Archive for November, 2008

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A Criminal Charity – HLF

November 26, 2008

A Criminal Charity

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | 26 November 2008

Homeland Security: U.S. citizens have spoken with a resounding verdict of GUILTY and said they’re not going to tolerate those who fund terror in this country under the cover of Muslim charity.


Read More: Global War On Terror


In one of the biggest wins yet in the battle against terror-financing, federal prosecutors convinced a Texas jury to convict the nation’s largest Muslim charity and five of its former organizers of illegally funneling more than $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

Jurors read guilty verdicts on all 108 felony charges in the conspiracy — a clean sweep for the Justice Department, which streamlined its case against the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation after a mistrial last year. It also got a new judge, who allowed previously banned evidence.

Donations are the lifeblood of jihadist groups such as Hamas. With the help of willing co-conspirators, they conceal their activities and use the Muslim obligation of charitable giving to mask support for their murderous agenda.

But Americans won’t be fooled. This verdict sends a clear message to Islamists still operating within the terror-support network in America that the courts will view their cash as the moral equivalent of a car bomb. And that this country will not be used as a cash cow for terrorists operating here or abroad.

Over the course of the years-long case, prosecutors put more than 300 co-conspirators on notice. They include prominent Muslim leaders and major Muslim groups once thought moderate and mainstream — including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which lobbies the government from its headquarters in the nation’s capital.

One of the guilty defendants in the case, Ghassan Elashi, was a founding director of CAIR. He and the others could face up to 20 years in prison.

Wiretap evidence heard in the case for the first time put CAIR’s executive director, Nihad Awad, at a Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders and activists secretly recorded by the FBI. Participants hatched a plot to deceive Americans and disguise payments to Hamas as it launched a campaign of terror attacks. CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad joined Hamas big shots at the summit.

Washington officials who agree to meet with CAIR so it can mau-mau them about “anti-Muslim bigotry” and “politics of fear” ought to study that evidence to understand what CAIR is and is not.

Prosecutors argued that CAIR’s leaders are part of a wider conspiracy overseen by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egypt-based jihadist group and parent to Hamas. In fact, court papers list Ahmad as a key Brotherhood leader in the U.S.

Prosecutors unveiled a secret Brotherhood memo outlining the group’s ambitions in America. The memo, written in Arabic, calls for “a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated, and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

Thanks to the Holy Land trial, we now know the true agenda of CAIR and other Islamist groups in the U.S.: the abolition of the U.S. system as we know it, and support for designated terror groups.

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HEROD / OBAMA?

November 26, 2008

ACTS 12:21-23

ON THE APPOINTED DAY HEROD, WEARING HIS ROYAL ROBES,

SAT ON HIS THRONE AND DELIVERED A PUBLIC ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE.  THEY SHOUTED “THIS IS THE VOICE OF A god, NOT A MAN.” IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE HEROD DID NOT GIVE PRAISE TO GOD, AN ANGEL OF THE LORD STRUCK HIM DOWN, AND HE WAS EATEN BY WORMS AND DIED.

Sound a little like Obama?

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Holy Land Foundation Officials Convicted – All counts

November 26, 2008

HLF Officials Convicted on All Counts

IPT News
November 24, 2008
http://www.investigativeproject.org/article/865

updated 8:35 p.m

DALLAS – A jury convicted five former officials at the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) on all counts in the Hamas-support case after 8 days of deliberations.

The men, Shukri Abu-Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohamed El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader and Abdelrahman Odeh, could face up to 20 years in prison for their convictions on conspiracy counts, including conspiring to
provide material support to terrorists. The verdicts, read Monday afternoon, ended a two-year saga in what is considered the largest terror financing case since the 9/11 attacks.

In the original trial last year, jurors acquitted El-Mezain on 31 of the 32 counts against him, but could not reach unanimous verdicts on any other counts, prompting a mistrial.

Prosecutors made a series of significant adjustments, from dropping 29 counts each against defendants Mufid Abdulqader and Abdelrahman Odeh, to adding new witnesses who could put the charity support in context. In addition, jurors in this trial saw three exhibits Israeli military officials seized from the Palestinian Authority which showed the PA also considered HLF to be a Hamas financer and that an HLF-supported charity committee was controlled by Hamas.

