"Four Men Charged for Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Terrorism"

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Hi Gang:
The title for my commentary today was taken from the FBI news release that was issued by the Los Angeles office of the FBI which is attached below was issued on November 19, 2012 and reports on the arrest of four men who allegedly engaged in a conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
What is important to note is that at least three of the four defendants in this case purportedly legally immigrated to the United States.  
This is how the four defendants are described in the press release:

The defendants, listed below, are also known by alias identities listed in the criminal complaint.

  • Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, a former resident of Pomona and naturalized United States citizen, born in Afghanistan

  • Ralph Deleon, 23, of Ontario, a lawful permanent resident alien, born in the Philippines

  • Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales (further described herein and in the criminal complaint as “Santana”), 21, of Upland, a lawful permanent resident, born in Mexico and whose application for citizenship is pending in the United States

  • Arifeen David Gojali, 21, of Riverside, a United States citizen

What is of interest is that one of the defendants, Sohiel Omar Kabir, is a naturalized United States citizen and is currently in custody in Afghanistan.
Additionally, another defendant, Miguel Alejandro Santana-Vidriales is identified as having been born in Mexico and had applied to become a United States citizen via naturalization.
Clearly these defendants understand the importance of acquiring legal immigration status as a means of staying “under the radar.”  Meanwhile for many years, there have been a succession of GAO and OIG (Office of Inspector General Reports) that have shown a lack of integrity to the visa process and the entire immigration benefits program that enables foreign nationals to acquire lawful immigrant status and United States citizenship.
(This is why there must be meaningful integrity to the process by which visas and immigration benefits are adjudicated- yet there is precious little integrity to these critical processes.  We will address this issue shortly.)
Not surprisingly the press release notes that the defendants had all used aliases.  This is a common ploy used by criminals and terrorists and spies as a means of concealing their movements and activities.  This is how these individuals hide in plain sight or, in the parlance of the 9/11 Commission embed themselves.  This is how sleeper agents operate.
While we are on the topic of sleeper agents, you should know that Rep. Sue Myrick spoke about her concerns about sleeper agents when participating in a recent radio interview that was posted on the WND Website and be found at:

http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/iran-moving-sleeper-cells-into-america/

Here is an excerpt from that article:

Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., asserted in a radio interview today she believes it’s possible that Hezbollah, the radical terrorist organization tied to Iran, may be working with Mexican cartels to funnel not only drugs, but also terrorist sleeper agents into the U.S.

“Former [Defense Intelligence Agency] people and others have told me what is going on, there have been a couple of arrests in this country relative to people who have had ties to Hezbollah or Iran, and my concern has been with the drug cartels and the gangs that are operating in Mexico,” Myrick said. “There is, what I have been told, a very strong presence there of coordination between the two.”

In conjunction with this issue about the use of false aliases- you should know that aliens may legally change their names when they become United States citizens.  This is not unreasonable- HOWEVER what is incomprehensible is that when an alien changes his (her) name when he naturalizes and then applies for a United States passport, the passport will not show the original name of that naturalized citizen!  This enables terrorists and criminals who succeed in gaming the immigration system to put themselves into their own “witness protection program” to travel around the world under their new identities even when their original names might well be on “watch lists” that would prevent them from entering many countries if the border officials of those countries new who they really were!  This madness potentially enables terrorists to have access to airliners in the United States and also jeopardizes the security other countries.  I have addressed this issue at Congressional hearings and elsewhere, yet this vulnerability has not been addressed.
You should also know that this is not an idle concern.  I was told of at least one incident in which a naturalized citizen who had been born in Lebanon had entered the United States with a United States passport that bore an “Anglo” sounding name.  When the inspector at the port of entry asked the passenger what his name was before he naturalized, the passenger provided a name that was entirely different from the one in his passport.  When he ran this name through the various databases the information that came back was truly chilling- the individual was a wanted international terrorist who never should have been permitted on any airline flight in the United States and the instructions in the database indicated that he was to be held for the FBI.  When notified about this guy’s arrival the FBI immediately dispatched members of the JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force) to take him into custody.
The passport had been issued four years earlier and entry and exit stamps in the passport indicated that in the time since he received the passport, this apparent terrorist had traveled extensively throughout Latin America, Europe and the Middle East!  The obvious question not answered is whether or not USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) “dropped the ball” by naturalizing a known terrorist.  It also demonstrates the fatally flawed policy by which passports of naturalized citizens do not list prior names to properly identify those who seek entry into foreign countries.  Finally, because the passport does not reflect prior names, these passports provide the bearer who may have a criminal or terrorist background with unfettered access to airliners, government and corporate office buildings and potentially jobs that have national security or, at the very least, critical infrastructure implications.
Meanwhile TSA subjects those who seek to travel to x-rays and often highly invasive searches.  I fly frequently and certainly do not want to wind up with a window seat on a de facto cruise missile- however, if a boat has a number of holes in it, plugging all but one hole will still cause that boat to wind up at the bottom of the lake!  Adding an additional name to a passport is a simple matter.  It does not require the development of new technology or the expenditure of vast sums of money.  All it would require is the use of commonsense!  Unfortunately commonsense is a commodity that is all too rare when dealing with our government!  Commonsense is almost as hard to come by, in fact, as is integrity!
Consider that the administration and politicians from both sides of the political aisle are tripping over themselves

