General Security Update on Global Terrorism
GENERAL SECURITY, POLICY
1. Iran to transfer nuclear production across series of secret facilities
Iran is to transfer its nuclear production across a series of underground and bomb-proof secret facilities as it steps up efforts to thwart an apparent Western sabotage campaign.
By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent 7:29PM GMT 14 Dec 2011 Daily Telegraph (London)
The senior officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Force (IRGC) charged with combatting foreign infiltration told state media that the parts of the nuclear programme would shifted to safe locations impervious to outside attack. The announcement compounds Western intelligence concerns reported by the Daily Telegraph this month that Iran's security forces had gone on a war footing. Intelligence officials said that the regime was moving its nuclear and ballistic assets to new locations to defend against foreign saboteurs and the theat of direct military action. Brig Gen Gholam Reza Jalali, the IRGC commander, said that efforts underway had already reduced to "minimal" the vulnerability of its nuclear programme. Reports in the state media quoting Brig Jalali said new locations would be established to house the nuclear programme...
Russia Seizes Radioactive Metals From Moscow Passenger Traveling to Iran
By Scott Rose and Henry Meyer - Dec 16, 2011 12:04 PM ET Bloomberg News
Russian customs officials at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport stopped an Iranian citizen who was trying to board a flight to Tehran with luggage containing a radioactive substance used for medical purposes. The young man was stopped at the airport in mid-November because his luggage was found to contain substances exceeding the natural background radiation level 20-fold, Ksenia Grebenkina, a spokeswoman for the airport's customs office, said by telephone today. Further study found the substance was sodium-22 and a criminal case was opened, she said. "At the time when he was checked, there was an elevated radiation level, but an analysis had to be conducted," Grebenkina said. "There wasn't enough evidence to open a criminal case, so there were no grounds to hold the young man." …
Iran Preparing Serious Cyber Attack Against the U.S. from Latin America
by Anna Mahjar-Barducci Hudson-New York December 14, 2011 at 5:00 am
Univision, the largest TV broadcaster in Spanish of the United States, recently presented a report showing that Iran is actively preparing an attack against the US to be carried out from bases in Latin America. The documentary, "La Amenaza Irani" ("The Iranian Threat"), illustrated, though undercover footage, how the growing economic, political and military ties Iran has developed in South American countries are rapidly evolving into a tangible threat for the security of the US. The documentary reveals exclusive findings, including secret video and audio recordings that provide information about a planned Iranian-backed cyber attack against the United States from Mexico. The videos shown were part of a seven month investigation during which a team of journalists tracked the expansion of Iranian interests in the Latin America – including money laundering and drug trafficking activities by terrorist groups supported by Iran. In Venezuela, the team managed to infiltrate Iranian military training camps organized from Iranian-financed mosques within the country. The documentary also confirms that Iran is behind money laundering and drug trafficking activities that are used to support Islamist networks and training camps in Venezuela and elsewhere, with the ultimate goal of undermining American interests in Latin America and inside the US...
