In a hugely important development—largely ignored by the mainstream media—a federal judge has ruled that a New York Police Department (NYPD) surveillance program to thwart terrorism was lawful and did not violate Muslim civil rights.
A coalition of Muslims, including businesses, mosques and individuals, sued the city of New York over a once-secret surveillance operation conducted by the NYPD’s intelligence unit to identify “budding terrorist conspiracies.” The program included sending undercover officers to New Jersey mosques, restaurants and schools. It was an undercover operation until a national newswire published confidential police documents without permission from authorities.
The Muslim plaintiffs claimed in their 2012 complaint that the program was unconstitutional because it focused on religion, national origin and race. “By targeting Muslim entities and individuals in New Jersey for investigation solely because they are Muslim or believed to be Muslim the program casts an unwarranted shadow of suspicion and stigma on plaintiffs and, indeed, all New Jersey Muslims,” the lawsuit states. It further alleges that the Muslims have “suffered from the stigmatization” of being singled out for surveillance based on their religious beliefs, which in turn will invite “additional prejudice and discrimination” against all Muslims.
A federal judge in Newark, William Martini, blasted the argument and dismissed the outrageous lawsuit against the city a few days ago. The Muslims weren’t targeted solely because of their religion, Judge Martini found, writing in his decision that “the more likely explanation for the surveillance was to locate budding terrorist conspiracies.” He added that “the police could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself. . . The motive for the program was not solely to discriminate against Muslims, but to find Muslim terrorists hiding among the ordinary, law-abiding Muslims.”
The judge points the finger at the news organization that exposed the secret operation by using confidential NYPD files. “Nowhere in the complaint do the plaintiffs allege that they suffered harm prior to the unauthorized release of documents by The Associated Press,” Judge Martini, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote. “This confirms that plaintiffs’ alleged injuries flow from The Associated Press’ unauthorized disclosure of the documents. . . . The Associated Press covertly obtained the materials and published them without authorization. Thus the injury, if any existed, is not fairly traceable to the city [of New York].”
The leftist civil rights group that represented the Muslims lambasted the ruling, asserting in a statement that it gives legal sanction to the targeted discrimination of Muslims everywhere. “The ruling is a modern day version of the discredited Korematsu decision allowing the wholesale internment of Japanese Americans based solely on their ancestry. It is a troubling and dangerous decision,” the group further said in its statement.
In a shocking revelation made by a veteran U.S. counterterrorism expert, Hezbollah has infiltrated the Southwest United States by joining forces with Mexican drug cartels that have long operated in the region.
Judicial Watch has for years reported on the chilling connection between Islamic extremists and Mexican drug cartels. In fact, as far back as 2007 JW wrote about an astounding Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) report that lays out how Islamic terrorists and Mexican drug gangs have teamed up to successfully penetrate the U.S. as well as finance terror networks in the Middle East
In Hezbollah’s case, a growing “business relationship” with cartels has allowed the Shia Islamic militant group to have a growing presence in the U.S., says Matthew Levitt, an esteemed terrorism expert with an impressive resume. Levitt is a former counterterrorism intelligence analyst at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and State Department counterterrorism adviser. He also served as the No. 2 intelligence official at the U.S. Treasury where he operated the agency’s terrorism and financial intelligence branch.
Levitt offers details of this mind-boggling collaboration between two powerful criminal enterprises in a new book titled: “Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God.” A nonprofit dedicated to exposing the dangers of Islamic extremism, the Clarion Project, profiled the book in a recent article titled “Growing Hezbollah Presence in Southwest U.S.”
Hezbollah’s business relationship with Mexican drug cartels is a driving force behind this phenomenon, according to the analysis that quotes alarming excerpts from the book. For instance in 2009, a former Chief of Operations for the DEA said that Hezbollah uses “the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels.”
A year later a man (Jamal Yousef) arrested in New York admitted stealing weapons from Iraq for Hezbollah and told authorities of a Hezbollah stockpile in Mexico that included 100 M-16 assault rifles, 100 AR-15 rifles, 2500 hand grenades, C4 explosives and anti-tank weapons. That same year a Hezbollah terrorist was captured in Tijuana and a senior Mexican military officer confirmed the group was conducting explosives training for members of Mexican drug cartels.
In the U.S., law enforcement officials across the nation’s Southwest region report a rise in imprisoned gang members with Farsi tattoos that experts say express loyalty to Hezbollah, the book analysis reveals. One U.S. law enforcement official is quoted as saying this: “You could almost pick your city and you would probably have a [Hezbollah] presence.”