to propose that millions of illegal and undocumented aliens be provided with lawful status in the United States even though the process by which such millions of aliens would be provided with lawful status would not only make a mockery of the immigration laws and processes that were established to save lives and the jobs of American and lawful immigrant workers- but would enable terrorists to easily obtain official identity documents in false names!

I have raised this issue on numerous occasions and at Congressional hearings.  I went so far as to recommend that if any sort of massive amnesty program was created by the leadership in Washington that al-Qaeda should give those politicians who make it possible the “MVP Award!”
One of those hearings took place on July 27, 2006 when I testified at a Congressional hearing conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration Border Security and Claims on the topic:
“WHETHER THE ATTEMPTED IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REID-KENNEDY IMMIGRATION BILL WILL RESULT IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE AND NATIONAL SECURITY NIGHTMARE”

Here is the link to the transcript of that hearing in its entirety:
Here is an excerpt from my testimony at that hearing back then:

    My fear is that because we are dealing with millions of illegal aliens who, in the parlance of the open borders advocates, are undocumented that means they have no verifiable means of proving their true identities. This means that if the program were to be enacted under S. 2611 that it will be a simple matter for illegal aliens, including terrorists or criminals, to walk into an immigration office, along with millions of other illegal aliens, and produce a false name and then get an official identity document from our Government bureaucrats.

    These documents would then enable them to circumvent the various no-fly and terror watch lists. They would be able to use these documents as breeder documents, get driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, open bank accounts, even library cards, all the while staying under the radar and obscuring and concealing their true identity, and all of this at a time when the citizens of our country have witnessed an erosion of many of the freedoms that we have come to take for granted in the name of national security.

    I have heard the President often state that if our nation allowed aliens who simply wanted to work to do so, that law enforcement could then focus on the terrorists. I have to respectfully disagree with this optimistic but extremely naive assessment.

    Awhile back, Robert Mueller, the director of the FBI, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee about his concerns about so-called sleeper agents. As you know, a sleeper agent is a terrorist, spy or enemy combatant who one way or another succeeds in gaining entry into the United States to carry out an attack or other hostile act against our country.

    But while awaiting his instructions, however, such individuals do whatever they have to do to not call attention to themselves. Many, as we have seen, get low-profile [jobs], such as driving an ice cream truck, a taxicab, work in a used car lot, or attend school. Often the job that they take provides them with mobility to move freely among us as they conduct clandestine meetings, surveillance or other preparatory functions till the day that they are called into action.

    A few days before a terrorist carries out an attack, he is in fact likely to hide in plain sight by going to his job. If our Government makes it that much easier for a terrorist to legally get a job under an assumed identity, then Al Qaida should give the people in our Government who make this possible the MVP award.

    The GuestWorker Amnesty Program will undoubtedly entice ever-increasing numbers of illegal aliens to head for our country, because this program will convince people throughout the world that in the United States not only will you be permitted to break the law and get away with it, but that we are actually willing to reward you for breaking the law by even providing you with Social Security benefits when you commit identity theft and use somebody else’s Social Security number, even as law enforcement agencies across our country are increasingly turning to asset forfeiture strategies to combat a wide variety of crimes on the city, State and Federal level.

    Moreover, there is no door that could be shut so there is no way to keep the millions more illegal aliens from gaining access to our country. The confidentiality provisions would also hobble efforts by law enforcement officials to make certain that criminal and terrorist aliens have their applications properly scrutinized, inviting more fraud.

    The avalanche of applications will further erode any effort to restore integrity to the benefit system, meaning that fraud will become even more attractive to criminal and terrorist aliens, furthering encouraging more of them to seek to enter the United States, making it easier for them to game the system, and then we wind up with a vicious cycle where we have more aliens filing more applications, and quality will continue to erode as more applications are filed.


    And, meanwhile, decent people who file applications for benefits will be put on the back of this line because the overflowing system won’t be able to deal with their applications. That was one of the lessons of the 1986 amnesty, in fact.

