in Boston

This page has been printed from the following URL:

By David Tirrell-Wysocki
Associated Press Writer

CONCORD, N.H. - As authorities in the Northeast search for six potential terrorists who may be aiming for Boston, Homeland Security officials in New Hampshire are standing by, ready to implement emergency plans they've been working on since the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

Authorities insisted there was no confirmed threat, but Massachusetts officials asked New Hampshire to put its radiological response teams on standby. Those are the people who would respond to nuclear incidents, such as a "dirty" bomb that releases radioactive material. The FBI tip mentioned a dirty bomb attack.

Bruce Cheney, director of New Hampshire Emergency Services, said Massachusetts authorities asked his agency to be ready with radiological testing technicians.

Emergency Management spokesman Jim Van Dongen said New Hampshire is ready to respond with specific equipment that could be used in a nuclear incident.

"The reason they called New Hampshire, besides being next door, is because of the nuclear plants," Van Dongen said, referring to the plant at Seabrook and in Vernon, Vt., just over the New Hampshire border. "We have radiological equipment that could be used. They wanted to give us a heads up."

He said the response teams and their equipment are on call, "which they always are."

"We're watching for developments," he said, "but there is no reason to start packing up equipment or anything like that," Van Dongen said.

Gov. John Lynch left President Bush's inaugural in Washington and headed home because of the threat.

"Based on the information we have received from federal officials, it does not appear that there is any cause for alarm," Lynch said. "The tip received by the FBI is unconfirmed and uncorroborated. Massachusetts officials have asked us to be prepared to offer support if it is needed, and we have made the necessary preparations."

The FBI stressed the tip is one of many from across the country that routinely are forwarded to local task forces for further investigation.

New Hampshire and other states have developed and fine-tuned local and regional emergency plans since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Last summer's Democratic Convention in Boston helped the state prepare to help in case of a disaster, manmade or otherwise, in the city.

For instance, a contingent of New Hampshire state troopers was posted north of Boston during the convention, keeping a lane of I-93 open for emergency vehicles and helping close many roads to and from the highway.

Traffic plans also have been made to get patients to New Hampshire hospitals in case an incident fills hospitals in Boston.

The New Hampshire Hospital Association can keep track of how many hospital beds are available. Planners also know where to divert patients to prevent hospitals from overflowing.

Last year's hepatitis threat in Derry also helped fine-tune emergency plans. It gave emergency officials in the state and the community near the Massachusetts border practice in quickly notifying the public of a problem and setting up clinics to immunize more than 2,000 people.

The alert went out after a worker at a Derry restaurant was found to be infected with the disease.

Responsibilities included determining how much medicine was needed, spreading the word to the media and public, setting up the clinics and obtaining equipment, from clipboards to tables and chairs to privacy curtains so people getting shots wouldn't be in an open room with hundreds of bystanders.


In Age of Security, Firm Mines Wealth Of Personal Data

By Robert O'Harrow Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer

It began in 1997 as a company that sold credit data to the insurance industry. But over the next seven years, as it acquired dozens of other companies, Alpharetta, Ga.-based ChoicePoint Inc. became an all-purpose commercial source of personal information about Americans, with billions of details about their homes, cars, relatives, criminal records and other aspects of their lives.

As its dossier grew, so did the number of ChoicePoint's government and corporate clients, jumping from 1,000 to more than 50,000 today. Company stock once worth about $500 million ballooned to $4.1 billion.

Now the little-known information industry giant is transforming itself into a private intelligence service for national security and law enforcement tasks. It is snapping up a host of companies, some of them in the Washington area, that produce sophisticated computer tools for analyzing and sharing records in ChoicePoint's immense storehouses. In financial papers, the company itself says it provides "actionable intelligence."

"We do act as an intelligence agency, gathering data, applying analytics," said company vice president James A. Zimbardi.

ChoicePoint and other private companies increasingly occupy a special place in homeland security and crime-fighting efforts, in part because they can compile information and use it in ways government officials sometimes cannot because of privacy and information laws.

ChoicePoint renewed and expanded a contract with the Justice Department in the fall of 2001. Since then, the company and one of its leading competitors, LexisNexis Group, have also signed contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency to provide public records online, according to newly released documents.

Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and other government authorities have said these new tools are essential to national security. But activists for civil liberties and privacy, and some lawmakers, say current laws are inadequate to ensure that businesses and government agencies do not abuse the growing power to examine the activities of criminals and the innocent alike.

These critics said it will soon be hard for individuals looking for work or access to sensitive facilities to ever shake off a criminal past or small transgression, such as a bounced check or minor arrest.

Chris Hoofnagle, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit group in the District, said ChoicePoint is helping to create a " 'Scarlet Letter' society."

The information industry has traditionally fought regulations, arguing that it can police itself. But hoping to avoid a regulatory backlash that could curtail his company's access to information, ChoicePoint chief executive Derek V. Smith said he'll be reaching out to Capitol Hill in the coming months to promote the industry's benefits -- and express his willingness to work with lawmakers to develop new regulations.

"We have a new responsibility to society, and we want to make sure that's legitimized," Smith said. "We'd like everybody to play by the same rules and standards that society believes are correct."

An entire industry has mushroomed during the past decade because of extraordinary increases in computing power, the expansion of telecommunications networks and the ability of companies like ChoicePoint to gather and make sense of public records, criminal histories and other electronic details that people now routinely leave behind.

Some of these companies -- including the three major credit bureaus -- have become multi-pronged giants that regularly refresh information about more than 200 million adults and then sell that data to police, corporate marketers, homeland security officials and one another.

In doing so, they wield increasing power over the multitude of decisions that affect daily life -- influencing who gets hired, who is granted credit or who can get on an airplane.

ChoicePoint is not alone in eyeing the government for new business. LexisNexis and others also work closely with national security and intelligence officials. To compete in the homeland security market, LexisNexis paid $775 million last year for Seisint Inc., a rival company with a supercomputer and a counter-terrorism system dubbed Matrix.

ChoicePoint, though, has distinguished itself through 58 acquisitions in recent years. Those purchases have recently been companies that have close ties to the government or have products that will sate the demand for more refined details about people and their activities.

One ChoicePoint acquisition last year, Alexandria-based Templar Corp., was initially conceived by the departments of Defense and Justice to improve information sharing. Templar's system helps draw information together instantly from multiple databases. A District firm called iMapData Inc., also acquired by ChoicePoint last year, creates electronic maps of "business, economic, demographic, geographic and political" information. Its customers include intelligence and homeland security agencies.

ChoicePoint, Templar and iMapData help operate a fledgling law enforcement network in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia called the Comprehensive Regional Information Management and Exchange System, or CRIMES. A similar system operates in south Florida. ChoicePoint officials hope the system will be a model for a national information-sharing network mandated last fall when Congress approved intelligence reform legislation.

In marketing materials distributed to government officials, ChoicePoint says the system offers investigators "the ability to access all relevant information with a single query."