This is not surprising considering that for years a number of reports have exposed the connection between Mexico and Middle Eastern terrorists. In 2010 a veteran federal agent in the U.S. immigration system exposed a government cover-up of Middle Eastern terrorists entering the country through Mexico. The 30-year agent confirmed that thousands of SIAs (Special Interest Aliens) from terrorist nations like Yemen, Iran, Sudan and Afghanistan—classified as OTM (Other Than Mexican)—were captured along the southern border.
In 2011 a frightening exposé broadcast by the world’s largest Spanish news network documented how Middle Eastern terrorists have infiltrated Latin American countries—especially Mexico—to plan an attack against the United States. The documentary uses undercover videos taken during a seven-month investigation that prove diplomats from Iran, Venezuela and Cuba planned a cybernetic attack against the White House, FBI, Pentagon and U.S. nuclear plants.
The United States disregarded advanced warning of a 2000 Al Qaeda plot to hijack a commercial airliner because “nobody believed that Usama bin Laden’s organization or the Taliban could carry out such an operation,” according to intelligence documents obtained by Judicial Watch.
It took the government 11 years to furnish the records, requested in May 2002 as part of JW’s Terrorism Research and Analysis Project, and they are just as alarming today as they would have been a decade ago. The documents, from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reveal that Al Qaeda had a sophisticated plan to hijack a commercial airliner departing Frankfurt International Airport between March and August 2000. The hijack team was to consist of an Arab, a Pakistani and a Chechen and their targets were U.S. airlines, Lufthansa and Air France.
The intelligence report is remarkably rich in operational details and includes the names, addresses, telephone numbers, operatives’ assignments and duties. It pieces together an intricate plot directed by a 40-year-old Saudi (Sheik Dzabir) from a prominent family with ties to the House of Saud. Al Qaeda actually penetrated the consular section of the German Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, relying on a contact referred to in the intelligence report as “Mrs. Wagner” to provide European Union (EU) visas for use in forged Pakistani passports for the terrorists.
Al Qaeda, the Taliban and Chechen Islamist militants all had substantial operating and support bases in Hamburg and Frankfurt, Germany, according to the data, which also identifies an Al Qaeda passport forger in Hamburg using name, address and telephone numbers. The Taliban Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs conducted meetings in Frankfurt for Taliban and other Afghan terrorists and support personnel during January and February 2000, the U.S. intelligence files reveal.
The records also show documented operational coordination and cooperation between Al Qaeda and Chechen militants. This includes the existence of a secure, reliable terrorist-sponsored route to Chechnya from Pakistan and Afghanistan through Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Chechen withdrawal from the plot delayed the operation, the intelligence report says. It also documents evidence of an extensive Al Qaeda terror and support network in Germany as well as deep ties between Al Qaeda and Chechens.
Information about the plot came from an unidentified human intelligence source that provided U.S. authorities with copies of Arabic letters containing details of the Al Qaeda plot. For years the subject report was classified “SECRET” until it finally got declassified and released to JW on August 22, 2013. JW continues gathering information on Al Qaeda activities and U.S. investigations leading to the 9/11 hijackings as well as other terrorist attacks.
In fact, a separate classified intelligence report obtained by JW in 2005 suddenly became relevant this year when “radicalized” Chechen brothers detonated bombs at the Boston Marathon. That document includes shocking details of Al Qaeda’s operations in Chechnya and the tactics employed by Chechen terrorists, including cell phone detonation of backpack bombs like in Boston. It also contains information about Al Qaeda’s activities in Chechnya, including the creation of a 1995 camp—ordered by Osama bin Laden—to train “international terrorists” to carry out plots against Americans and westerners.
The Al Qaeda affiliate that terrorized a Kenyan shopping center and murdered scores of innocent people has a powerful and influential advocate in the United States, the Muslim “civil rights” group known as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
It’s unlikely that the mainstream media will mention the connection, but it’s deep and it involves interfering in federal probes involving the radicalization of young Somali men in the U.S., like the ones carrying out the attack at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Northern Nairobi. CAIR has also wielded its power to silence critics of the Al Qaeda offshoot—Somalia’s Al Shabaab—that stormed into the mall, murdered at least 68 and took dozens of hostages.