The result was a much more streamlined case that followed a logical narrative, said Peter Margulies, a law professor at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Seeing the Palestinian Authority reach the same conclusion as the U.S. government had to have helped, he said.

In addition, prosecutors provided summary exhibits that served as “a road map” to the case and had to help jurors deliberate, Margulies said. “The jury was able to look at the evidence and get past the perceived biases of any of the witnesses and see the evidence as a whole.”

That evidence made clear that the defendants knew where the money raised in the U.S. was going despite legal prohibitions against support for Hamas.

The verdict was hailed by M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Prosecutors prevailed because they were able to “connect the ideology of political Islam and the overriding mission of Islamist organizations like the HLF to their desire to contribute to the efforts of terror groups, like Hamas,” he said. “When this connection is made we will see the return of a guilty verdict. In future [terrorism financing] cases DOJ will not only have to connect the financial dots but [will have] to demonstrate an overarching common Islamist mission.”

Prosecutors say HLF was part of a Palestine Committee – a conglomerate of U.S. based Muslim organizations and individuals committed to helping Hamas financially and politically. HLF was its fundraising arm, a designation formalized by Hamas deputy political director Mousa Abu Marzook in 1994. Support for Hamas became illegal with a 1995 executive order by President Bill Clinton and subsequent congressional action.

Defense attorneys say the men were simply providing desperately needed charity to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. HLF routed millions of dollars through a series of Palestinian charities known as zakat committees. While Hamas was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury, those zakat committees never were. That, defense attorneys argued, meant donations to them did not violate the law.

Holy Land Foundation Raid

“This is one of the most significant victories the Justice Department has won in the war on terror,” said Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted blind cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and 11 others for conspiring to blow up a series of New York landmarks. “Financing is the life-blood of jihadist organizations like Hamas. With the assistance of willing co-conspirators, they conceal their activities and use the Muslim obligation of charitable giving to mask support that is actually channeled to their murderous agenda. Today’s verdicts say, loudly and clearly, that Americans aren’t fooled and won’t tolerate it. As a former federal prosecutor, I am especially proud of the assistant U.S. attorneys who persevered through some real travails in securing justice for the American people.”

Journalist Douglas Farah studied the HLF evidence on behalf of the Nine Eleven Finding Answers (NEFA) Foundation and was the first to identify the significance of a Muslim Brotherhood memorandum outlining the group’s ambitions in America. He said Monday’s verdict

has implications for unindicted co-conspirators in the case – most notably the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – because it validates what already was “a clear public record of why these groups were founded and how.”

The Muslim Brotherhood memo called for “a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

CAIR is listed as a member of the Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad are included on a telephone list of committee members. CAIR has not refuted the evidence, Farah said. Government officials ought to study that evidence to realize CAIR is not what it presents itself as.

“The main currency CAIR and these groups have is their access,” he said. “The time is now, with full justification and with a full public record – not a whispering campaign, not innuendo – for the government to now say without hesitation: you don’t have access here. We don’t want to deal with you.”

After the verdicts were read, jurors were asked to determine whether convictions for money laundering meant HLF assets should be forfeited to the government, the Dallas Morning News reported. Jurors agreed $12.4 million from the defendants’ assets should be forfeited. Click here to see more coverage from the Morning News.

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PIRACY: INDIA SHOWS THE WAY

November 24, 2008

The UN is a waste of money – and an enemy of the U.S. on our soil!

India Shows The Way

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY| 20 Nov. 2008

Piracy: India, from whose Hindi language we get the word “thug,” knows how to handle them. Its navy blew away two Somali pirate ships in a week, sending a message in the only language thugs understand. Kudos.


The next Somali crew of pirates on a ship slinking through the toon111908Gulf of Aden looking for an easy ransom won’t smile through its cutlasses if it spies an Indian-flagged ship. It will move the other way as fast as possible.

