The IPT Terror Alert

June 30, 2009


29 June 09

1. Obama’s ‘Outreach to Muslims’ Prompts Mass Koran Distribution
(Israel National News)
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), whose officials in the past have been convicted for being associated with Muslim terrorist groups, said it will announce at a news conference Tuesday that it is launching an “education campaign” and will distribute 100,000 copies of the Koran to local, state and national leaders. The books will provide an English translation and commentary. CAIR said the distribution is prompted by U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent speech in Cairo, in which he said he wants to reach out to Muslims throughout the world. He praised the Muslim community in the U.S, whose values he said incorporate tenets of Islam. President Obama, whose father was a Muslim, quoted the Koran four times in his speech in Cairo and used the word “violence” instead of “terror” in his reference to extremists.

2. Saudi Hate Film Draws (Private) State Department Fire (IPT News)
While President Obama praises the “long history” of U.S.-Saudi “friendship” and the “strategic relationship” between the two countries, some State Department officials are privately unhappy over a Saudi-produced film blaming “Zionist gangs” for the suffering of the Palestinians. The film is “The Olive Dream,” a soon-to-be-released Arabic-language movie produced by Saudi filmmaker Osama Khalifa. “The narrative of ‘the catastrophe of 1948’ and the resulting ‘Palestinian suffering’ has long served as an incubator for violence and anti-American sentiment,” an anonymous State Department official wrote in a June 16 “Counterterrorism Communication Alert” obtained by IPT News. “As the US government works to push the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward, a significant obstacle to winning Arab public opinion and achieving lasting a lasting peace is the current narrative of the conflict.”

3. Saudi Account of Khobar Bore Telltale Signs of Fraud
(IPS News)
In the last week of October 1996, the Saudi secret police, the Mabahith, gave David Williams, the FBI’s assistant special agent in charge of counter-terrorism issues, what they said were summaries of the confessions obtained from some 40 Shi’a detainees. The alleged confessions portrayed the bombing as the work of a cell of Saudi Hezbollah that had carried out surveillance of U.S. targets under the direction of an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer before hatching a plot to blow up the Khobar Towers facility. But the documents were curiously short of the kind of details that would have allowed U.S. investigators to verify key elements of the accounts. In fact, Saudi officials refused even to reveal the names of the detainees who were alleged to have made the confessions, identifying the suspects only by numbers one through six or seven, according to a former FBI official involved in the investigation. Justice Department lawyers argued that the confessions were completely unreliable, and unusable in court, because they had probably been extracted by torture. At Attorney General Janet Reno’s insistence, both Reno and FBI Director Louis Freeh said publicly in early 1997 that the Saudis had provided little more than “hearsay” evidence on the bombing.

4. Document links Saudi charity to Somalian arms
(Philadelphia Inquirer)
A Defense Department intelligence document on weapons trafficking in Somalia suggests a prominent Saudi government charity supplied arms and other aid to a Mogadishu warlord whose forces killed 18 U.S. soldiers in the notorious Black Hawk Down battle in 1993. The heavily redacted memo said that the Saudi High Commission, a Saudi government agency, had been a conduit for arms shipments to forces allied with Mohamed Farah Hassan Aideed, and that the arms had come from both Iraq and Sudan. Fighters allied with Aideed engaged in a fierce street battle on Oct. 3-4, 1993, with U.S. troops on a mission to capture top Aideed lieutenants believed to be blocking efforts to stabilize the country. The document was provided to The Inquirer by lawyers for plaintiffs in a huge lawsuit that alleges the government of Saudi Arabia bears responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks because, over a period of a decade or more, it financed Islamic charities that in turn helped fund al-Qaeda. The lawsuit alleges the Saudi government knew it was funding charities that supported terrorism. Saudi Arabia denies the allegation.

5. Is Obama Protecting the Saudis?
(The Daily Beast)

In a lawsuit by 9/11 families, new evidence has surfaced that Saudi Arabia funds terrorism worldwide—and paid two of the hijackersyet the Obama Justice Department wants these documents destroyed. Documents gathered by lawyers for the families of 9/11 victims reveal new evidence of extensive Saudi financial support for al Qaeda and other extremist Muslim groups. So reports today’s New York Times. But that evidence may never see the light of day because of legal and diplomatic hurdles. Anyone who follows the Saudi-American relationship shouldn’t be surprised. And anyone hoping for an end to the deference with which Saudis were treated under George W. Bush, has every right to be disappointed that Barack Obama apparently did not include the Saudis’ support of terror in his campaign promise of “change.”