Two weeks ago, ChoicePoint also completed the acquisition of i2 Ltd., a British technology firm with a subsidiary in Springfield, i2 Inc., that creates computer software to help investigators and intelligence analysts in the United States and scores of others countries finds links among people, their associates and their activities.

In 2001, the FBI announced a $2 million deal to buy i2 software over three years. Company officials said their software was used by the military to help find Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

In an interview, i2 Inc. President John J. Reis said analysts increasingly use the software to head off crimes or attacks, not just investigate them after the fact. "We are principally a company whose focus is all about converting large volumes of information into actionable intelligence," he said.

Police, lawyers, private investigators, reporters and many others have been using commercial information services for years, as the availability of personal information skyrocketed during the 1990s. But those commercial services did not play such an important role in the secretive, high-technology realm once dominated solely by the National Security Agency and other members of the government intelligence community.

The government still maintains some of the world's most sophisticated eavesdropping and spy gear. But officials often depend on commercial systems for public records, identity verification and automated analysis, such as finding anomalous personal information that might suggest a person has hidden ties to risky groups. Growing numbers of commercial systems offer "scoring" services that rate individuals for various kinds of risks.

To expand its presence in the intelligence community, ChoicePoint hired a team of prominent former government officials as homeland security advisors in late 2003. They included William P. Crowell Jr., the former deputy director of the National Security Agency; Dale Watson, a former FBI executive assistant director of counter-terrorism and counterintelligence, and Viet D. Dinh, a former assistant attorney general and primary author of the USA Patriot Act.

Current and former government officials praise the new services as important to efforts to investigate criminal and terrorist activity and to track down people who pose a threat. But some of those same officials, including Pasquale D'Amuro, an assistant director at the FBI and head of its New York office, also expressed qualms about whether ChoicePoint and other information services operate with enough supervision.

"There are all kinds of oversight and restrictions to the federal government, to Big Brother, going out there and collecting this type of information," he said. "Yet there are no restrictions in the private sector to individuals collecting information across this country, which potentially could be a problem for the citizens of this country."

Hoofnagle, the privacy activist, recently filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission claiming that ChoicePoint has worked hard to avoid triggering oversight under existing laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If ChoicePoint's reports about people are not legally considered consumer reports under the act, Hoofnagle said in the letter, then the law should be expanded to include them.

Hoofnagle's letter, co-authored with George Washington University law professor Daniel J. Solove, described the Fair Credit Reporting Act as a "landmark law that ensures that compilations of personal information used for many different purposes are accurate, correctable, fairly collected."

In a response, ChoicePoint said the thrust of Hoofnagle's letter was baseless. The Fair Credit Reporting Act was "not meant to be omnibus privacy legislation," the company's letter said. "Information used for investigative, law enforcement or governmental purpose is not regulated in the same manner as the information used to make decisions related to credit, insurance, or employment."

ChoicePoint started as a spin-off from Equifax Inc., the credit bureau and information service. It was considered an underperforming division, with its main source of revenue coming from the insurance industry. ChoicePoint examined credit records and other personal information to help top insurers assess customers and vet insurance applications for signs of fraud.

Smith and other ChoicePoint executives wanted much more. Intent on becoming a national data and analysis clearinghouse, the company went on a buying spree. ChoicePoint bought one company that screens new employees for signs of illicit drug use. It purchased another that specializes in the use of DNA to identify people, living or dead. In 2002, it bought VitalChek Network Inc., a Nashville company that provides the technology and networks to process and sell birth, death, marriage and divorce records in every state.

It collected data in other ways, too. Through an employee screening system called Esteem, the company compiles reports from dozens of retailers such as Target, Home Depot and others about employees who have admitted to, or been convicted of, shoplifting.

For a time in 2003 and last year, ChoicePoint even offered a background-check-in-a-box sold on the shelves of Sam's Club. The $39.77 package included a "How To Hire Quality Employees" handbook, a CD containing an online background screening package and one complimentary drug test.

By 2003, ChoicePoint could claim to have the leading background screening and testing business in the nation, analyzing job applicants, soccer coaches, day-care workers and Boy Scout volunteers. About 5 million criminal records searches that year turned up almost 400,000 applicants or others who had recent criminal records.

Since its inception, Smith said, his company has focused primarily on making the country a safer place, especially in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Smith said he recognizes that there have to be limits on what his company can do, if only to maintain the trust of the many millions of people whose information fuels his business.

"Whatever the country decides to do, I'm willing to accept, as long as it's done in an enlightened way," Smith said. "The stakes have escalated since 2001."

Some reporting for this story was done for Robert O'Harrow's book, "No Place to Hide," published by Free Press, copyright 2005. O'Harrow also received financial assistance from the Center for Investigative Reporting.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Pelosi and Dowd--Women Who Should Be Beaten

Michael--Welcome back my dear but misguided friend--I understand today is a jolt to all liberal democrat's nervous systems' but quoting Maureen Dowd? She, like fat-boy Michael Moore, is a perfect example why the democrats may never see one of their kind in the White House for about 300 years--she is a birdbrain who isn't even funny--Michael Moore is at least a good propagandist--and he does have some funny stuff until he starts acting like he knows something--then, he just turns into another liberal wacko with a grudge.

Dowd deserves a beating along with mafia-girl Nancy Pelosi for her classless comments today--They should both be shipped off to Saudi Arabia and be forced to perform sex acts on the back of camels to toothless bedouins until they learn their place. Both are a disgrace to women of intelligence and class.

All the whining and sniping from Democrats today and the best your party could do was run John Fornicating Kerry? Give me a break! For all the sniping at President Bush--he was smart enough to beat a blue-blood liberal from the Northeast, yes? With all the braintrust at the New York Times and CBS and Kofi and France and all the other European fuck-wads who haven't done anything meaningful in 400 years against him--he still managed to outwit, outlast and outplay all those allied against him.

He got to put his hand on the Bible while all is detractors ate their own bile

X + Y = W²

After a long sabbatical from this blog, I return today to resume my roll as irritant to psuedo-intellectual redneck conservatives--or is that redundant?

For my 2 cents worth today I will offer some of the wry observations of Marueen Down, editorial writer for the New York Times. For all of us math, computer, and sci-fi geeks, her casting of the Iraq war and Bush into an easily understandable equation will help us explain to other literate people who are confused by every explanation from Washington these days:

"It is puzzling that if you add X (no exit strategy) to Y (Why are we there?) you get W²: George Bush's second inauguration. "

And, take heart those of you who are sick over America's choice of a Texas nitwit as chief executive (I'm only allowing that W won ONCE, not twice). Apparently even European Conservatives (with the possible exception of Silvio Berlusconi who comes from the same class of callous, pampered rich with an unshakeable sense of entitlement and superiority) would be left-wing Democrats in the USA. Most well-educated, reasonably compassionate human beings, regardless of political affiliation are in favor of things like universal healthcare, the right to choose, freedom of sexual association, and other "blue state" issues. According to Frank Rich, also writing in today's NYT, Europeans have previously been inclined to hate Bush and forgive Americans believing that we really didn't mean it when he took office the first time. With W's reelection, Euro's are confused and faced with the troubling prospect that America is indeed evolving (DEvolving in my view) away from the heritage of the Age of Enlightenment and secular government to resemble far more those Middle Eastern theocracies we purport to hate. And to really put the odd icing on the weird cake, it seems that the nation in Europe and the Middle East that most likes the USA (with the possible exception of Israel which annually raids the US treasury for billions in foreign aid) is

drumroll please ..................................

