Archive for January, 2006

Translation of Osama Bin Laden’s 19 January, 2006 Audio Message

The message of mine to you is about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how to end it.

I did not have the intention to speak to you about this issue, because it is a forgone conclusion to us. Iron is only blunted with iron. Our situation is with the grace of Allah from good to better and your situation is the opposite ofthis.

However, what prompted me to speak is the repeated deceptions of your president Bush.

In respect of his comment on the opinion polls in America, which alluded to the fact that the overwhelming majority amongst you are in favor of withdrawing the troops from Iraq. However, he objected to this wish and said that the withdrawal of troops would send the wrong message to the enemies ? and that it would be better to fight them in their own lands, rather than to have them fight us on our own lands.

And in my response to these deceptions I say: Indeed the war in Iraq is ablaze relentlessly and the operations in Afghanistan are on constant escalation in our favor, with the grace of Allah. The figures released by the Pentagon indicate an increase in the number of your dead and injured, in addition to the tremendous material losses.

Just to reiterate, I say: the result of the survey does satisfy the wise people; and the objection of Bush to them is wrong.

Anyone can testify that the war against America and her allies is no longer confined to Iraq as he claims. Iraq has rather become a point of preparation and mobilization of the qualified capabilities.

On the other hand, the Mujahideen have with the grace of Allah succeeded in breaking through all the security measures undertaken by the transgressing nations time after time, and the evidence for this is what you saw in terms of explosions in the most important capitals of the countries within this belligerent alliance.

As for the delay in carrying out similar operations in America, this was not because of a failure in breaking through your security measures. The operations are being prepared and you will see them in your own backyard as soon as they are ready with the leave of Allah.

Farris Hassan: Immersion Journalism or Immersed in Jihad?

18 January 2006: Farris HASSAN, the 16-year-old Pine Crest student from Fort Lauderdale who left the comforts of his $4 million family home on December 11 for Iraq, claimed that he made the trip to put his lessons of his “immersion journalism” class into practice, and selected Iraq out of humanitarian concerns for the Iraqi people. His story quickly caught the attention of the media, who portrayed this young man as adventurous but naive, and his worried parents clueless to his intentions until they received an e-mail from him when he was in Kuwait. Upon his return home, he would certainly face the consequences from his concerned parents, despite his ostensibly altruistic intentions.

With all of the reporters covering the story, however, it appears that no one did any research into the background of the Hassan family, or made any attempts to verify the young man’s story. If they had, they might have been compelled to ask some very basic – but extremely important questions.

Even the most basic research found that Farris Hassan was NOT enrolled in any journalism class at Pine Crest, which should automatically cast doubt on the true nature of his journey. Lourdes Cowgill, president of the Pine Crest School, said that Hassan was never given an “immersion journalism” assignment.  Also, the school confirmed that the boy’s father, Dr. Redha Hassan not only knew of his son’s intended travels, but authorized his absence, which is inconsistent with his initial public statements.

Further, investigation found a number of other inconsistencies in the public statements made by Dr. Redha Hassan. Although it was initially reported that neither parent knew of the young boy’s intended travels, it was ultimately revealed that Dr. Hassan actually assisted his son. He admitted that he arranged for his son’s flight into Baghdad through his political connections, even though he knew the grave risks to “foreigners” wandering the streets of Baghdad. [According to a January 2, 2005 CNN news story, Hassan's father said that he had helped his son get a visa into Iraq from Beirut. The elder Hassan said he was leaving Iraq himself when the teen called, unable to get into the country from Kuwait. He told him to go to Lebanon and said he spoke with him almost daily].

Perhaps most importantly, research and investigation into Dr. Redha Hassan found that he was arrested by the FBI in 1985 for forging 2000 Iraqi passports and military I.D. cards and seeking to forge 2,000 more. Dr. Hassan asked his next-door-neighbor and print store owner Joel Feinstein to make the passports and IDs. According to Feinstein, Dr. Hassan claimed the documents were for his family in Iraq. Feinstein reported the request to the FBI, and became an operational asset for the federal government, leading to Hassan’s arrest. Also arrested were two of Farris’s uncles and a “pro-Khomeini” activist identified as Salah Jawad Shubber. Interestingly, Dr. Hassan, who also went by the name Redha K. Alsawaf, was  also the President of the now defunct Florida non-profit organization World Orphanage & Refugee Relief Foundation at the time of his arrest. Authorities dropped the charges against Hassan, and Shubber ultimately pled guilty to conspiracy charges.

