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Friday, January 26, 2007

So…terror front groups should have access to state secrets?

by Glib Fortuna.

I decided to break out part of my post from minutes ago because I think it is important as a stand-alone. Adam Liptak from the New York Times mentions this case in Oregon without acknowledging a miiiiiinor detail that would lend a very different perspective.

NYT: Secrecy Is at Issue in Suits Opposing Spy Program

At least one case, the one in Oregon, is probably not moot.

It goes beyond the other cases in seeking damages from the government, because the plaintiffs say they have seen proof that they were wiretapped without a warrant.

In August 2004, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which was investigating an Oregon charity, al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, inadvertently provided a copy of a classified document to a foundation lawyer, Lynne Bernabei.

That document indicated, according to court filings, that the government monitored communications between officers of the charity and two of its lawyers without a warrant in spring 2004.

“If I gave you this document today and you put it on the front page of The New York Times, it would not threaten national security,” Mr. Eisenberg, a lawyer for the foundation, said. “There is only one thing about it that’s explosive, and that’s the fact that our clients were wiretapped.”

Here we go again talking about “wiretapping” when that is not what this really is. As far as I know, no one has randomly hooked up listening devices to any phones and no one’s conversations are being monitored for no reason. What the electronic surveillance does is flag international calls that come from sources associated with terror activities.

As it turns out, the “charity” in question, al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, has been, you guessed it, identified as a fund funnel for terror groups, including having a direct link to OBL! Would have been nice for Adam Lipsmack to mention that:

US Teasury Dept. Office of Public Affairs (September 9, 2004): U.S.-Based Branch of Al Haramain Foundation Linked to Terror, Treasury Designates U.S. Branch, Director

“We continue to use all relevant powers of the U.S. government to pursue and identify the channels of terrorist financing, such as corrupted charities, at home and abroad. Al Haramain has been used around the world to underwrite terror, therefore we have taken this action to excommunicate these two branches and Suliman Al-Buthe from the worldwide financial community,” said Stuart Levey, Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

The assets of the U.S. AHF branch, which is headquartered in Oregon, were blocked pending investigation on February 19, 2004. On the previous day, a federal search warrant was executed against all property purchased on behalf of the U.S. AHF branch. The investigation involved agents from the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The U.S.-based branch of AHF was formally established in 1997. Documents naming Al-Buthe as the organization’s attorney and providing him with broad legal authority were signed by Aqeel Abdul Aziz Al-Aqil, the former director of AFH. Aqil has been designated by the United States and the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee because of AHF’s support for al Qaida while under his oversight.

The investigation shows direct links between the U.S. branch and Usama bin Laden. In addition, the affidavit alleges the U.S. branch of AHF criminally violated tax laws and engaged in other money laundering offenses. Information shows that individuals associated with the branch tried to conceal the movement of funds intended for Chechnya by omitting them from tax returns and mischaracterizing their use, which they claimed was for the purchase of a prayer house in Springfield, Missouri.

Other information available to the U.S. shows that funds that were donated to AHF with the intention of supporting Chechen refugees were diverted to support mujahideen, as well as Chechen leaders affiliated with the al Qaida network.

AHF has operations throughout the Union of the Comoros, and information shows that two associates of AHF Comoros are linked to al Qaida. According to the transcript from U.S. v. Bin Laden, the Union of the Comoros was used as a staging area and exfiltration route for the perpetrators of the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The AHF branches in Kenya and Tanzania have been previously designated for providing financial and other operational support to these terrorist attacks.

The only thing “explosive” about the apparent fact that this group has an eye on it is what we are trying to avoid having happen — a real “explosive” event. Now is the government really obligated to provide an open door to all of our nation’s secrets to terrorist fronts? These goons actually expected not to be under the Eye in the Sky? The next obvious question is how this group is even permitted to continue its existence within our borders.

If one thing is certain in the world today it’s that the ACLU and its allies in the Fossil Media will continue its relentless War on the War on Terror, even if it means actively supporting terrorist front groups or at least ignoring their terror connections.

This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please email Jay at Jay@stoptheaclu.com or Gribbit at GribbitR@gmail.com. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll. Over 200 blogs already on-board.

Crossposted from Stop the ACLU


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