Several of the jihadists involved in the attack are Somalis from Minnesota, according to a mainstream news report. They include 22-year-old Ahmed Mohamed Isse of St. Paul and 24-year-old Abdifatah Osman Keenadiid of Minneapolis. In the last few years the FBI and Congress have launched probes into the radicalization of the Somali American community in Minnesota. Al Shabaab recruits young men in local mosques and ships them off to train and fight in Somalia.
CAIR, an Islamic terrorist front group that reportedly raises money for Hamas, has interfered with the U.S. government’s investigation into this operation. A few years ago it actually hampered an FBI probe into the disappearance of dozens of Twin Cities Somali men. Many in the local Somali community denounced CAIR’s actions, saying that the group was actually discouraging them from cooperating with the FBI.
During congressional testimony, the uncle of one of the missing men—recruited and radicalized by Al Shabaab—blasted CAIR for instructing the Somali American community not to cooperate with law enforcement and standing blindly behind the mosque that radicalized his nephew. “CAIR held meetings for some members of the community and told them not to talk to the FBI, which was a slap in the face for the Somali American Muslim mothers who were knocking on doors day and night with pictures of their missing children and asking for the community to talk to law enforcement about what they know of the missing kids,” Abdirizak Bihi told the House Committee on Homeland Security.
CAIR has also tried to silence critics of Al Shabaab in parts of Minnesota that have been impacted by the Al Qaeda affiliate. A few years ago CAIR blasted two Minneapolis Muslim activists for participating in a seminar (“Al Shabaab: An Islamic Extremist Terrorism Organization”) about the Islamic terrorist group in Somalia. Among other things CAIR said the seminar failed to distinguish between Islam and terrorism and that it offered inaccurate and biased information about Muslims and Somalis.
During the Obama administration we’ve seen CAIR gain tremendous power and influence, which is incredibly alarming considering the group has extensive links to foreign and domestic Islamists. It was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, known then as the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2008 CAIR was a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group Holy Land Foundation. Read more in a Judicial Watch special report that focuses on Muslim charities.
Yet last year President Obama’s deputies held hundreds of closed-door meetings with CAIR officials. Little information was discussed publicly about the secret sessions, but the news organization that broke the story quoted a White House director saying that government departments and agencies discussed a “range of issues.”
Around the same time, the FBI purged its anti-terrorism training curricula of material determined to be “offensive” to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered this scandal and obtained the FBI records just a few weeks ago. CAIR is not specifically named but the records show that an undisclosed group of “Subject Matter Experts” (SME) determined the federal training material was offensive to Muslims. Just last month, several police departments in Illinois cancelled their anti-terrorism training because CAIR complained that the instructor was blatantly anti-Muslim.
Several police departments in Illinois have cancelled their anti-terrorism training because an Islamic terrorist front group complained that the instructor is blatantly anti-Muslim.
It’s yet another one of those only in America stories! The Islamic group that reportedly raises money for Hamas, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), snapped its fingers and U.S. law enforcement agencies rolled over! It all started with anti-terrorism training for local police in Lombard, a small town located about 20 miles west of Chicago.
CAIR, which promotes itself as the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy organization, complained that the instructor (Sam Kharoba, who runs a Florida-based business called Counter Terrorism Operations Center) teaches extremist views about Islam that are inaccurate and biased. His training materials are full of inaccuracies, sweeping generalizations and stereotypes, according to CAIR.
As an example CAIR offered this; a 2011 article written by Kharoba that makes disparaging comments about the Prophet Muhammad and says that “anyone who says that Islam is a religion of peace is either ignorant or flat out lying.” Counterterrorism is much too important to be confounded with anti-Islam dribble, says CAIR’s Chicago director Ahmed Rehab.
Like a good lapdog the Lombard Police Department quickly cancelled its training and pulled officers out of the course, called “Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy.” Other police departments in Illinois, including Elmhurst and Highland Park, that were scheduled to take the course also caved in and cancelled the trainings. CAIR celebrated with a statement commending officials for their “swift action in addressing the Muslim community’s concerns.”
Keep in mind that CAIR is a terrorist front group with extensive links to foreign and domestic Islamists. It was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, known then as the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2008 CAIR was a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group Holy Land Foundation. Read more in a Judicial Watch special report that focuses on Muslim charities.
Incredibly, the Obama administration is tight with CAIR. In fact, last year the president’s deputies held hundreds of closed-door meetings with CAIR officials. Little information was discussed publicly about the secret sessions, but the news organization that broke the story quoted a White House director saying that government departments and agencies discussed a “range of issues.”