............................................. Iran!

Bet you didn't see that one coming did you? Many of the young in Iran apparently love whomever their government hates and, conversely, hate whomever their government loves. So, the one nation in Europe and Middle East with many supporters of the USA is the country we will probably bomb next, "accidentally" killing numerous civilians to remove the nuclear threat thereby making all of them hate us too.

On this day of W's second inaugural, this is my way of "cheering you all up" and my way of mourning. May we all somehow survive this next four years.

Terrorism Analysis Today: More Information Than Understanding

by Douglas J. Hagmann

Take a virtual walk across the Internet and you will find numerous websites that report terrorist communications and even haphazardly attempt to extrapolate the date of the next terrorist attack on US soil from such messages. Usually, a copy of a consonant-challenged Arabic message from an Islamic terrorist website is posted, along with an equally deficient machine translation and commentary. Such analysis is a product of good intentions, but little else.

On one hand, it is little wonder that the FBI, the agency charged with investigating terrorism within our borders, is reluctant to open their doors to dialogue with open source agencies. On the other hand, the reputation of the FBI as a terrestrial black-hole of information sharing is not only well founded, but creates the environment that fuels such sophomoric efforts. It seems that the FBI is now reaping what they have sown for decades by treating all open sources and even other law enforcement agencies equally - like an annoying relative. This trait is not new, it has just become more visible over the last 3 1/2 years.

Next, turn on your television to any cable news channel for the latest news and analysis on the threat of terrorism in the United States. Undoubtedly, you'll hear someone in the media spew mantras like "The ability of al Qaeda to launch terrorist attacks on that scale has been significantly disrupted" and "If they had them, they would have used them," using such sound bites to downplay and even misrepresent the threat of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.

The characteristic silence of the FBI has helped create the high demand for reliable assessments about the threat of future terrorist attacks against our homeland. This silence has also helped usher in a cottage industry of self-styled terrorism experts, assisted in large part by the media catering to an information-starved public. The problem is that while many possess information about terrorism in general, they lack the vital component of understanding the mindset of Islamic fundamentalism, failing to comprehend that the terrorist threat of today cannot be analyzed using the same set of parameters that we used yesterday. Doing so causes otherwise astute and well-educated Americans to grow tired and eventually downplay the very real terrorist threat. This 21st century psychological malady has become known as "terror fatigue" in certain circles. Proper diagnosis will reveal the underlying problem - the person's inability to shake loose from the Western mindset when assessing or analyzing Islamic terrorism.

Today, Islamic terrorism is the United States' "Sword of Damocles," only now it has become double-edged. The peril of Islamic terrorism is further obfuscated and even facilitated by the FBI and Western media by their apparent lack of understanding or even mischaracterization of the threat it poses to our country. The same FBI that is charged with investigating domestic terrorism has publicly embraced of such organizations as the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and their slick but duplicitous National Anti-Terrorism Campaign. Such alliances muddy the water of public perception and will certainly serve the terrorist's agenda well through their exploitation of political correctness. The media is quick to oblige those who have drawn first blood and who promise a war to the death-our death, in their zeal to point out how we have become clouded by racism and bigotry. Islamic fundamentalists have shown they are as skilled at using our Western mindset against us as adeptly as an aircraft on 9/11.

The current pattern of activity of the agencies created to protect us, the media employed to inform us, and those entrusted to analyze the open-source information confirms that we have more information than we do understanding. Until the latter catches up, we will remain the intelligence underdog in the most important battle of our generation.

©2005 Douglas J. Hagmann, Northeast Intelligence Network.


Chinese Nationals Sought By FBI

BOSTON -- The FBI notified law enforcement agencies in Boston Wednesday to be on the lookout for four people described as possible terror suspects who may be headed to the city.

The four suspects have been identified as Zengrong Lin, Wen Quin Zheng, Xiujin Chen and Guozhi Lin.

Sources said that the credibility of the phone call is in question.

An uncorroborated report said that four Chinese nationals who crossed the California/Mexico border were on their way to Boston via New York carrying some sort of explosive material. So far, no threat has been corroborated.

"We have no information at this time that is confirmed by reliable sources. We have information from one single source," Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said.

Nowhere in the phone call that was routed to California law enforcement officials and the FBI were the words "nuclear material" or "dirty bomb" used. According to the report, the Chinese nationals were headed to Boston with some sort of material. It was not clear to those trying to sort out the call what type of material the caller talking about.

"Public safety is our first priority. When it comes to public safety, we have always erred on the side of caution," Menino said.

Menino said that he urged public agencies to remain on standby, but encouraged residents to go about their business.

The mayor said that he was first notified about a possible problem at about 10:30 a.m. and he immediately met with his security advisor. Officials have been meeting at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency bunker in Framingham since about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The FBI said it receives these types of calls often and takes precautionary steps when it gets them.

"Basically, what you have here is information that we often get. It's uncorroborated at this time," said FBI Spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz in a statement. "It's been passed on to our law enforcement partners and we're working it aggressively."

"It is important to keep this in context. The situation happens often. It is not uncommon to receive information like this. I can't tell you the information that I get that comes across my desk relative to this region or other regions of the country. It is handled by law enforcement and it is followed up by law enforcement to determine whether or not it is real or whether there is anything to it," Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly said.

In a joint statement with FBI Special Agent Kenneth W. Kaiser, U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan said the individuals' names do not appear on any terror watch lists.

Gov. Mitt Romney, who traveled to Washington, D.C., for President George W. Bush's inauguration, will return to the state Wednesday night.

"The nature of the threat that has been provided is an uncorroborated, unsubstantiated threat. The source is anonymous, but it is specific in that it mentions a location where individuals will be dropped off -- that location is New York, and it defines a location where missing a threat might be directed, and the location is Boston," Romney said before he left Washington.

The terror threat level in Boston has not been raised.

Meanwhile, a Boston-based criminologist said that it's better that the public has been alerted -- especially when a manhunt is already under way.

"The fact that we're looking for four individuals and we have photographs and names seems to indicate just a little bit more than a public leak," terrorism expert Edith Flynn said.

Flynn said that it's too soon to pass off the possible threat as bogus, especially when you consider the timing -- the eve of the president's inauguration and the reaction of state officials.

"When you put these bits and pieces together -- the MEMA organization, the mayor putting together a news conference on short notice, the governor coming back from D.C., this is why I personally wouldn't discredit what's going on out there," Flynn said.

Boston is better prepared for a crisis than most cities thanks to extensive planning and training for last summer's Democratic National Convention. But Flynn said that's no excuse not to be personally vigilant.

"I don't think we can provide total security in Boston for any and all circumstances," she said.

