Saturday, June 04, 2005

As Usual, It's All About The Money

In the terrifying hours after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush grounded all airplanes. We don't know how effective that measure was, but the general feeling has been that such a drastic step was a smart move, despite the economic impact.

President Bush also committed to severing the financial lifelines which help terrorists to further their mayhem. But today in the Washington Post, Victor Comras, an attorney and consultant on terrorism financing, cautions that our intelligence is not doing enough. :

"Since Sept. 11, 2001, the United States and several other countries have touted their success in identifying terrorist cells and cutting off terrorism financing. The Bush administration regularly asserts that al Qaeda is financially weakened and forced to cut expenditures. There is now reason to question these assumptions. The pace of terrorist recruitment and activities appears to be accelerating, not decreasing, and the number of terrorist attacks continues to grow. And evidence is mounting that large sums are still being raised and transferred to al Qaeda terrorists, including the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the fight against terrorism has benefited from increased intelligence, this effort has not been enough to cut off al Qaeda's financing or to put its financial supporters out of business....Several large Islamic charities, despite their designation by the United States and the United Nations as sources of terrorism funding, also continue in operation. The Saudi government pledged to close the al Haramain Islamic Foundation and its branches around the world, and to more closely monitor the outward flow of charitable funds, but there are few indications that it has actually done so. Al Haramain branches remain operational in several countries, while other branches have merely changed their names....It's time for the United States and all countries committed to winning the war on terrorism to tighten the slack on terrorism financing. We must insist that all identified terrorist financiers be put out of business. Only by making the penalties for terrorism financing clear and severe will other well-heeled supporters of terrorist groups be persuaded to stop funding them. We must also hold those responsible for administering charitable funds to the highest standards of accountability. There can be no impunity for permitting charitable funds to flow into the hands of terrorists...."

Following through on cutting off the financial head of this snake is a burden on the banking system. But not taking the essential steps will exact a worse price--a much worse price.

The United States can determine exactly which countries are her true allies by examining each country's commitment to tracking terrorism-funding operations. Let's start by checking out the banking practices of Saudi Arabia, both in the Middle East and here in the United States. And because it is easy to launder money through charity organizations, they should be first on the to-be-checked list.


At 6/04/2005 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I expect our President to be true to his word. If "they" are not with us, then "they" are against us. Perhaps there is some grande picture that I'm not privvy to, but it seems to me as if our President is much too cozy with the Saudi royal family, and I wonder if Mr. Bush knows, or even cares, that the Saudis are NOT our friends. They are funding the madrassa's (did I spell that right) who are preparing the next generation of terrorist killers. How is that in any way something that a friend would do?

It would appear that there are several instances where the Saudis are NOT with us. Ergo . . .

At 6/04/2005 2:28 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The Saudis fund the Islamic Saudi Academy. Senator Charles Schumer has repeatedly called for an investigation into the school's curriculum--the most recent call coming since the arrest of valedictorian and Presidential assassin Ahmed Abu Ali. Also, the school's controller got into trouble relating to funding terrorist organizations; two other former students were arrested in Israel for conspiring to commit terrorist acts.

I believe that ISA is a madrassah, in operation just a few short miles from Washington, D.C.

More information on ISA is available @

Bottom line: The Saudis are NOT our friends.

At 6/04/2005 2:53 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Here is the kick in the groin we
have known about this for years.
There have been people in the USA
caught raising funds for Hezbollah.
These people should be in Guantanamo.

At 6/04/2005 3:07 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

If these terrorism-subsidizers are foreign nationals, lock them up in Guantanamo; seize all assets (liquid and real), and put those assets to good use. If these terrorism-subsidizers are American citizens, try them for treason, and don't let them weasel out by getting a doctor's excuse (See the case of ISA valedictorian Ahmed Abu Ali).

At 6/05/2005 1:58 PM, Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Now this is the kind of story that should be in the front pages of all newspapers and on TV night after night - instead of "dissing the Koran at Gitmo" stories.

I'm furious at the media for being so cowardly or worse - aiding and abetting the enemy. It's time to go after the Islamists, their supporters, and Saudi Arabia.

Good find. I'm just furious that I didn't know this until I came here.


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