2. Cohen Heads To Middle East As Obama Mulls Iran Central Bank Sanctions
By Christopher Matthews December 16, 2011, 4:20 PM ET. Wall Street Journal blog, Corruption Currents
The U.S. Treasury Department's point man on terrorist financing is headed back to the Middle East this weekend to discuss sanctions against Iran and Syria. David S. Cohen, the under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, will travel to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on Saturday, returning to the U.S. on Tuesday. Cohen will meet with senior officials in Riyadh and Manama to discuss potential financial measures targeting the Central Bank of Iran, according to a news release Friday. Cohen's meetings will also focus on efforts to disrupt the financial and support networks of terrorist organizations, and the implementation of U.S., EU and Arab League sanctions aimed at disrupting the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The trip, Cohen's fourth visit to the region in eight months, comes on the heels of approval by the U.S. Senate on Thursday of an annual defense authorization bill that contains a provision imposing sanctions on Iran's central bank. Having cleared both chambers of Congress, the bill now heads to President Barack Obama, who said he intends to sign it into law despite earlier veto threats over an unrelated provision…
3. Chinese Military Considers New Indian Ocean Presence
By JEREMY PAGE in Beijing and TOM WRIGHT in New Delhi Wall Street Journal December 14, 2011
China is considering a proposal from the Seychelles, a tiny island nation off the coast of East Africa, for Chinese navy ships to use its ports to rest and take on supplies while participating in antipiracy patrols, according to both governments. The Seychelles has also proposed that China base military reconnaissance aircraft and personnel at its main airport, from where the U.S. operates surveillance drones, the Seychelles' foreign minister, Jean-Paul Adam, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. If China were to use the Seychelles simply as a port of call it wouldn't necessarily concern the U.S. and its allies, which are keen for China to play a larger role in antipiracy efforts. Basing aircraft there could be more controversial as that would appear to be the first example of China basing military assets overseas. The Seychelles, an archipelago about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) east of Tanzania with a population of about 89,000, is a potential strategic platform for China as it seeks to compete with the U.S. and India for naval dominance of the Indian Ocean, analysts say. China's Defense Ministry declined to comment on the aircraft and personnel, while its Foreign Ministry said it was unaware of that part of the offer, and any naval supply stops in the Seychelles or other countries would be "completely transparent and should not worry other countries."…
Inside the Ring
Bill Gertz The Washington Times Wednesday, December 14, 2011
FLOURNOY IN BEIJING
At the recent U.S.-Chinese defense talks in Beijing, the subject of the Pentagon's new Air Sea Battle Concept, a program to counter China's growing anti-access and area denial weapons, was not discussed. Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, told reporters in Beijing on Dec. 8 that there was no mention of the secret defense program in Asia during her talks with Chinese military officials, called the Defense Consultative Talks...
MISSILE DATA SHARING CURBED
Congress this week approved language in the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill that will restrict the Obama administration from sharing sensitive missile data with Russia…
4. House passes $662 billion defense bill after White House drops veto threat
By Associated Press, Published: December 14, 2011
WASHINGTON — The House passed a massive $662 billion defense bill Wednesday night after last-minute changes placated the White House and ensured President Barack Obama's ability to prosecute terrorist suspects in the civilian justice system. The vote was 283-136 and reflected the strong support for annual legislation that authorizes money for the men and women of the military as well as weapons systems and the millions of jobs they generate in lawmakers' districts. It was a rare instance of bipartisanship in a bitterly divided Congress. The Senate is expected to pass the measure on Thursday and send it to Obama. The House vote came just hours after the administration abandoned a veto threat over provisions dealing with the handling of terrorism suspects...
WASHINGTON - Iran and Saudi Arabia have never been close allies. The gulf widened suddenly early this fall when the Department of Justice announced Iran allegedly was plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador. "The Iranians ... I can't even begin to understand what the motivation would have been behind the attempt," says Eric H. Holder, U.S. attorney general, during an interview at his office… Questions have surfaced about the integrity of the case. Iranian leaders claim the allegations are false. Iran's parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, dismissed the case saying, "America wants to divert attention from problems it faces in the Middle East, but the Americans cannot stop the wave of Islamic awakening by using such excuses." However, Holden says, "as the case develops people will see how serious a threat it actually was, how determined they actually were in their actions." On Sept. 29, Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, living in Texas and holding both Iranian and U.S. passports, was arrested at New York's Kennedy International Airport and charged with plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in Washington. He was allegedly acting as an agent of the Iranian government…