Farris Hassan’s initial stop was Amsterdam, Netherlands, where he claims that he bought a ticket on KLM Airlines. From Amsterdam, Hassan headed to Kuwait City, where he alleges that he tried to cross the Kuwait-Iraq border twice by taxi, but was turned away due to Iraqi elections. At that point, it appears that Hassan sought assistance from his father, who told Farris to travel to Beirut and stay with family friends. Obligingly, Farris spent ten days in Beirut, and while there, met with a media relations officer of the terrorist group Hezbollah at their Central Press Office. This meeting was arranged through the assistance of his hosts – the family’s friends.

Hezbollah is a Shiite Muslim organization based in Lebanon and tied to Iran. They have a significant presence in Iraq, and an army that is resolved to drive the Americans out of Iraq. Given the family history, the inconsistencies and the public contradictions, could it be that Hassan was going to Iraq to join Hezbollah to fight against the “American occupation?” Perhaps those are the questions that need to be asked.

UPDATED 23 January 2006: Read more about Farris HASSAN’S adventure as reported by Cinnamon Stillwell on January 10 and by Tom Blumer on January 21, 2006. Both write for NewsBusters.org - click on their names to read their accounts.

Terrorists Are Just Another Customer for U.S Internet Companies

GoDaddy software provides hosting for worst of terrorist groups

18 January 2006: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a terrorist organization that was responsible for the murder of Israeli tourism minister Raba’am Zevi a few years ago, along with several other murders of Israeli civilians and at least four US citizens in terrorist attacks. The US State Department also has the PFLP on its terrorism watch list.  Because of this, doing business with the PFLP or lending them logistical support is illegal. The Patriot Act also has provisions for dealing with terrorists. The servers and web hosting for the PFLP terrorist website are handled by a large American internet company, GoDaddy Software, out of Scottsdale, Arizona.

According to GoDaddy’s own website, Go Daddy “is widely recognized for its success, having been ranked #8 on the 2004 Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest-growing privately held companies; #20 on the 2005 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 (growing 8,274 percent!); and having won the CNET Editor’s Choice award in 2001, the Name Intelligence Largest Net Gain Award in 2002, 2003 and 2005; the Name Intelligence Users’ Choice Award in 2005 as well as the #1 Best Overall Registrar in 2003. Go Daddy also won the Arizona Corporate Excellence Award for fastest growing privately-held company in 2003 and Most Innovative Large Company in 2004.”

GoDaddy, in other words, is an efficient well-run company.

Most disturbingly, GoDaddy, like all internet companies, has the means to decipher,  through a search engine and client list, whether any of its clients are terrorist organizations. If any company typed in PFLP, Hamas or Al Qaeda, something will definitely pop up that demands scrutiny.

Here is the key: if Homeland Security would fine these companies big bucks for not doing these checks, these companies would do these checks.

In this case, the registrant’s name is right there for anyone to read: and it is the official name of the registrant for the website www.pflp.net.  It reads Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine!

The website is one hundred pages deep with lots of useful information and news items for terrorists. The site even has sections praising Al Qaeda and shows that the PFLP is part of the same hydra’s head on international terrorism.

One would think a terrorist organization would try to hide from the authorities. But why should they if, after all, American internet companies are glad to do business with them?

And if American security agencies are always asleep and not actively doing anything about them, why should terrorist organizations worry about it?

Incident at San Francisco Airport Prompts Evacuation of Terminal

16 January 2006: At approximately 2:00 p.m. PT Sunday, a TSA baggage screener observed a suspicious item and articles that resembled components of an explosive device inside a carry-on bag belonging to a South Carolina man as he and two other South Carolina residents – a man and a women – were boarding a flight destined for South Carolina through a connecting flight in Dallas. In a statement made to reporters, San Francisco police lieutenant Bill Darr stated that “there were items, articles inside the carry-on luggage that did resemble components of a possible device.”