6. Mystery of Fake U.S. Bonds Fuels Web Theories
(NY Times)
Ever since two middle-aged men with Japanese passports were caught in Italy this month trying to smuggle a purported $134.5 billion in United States government bearer bonds into Switzerland, the Internet has been abuzz with theories. Was the Japanese government, or some other creditor nation, secretly trying to dump Treasury bonds to drive down the value of the dollar? Had the Italian mafia stolen the equivalent of 1 percent of the American gross domestic product, using the paper, which supposedly was instantly convertible into cash, to run a giant scam? Adding spice was the whole Bond — James Bond — aspect of the tale. A crowded customs checkpoint near the Alps; two men traveling on a local train, professing that they had nothing to declare; and a false-bottom suitcase containing United States government bonds made out in stratospheric denominations. In all, the Italian financial police and customs guards confiscated 249 paper bonds, each supposedly worth $500 million, and 10 bonds with a face value of $1 billion each. Too bad the bonds were fake.

7. Banking on Allah: OIC & UK gov’t promoting Islamic finance in the UK

(Standpoint Magazine – UK)
Islamic banking is becoming increasingly accepted as a viable and fair alternative to the current “Western capitalist” banking system. European governments, including the UK’s, are embracing Islamic banking. Gordon Brown recently declared that it was his desire to make Britain the Islamic finance capital of Europe. A number of leading UK banks now offer sharia-compliant financial services and the Treasury is considering the implementation of the sukok, or sharia-compliant, bond. Such moves fail to recognise Islamic banking for what it is — a modern Islamist construct, designed as another wedge between Western Muslims and their societies. Since the recession, Islamic banking’s supporters have been seizing the opportunity to present it as not only a more moral option, but as an economically safer one. But there are three questions that need answering: How is Islamic banking different? Who are its biggest cheerleaders? Why are they pushing for it?

12. Convicted terrorist knew of plot: Hearing – Crown argues Saad Khalid was ‘active and enthusiastic’ (Toronto Sun)
A 22-year-old Mississauga man was an “active and enthusiastic participant” in a terror plot to bomb two buildings in downtown Toronto, court was told yesterday. Saad Khalid, who has pleaded guilty to one terrorism-related charge, had full knowledge of the plan, Crown prosecutor Croft Michaelson said in his final submissions on the first phase of the sentencing hearing. “He’s aware that this is a serious plot,” Michaelson argued. “It is clear, in my submission, that they intended to commit jihad in Canada.” Khalid is a member of the Toronto 18, a group of 14 men and 4 youths who were rounded up on June 2, 2006 and charged with numerous terrorist-related charges. Naming his co-accused is prohibited by a court-ordered publication ban.

13. Britain has 85 sharia courts: The astonishing spread of the Islamic justice behind closed doors
(The Daily Mail – UK)
At least 85 Islamic sharia courts are operating in Britain, a study claimed yesterday. The astonishing figure is 17 times higher than previously accepted. The tribunals, working mainly from mosques, settle financial and family disputes according to religious principles. They lay down judgments which can be given full legal status if approved in national law courts. However, they operate behind doors that are closed to independent observers and their decisions are likely to be unfair to women and backed by intimidation, a report by independent think-tank Civitas said. Commentators on the influence of sharia law often count only the five courts in London, Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham and Nuneaton that are run by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, a body whose rulings are enforced through the state courts under the 1996 Arbitration Act. But the study by academic and Islamic specialist Denis MacEoin estimates there are at least 85 working tribunals. The spread of sharia law has become increasingly controversial since its role was backed last year by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice who stepped down last October.

14. Netherlands: 51% of Muslims considering leaving
(Islam in Europe)
More than a third of Turkish and Moroccan Muslims (36%) in the Netherlands want to emigrate due to the increasing popularity of Geert Wilders. More than half (51%) are considering leaving more and more often. This according to a survey by actuality program NCRV Netwerk. Wilders’ PVV party triumphed in the recent EU elections. Netwerk wanted to know what influence this had on the feeling of belonging among Muslims. 76% still feel they belong in the Netherlands, but for a majority of 57% that feeling has decreased, according to the survey which will be shown this evening on the show. Three quarters of the Muslims think it would be a threat if the PVV would be part of the cabinet after the next elections. Strikingly, 90% expect that such a cabinet will be unsuccessful. Additionally, 75% have a feeling they’re judged more negatively than in the past. 40% says they’re more often discriminated. 24% says they’re regularly discriminated against in the Netherlands.

15. Turk kills daughter for not following the Islamic way
(Islam in Europe)
Turkish Döner kebab saler Mehmet Ö (45) from the south German town of Schweinfurt stabbed his fifteen year old daughter Büsra to death with a kitchen knife because she refused to follow the “Islamic way”, German police told German newspaper Bild. The attack occurred Wednesday morning. Mehmet stabbed his daughter several times while she slept. About 3:30 AM Büsra’s grandparents called emergency services. Before the police arrived, the gravely injured girl bled to death. Ö. meanwhile fled. The police knew to arrest the Turk quickly. He immediately confessed to the crime. He said his motive was that he wanted to end the fight with his ‘rebellious’ daughter. “She had to die because she refused to follow his Islamic way,” according to a police spokesperson.