6. 'No Intelligence' on Christmas Terror Plots, U.S. Finds
ABC News By RICHARD ESPOSITO and BRIAN ROSS (@brianross) Dec. 16, 2011
For the first time in more than a decade, there is "no active intelligence" suggesting a possible terror attack timed to the Christmas and New Year's holidays, counter-terrorism officials from five American agencies told ABC News. But the officials said there is growing concern that al Qaeda is targeting next summer's Olympic games, about which one law enforcement official said the threat level is considered "high," although there is no specific information pointing to an attack on the games. "They do not want to expend any operatives or resources now on anything else, other than the Olympics," said the official, who was briefed on the latest electronic intercepts. This week, on a teleconference involving American law enforcement and intelligence agencies, officials reported that electronic intercepts and human sources had turned up no evidence of a pending threat over the next few weeks… Even so, U.S. officials said there are going to an "informal heightened alert status" given past al Qaeda efforts around the end of the year…
7. Mueller: FBI Criticism of NYPD Stopped When I Ordered It to Stop
By Mike Levine Published December 14, 2011 | FoxNews.com
After receiving a phone call direct from New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly following reports that federal officials were questioning the NYPD's arrest of a terror suspect, FBI Director Robert Mueller told officials in his agency to put a sock in it. Testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Mueller said he "gave directions that that should not happen, and when I saw it happening again went back to give directions to have it stopped." Mueller said he was "distressed" to see federal officials anonymously quoted in press reports "talking about another prosecutor's, another agency's investigations."…
8. Iraqi National Pleads Guilty to 23-Count Terrorism Indictment in Kentucky
Defendant Participated in Numerous Efforts to Kill U.S. Troops in Iraq with IEDs
U.S. Department of Justice December 16, 2011 Office of Public Affairs
BOWLING GREEN, KY—Iraqi citizen Waad Ramadan Alwan pleaded guilty to federal terrorism charges today in U.S. District Court before Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell, announced Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; David J. Hale, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky; and Elizabeth A. Fries, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Louisville Division. Alwan, 30, a former resident of Iraq, pleaded guilty to all counts of a 23-count indictment charging him with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals abroad; conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against U.S. nationals abroad; distributing information on the manufacture and use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs); attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to al Qaeda in Iraq; as well as conspiracy to transfer, possess and export Stinger missiles. Alwan was indicted by a federal grand jury in Bowling Green, Ky., on May 26, 2011…
Iraqi Who Sparked Debate over Civilian Trials Set to Plead Guilty
By Evan Perez December 16, 2011, 2:32 PM ET Wall Street Journal, Law Blog
A Iraqi man admitted to the U.S. as a refugee is expected to plead guilty later Friday in a case that helped spark debate in Congress over using civilian courts to prosecute terror suspects, according to people familiar with the case… Charged with Mr. Alwan. Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, also of Bowling Green, who is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and al Qaeda in Iraq, among other charges. They were arrested May 25…
9. Jury completes 1st day deliberating case of Mass. man accused of conspiring to help al-Qaida
Associated Press, Updated: Friday, December 16, 2011 5:47 PM
BOSTON — A Boston jury has completed its first day of deliberations in the trial of a Massachusetts man accused of conspiring to help al-Qaida. The panel worked for almost two hours Friday and will resume on Monday. Tarek Mehanna, a 29-year-old American from Sudbury, is accused of traveling to Yemen to try to find a terrorist training camp with the intention of going to Iraq to fight against U.S. soldiers. Prosecutors say that when he was unable to find a camp, he returned home and began translating and distributing online materials promoting violent jihad…
Mehanna defense focuses on language in terror case
Says Mehanna did not translate
By Milton J. Valencia Boston Globe Staff December 14, 2011
Defense lawyers for accused terrorist supporter Tarek Mehanna sought to establish yesterday that materials he allegedly distributed in support of Al Qaeda had already been translated by someone else...
Mehanna defense hits prosecutors
Says their client's rights infringed
By Milton J. Valencia Globe Staff December 16, 2011
With closing statements in the trial of Tarek Mehanna set for today, defense attorneys for the Sudbury man lashed out at prosecutors yesterday for infringing on what they called Mehanna's constitutional rights to free speech and to a fair trial...