The three passengers were detained and questioned, but explanations about the contents of the carry-on bag were insufficient to quell officers’ suspicions. As a result, a portion of the San Francisco International Airport terminal was evacuated and the area around the security checkpoint was evacuated. At least three outbound flights were delayed while the bomb squad investigated and ultimately used a water cannon to destroy the bag and its contents.

According to information released by authorities through a public spokesman, federal authorities released the passengers after further questioning. The identities of the three individuals detained were not revealed, and the contents of the bag were not publicly identified. The terminal reopened at 5 p.m.

Explosives Found in Huntington Beach Harbor

15 January 2006: On Wednesday, 11 January 2006, environmental divers working for Merkel Associates of San Diego, hired to check on algae growth in the Huntington Beach Harbor discovered seven or perhaps eight commercial-grade explosive detonators that were “strategically placed” on the ocean floor in Long Canal, near Bonaire Circle in about 10-15 feet of water. According to law enforcement officials, each detonator, or blasting cap, was attached to a 10-foot-long, brightly colored wire. An analysis of the explosives determined that they were placed on the harbor floor within 36 hours of their discovery. Following their discovery, eight law enforcement agencies responded to the scene; at least 15 divers, including ten from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, four from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and one diver from the FBI searched the floor of the harbor for additional explosives and to recover the explosives that were found.

During the recovery operation, Jim AMORMINO of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department described the explosives as “commercial grade detonators used to trigger large explosions in mines or other sites and are considered highly unstable. They are concussion-type explosive devices, as opposed to fragmentation type. The detonators could cause an explosion equivalent to a hand grenade, and could definitely injure anyone near, any diver near there, any person in water, any boat near that explosion. They are typically attached to a bigger explosive device. This was our concern, (that) they were attached to a bigger explosive device,” stated AMORMINO.

About the size of a shotgun shell, the explosives were spread over a 150-yard area and could be detonated by the use of cell phones or specific radio signals. During the recovery of the explosives, authorities banned cell phone use to prevent accidental detonation. AMORMINO added: “The situation is very serious. We’re confident we located all of them. Now the question at this stage is how they got there. They were intentionally placed there.”

Meanwhile, official publicly stated that although they have no idea how the explosives got there (in the harbor) or how many more of them are out there, they stated that “terrorism was not suspected.” Officials also believe that it is unlikely that the explosives are from the nearby Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station. Authorities continue to interview nearby residents for any information to this discovery.

Inside America’s Mosques: The Growing Curriculum of Hatred & “Jihad”

By Douglas J. Hagmann

14 January 2006: In April 2003, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg attended a meeting at the Al Khoei Islamic Center located on the Van Wyck Expressway in Jamaica, NY, assuring mosque leaders and members that anti-Muslim bias and hate speech would never be tolerated. His comments were well received by Imam Sheik Fadhel al Sahlan and other leaders of the Al Khoei Islamic Center, mosque and school. Mayor Bloomberg suggested that history would indeed show that the hatred and extremism espoused by the Islamic terrorists that ripped into our nation and his city in 2001 was taught in mosques a half a world away.  A closer examination of the facts proves otherwise. A more extensive investigation that pierces the thin veil of public appearances and political photo ops reveals that a curriculum of hatred, religious and cultural intolerance and revisionist history is being taught in mosques, Islamic centers and associated Islamic schools inside the U.S., and is much more pervasive than most would care to admit.

Take the case of Imam Sheik Fadhel al Sahlan, for example. Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s promotion of religious tolerance and lack of patience for extremist views against Islam, al Sahlan has joined a growing number of Islamic leaders and Muslim teachers inside the U.S. who echo the statements made by Iranian President and known Islamic terrorist leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who consider the extermination of Israel as a nation a “dream,” although according to al Sahlan, it is an impractical one. Such sentiments reflect the ultimate anti-Semitism and religious intolerance. The New York Imam made his position clear about Ahmadinejad’s desire to “wipe Israel off the map,” stating: “It is a kind of dream, but we have to be realistic. Even we have to accept a fact that we don’t like.”