Tuesday, a pirate mother-ship crew aimed grenade launchers at an Indian naval frigate and tried to ram it. The Indian ship Tabar fired back, set the vessel on fire, and left it at the bottom of the sea. It was the second pirate ship India’s navy had blown out of the water, another was taken out Nov. 11. There won’t be many more.

India’s clear response to the Somali pirates is the only one likely to prove effective. It contrasts sharply with the handwringing helplessness of other navies patrolling the area under a United Nations mandate. Their mission is proving ineffective, and the enemy is growing bolder. Since a Saudi supertanker was seized on Saturday, pirates have commandeered three more ships.

It’s happening because the current international mission is largely hamstrung by attempts to enforce laws on nationals from a state without laws, let alone prisons or courts. Somali pirates right now get a free ride. When they aren’t reaping ransoms from captured ships — $50 million in 2008, with another $10 million expected from the Saudi supertanker — they are being captured and released by international patrols that have no place to take them. It all adds up to a riskless venture for pirates.

India showed that the only message with authority in this perversely incentivized void is force. The West may have bigger, more technologically advanced navies than India’s 118-ship naval flotilla, but only India has demonstrated the way to raise the cost of piracy. As a result of its actions, there are stirrings in the U.N. and NATO to adopt this strategy.

India’s actions probably saved many more ships than the few it has protected and saved unnecessary costs, as well. Indian companies faced a $450,000 increase in shipping insurance costs due to the increased risk of piracy. That’s a pittance here, but not in a country full of poor merchants trying to play by the rules and legitimately integrate into the global economy through trade. India’s act was motivated by a desire to stand up for its nationals, but in reality, it stood up for all of us.

The West needs to heed India’s example because its energy supply is at stake, and every ransom paid empowers the pirates and their terrorist allies. India’s leadership and resolve should increase its international stature. That’s what comes to nations that have the common sense to confront thugs.

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Headlines Today – Jobless Claims, Citi, JPMorgan, GMAC, Iran

November 21, 2008

A SORRY BUNCH

A SORRY BUNCH

[LEFT} No one has come up with a plan said Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, James Clyburn and Sen. Christopher Dodd. A SORRY BUNCH

NEWS HEADLINES – TODAY

Index points to worsening manufacturing, shrinking to -39.3 in Nov.

U.S. workers on the dole soared to a 26-year high, stark proof job market is rapidly weakening.

Mid-Atlantic Factory Woes Deepen

Factory index feel to minus 39.3 in Nov., lowest since Oct. ’90. The employment gauge hit an 18-year low, new orders gauge sank to lowest since ’80, cuts in output and payrolls. Jobless claims rose to 4.01mil, highest since the ’82 recession.

Citi, JPMorgan Shares Tumble

Citigroup (NYSE:CNews) tumbled 26% as a Saudi prince’s move to raise his stake overshadowed by fears it won’t have enough cash. Alwaleed bin Talal, Citi’s largest individual investor, lifted his stake to 5% from less than 4%. JPMorgan Chase fell 18%.

GMAC applies for bank status

Financing arm of General Motors applied to become a bank holding company, eligible for aid under the government’s $700 bil bank rescue plan. said the change in status would shore up its capital position to provide automotive and mortgage financing. GMAC is majority owned by Cerberus Capital Management, which also owns most of Chrysler. General Motors (GM) owns a 49% stake.

Iran Has Uranium For Nuke: IAEA

International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has produced 1,390 pounds of enriched uranium, enough to build a nuclear bomb. Iran would need to further refine the material and put it in a warhead to make a full-fledged weapon. The country says it’s enriching the uranium for nuclear energy.

Stalled bailout fueld 6.7% dive on S&P 500, erasing the last of its gains since 2002.

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CAIR: Big on the Gimmes

November 21, 2008

CAIR: Big on the Gimmes

IPT News
November 20, 2008
http://www.investigativeproject.org/article/862

When a golfer has a putt of a foot or less, it’s considered can’t miss – a “gimme” – in the parlance of the game.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations took a gimme Wednesday when it issued a statement condemning remarks from Al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. In an 11-minute video, Zawahiri slurs President-Elect Barack Obama as a “House Negro.”