10. Terror suspect nabbed at Toronto airport going directly to trial
BRAMPTON, Ont.— The Canadian Press Published Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011 1:04PM EST
The public prosecutor is skipping preliminary hearings and proceeding directly to trial in the case of a suspected terrorist arrested at Toronto airport last spring. The so-called direct indictment means Mohamed Hassan Hersi, 25, will get his day in court much more quickly. Mr. Hersi was arrested March 29 at Pearson International Airport as he boarded a plane headed for London and Cairo. RCMP say he was on his way to Somalia to join the militant group al-Shabab, designated a terrorist organization by both Canada and the United States. Police said Mr. Hersi, a Canadian citizen who has been free on bail, quit his job to prepare for the trip. He was charged with attempting to participate in terrorist activity and providing counsel to a person to participate in a terrorist activity…
11. Somalis Sentenced to Life in Prison on Charges Relating to Piracy of the S/V Quest
NORFOLK, VA—Mohamud Hirs Issa Ali, a/k/a Sanadaaq, 32, and Jilani Abdiali, a/k/a Ilkasse, 20, both of Somalia, were sentenced today in Norfolk federal court to life in prison for their acts of piracy against the S/V Quest, which resulted in the murder of United States citizens Scott Underwood Adam, Jean Savage Adam, Phyllis Patricia Macay, and Robert Campbell Riggle… Ali pled guilty to piracy under the law of nations and hostage taking resulting in death on May 23, 2011. Abdiali pled guilty to piracy under the law of nations on May 20, 2011...
12. Saadi Gaddafi owns a $1.6M penthouse in Toronto
EXCLUSIVE By Stewart Bell and Natalie Alcoba National Post
Dec 15, 2011 – 5:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Dec 15, 2011 10:32 AM ET
TORONTO — The Gaddafi family owns a $1.6-million penthouse apartment in downtown Toronto that has apparently gone unnoticed by the Canadian and Libyan governments, the National Post has learned.
The luxury condo atop the Harbor View Estates building on the Toronto waterfront comes with a view of Lake Ontario and access to a 25-metre swimming pool, squash, basketball and tennis courts and a bowling alley. Although the United Nations Security Council ordered countries to freeze the Gaddafis' worldwide assets in response to Libya's crackdown on demonstrators, Ontario property records still list the condo's owner as "Saadi Kaddafi." Three sources confirmed the condo is owned by the late dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's third son, Saadi. Ontario government land records also list him as the owner of four other units in the same building, but they appear to be storage lockers. He bought the condo for $1.55-million on May 7, 2008. At the time, he was spending three months in Canada, protected by a security team paid for by the Montreal firm SNC-Lavalin, which has significant construction contracts in Libya…
Ottawa asks RCMP to investigate Saadi Gaddafi's Toronto condo
By Stewart Bell and Natalie Alcoba National Post Dec 16, 2011 – 12:07 AM ET
The federal government said Thursday it has asked the RCMP to look into a $1.6-million Toronto condo owned by the wanted son of the late Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi…
13. Iran Sued in D.C. Federal Court Over Camp Ashraf Attacks
Posted by Zoe Tillman on December 14, 2011 at 03:06 PM
A group of Iranian nationals living in Camp Ashraf in Iraq – a hub for members of a leading Iranian opposition group – filed suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the government of Iran, claiming officials there conspired to launch attacks on the camp starting in 2009. Camp Ashraf has served as the political center of of the People's Mojahedin of Iran since the 1980s. The 14-square-mile site is located about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad. In 2004, as the complaint (PDF) http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/saeedi-complaint.pdf notes, the Multi-National Force in Iraq and the U.S. government recognized the 3,400 people living in Camp Ashraf as "protected persons" under the Geneva Convention…
AIR, RAIL, PORT, HEALTH & COMMUNICATION INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY
IPT NOTE: DHS Daily Open Source Infrastructure Reports http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/editorial_0542.shtm ; DHS Blog http://blog.dhs.gov/ ; TSA Releases http://www.tsa.gov/press/releases/index.shtm ; TSA Blog http://blog.tsa.gov/
14. 12 TSA agents face firing for not screening bags at Charlotte airport
Posted: Dec 16, 2011 10:10 AM EST Updated: Dec 16, 2011 2:15 PM EST
By Chris Dyches, Web Content Producer
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - More than a dozen Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents could be out of a job after an investigation shows bags were not properly screened at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. According to the TSA, the investigation showed that approximately a dozen transportation security officers were found to have improperly screened checked baggage, in violation of TSA's standards. Earlier this week, four trial period employees were fired or resigned as a result of the same internal investigation. The TSA Federal Security Director at Charlotte Douglas started the investigation into baggage screening after an internal audit conducted during a one-week period in June found that out of 80,000 checked bags screened, approximately 80 were not screened according to security protocol…
FINANCING, MONEY LAUNDERING, BRIBERY, FRAUD, IDENTITY THEFT, CIVIL LITIGATION
15. Government Says Hezbollah Profits From U.S. Cocaine Market Via Link to Mexican Cartel
by Sebastian Rotella ProPublica, Dec. 13, 2011, 4:23 p.m.