Anyone with information about the threat or the four suspects is asked to call the FBI at 617-742-5533

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Al-Qaeda : The 39 Principles of Holy War

Al-Qaeda : The 39 principles of Holy War
By Joel Leyden - Israel News Agency
No media vehicle has proven more potent for the spread of radical teachings of "Islamic Holy War" than the Internet.

And Al-Qaeda knows it. In fact, one of the 39 principles of Al-Qaeda's Jihad, which has recently been exposed in a private study by Israeli researcher Col. Jonathan D. Halevi, explicitly illustrates a how-to chapter on Performing Electronic Jihad . These people are not riding donkeys, rather these 21st century Jihadists have their fingers dancing on computer keyboards across the globe.

From the thousands of Islamic and Arabic Websites riding ISDN and ADSL, Halevi found the proverbial terror manual needle in the Islamic Web village haystack. He descended upon the Al- farouq Web site which is directly affiliated with Osama Bin-Laden's Al-Qaeda terror network. The Web site bears the donkey and automatic rifle insignia of Al-Qaeda on its homepage.

Al- farouq recently published a newly written book on its Web site entitled: "The 39 Principles of Jihad".

According to the author, Mohammad Bin Ahmad Al-Salem, the preface was completed on July 19, 2003 in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh. The author's name Mohammad Bin Ahmad Al-Salem does not appear in other writings,
suggesting the possibility that the author preferred to conceal his identity from the Saudi government. The Saudis are presently under intense American pressure and have hardened their grip in recent months on Islamic terror organizations and operatives.

"There has been a vast infrastructure for Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia," said former UN Ambassador Dore Gold. "Saudi Arabia's financial support for terrorism is well known and documented."

Gold, who recently published Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, says that Halevi's research illustrates the dangerous idealogical support for modern terrorism that is "spilling over into neighboring areas of the Middle-East including Iraq and the Gaza Strip."

"It is evident from Al-Salem's style that he represents the "Salafi" outlook originating from Ibn Taymia's and Mohammad Abd Al-Wahhab's school of thought and other Saudian, Palestinian scholars affiliated ideologically with
Al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime in Afganistan," said Halevi.

"Islam is under over-all attack waged by infidel forces," Al-Salem states.
This was the underlying motive which prompted Al-Salem to set pen to paper, says Halevy. The enemy, which is directly implied as the United States and Western world (including Israel), is said to be dominating Muslim countries
one after the other and forcing Islam into a defensive posture. The Islamic commandment of Jihad (holy war against the infidels) is injected as the cure to the illness which plaques the Islamic nation. Jihad, in the eyes of Allah, is the first and foremost value for all Muslims seeking victory and is the choice weapon of delivery for the introduction of Islamic rule worldwide. The study reports that there are several elements which have been created to facilitate Jihad by every Muslim regardless if they are financially or physically handicapped in approaching the implementation of carrying out the commandment of Jihad.

The Jihad transcends expressions of violence against infidels as it comprises of diverse acts for which every Muslim is commanded to perform in sustaining the Jihad. All of these activities are based on the Islamic religious fundamental of reward and punishment. The Muslim who executes these actions wins a reward equivalent to that of the Mujahid (The Muslim fighter) who takes part in battle. On the other hand, neglecting these activities will bring about punishment from God in this and the next world.

The favored activities which sustain the Jihad have varied aspects for which the most cherished is the gathering of money and donations to the Jihadi organizations and their fighters. The study reveals that these fund raising activities are performed on a private basis or by various Islamic non-profit associations. While asserting, "money is the lifeline of the Jihad" Al-Salem also unintentionally points out the "wicked spot" of currency.

Other aspects of Jihad mentioned in Al-Salem's book are compatible with "Daawa" activity conducted by radical Islamic organizations which establish allegedly innocent civilian infrastructure that supports the Jihad. In most
cases the Al- farouq Web site and Al-Salem note that these organizations possess separate and unique educational systems which supply generations of believers in Jihad and the organizational framework in which to spread Jihad
throughout Islamic society. "This serves as its ideological and logistic backing," said Halevi.

Al-Salem designates an important role to the academic community which does not confine itself solely to the planting of ideological foundations for Islamic organizations which practice terrorism but also includes "courageous" activity in avoiding any kind of submission to a government's dictations, say Halevi. Therefore, Al-Salem gives legitimation to the Jihad against infidels as well to the defiance of local Muslim regimes which do not comply with the religious fundamentals set by the radicals.

Al-Salem's book sheds light on the intimate ties between the political and ideological echelon of Islamic organizations and of their military wings which clarifies the importance of civil infrastructure in terrorist activity. "Once again the remarkable role of the Saudi and Palestinian scholars in supporting terrorism is exposed," says Halevi. "They still serve
as the ideological source to radical Islam and the concept of waging constant Islamic holy war against the West and all democratic nations."

Following are the 39 principles of Jihad as described by Al-Qaeda in Al-salem's book:

1. Preparing and urging the mind for Jihad - Every Muslim must obey the call for the Jihad against the infidels out of sheer belief and intention.
2. Sincere desire to attain martyrdom - Al-Salem, basing his arguments on Sheik Abdallah Azzam (the spiritual leader of Osama Bin Laden, killed in Afghanistan in 1989), emphasizes the importance of the sincere endeavor in
order to attain martyrdom from Allah. The believer can perform the commandment concerning the "preparation to the battle" (I'dad Al-'oda) and gain a reward from Allah equivalent to the Saheed's reward (72 virgins and secure a close place near the Divine presence in Heaven) even though he may die from natural causes.
3. Taking part in the Jihad - Every Muslim has to take an active role in holy war against the infidels, prepared to self sacrifice for the sake of Allah. Participation in Jihad is the most distinguished action in the eyes of Allah.
4. Financing Jihad - Muslims can take part in the Jihad by making donations dedicated to the Jihad and the Mujahideen. The donation's value is determined by its quality and destination and not by the sum total which is
5. Supplying the fighters' needs - A believer who is unable to take part in the Jihad (for instance women and handicapped) can perform his duty by supplying the Mujahideens' needs in money and equipment. By doing so the
donator is considered Mujahid and deserves the same reward.
6. Taking care of the Mujahid's family - A believer who supplies a Mujahid's family needs is considered Mujahid and deserves half of his reward. If one neglects this act it may bring him misfortune and death by the hands of God.
7. Assisting the fallens' families - by supplying the special needs of the orphans and widows.
8. Assisting the families of prisoners and wounded fighters - by supplying their necessities.
9. Fund raising for the Mujahideen - money is the lifeline of the Jihad. Its importance also stems from gathering donations which would arouse the spirit of Jihad in the believers' hearts. There are many ways of carrying out this duty: in mosques, public places, family gatherings, charity events, monthly donation or by urging the wealthy to open their
hands to the Mujahideen.
10. Granting charity donations to the Mujahideens - who enjoy priority
status in Islam.
11. Financing medical treatment for wounded Mujahideen
12. Praising the Mujahideen and their deeds - It is essential to educate the
Islamic Nation on their values and to see them as a role model.
13. Encouraging the Mujahideen to stick to their ways - in order to
strengthen their spirit and moral.
14. Protecting the Mujahideen -avoid publishing any information that may place them in jeopardy or spoil the spirit of Jihad. Al-Salem warns his readers from the Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (Saudi orientated, published in London) which conducts the "crusader - Jewish scheme" against Islam by publishing false information designed to destroy the steadfastness of the Islamic Nation and the Mujahideens' spirit.
15. Publicizing the disgrace of hypocrites and defeatists - who strive to weaken the Islamic Nation.
16. Preaching to Jihad - Enormous reward is promised to every Muslim who serves as a catalyst for other believers to commit the duty of the Jihad.
17. Providing strategic advice to the Mujahideen - This can be translated in many ways including the supply of essential information on the enemy and his plans in order to be well prepared.
18. Keeping secrecy concerning the Mujahideen
19. Prayers to Allah for the sake of the Mujahideen and for the defeat of
the enemies.
20. Holding special prayer to avoid misfortune and to strengthen the Muslim community.
21. Publishing the Mujahideens' activities in order to arouse the notion of solidarity and strengthen pride and hope among the believers, to praise the ideal of self sacrifice for the sake of Allah and to break the media siege
imposed by the enemy. There are varied ways recommended for distributing information praising Jihad including Internet websites and forums, distribution lists, circulating publications in public places (for instance mosques, schools), sending SMS, etc.
22. Participating in the publishing process of books on the Mujahideen
23. Publishing Islamic laws supporting the Jihad - This mission falls on the shoulders of the Muslim scholars who have the duty to guide the Islamic Nation in the light of the Jihad and to call believers to join the Mujahideen and pray on their behalf. Their followers are demanded to urge the scholars to act. In this context, Al-Salem glorifies the role of Sheik Hamoud Al-Oqala Al-Shu'aybi (radical Saudi scholar, deceased 2 years ago, backed the Taliban regime and al-Qaeda) as an adorable scholar who thrived to strengthen the Jihadi organizations worldwide by publishing Islamic laws justifying terror suicide attacks and holy war against the infidels.
24. Keeping steady, consistent contact with scholars and preachers in order to update them about the current happenings in connection with the Mujahideen. The believer is asked to assist Islamic scholars who on certain
occasion are under government pressure or influenced by false information. He has to update them regularly with reliable information, to support them and urge them to persist with the call to Jihad.
25. Physical practicing - A Muslim who designates himself to become a Mujaheed has to start gradually by improving his physical fitness. Al-Salem elaborates in his book a recommended practicing program which includes
enhancing the endurance of both the heart and lungs, increasing muscle mass and strength.
26. Acquiring shooting skills - Al-Salem calls on Muslims not to be satisfied solely with the tuition of Jihad but to prepare in performing in this duty by acquiring shooting skills.
27. Practicing swimming and riding horses - riding horses, explains Al-Salem is still relevant in the battlefields of Afghanistan, Chechnya and Iraq.
28. Learning first aid skills - to help wounded Mujahudeen (splicing broken bones, providing infusions, etc.).
29. Learning the doctrine of Jihad - Al-Salem recommends dozens of books, articles and Islamic laws published in recent years by Muslim radical leaders and scholars most of them Saudis by origin (Osama Bin Laden, Hamoud
Al-Oqala Al-Shuaibi, Abd Aziz Jarbou', Yusouf Al-'ayyiri, Naser Al-Fahed, Ali Al-Khudier, Suliman Al-Olwan and more). One of them is the Al-Khudier's Islamic law which justifies the use of weapons of mass destruction against
the U.S.
30. Supplying refuge and shelter to the Mujahideen
31. Expressing hostility and hatred toward infidels - A call for reconciliation or co-existence with the infidels might weaken the Mujahudeen. One may call for a Hudna, but to place it in practice is forbidden.
32. Constant action to achieve the release of all prisoners - held in enemy jails and to use all means for their escape or release.
33. Distributing current information on the prisoners in order to keep their high moral.
34. Performing electronic Jihad - Al-Salem attributes paramount importance to the Internet as a component for Jihad. He calls believers to join the Jihad by participating in Internet forums to defend the Islam and Mujahideen, to preach Jihad and to encourage Muslims to learn more about this sacred duty. The Internet provides an opportunity to reach vast, target audiences and respond swiftly to false allegations. Computer experts are asked to use their skills and experience in destroying American, Jewish and secular websites as well as morally corrupt web sites.
35. Alienation of infidels - Believers in other religions have to be isolated from Muslim communities so they will be prevented from committing hostile actions.
36. Educating the younger generation to adore Jihad and the Mujahideen - The children, asserts Al-Salem are the "fuel" of the next stage of confrontation with the infidels. Parents have the duty to educate them to adore Jihad and
the Mujahideen and to prepare themselves mentally for self-sacrifice for the sake of Allah. Al-Salem recommends believers to tell their young stories about the life of Prophet Mohammad, his associates, the great Muslim conquerors and the Mujahideen in our time. In addition it is recommended to display to the children Jihadi films and taped preaches which praise martyrdom.
37. Abandoning the luxuries of materialism - which might weaken the spirit of Jihad.
38. Boycotting enemy's commodities - as part of the economic Jihad.
39. Avoiding the employment of foreign workers - from enemy countries


FBI Investigating 'Dirty Bomb' Threat in Boston

BOSTON (Reuters) - The FBI said on Wednesday it was investigating a report of a "dirty bomb" threat in Boston, but called the information "uncorroborated."
ABC News reported on Wednesday that teams equipped with radiological sensors were patrolling Boston amid a possible "dirty bomb" threat, but local police said they had no information.

"I haven't heard that we're out there with radiological sensors," said Boston FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz. "Right now all I can tell you is the information that we have has not been corroborated. We have shared the information with our law enforcement partners and we're working aggressively to resolve it."

The ABC News report, broadcast over local Boston radio station WBZ, said an FBI field office in San Diego notified colleagues in Boston that someone may be trying to detonate a dirty bomb in the city.

Marcinkiewicz declined to comment on the source of the information but she noted that the FBI "gets information like this all the time." She would not speculate as to why this particular report had generated so much media interest.

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in Washington for President Bush's second inauguration ceremony, was scheduled to discuss the matter during a news conference at 5:30 p.m. EST.

WBZ reported Romney would cut short his trip to Washington and would return to Massachusetts later on Wednesday evening as a result of the report. A spokeswoman for the governor did not rule out that Romney would return to Boston on Wednesday.



New York Post Online

The father of a murdered New Jersey family was threatened for making anti-Muslim remarks online — and the gruesome quadruple slaying may have been the hateful retaliation, sources told The Post yesterday.

Hossam Armanious, 47, who along with his wife and two daughters was found stabbed to death in his Jersey City home early Friday, would regularly debate religion in a Middle Eastern chat room, one source said.

Armanious, an Egyptian Christian, was well known for expressing his Coptic beliefs and engaging in fiery back-and-forth with Muslims on the Web site

He "had the reputation for being one of the most outspoken Egyptian Christians," said the source, who had close ties to the family.