16. Radical Islamic activist a national of Uzbekistan arrested in Perm – FSB
Officers of the Perm regional branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) have traced in the city of Perm an emissary of a terrorist organisation entitled “Islamic jihad group” – Atabek Tukhtamuradov, a national of Uzbekistan, a representative of the press service of the FSB regional department told Itar-Tass on Friday. According to his information, members of the organization, including Tukhtamuradov, “enlisted people to it to be trained in specialized military mujaheed camps on the territory of Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries for fulfilling criminal missions, for instance the training of saboteur terrorists.” The FSB regional branch obtained information that the investigating department of the National Security Service of Uzbekistan instituted criminal proceedings against Tukhtamuradov early in 2009 under the articles of the Uzbek Criminal Code dealing with terrorism, the kindling of inter-ethnic and religious strife, an attempt to undermine the constitutional system, the organization of a criminal group and smuggling. Crimes under those articles may be punished by prison terms of up to 15 years.

17. Pakistan: Taliban attack signals change of tactic
Pakistani Taliban leader Gul Bahadur, once an arch rival of Baitullah Mehsud, apparently shelved a ceasefire agreement with security forces when he and his militants attacked a military convoy killing two officers and 12 soldiers at the weekend. Militants claimed to have killed 60 personnel in the attack carried out in Miran Shah area of North Waziristan. “There was no reason for the attack. The military was not conducting any operation so there was no reason for such an attack,” said Major General Athar Abbas, spokesperson for the Pakistan Army at a media conference late on Monday in Islamabad. Pakistani minister information Qamaruzaman Kaira was also present and explained the government policies. He denied that there was a military operation in either North or South Waziristan to rival what the military was doing in the northwestern Swat valley.

18. In Iran Turmoil, U.S. Sees Chance to Gain Sway in Mideast
(Wall Street Journal)
The Obama administration and its Middle East allies are looking to capitalize on Iran’s political crisis to reverse strategic gains Tehran has made across the region, said U.S. and Arab officials. A principal early test case for that evolving U.S. strategy will be Syria, which plays a critical role in helping Tehran arm and fund militant groups Hamas in the Palestinian territories and Hezbollah in Lebanon. U.S. strategists are assessing whether Iran’s inner turmoil will force its clerical leaders to rein in support for those organizations and focus instead on quelling domestic dissent. Or, as some U.S. strategists fear, whether Iran’s leaders, feeling weakened at home, will seek to expand Iran’s overseas operations in order to appear strong. President Barack Obama has long stated his desire to woo Syrian President Bashar Assad away from his military and economic alliance with Iran. That could help stabilize Lebanon and advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, two leading sources of conflict in the region.

19. Lebanese army issues warning after Beirut
clash (Reuters)
The Lebanese army said on Sunday it would open fire on any armed person appearing on the streets, after a brief clash between supporters of rival political factions in western Beirut killed one person. Gunfire erupted in the Aicha Bakkar area when Sunni Muslim followers of anti-Syrian Saad al-Hariri’s Future movement clashed with supporters of the pro-Syrian Amal Movement, which is led by Shi’ite parliament speaker Nabih Berri. Security sources said one woman was killed, and two people were wounded. “This is an isolated incident between the groups’ supporters on the back of the elections in Lebanon. The groups’ leadership have nothing to do with it,” a security source told Reuters. Earlier this month, the U.S.-backed “March 14” coalition led by Hariri defeated Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies, including Amal, in a parliamentary election.

20. Israel to swap West Bank outpost for new units
(Washington Post)
Israel has approved 50 new houses in a West Bank settlement just as Israel’s defense minister left Monday for Washington to try to defuse growing tension with the Obama administration over such construction. The U.S. wants settlement construction to stop completely to help revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but Defense Minister Ehud Barak hopes to work out a compromise. Barak aide Eitan Broshi told Army Radio Monday that approval has been given to build 50 houses in the settlement of Adam for settlers from an outpost called Migron, which will be removed. Migron was built without approval on private Palestinian land. Israel has said it is committed to removing two dozen similar outposts.

21. IDF opens fire at terrorists near Karni crossing
An IDF force operating near the Gaza Strip Monday afternoon opened fire at Palestinian terrorists planting an explosive devise near the Karni border crossing. No injuries were reported among the soldiers. Shortly before the incident a mortar was fired from northern Gaza towards the western Negev. The shell exploded near the security fence separating Israel and the Hamas-rule territory, but caused no injury or damage. Despite the relative calm in the South, Palestinian terror groups in Gaza have continued to target IDF forces

The IPT accepts no funding from outside the United States, or from any governmental agency or political or religious institutions. Your support of The Investigative Project on Terrorism is critical in winning a battle we cannot afford to lose. All donations are tax-deductible. Click here to donate online. The Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation is a recognized 501(c)3 organization.

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