Coincidentally, around the same time, the FBI purged its anti-terrorism training curricula of material determined to be “offensive” to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered this scandal and obtained the FBI records just a few weeks ago. CAIR is not specifically named but the records show that an undisclosed group of “Subject Matter Experts” (SME) determined the federal training material was offensive to Muslims.
JW had to sue the FBI and Obama Justice Department for the records, which include hundreds of pages of FBI memos and documents. The excised material includes references linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, tying al Qaeda to the 1993 World Trade Center and Khobar Towers bombings, and suggesting that “young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance … may fit the terrorist profile best.”
In a story largely ignored by the mainstream media, a south Florida imam has been convicted on multiple terrorism charges for financially supporting an al-Qaeda branch in his native Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.
Judicial Watch was on the ground in Miami federal court monitoring the trial, which lasted two months and received only sporadic coverage from local media despite the magnitude of the crimes. The defendant, Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, is a Pakistani national with U.S. citizenship who served as the Muslim leader of the Flagler Mosque in Miami.
Last summer the feds charged the imam and several members of his family with providing material support to the Pakistani Taliban, which is associated with Al-Qaeda and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against American interests, including a 2009 suicide bombing at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan. Read the indictment.
Khan founded an Islamic school that supports the Taliban’s jihad while living in Pakistan and continued controlling and funding it as an imam in Miami, according to the indictment. He used the school to provide shelter and support for Taliban soldiers and to train children how to kill Americans in Afghanistan, the indictment says. The rest of the family helped create a network that flowed money from the U.S. to Pakistan to purchase guns for the Taliban, according to the feds.
Khan, who is 77, took the stand in his own defense. He appeared quite animated and confident during his four days of testimony, but was visibly dejected after the verdict was read. He faces up to 15 years in prison. The 12 jurors who convicted him deliberated for a week and refused to comment after delivering the verdict.
“Despite being an Imam, or spiritual leader, Hafiz Khan was by no means a man of peace,” said the area’s top federal prosecutor, Wilfredo Ferrer, in a statement. “Instead, he acted with others to support terrorists to further acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming. But for law enforcement intervention, these defendants would have continued to transfer funds to Pakistan to finance the Pakistani Taliban, including its purchase of guns.”
Not surprisingly, the statement fails to address why the Department of Justice (DOJ) abruptly dropped terrorism charges against Khan’s 39-year-old son (Irfan Khan) last summer nearly a year after arresting him. A DOJ spokeswoman delivered this statement to the local south Florida newspaper covering the story: “We are unable to comment on the internal deliberations that led to our decision. However, the charges against his co-defendants remain in place and trial is pending for those defendants in U.S. custody.” Federal prosecutors have also failed to explain the status of three other defendants in this case, all fugitives believed to be in Pakistan.
The national media lost interest in this story after widespread coverage of how the FBI raided the Khan mosque in a manner that assured cultural sensitivity towards Islam. Federal agents actually waited for prayer service to end before moving in out of respect for Muslims and they took their shoes off prior to entering the mosque as per Islamic tradition. It made for “kindlier, gentler arrests,” under the Obama Administration’s new rules of engagement to assure more sensitivity toward religious practices.
Islamic terrorists—including two al Qaeda affiliates indicted last year in Kentucky—have entered the United States legally through a resettlement program that helps tens of thousands of “the world’s most vulnerable refugees” start a new life in America each year.
Known as the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), it’s a joint venture between the State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Homeland Security agency that oversees the nation’s lawful immigration. The two agencies are responsible for deciding which refugees are granted USRAP resettlement consideration. USCIS is hands on and conducts individual, in-person interviews with applicants to determine if they meet the refugee criteria.
Most of the refugee referrals are made by the notoriously corrupt United Nations, which has published an extensive handbook on the subject. In a nutshell here is the criteria; a refugee must have a well-founded fear of persecution based on at least one of the following—religion, political opinion, race or nationality. This means there is a continued need for protection and candidates should be granted permanent residence status with access to rights similar to those enjoyed by nationals, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) guide.
In fiscal year 2011 Uncle Sam generously offered 56,424 persecuted foreigners refuge and in fiscal year 2012 the number increased to 58,236, according Barbara Strack, the Refugee Affairs Division Chief at USCIS. This week Strack testified at a congressional hearing, “Terrorist Exploitation of Refugee Programs,” that addressed the serious security vulnerabilities in her division. She told the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “has been working closely with interagency partners to improve, refine, and streamline the security vetting regime for refugee applicants and for other immigration categories.”
