2008 Threat Season Heats Up
August 27, 2008
Terrorism Intelligence Report
By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart
Summer has arrived, bringing with it rumors of attacks against the U.S. homeland. Currently, we are hearing unconfirmed word of plans in place for jihadists to be dispatched from Pakistan to conduct coordinated suicide attacks against soft targets in as many as 10 U.S. cities.
This year, the rumors seem to be emerging a little later and with a little less fanfare than last year, when we saw a number of highly publicized warnings, such as that from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and a National Intelligence Estimate saying al Qaeda was gaining strength. Last year also brought warnings from a former Israeli counterterrorism official that al Qaeda was planning a simultaneous attack against five to seven American cities, and of a dirty bomb attack against New York.
Biden’s Ties to Pro-Iran Groups Questioned
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
Sen. Barack Obama and his newly-picked running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, may have sparred during the primaries. But on one issue they are firmly united: the need to forge closer ties to the government of Iran.
Kaveh Mohseni, a spokesman for the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran, calls Biden “a great friend of the mullahs.”
He notes that Biden’s election campaigns “have been financed by Islamic charities of the Iranian regime based in California and by the Silicon Iran network,” a loosely-knit group of wealthy Iranian-American businessmen and women seeking to end the U.S. trade embargo on Iran.
“In exchange, the senator does his best to aid the mullahs,” Mohseni argues.
Biden’s ties to pro-Tehran lobbying groups are no secret. But so far, the elite media has avoided even mentioning the subject.
August 27, 2008
Terrorism Financing Is Still Big Business Even If Terrorist Attacks Sometimes Are Carried Out on the Cheap
By Victor Comras
There is a common misperception that terrorism can be carried out on the cheap and that small terrorist cells simply raise their funds locally making it extremely difficult to detect. This seems to be the thesis of a number of recent articles, including one a few days ago in the Washington Post. They maintain that terrorist groups simply avoid bank transactions, making current financial controls inutile. Nothing could be further from the truth! Terrorism financing is still big business, and the sophisticated money laundering and counter-terrorism financing oversight and regulatory mechanisms we have in place remain essential tools in combating terrorism. In fact, they are among our most useful tools in identifying the sources of terrorist funding and holding them accountable, and for tracking down the terrorist cells themselves. We need to intensify these measures and have them replicated in Europe and internationally in order to place similar restraints on terrorist funding sources overseas.
CTC Sentinel, Vol 1 No. 9
Jama`at al-Fuqara': A Domestic Terrorist Threat to the United States?
By Christopher Heffelfinger
Organized on communal compounds in the United States and Canada, surprisingly little is known about Jama`at al-Fuqara' (Community of the Impoverished)1 and its current operations. The secretive organization-it publicly operates under the name Muslims of the Americas (MOA)-has been known to law enforcement since the 1980s for dozens of violent and white collar crimes in North America. It has been described by prosecutors as advocating "the purification of the Islamic religion by means of force and violence." Yet, the group's nature and organization as a terrorist entity seems as unclear today as at any point in its history.
The current Jama`at al-Fuqara' is obscured by a vague public ideology, careful to avoid any reference to Islamist ambitions or armed struggle. MOA and its subsidiary, the International Qur'anic Open University (IQOU),2 carries out a number of public events and hosts videos and news of its activities online.3 Its Pakistan-based leader, Shaykh Mubarak Ali Gilani, and other U.S.-based leaders have done much to present a devout but always law abiding image, even organizing a Muslims Scouts wing for boys that helps the needy in their various communities. Fears persist, however, due to the group's origins as al-Fuqara', and whether the militancy present at some of its compounds could turn anti-American.