IPT NOTE: The court documents are posted at http://www.investigativeproject.org/case/604
U.S. authorities are building a politically explosive case that Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, finances itself through a vast drug-smuggling network that links a Lebanese bank, a violent Mexican cartel and U.S. cocaine users. Federal prosecutors Tuesday charged Ayman Joumaa, an accused Lebanese drug kingpin and Hezbollah financier, of smuggling tons of U.S.-bound cocaine and laundering hundreds of millions of dollars with the Zetas cartel of Mexico. The indictment in Virginia results from a continuing investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration targeting Hezbollah, which has a bloody history of terror attacks against the United States and Israel… Hezbollah allegedly uses the cocaine trade to develop revenue and build foreign networks, according to U.S., European and Israeli officials. In October, the Justice Department charged an Iranian-American resident of Texas and two Iranian intelligence officers with plotting to hire Mexican cartel gunmen to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington…
U.S. Charges Alleged Lebanese Drug Kingpin with Laundering Drug Proceeds for Mexican and Colombian Drug Cartels
December 13, 2011 US Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia
Lebanese Drug Lord Indicted, Linked to Hizballah Funding
by IPT News • Dec 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm
… The case builds on the January 2011 Drug Enforcement Agency designation of Joumaa as a "Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker." In January, the U.S. government stated that the proceeds of his international drug smuggling topped $200 million a month, and that this money was being funneled through the Lebanese Canadian Bank [LCB] to Hizballah. "LCB managers are also linked to Hizballah officials outside of Lebanon," said a Treasury Department statement from February. "For example, Hizballah's Tehran-based envoy Abdallah Safieddine was involved in Iranian officials' access to LCB and key LCB managers, who provide them banking services."…
Beirut Bank Seen as a Hub of Hezbollah's Financing
By JO BECKER New York Times December 14, 2011
IPT NOTE: Court documents posted at http://www.investigativeproject.org/case/604
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Last February, the Obama administration accused one of Lebanon's famously secretive banks of laundering money for an international cocaine ring with ties to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah. Now, in the wake of the bank's exposure and arranged sale, its ledgers have been opened to reveal deeper secrets: a glimpse at the clandestine methods that Hezbollah — a terrorist organization in American eyes that has evolved into Lebanon's pre-eminent military and political power — uses to finance its operations. The books offer evidence of an intricate global money-laundering apparatus that, with the bank as its hub, appeared to let Hezbollah move huge sums of money into the legitimate financial system, despite sanctions aimed at cutting off its economic lifeblood. At the same time, the investigation that led the United States to the bank, the Lebanese Canadian Bank, provides new insights into the murky sources of Hezbollah's money. While law enforcement agencies around the world have long believed that Hezbollah is a passive beneficiary of contributions from loyalists abroad involved in drug trafficking and a grab bag of other criminal enterprises, intelligence from several countries points to the direct involvement of high-level Hezbollah officials in the South American cocaine trade. One agent involved in the investigation compared Hezbollah to the Mafia, saying, "They operate like the Gambinos on steroids." On Tuesday, federal prosecutors in Virginia announced the indictment of the man at the center of the Lebanese Canadian Bank case, charging that he had trafficked drugs and laundered money not only for Colombian cartels, but also for the murderous Mexican gang Los Zetas... In all, hundreds of millions of dollars a year sloshed through the accounts, held mainly by Shiite Muslim businessmen in the drug-smuggling nations of West Africa, many of them known Hezbollah supporters, trading in everything from rough-cut diamonds to cosmetics and frozen chicken, according to people with knowledge of the matter in the United States and Europe. The companies appeared to be serving as fronts for Hezbollah to move all sorts of dubious funds, on its own behalf or for others…
16. U.S. Sues To Recover $446 Million From Hezbollah-Connected Firms
by Sebastian Rotella ProPublica, Dec. 15, 2011, 5:26 p.m.