The source, who had knowledge of the investigation, refused to specify the anti-Muslim statement. But he said cops told him they were looking into the exchanges as a possible motive.

The married father of two had recently been threatened by Muslim members of the Web site, said a fellow Copt and store clerk who uses the chat room.

"You'd better stop this bull---- or we are going to track you down like a chicken and kill you," was the threat, said the clerk, who was online at the time and saw the exchange.

But Armanious refused to back down, according to two sources who use the Web site.

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy would neither confirm nor deny that cops and prosecutors were looking into the religion motive, saying only that "nothing is being ruled out." But a relative of the mayor who answered the phone at Healy's home said there was information the murders were "religion-related."

"There are several theories we are looking into, but we are not commenting on any of them at this time," said Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Guy Gregory.

Armanious' fervor apparently rubbed off on his daughter, Sylvia — who would have turned 16 yesterday.

"She was very religious and very opinionated," said Jessica Cimino, 15, a fellow sophomore at Dickenson HS.

A family member who viewed photos of the bloodbath said Sylvia seemed to have taken the most savage punishment.

"When we saw the pictures, you could tell that they were hurt really, really bad in the face; especially Sylvia," said Milad Garas, the high-school sophomore's great-uncle.

The heartless killer not only slit Sylvia's throat, but also sliced a huge gash in her chest and stabbed her in the wrist, where she had a tattoo of a Coptic cross.

Also found murdered were the wife, Amal Garas, and the parents' other daughter, Monica.

Fred Ayed, the deacon at St. George and St. Shenouda Church, where the deeply religious family attended services, said he's worried that the murders could have a ripple effect.

"I am concerned for the safety of our community," said Ayed, who knew Hossam for 30 years. "People are scared because one family was slain like cows," said Moheb Ghabour, publisher of a local newspaper for the Coptic community.

Osama Hassan, director of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, described the relationship between Copts and Muslims as cooperative if not friendly.

"I think there might be people that can get into physical fights, but not to the point of murder," Hassan said.

Both the deacon and uncle poured cold water on the theory that the family were the victims of a robbery gone wrong.

"This is not a robbery, Ayed said. "We found all of the jewelry in the house. They didn't take anything."

The FBI confirmed it has been called in to help with the case.

Additional reporting by Heather Gilmore


Limousine Terror?

A document seized from al-Qaeda lays out a plan to use limos to deliver bombs
Time Magazine

As washington gears up for the first Inaugural of the post-9/11 era, one potential security threat has emerged as a particular focus of concern: vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, or VBIEDS, possibly disguised as limousines. The fears were prompted in part, say U.S. intelligence sources, by a 39-page document seized from al-Qaeda last year, titled "Rough Presentation for Gas Limo Project." It lays out a scenario for using limousines to deliver bombs equipped with cylinders of a flammable gas. Though the Inauguration is not specifically mentioned, parts of the document began circulating among senior U.S. intelligence authorities on Jan. 5. In response, barriers have been set up to block any vehicle bent on destruction.

The document is believed to have been written by Issa al-Hindi, an al-Qaeda operative captured in Britain last year. It recommends concealing bombs in limos because the vehicles "blend in" and "can transport larger payloads than sedans ... and do not require special driving skills." The limos can "access underground parking structures that do not accommodate trucks" and "have tinted windows that can hide an improvised explosive device from outside." The document calls for the deployment of three limos, each carrying 12 or more compressed-gas cylinders to create a "full fuel-air explosion by venting flammable gas into a confined space and then igniting it." It suggests painting the cylinders yellow to falsely "signify toxic gases to spread terror and chaos when emergency and haz-mat teams arrive."

Al-Qaeda used similar devices in the truck bomb that blew up the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam in 1998 and in a 2002 attack on a Tunisian synagogue. Shortly after the document surfaced last summer, the Department of Homeland Security began contacting limousine firms to warn of the danger. With hundreds of limos expected to jam the capital this week, authorities are on the alert.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Isn't This War?

Commander of Saddam Hussein's 'Army of Muhammad' Confesses: We Received Money and Arms from Syria and Iran

To view this Special Dispatch in HTML format, visit

The following are excerpts from the televised confessions of Muayed Al-Nasseri, who commanded Saddam Hussein's "Army of Muhammad" throughout 2004. The confessions were aired by an Iraqi TV channel that operates from the UAE, Al-Fayhaa TV, and were monitored and translated by the MEMRI TV Project. The following are excerpts; to view the clip, visit

'The Army of Muhammad was Founded by Saddam Hussein After the Fall of the Regime'

Interrogator: "What is your name?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Colonel Muayed Yassin 'Aziz 'Abd Al-Razaq Al-Nasseri, commander of the Army of Muhammad, one of the resistance factions in Iraq. The Army of Muhammad was founded by Saddam Hussein after the fall of the regime, on April 9, 2003. At first, Yasser Al-Shab'awi was put in charge, until his capture in July 2003. Then Sa'd Hammad Hisham was in charge until December 2003. Then I was put in charge from January 2004 until now. The Army of Muhammad has some 800 armed fighters."

Interrogator: "What operations did you carry out? How many operations did you carry out?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "We carried out many armed operations against the coalition forces in all the districts. The operations included bombarding their military posts, their camps, and their bases, fighting these forces, and planting explosive devices against their patrols and convoys."

Interrogator: "What was the nature of your organization?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "The organization was a military armed one, which operated according to a method of non-centralized command."

Interrogator: "How is the Army of Muhammad related to the Ba'th party?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "The Army of Muhammad is militarily independent. After Saddam Hussein's capture in December 2003, for a period [of] four months, the Army of Muhammad had no connections with the party, but after April 2003, there was a meeting with the party and we are currently coordinating with them.

"In addition, Saddam Hussein distributed a communique via the party, back then, instructing all his supporters or whoever wants to fight the Jihad for the sake of Allah, to join the Army of Muhammad because it is the army of the leadership."

'Today, the Leader of the Ba'th Party in Iraq is Izzat Ibrahim'

Interrogator: "Who are the leaders of the Ba'th Party in Iraq?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Today, the leader of the party is 'Izzat Ibrahim. He is the leader of the party in Iraq. Next in line is Fadhl Al-Mashhadani, who is responsible for the local organizations within Iraq. Then, there is Muhammad Yunis Al-Ahamd, who is responsible for the organization outside Iraq. He is currently in Syria."

'Aid Came from the Neighboring Countries - We Got Aid Primarily from Iran'

Interrogator: "Did you get support from the countries of the region?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Yes, sir... Many factions of the resistance are receiving aid from the neighboring countries. We in the Army of Muhammad - the fighting has been going on for almost two years now, and there must be aid, and this aid came from the neighboring countries. We got aid primarily from Iran. The truth is that Iran has played a significant role in supporting the Army of Muhammad and many factions of the resistance. I have some units, especially in southern Iraq, which receive Iranian aid in the form of arms and equipment."

Interrogator: "You're referring to units of the Army of Muhammad?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Yes. They received money and weapons."