Like many Islamic centers throughout the United States, the Al Khoei Islamic Center also operates an accredited school with an Islamic based curriculum for children through grade 12, children who are at an impressionable age. And like many Muslim leaders responsible for the Islamic-based teachings not only in the mosques but also for the school curricula, revisionist history is being insinuated into the teachings. Imam Sheik Fadhel al Sahlan’s anti-Semitism is also illustrated by his public pronouncement that the massacre of an estimated 6 million Jews during World War II “has been exaggerated.”

Investigators from the Northeast Intelligence Network have been actively investigating the growing anti-Semitic, anti-U.S. and anti-West teachings in mosques and Islamic centers and related schools across the U.S. The findings indicate that once the veil of public tolerance is pulled aside, the messages are much more insidious and dangerous to the security of our country.

Beyond the walls of the classrooms and mosques, like a natural extension to hard-line Islamic teachings, are former and current camps inside the US intended to be utilized as training grounds for violent jihad. Evidence of such camps can be found deep within the testimony and legal documents related to Abu Hamza, the Muslim cleric of the Finsbury Park Mosque in Great Britain. Hamza is currently on trial in the United Kingdom for terrorist related activities. According to a 1998 indictment against Hamza, he was instrumental in the organization and establishment of terrorist training camps inside the U.S., including the planned camp in Bly, Oregon and at least one other camp in the state of Alabama. The indictment (viewable at: http://news.findlaw.com/usatoday/docs/hamza/ushamza42104ind.html) sheds light on just how pervasive the radical teachings are –both abroad as well as within the United States.

Well choreographed public appearances and sound bites between political officials and Muslim leaders, such as those between mayor Bloomberg and Sheik Fadhel al Sahlan of the New York mosque, do nothing more than facilitate the steadfast Islamic revolution that is taking place right inside our own borders.

Special Report: Terrorists Among Us: Albany, NY

“Raise the Jihad sword … Raise the Qu’ran with blood … So we can bring back the freedom for ourselves and the entire people of this Earth.” --Yassin Aref, Albany NY Islamic Spiritual Leader; 3 December 1999

Albany, NY Muslims to Face Terror Trial

10 January 2006: A judge refused Monday to dismiss charges against two Muslims accused of supporting terrorism, saying there was enough evidence to go forward despite defense arguments that the men were entrapped.

Yassin Aref, imam at the Masjid as-Salam mosque in Albany, and Mohammed Hossain, a co-founder of the mosque, were arrested in August 2004, accused of laundering money for an FBI informant posing as an arms dealer.

U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy said there was sufficient evidence for a trial. He also refused to grant separate trials for the men, who have pleaded not guilty.

Aref, 35, a native of northern Iraq’s Kurdish area, immigrated to the United States with his family in 1999. Hossain, 50, a native of Bangladesh who owns an Albany pizzeria, is a naturalized U.S. citizen.-

Prosecutors maintained that they were willing participants in criminal activity, while the defense argued Monday that the men were entrapped.-

The FBI informant allegedly told the men that some $50,000 they held for him was from the sale of a missile that would be used to kill a Pakistani diplomat in New York City. The men say they never believed the business deal was part of a terrorist plot.-

If convicted of all charges, Aref faces up to 470 years in prison and $7.25 million in fines while Hossain faces 450 years in prison and $6.75 million in fines. Aref remains in jail awaiting trial. Hossain is free on bail and declined to comment leaving court.

They are accused of attempting to provide support to Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based group listed by the federal government as a terrorist organization.

Aref is charged with lying to federal officials by failing to disclose his former membership in the nationalist Islamic Movement in Kurdistan. The government also alleges that Aref knew Mullah Krekar, the founder of Ansar al-Islam, which U.S. authorities say is a terrorist group that has ties to al-Qaida and has been responsible for attacks on American forces in the Middle East.