Last May two Iraqi nationals who were given refugee status under USRAP were arrested and federally indicted for plotting to send weapons and money to al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) as well as conspiracy to kill U.S. national abroad. The men, Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, lived in Kentucky and have pleaded guilty to the charges, which are outlined in this FBI document. They are scheduled to be sentenced early next year.
At this week’s hearing, the congressman who chairs the counterterrorism and intelligence committee revealed that the Kentucky case is not a fluke and that the “threat posed by refugees with ties to al Qaeda is much broader than was previously believed.” He reiterated the testimony of FBI Director Robert Mueller before a House Intelligence Committee last year, in which the FBI chief admitted ongoing concerns about individuals who may have been resettled here in the United States that have some association with al Qaeda in Iraq.
USRAP, which has helped relocate millions of refugees over the decades, has come under fire in recent years because it’s gotten too big and security measures are lax. A report released last year by a nonprofit that researches immigration matters says this is because the U.S. has lost control of the program, instead surrendering to U.N. policies to determine who’s admitted and because meaningful background checks are difficult to obtain for refugees admitted from countries without reliable government records.
As a result the program is a bloated disaster, admitting nearly three times the number of refugees as the rest of the developed world combined, the probe found. Additionally, the investigation found that “common criminals, war criminals, international fugitives, and terrorists have all used the USRAP and its related asylum provisions for entry into the United States.” Here is another interesting tidbit: “Bribery of U.N. officials is commonly reported among those attempting to secure refugee admission to the United States.”
The Obama Administration has granted officials from a country that appears on the State Department’s list of terrorism-sponsoring nations visas to attend an AIDS conference in Washington D.C. this week.
It’s part of the administration’s effort to combat the deadly, sexually-transmitted disease on a global level and especially in minority communities because they have been hit the hardest. But was it really necessary to include officials from Cuba, a communist nation that is a notorious human and civil rights violator? That’s in addition to a decades-long run on the U.S. government’s list of nation’s that sponsor terrorism.
Ironically, in Cuba the government involuntarily isolates AIDS patients in special sanatorium prisons. In the U.S. that would be considered an unacceptable violation of a person’s civil rights. Cuba’s controversial handling of the disease has gained worldwide attention in a number of media and academic reports. Even the nation’s largest mainstream newspaper, known for publishing favorable articles about the island prison, says Cuba’s success in limiting AIDS stems partly from “harsh early tactics.”
A California congresswoman who pushed for the Cuban visas, Oakland Democrat Barbara Lee, hosted the island’s delegation at a Capitol Hill event related to the International AIDS Conference. A D.C.-area group that promotes human rights in Cuba disclosed the names of the Communist officials being courted by Lee, who has worked in Congress to lift the Cuban embargo. They include Dr. Lorenzo Jorge Perez Avila, director of the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute, Luis Estruch Rancaño, Deputy Minister of Public Health and Maria Isela Lantero, Director of Cuba’s AIDS Programs.
The nonprofit, Cuba Democracy Advocates, reminds that in May the Obama Administration granted U.S. visas to Cuban Dictator Raul Castro’s daughter, Mariela, and 60 other regime officials to attend a conference in San Francisco. It’s very likely that Lee, who represents the area in the U.S. House, was behind that as well. The executive director of Cuba Democracy Advocates asks: “How would Barbara Lee like it if everyone in her Oakland district suffering from HIV/AIDS was involuntarily imprisoned?”
Lee, a prominent member of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus, is a huge admirer of ailing Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul. During a 2009 trip to the island, Lee praised Fidel and said spending time with him was “quite a moment to behold.” Ironically, during the love fest one of Cuba’s best known political prisoners, a black doctor named Oscar Elias Biscet, was serving more than 20 years in a deplorable prison simply because he stood up for human rights by following the peaceful resistance of Martin Luther King Jr.
Also of interesting note is that the country of about 11 million people has a majority black population yet it is ruled by an overwhelmingly white government that openly discriminates against black and mixed-race Cubans. The regime has publicly announced that it does not believe in civil rights.
In 2003, when three black young men tried to hijack a Havana ferry to the U.S., Castro executed them by firing squad even though no one got hurt in the incident. The idea was to send a message to the island’s black majority so, hours after a swift and secret trial, the men were murdered for what the Cuban government called “very grave acts of terrorism.”