'[Fighters] Met Personally with Iranian Leader Khamenei... They Even Got Car Bombs'

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "As for other factions of the resistance, I have reliable information regarding the National Islamic resistance, which is one of the factions of resistance, led by Colonel 'Asi Al Hadithi. He sent a delegation to Iran from among the people of the faction, including General Halaf and General Khdayyer. They were sent to Iran in April or May and met with Iranian intelligence and with a number of Iranian leaders and even with Khamenei."

Interrogator: "You mean they personally met with Khamenei?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "According to my information, they met with him personally, and they were given one million dollars and two cars full of weapons. They still have a very close relationship with Iran. They receive money, cars, weapons, and many things. According to my information, they even got car bombs."

'Cooperation with Syria Began in October 2003... Later, Saddam Hussein Himself Authorized Me to Go to Syria'

Muayed Al-Nasseri "In addition, as I've told you, Syria... Cooperation with Syria began in October 2003, when a Syrian intelligence officer contacted me. S'ad Hamad Hisham and later Saddam Hussein himself authorized me to go to Syria. So I was sent to Syria. I crossed the border illegally. Then I went to Damascus and met with an intelligence officer, Lieutenant-Colonel 'Abu Naji' through a mediator called 'Abu Saud.' I raised the issues that preoccupied Saddam Hussein and the leadership. There were four issues: First, the issue of the media; second, political support in international forums; [third], aid in the form of weapons, and [fourth], material aid, whether it is considered a debt or is taken from the frozen Iraqi funds in Syria."

'The Syrian Government is Fully Aware of this, and the Syrian Intelligence Cooperates Fully'

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Through the Ba'th party - the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party operates in Syria with complete freedom. It maintains its relations and organizes the Ba'th members outside Iraq. The Syrian government is fully aware of this, and the Syrian intelligence cooperates fully, as well as the Ba'th Party, in Syria.

"As for the Ba'th Party, after we contacted them, they organized a meeting for me with a man named Fawzi Al-Rawi, who is a member of the national leadership and an important figure in Syria. The Syrian government authorized him to meet with me. We met twice. In the first meeting, I explained to him what the Army of Muhammad is, what kind of operations we carry out, and many other things. In the second meeting he told me that Syrian government officials were very pleased with our first meeting. He informed me that the Army of Muhammad would receive material aid in the form of goods, given to us for free or for a very low price, for us to sell in Iraq, in order to support the Army of Muhammad. This was done this way due to Syria's current circumstances, international pressure, and accusations of supporting the terrorism and resistance in Iraq."

Interrogator: "During your investigation we found a picture of a Syrian man. What is this picture?"

Muayed Al-Nasseri: "This is the picture of an Islamic preacher called 'Abu Al-Qa'qa',' whose [real] name is Mahmoud Al-Agassi. He lives in Aleppo, Syria. I have met with him twice. He supported me and gave me $3,000. He also sent a sum of money with me for someone in the resistance here in Iraq.

"Also, I forgot to mention that Fawzi Al-Rawi told me he had close connections with many factions of the resistance. He mentioned his Hareth Al-Dhari [leader of Iraqi Sunni Clerics Association], Mahdi Al-Sumayda'i, and other factions."

(1) Al-Fayhaa TV (Iraq/UAE), January 14, 2005.



Islamist Attacks Will Continue

By Bill Gertz
Radical Islamic terrorists will continue to attack the United States and the world in the coming two decades and are likely to obtain and use biological weapons, according to a new intelligence report made public yesterday.
The National Intelligence Council (NIC) report, based on more than 1,000 interviews with U.S. and foreign specialists, said extremist Muslims pose the greatest danger of terror attack because their "religious zeal" has pushed them to conduct mass casualty attacks.
"The most worrisome trend has been an intensified search by some terrorist groups to obtain weapons of mass destruction," the report said. "Our greatest concern is that these groups might acquire biological agents or less likely, a nuclear device, either of which could cause mass casualties."
The report, "Mapping the Global Future," projects future threats and trends to 2020, and concludes that globalization is creating a new era of world insecurity.
"Our starting point is that we are facing a more fluid and complicated set of international alignments than any we have seen since the creation of the Western alliance system in 1949," said Robert Hutchings, NIC chairman.
The NIC is a group of forecasting intelligence analysts under CIA Director Porter J. Goss. It is not formally part of the CIA.
Mr. Hutchings told reporters at CIA headquarters that the risk of global conflict among states is low, although Islamic terrorism and the rise of China pose new challenges for the future.
The main worry is that smaller and better informed terrorist groups will resort to the use of biological weapons, the report said.
"Indeed, the bioterrorist's laboratory could well be the size of a household kitchen, and the weapon built there could be smaller than a toaster," the report said. "Terrorist use of biological agents is therefore likely, and the range of options will grow."
The report said inability to rapidly detect anthrax, smallpox and other diseases could lead to a "nightmare scenario" of a terrorist biological attack that could be carried out before authorities recognize it.
Regarding al Qaeda, the report said the group headed by Osama bin Laden will change in the coming years.
"The core al Qaeda membership probably will continue to dwindle, but other groups inspired by al Qaeda, regionally based groups, and individuals labeled simply as jihadists -- united by a common hatred of moderate regimes and the West -- are likely to conduct terrorist attacks," the report said.
Al Qaeda members trained in Afghanistan in the 1990s will dissipate and "be replaced in part by the dispersion of the experienced survivors of the conflict in Iraq."
"We expect that by 2020 al Qaeda will have been superseded by similarly inspired but more diffuse Islamic extremist groups, all of which will oppose the spread of many aspects of globalization into traditional Islamic societies."
The report said Iraq and other wars in the future could provide recruitment and training grounds for a new class of "professionalized" terrorists "for whom political violence becomes an end in itself."
The key factors that inspired international terrorism "show no signs of abating over the next 15 years," the report stated.
Terrorists will continue to use car bombs as "asymmetric weapons" but extremists also are expected to step up their use of higher-technology weapons, including advanced explosives and unmanned aerial vehicles.
As for targets, the report stated that the United States and its interests abroad will remain "prime terrorist targets," with other terrorist attacks aimed at Middle Eastern regimes and against Western Europe.


Radical Islam's Hypocrisy: The Ehrgott & Okashah Cases

by Daniel Pipes

The mentality of radical Islam includes several main components, of which one is Muslim supremacism: A belief that believers alone should rule and otherwise enjoy an exalted status over non-Muslims. This outlook dominates the Islamist worldview as much in the streets of Paris as in the caves of Afghanistan.

Two recent American criminal cases highlight this attribute. Both involve the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Saudi-funded group whose leadership sometimes announces its goal to Islamize America ("Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.")

The first criminal case concerns Dale Ehrgott, a non-Muslim insurance broker living in Reno, Nev. Appalled by CAIR's record of apologizing for terrorism, plus the then-recent arrest on terrorism-related charges of its former employee Ismail Royer, Mr. Ehrgott dashed off four angry e-mails to CAIR in mid-2003.

One read: "We accept you [sic] holy war. Looking forward to it very much. We can deal with you easily especially since you are on our soil. You have taught us much about terrorism so get ready to be the receiver." In another message, some weeks later, he wrote: "You are making a lot of people angry and you idiots are sitting ducks."