IPT NOTE: Court documents for the new civil case are posted at http://www.investigativeproject.org/case/605. Documents in a related criminal case are posted at http://www.investigativeproject.org/case/604
Federal prosecutors fired another broadside Thursday in a massive case accusing the Hezbollah militant group of financing itself through the global drug trade, filing a civil money laundering case  against a Lebanese bank and a network of Hezbollah-connected companies, including U.S. shipping and used-car firms. The 66-page complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York details a sprawling conspiracy in which Hezbollah figures and their associates in the United States, Lebanon, Africa and South America allegedly generated and laundered hundreds of millions of dollars from cocaine smuggling. The complaint seeks $446 million in forfeiture assets from the companies, including the Lebanese Canadian Bank SAL of Beirut, which allegedly served until this year as the hub of an illicit financing apparatus that pumped drug cash into the coffers of Hezbollah. The bank, already hit by U.S. Treasury Department sanctions this February, allowed Hezbollah figures to move huge amounts of cash with little or no oversight, authorities say. DEA agents believe the Shiite militant organization, a powerful force in the Lebanese government despite its bloody history of terrorism against the West and Israel, received at least $100 million a year from the criminal enterprise, according to a U.S. antidrug official… During the past four years, the Lebanese bank and firms including two money exchange houses run by Joumaa wired at least $329 million to about 30 car buyers in the United States to purchase used cars that were shipped primarily to similar businesses in the African country of Benin, the complaint says. Proceeds from car sales in Africa went to Lebanon along with tens of millions of dollars in illicit cash from sales of cocaine in Europe by Hezbollah-connected traffickers based in Benin, Ghana and Togo, the complaint says…
Civil Suit Seeks More Than $480 Million from Entities That Facilitated Hizballah-Related Money Laundering Scheme
17. 8 charged in fed probe of widespread Metro Detroit fraud scheme
On-the-run La Shish owner allegedly aided bogus marriage scam
By Robert Snell The Detroit News December 16, 2011 at 1:00 am
IPT NOTE: Background on Chahine and sham marriages involving his sisters-in-law and others found at http://detnews.com/article/20071114/METRO/711140413/FBI-files-illegally-accessed. Court documents are posted at http://www.investigativeproject.org/case/254.
Detroit— Eight people, including a bank vice president and a Dearborn restaurateur, have been charged in federal court in connection with a wide-ranging scheme involving fraudulent bank loans, bribes and sham marriages. The Detroit News has learned one of those sham marriages involved a bogus beau from Lebanon, who enlisted the help of La Shish Restaurants owner Talal Chahine. The charges, announced Thursday by federal prosecutors, followed a multi-year probe by several federal agencies, including the FBI, Homeland Security and Secret Service. Those charged include a Dearborn business owner, a Dearborn lawyer and a former Fifth Third Bank vice president accused of pocketing $20,000 in bribes. "When criminals use false documents and bribery to obtain loans, banks and borrowers suffer," U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a prepared statement...