Albany, NY Terrorism Case Gains Momentum

1 October 2005: We reported about this matter on 23 May 2005 in the HQ INTEL-ALERT Newsletter, alerting our subscribers that the case involving an Albany, NY imam and a local business owner was larger and far more extensive than was being portrayed, and additional charges were expected to be filed. That was indeed the case this Thursday when ten-(10) additional charges were filed against the alleged terror duo, bringing the total number of charges against both to THIRTY.

Northeast Intelligence Network Director and veteran investigator Douglas Hagmann conducted an on-site investigation in Albany, NY related to the arrests of Yassin Aref, the imam of the Masjid As-Salam mosque and his associate Mohammed Hossain, owner of the Little Italy Pizza shop located across the street from and near the mosque.

Yesterday, Imam Yassin Aref had his bail revoked and was jailed based on “new” evidence. Entered as new evidence against Aref were entries in his personal journals that prosecutors say link him to Mullah Krekar (pictured at left), the founder of Ansar al-Islam, a terrorist group that has ties to al-Qaeda and is responsible for attacks on American forces in the Middle East. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney William Pericak told U.S. Magistrate Judge David Homer, one of the entries stated that [it was time to] “take the war to America and Israel.” “A fair reading of those speeches and journals compel the conclusion that Mr. Aref espouses and has adopted the goals of terrorist organizations and has had an ongoing relationship with terrorist organizations,” Homer said in making his ruling. “It seems the government’s case is extremely enhanced.”

Aref & Hossain were charged this week with attempting to provide support to the terrorist group known as Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based group listed by the federal government as a terrorist organization. Both were initially charged in August 2004 with conspiring to launder money and promoting terrorism, and Aref was also charged with lying to federal officials.

Aref and Hossain were arrested in an FBI sting operation built around a feigned assassination plot to be carried out against a New York City based Pakistani diplomat using a solder fired missle launcher. Aref, 35, and Hossain, 50, had been free on bail for the past year. Hossain remains free on bail at this time.

If convicted of all charges, Aref faces 470 years in prison and $7.25 million in fines while Hossain faces 450 years in prison and $6.75 million in fines, according to federal prosecutors.

Albany, NY Mosque Leaders Await Trial

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

Additional criminal charges expected to be filed against against Yassin M. Aref.

FBI has used aerial and satellite surveillance to keep tabs on Aref and members of his family.

5 August 2005: It was a year ago today when federal agents raided the mosque and the homes of two men, Yassin Aref and Mohammed Mosharref Hossain. Yassin Aref, 35, the imam of Masjid As-Salaam mosque, and 50-year-old Mohammed Hossain, a mosque co-founder, were both arrested based on information developed from an investigation that began the previous summer. If convicted, the men face from 17-and-a-half to almost 22 years in prison.

Presently, a year after they were arrested and accused of supporting terrorism, both men remain free on $250,000 bond awaiting trial. Friends and mosque members pledged property for the bonds. A status conference is scheduled next Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy, but the case appears unlikely to reach trial before next year. Prosecutors have invoked the federal Classified Information Procedures Act and are still sifting through evidence they want kept secret.

Meanwhile, Yassin Aref, the 35-year-old imam at Masjid As-Salam, continues to lead daily prayers, and the mosque overflows with Muslims on Fridays. Mohammed Hossain, 50, a founder of the mosque, continues to operate his pizza shop across from the mosque and works as landlord of his five buildings.

The men are charged with money laundering and supporting terrorism after a yearlong FBI sting using an undercover informant. Hossain and Aref are accused of laundering money for the FBI informant, a businessman originally from Pakistan who previously had been convicted of document fraud.

According to the indictment, Hossain requested a loan from the informant. The informant, posing as a part-time arms dealer, asked Hossain to hold $50,000 from the sale of a shoulder-fired missile, one he said would be used to kill a Pakistani diplomat in New York City. Hossain was to keep $5,000. A FBI photo showed the informant holding a missile launcher while Hossain watched. Aref was reportedly a witness to the financial transactions, counted the money and wrote receipts. Prosecutors have stated that the FBI informant taped several meetings between the individuals – it was not a single event.

Hossain is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Bangladesh, is married and expecting their sixth child. Aref is a Kurdish refugee from northern Iraq and has been imam at Masjid As-Salam since its founding more than five years ago.