"It wasn't a threat, just a nasty email," Mr. Ehrgott told The Associated Press. He described CAIR as "an anti-American organization" and pointed out that at no time did he physically intimidate it. CAIR saw matters differently and forwarded the notes to law enforcement agencies, which came down heavily on Mr. Ehrgott, perhaps because the Department of Justice decided to make an example of him.

Describing these e-mails as containing "a threat to injure members" of CAIR, the American attorney for Nevada, Daniel Bogden, convinced a federal grand jury in March 2004 to indict Mr. Ehrgott. Mr. Bogden then threw the book at Mr. Ehrgott, who, if convicted, faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

But after his September 2004 trial ended in a hung jury, the feds abruptly lost their taste for prosecuting Mr. Ehrgott. They settled with him on January 13, letting him off with a trivial sentence: One year's probation and 50 hours of community service, implicitly acknowledging that he had acted rashly but not dangerously.

The second case concerns Taiser Hosien Okashah, a Muslim food broker (and an illegal immigrant from Syria) living in Miami Beach. On June 3, 2004, Mr. Okashah threatened to destroy the Best Buy store in Plantation, Fla., because, according to the store clerk's sworn testimony, he was displeased with a rebate offer on a laptop computer. "I am going to come back and blow up this place if I do not get my money this time," the clerk quotes him as saying. On June 29, the authorities arrested Mr. Okashah, charged him with threatening to detonate an explosive, and briefly jailed him without bond.

The executive director of CAIR's Florida office, Altaf Ali, leapt to Mr. Okashah's defense. Muslims, he said, are "very concerned that a very humble member of the community, for asking a question about a rebate, can be put in jail."

Mr. Ali attributed Mr. Okashah's travails to a miscommunication exacerbated by the negative stereotyping of Muslims. A CAIR press release further specified that the arrest stemmed from "language barriers and overreactions by store employees and law enforcement officials."

Mr. Ali also sought to have the judge in the case removed because he had ordered Mr. Okashah to undergo a psychological evaluation. Nonetheless, Mr. Okashah is scheduled to go to trial on February 14 for the second-degree felony charge of "threatening to detonate an explosive device."

In CAIR's eyes, then, when a non-Muslim broker responds too emotionally to terrorism, he deserves years in jail and financial ruin. But when a Muslim broker threatens a store, he's the innocent victim of "negative stereotyping" who deserves release without any punishment at all.

The Ehrgott and Okashah incidents fit an ugly Islamist pattern of double standards. Although CAIR presents itself as a civil-rights group, it is just the opposite: An organization asserting special privileges for Muslims and derogating the rights of others.

When Western institutions grant legitimacy to Islamist organizations like CAIR, they strengthen Islamist supremacism and its drive for Muslim dominance. Those institutions need to get smart and retract that legitimacy, reserving it for Muslims who reject radical Islam.


Monday, January 17, 2005

CIA’s National Intelligence Council: Iraq New Terror Breeding Ground

Washington Post

By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer

Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of "professionalized" terrorists, according to a report released yesterday by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA director's think tank.

Iraq provides terrorists with "a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills," said David B. Low, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats. "There is even, under the best scenario, over time, the likelihood that some of the jihadists who are not killed there will, in a sense, go home, wherever home is, and will therefore disperse to various other countries."

Low's comments came during a rare briefing by the council on its new report on long-term global trends. It took a year to produce and includes the analysis of 1,000 U.S. and foreign experts. Within the 119-page report is an evaluation of Iraq's new role as a breeding ground for Islamic terrorists.

President Bush has frequently described the Iraq war as an integral part of U.S. efforts to combat terrorism. But the council's report suggests the conflict has also helped terrorists by creating a haven for them in the chaos of war.

"At the moment," NIC Chairman Robert L. Hutchings said, Iraq "is a magnet for international terrorist activity."

Before the U.S. invasion, the CIA said Saddam Hussein had only circumstantial ties with several al Qaeda members. Osama bin Laden rejected the idea of forming an alliance with Hussein and viewed him as an enemy of the jihadist movement because the Iraqi leader rejected radical Islamic ideals and ran a secular government.

Bush described the war in Iraq as a means to promote democracy in the Middle East. "A free Iraq can be a source of hope for all the Middle East," he said one month before the invasion. "Instead of threatening its neighbors and harboring terrorists, Iraq can be an example of progress and prosperity in a region that needs both."

But as instability in Iraq grew after the toppling of Hussein, and resentment toward the United States intensified in the Muslim world, hundreds of foreign terrorists flooded into Iraq across its unguarded borders. They found tons of unprotected weapons caches that, military officials say, they are now using against U.S. troops. Foreign terrorists are believed to make up a large portion of today's suicide bombers, and U.S. intelligence officials say these foreigners are forming tactical, ever-changing alliances with former Baathist fighters and other insurgents.

"The al-Qa'ida membership that was distinguished by having trained in Afghanistan will gradually dissipate, to be replaced in part by the dispersion of the experienced survivors of the conflict in Iraq," the report says.

According to the NIC report, Iraq has joined the list of conflicts -- including the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, and independence movements in Chechnya, Kashmir, Mindanao in the Philippines, and southern Thailand -- that have deepened solidarity among Muslims and helped spread radical Islamic ideology.

At the same time, the report says that by 2020, al Qaeda "will be superseded" by other Islamic extremist groups that will merge with local separatist movements. Most terrorism experts say this is already well underway. The NIC says this kind of ever-morphing decentralized movement is much more difficult to uncover and defeat.

Terrorists are able to easily communicate, train and recruit through the Internet, and their threat will become "an eclectic array of groups, cells and individuals that do not need a stationary headquarters," the council's report says. "Training materials, targeting guidance, weapons know-how, and fund-raising will become virtual (i.e. online)."

The report, titled "Mapping the Global Future," highlights the effects of globalization and other economic and social trends. But NIC officials said their greatest concern remains the possibility that terrorists may acquire biological weapons and, although less likely, a nuclear device.

The council is tasked with midterm and strategic analysis, and advises the CIA director. "The NIC's goal," one NIC publication states, "is to provide policymakers with the best, unvarnished, and unbiased information -- regardless of whether analytic judgments conform to U.S. policy."

Other than reports and studies, the council produces classified National Intelligence Estimates, which represent the consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies on specific issues.

Yesterday, Hutchings, former assistant dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, said the NIC report tried to avoid analyzing the effect of U.S. policy on global trends to avoid being drawn into partisan politics.

Among the report's major findings is that the likelihood of "great power conflict escalating into total war . . . is lower than at any time in the past century." However, "at no time since the formation of the Western alliance system in 1949 have the shape and nature of international alignments been in such a state of flux as they have in the past decade."

The report also says the emergence of China and India as new global economic powerhouses "will be the most challenging of all" Washington's regional relationships. It also says that in the competition with Asia over technological advances, the United States "may lose its edge" in some sectors.

Staff writer Bradley Graham and researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.


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