CAIR’s statement was out within hours, saying the organization “condemned threatening rhetoric and racial slurs contained in a new video by Ayman al-Zawahri and said Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command does not speak for Muslims in this country or worldwide.”

The statement continued:

“As Muslims and as Americans, we will never let terrorist groups or terror leaders falsely claim to represent us or our faith. The legitimate grievances of Muslims in many areas of the world can never serve as an excuse or a justification for attacks on civilian populations. We once again repudiate Al-Qaida’s actions, rhetoric and worldview and re-state our condemnation of all forms of terrorism and religious extremism.”

No reasonable person would quarrel with that. But it’s not exactly going out on a limb. And it raises some key questions that are central to understanding what CAIR stands for.

For starters, just what are the “legitimate grievances” referenced in the release? How many of those grievances conflict with U.S. policies in Iran, Lebanon and Israel, including those that are expected to be continued by the President-elect?

And, if CAIR is so eager to condemn a statement from Al Qaeda, what meaning should be drawn from its stubborn refusal to condemn terrorism from the likes of Hizballah and Hamas or fatwas sanctioning attacks on American soldiers from a Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader?

CAIR has yet to utter a critical word about Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has called suicide bombings “heroic martyrdom operations.”
He issued a fatwa stating that Muslims killed fighting American forces in Iraq are martyrs. “Those killed fighting the American forces are martyrs given their good intentions since they consider these invading troops an enemy within their territories but without their will.”

Britain won’t let Qaradawi into the country due to his extremist rhetoric. But to CAIR officials, he is a scholar. That’s what Hussam Ayloush said at a 2002 Orange County CAIR fundraiser:

“Several people were asking about the eligibility claim for CAIR. And according to many scholars including Yusuf Qaradawi, basically this is one of the venues of Zakat (charity) for your money as vis a vis basically educating about Islam in America and the West.”

Over the years, CAIR officials have established a consistent pattern of providing squirrelly answers when challenged to condemn terrorist groups other than Al Qaeda:

  • In a 2002 interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said questions about his organization’s opinions about Hamas and Hizballah were part of “a game” pushed by “the extremist wing of the pro-Israel lobby.” Hooper made it clear he wasn’t playing: “We’re not in the business of condemning.”
  • Asked in a May 27, 2003 deposition, “Do you support Hamas?” CAIR co-founder and Chairman Emeritus Omar Ahmad answered, “It depends. Qualify ‘support.'” Asked whether he had “ever taken a position with respect to… [Hamas’] ‘martyrdom attacks.'” Ahmad responded, “No.”
  • In 2005, then-CAIR Tampa spokesman Ahmed Bedier was asked about his organization’s position toward the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. “We haven’t published one,” he said.
  • This past August, CAIR spokesman Corey Saylor was pressed by David Lee Miller of Fox News to condemn Hamas and Hizballah. He wouldn’t:

Saylor: “I’m telling you in a very clear fashion – CAIR condemns terrorist acts, whoever commits them, wherever they commit them, whenever they commit them.”

Miller: “That’s not the same thing as saying you condemn Hamas and you condemn Hizballah.”

Saylor: “Well I recognize that you don’t like my answer to the question, but that’s the answer to the question.”

Miller: “It’s not no, it’s not whether I like it or dislike it. I was asking whether or not you can sit here now and say- CAIR condemns Hamas or Hezbollah. If you don’t want to, just say that. If that is a position your group doesn’t take, I certainly accept that. I just want to understand what your answer is.”

Saylor: “The position that my group takes is that we condemn terrorism on a consistent, persistent basis, wherever it happens, whenever it happens.”

The record makes it clear that this is not the case. CAIR makes sweeping statements about condemning the deaths of innocent civilians, but does not define what it considers innocent. It’s a tone set from the top, as evidence from the Hamas-support trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) shows.

Exhibits in evidence show CAIR is listed among members of the Palestine Committee, a group created by the Muslim Brotherhood to help Hamas. Omar Ahmad and fellow CAIR founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad appear as numbers 25 and 32 in this Palestine Committee telephone list. Ahmad is identified by his pseudonym of “Omar Yehya.”