18. Terrorist Designation of Saleh al-Qarawi
Media Note US State Department Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC December 15, 2011
The Department of State designated Saleh al-Qarawi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. Al-Qarawi al is a senior leader and operative for the Abdullah Azzam Brigades (AAB), a Lebanese militant organization. According to media reports, AAB claimed responsibility for the July 28, 2010 maritime bombing of a Japanese oil tanker, the M. Star. AAB has also claimed responsibility for firing several rockets into Israel from Lebanon since 2009. Prior to his activity with AAB, al-Qarawi fought against U.S. forces in Fallujah, Iraq. While there, he worked with now-deceased Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former head of al-Qa'ida in Iraq. Al-Qarawi is a Saudi citizen currently wanted for extradition by the Government of Saudi Arabia for participating in extremist activities abroad. He is also the subject of an Interpol Orange Notice issued on March 25, 2009, for activities related to terrorism…
Terrorist Designation of Basque Fatherland and Liberty Leader Jose Antonio Urruticoechea Bengoechea
Media Note US State Department Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC December 15, 2011
The Department of State has designated Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) veteran Jose Antonio Urruticoechea Bengoechea (AKA Ternera) under Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Jose Antonio Urruticoechea Bengoechea has any interest is blocked and any assets he may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him. This action will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to this ETA leader. Urruticoechea's status as a long term ETA member and his engagement in terrorist activities such as murder, bombings, recruiting, training, and providing logistical support for a terrorist organization, constitute a threat to U.S. interests. Urruticoechea is wanted for terrorism and the murder of 11 people. He has played a decisive role in ETA's terrorist activities for decades, both from prison, where he spent more than ten years, and for more than a decade as a fugitive from justice…
19. Kan. grocers sentenced in food stamp scheme
Associated Press December 7, 2011 8:25 PM
(AP) WICHITA, Kan. — A Kansas grocery store owner and his wife were sentenced Wednesday to federal prison for a food stamp scam that profited by targeting people at homeless shelters who were willing to sell their government benefits for cash. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten sentenced Muhammad Qadeer Akram, 47, to 18 months in prison and gave his 38-year-old wife, Shama Qadeer, six months in prison plus six months of home confinement. The judge put the husband's sentence on hold until after his wife serves her time to allow one of the parents to be home with their young children. The couple, who owned Alnoor Grocery and Biryani House in Wichita, pleaded guilty in September to one count each of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud, food stamp fraud and wire fraud… The couple was accused along with the owners of another small Wichita grocery store of conspiring with Wally Mikhael Gaggo, the runner who scoured homeless shelters for people willing to sell their government benefits...
20. High-profile donors were victims of $2M ID theft ring involving Jewish charity
By DAREH GREGORIAN New York Post December 16, 2011
Fifty-five gang members and others have been busted for running a $2 million identity theft ring that targeted high-profile donors who'd given to a Jewish charity, prosecutors announced today. The donors who were victimized included billionaire investor Ira Rennert and his wife and former AIG CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. "This is an organized identity theft and financial crime ring that relied on insiders" who had jobs that involved handling checks at places ranging from a luxury auto dealership to the UJA-Federation of New York, a prominent Jewish charity, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Beth Potashnick said. The DA's office said that among the 55 people arrested were members of the Bloods, Crips and Outlaws were arraigned after taking part in a check scam. Prosecutors said a worker at the UJA, which has offices in Midtown, would photocopy checks the charity received from donors such as Rennert and Greenberg's Starr Foundation, which he chaired. The employee, Tracey Nelson, who processed checks given to the UJA-Federation charity for three years, allegedly sold the checks to the gang members, who then assumed the identities of those who had donated money...
DA VANCE AND NYPD: 55 DEFENDANTS INDICTED IN WIDESPREAD "INSIDER" CYBERFRAUD SCHEME
Scheme Used Employees of Businesses, Banks, and a Non-Profit
Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., District Attorney, New York County December 16, 2011
BORDER SECURITY, IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS
IPT NOTE: US Customs & Border Protection, http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/ ; US Immigration and Customs Enforcement http://www.ice.gov/news/ ; Canada Border Services Agency http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html
21. Family of slain border agent Brian Terry calls for prosecution of feds
'Fast and Furious' officials blamed for death
by Dennis Wagner - Dec. 15, 2011 09:53 PM The Arizona Republic