Awad publicly stated his support for Hamas over the secular PLO in 1994, six months after the Oslo Accords made the PLO the governing party in the new Palestinian Authority. His endorsement also came after he and Ahmad participated in a secret meeting of Hamas supporters in Philadelphia called to discuss ways to derail the peace initiative.

The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel through terrorism and other violence. It also rejects out of hand any peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At a rally in New York six years later, Awad said “Our final destination is Palestine. They [the Jews] have been saying ‘next year to Jerusalem,’ we say ‘next year to all Palestine.’

Consistent with that is Omar Ahmad’s declaration during the Philadelphia meeting that the group’s goal had to be kept secret from Americans:

We’ve always demanded the 1948 territories,” he said.

“Yes,” replied an unidentified speaker. “But we don’t say that publicly. You cannot say that publicly, in front of the Americans.”

“No,” Ahmad agreed, “We didn’t say that to the Americans.”

As noted, Ahmad and Awad remain prominent voices in CAIR leadership. So kudos to CAIR for condemning violence and offensive statements by Al Qaeda. Stretch that moral stand to other terrorist groups and people might take notice.

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Pirates Hijack Ships & Auto Companies

November 20, 2008

“Pirates Hijack Saudi Supertanker”

Investors Business Daily – 19 Nov. 08

•    Put a Blackwater team on every ship. (Don)

toon111908Pirates who hijacked a Saudi supertanker now anchored it off Somalia’s coast, while the U.S. and other nations decided for now, not to intervene.  Filled with $100 mil in oil, it’s the largest merchant vessel ever seized.  Pirates took an Iranian Cargo ship Tue., the 7th vessel seized in 12 days.  Some shippers have said they’ll go round South Africa instead of via Egypt’s Suez Canal, citing piracy.

•    What they don’t tell you here – they have seized over 100 ships over the last two years. (Don)

Indian Frigate Sinks Pirate Ship

Investors Business Daily – 20 Nov. 08

The FIRST! – GOOD FOR INDIA! (Don)

The Indian warship INS Tabar sank a suspected pirate ship after a brief gunbattle in the Gulf of Aden, an area that has seen a surge in ship hijackings by Somalia-based gunmen.  Meanwhile, pirates succeeded in hijacking 2 more vessels in one of the world’s busiest shipping channels.  In the last week, pirates have captured 8 vessels, including a giant Saudi oil tanker.

Pulling Plug On GM Would Help Both Auto Industry And Michigan

IBD – John Tamny – 12 Nov. 08

Capital and jobs will continue to flee the state if GM is saved with the money of others.

Sectors reliant on government help are invariably weakened as opposed to strengthened.

Poorly run businesses find it hard to raise money.

Were GM a well-managed company, it would have no need to run to the federal government.

If there’s a defense of GM at this point, it has to do with dollar policy in this country that has made long-term planning very difficult. GM did relatively well when the dollar was strong due to lower gasoline prices that made its large vehicles very popular. But as GM presently seeks to create new, smaller models for a world allegedly running out of oil, a stronger dollar has driven down gasoline prices, which means its inventory might yet again not match future economic realities.

The complication there is that GM’s management has regularly advocated a weaker dollar, so the problem remains one of management clueless when it comes to understanding what makes the firm prosper.

In the end, the state of Michigan and the U.S. automobile sector are struggling not due to back luck, but precisely because they cling to a company that investors no longer value. And with GM shares near all-time lows, those with capital are stating loudly that so long as GM remains as is, the funds necessary for job creation will continue to flee.

So rather than waste precious capital in the naive hope of propping up that which investors don’t value, it’s essential to let GM fail. Only then will a necessary change of ownership occur;
toon112008

“GM, FORD BEG, WARN END IS NEAR” – IBD 19 Nov.08

Here’s why we say – let the auto companies file bankruptcy: (Don)

example: A Ford assembly line worker – works 2 weeks with 2 weeks off.  –
but paid for 4 weeks – for not working.  Engine plant near Ann Arbor.

“Job bank” – employees (8000) get paid $105,000/year – for years.

“a radio personality in Ann Arbor talks about a Ford worker paid to teach the Guitar to auto workers.”