    Additionally, a meaningful effort needs to be made, not only to deny applications where fraud is involved but to prosecute people who become  involved in fraud and to remove aliens who are identified as being the beneficiaries of fraud applications. Right now they file an application with little fear of either criminal charges being brought or administrative deportation actions being initiated.

    So if you consider all of this and you realize that the bill of 1986 is essentially a reworked version that we are looking at now, it makes no sense to continue along this path. S. 2611, at a time that we are in now, facing terrorism, facing growing problems with narcotics and gang activities in the United States, makes no sense, and any kind of amnesty program must not be considered at this time.

What I said at that hearing more than six years ago is as relevant today as it was back then!
Today the administration is providing hundreds of thousands or, more likely, millions of illegal aliens with employment authorization under the aegis of the failed DREAM Act.  Because of the avalanche of applications there are no face-to-face interviews and virtually no resources to conduct field investigations to weed out the fraud.  This is nothing short of a catastrophe for national security.  If you doubt this go back and re-read what I had to say at the hearing.
The 19 terrorists who so savagely attacked the United States on September 11, 2001 used multiple false names.  In fact, according to the 9/11 Commission, in the aggregate, they used more than 300 false names and/or variations of false names.  The bad guys use changes in identity the way that a chameleon uses changes in coloration in order to hide in plain sight- among his intended victims!
I want to make certain that there is no ambiguity in what I am concerned about.  I am not opposed to lawful immigration provided that the system by which we admit aliens into the United States has meaningful integrity.  I want to make certain that we have an immigration benefits program that has meaningful integrity.  Today those systems lack integrity and America’s national security is threatened because of those failings.
When the President participated in the debates with Mitt Romney he said that the government was clearing up the backlog of applications filed by aliens for immigration benefits.  The backlog should be addressed, but not by simply making the bureaucratic machine run faster!  Commonsense dictates that there is an inverse relationship between speed and accuracy.  Think about the hilarious episode of I Love Lucy.  She and her sidekick Ethel are hired to work at a bonbon factory where their job is to wrap the morsels of candy that are brought to the them on a conveyor belt.  At first the belt moves slowly enough that they can easily do a good job of wrapping the candy and then the belt picks up speed until the candy hurtles at them at “warp” speed.  They become unable to keep up with the candy that is delivered to them and to not wind up letting any candy get past them without wrapping it, they begin eating the candy and stuffing it down their blouses.  The scene is a classic comedy scene that was truly hilarious.
Here is a link to that video clip:
Today the Adjudications Officers at USCIS are being made to keep up with the bureaucratic conveyor belt in adjudicating applications for benefits including  lawful immigrant status and United States citizenship.  Unlike Lucy and Ethel, these beleaguered adjudicators cannot eat the applications or stuff them down their clothing!  They can, however, move the applications far more quickly if they approve them then deny them.  It only takes minutes to approve and application but can take hours or longer to gather the necessary evidence and write the necessary reports to justify denying an application.  
The administrative equivalent of eating an application is to approve an application!
I host an internet radio program every Friday night at 7:00 PM Eastern Time, “The Michael Cutler Hour.”  (The link to my show is posted below on this and all of my e-mails.)  On July 27, 2012 my guest was Jerry Casale a former colleague at the INS and a recently retired Adjudications Officer who was assigned to USCIS Headquarters in Washington when he retired.  Jerry and I discussed the lack of integrity to the adjudications process and the impact this has on national security.   This is the sort of material you will not find on any other program!  Here is a link to the podcast of my discussion with Jerry:
Immigration is not a single issue but a singular issue that impacts nearly every challenge and threat confronting the United States today!

If our government’s failures to protect American jobs by securing our nation’s borders and effectively enforcing our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

If you like this commentary, kindly forward it to as many folks as you can and ask them to do the same- I am attempting to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler- 


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http://www.fbi.gov/losangeles/press-releases/2012/four-men-charged-for-conspiracy-to-provide-material-support-to-terrorism


Four Men Charged for Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Terrorism

FBI Los Angeles November 19, 2012

  • Public Affairs Specialist Laura Eimiller (310) 996-3343


RIVERSIDE COUNTY—Four men have been charged for their roles in a plot to provide material support to terrorists by making arrangements to join al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in order to kill, among others, American targets, announced André Birotte, Jr., the United States Attorney in Los Angeles, and Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, the defendants conspired to provide material support to terrorists in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339A, knowing or intending that such support was to be used in preparation for or in carrying out:

  • conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim, or injure persons and damage property in a foreign country, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 956;

  • killing and attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1114;

  • killing nationals of the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2332(b);

  • conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction outside the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2332a(b);

  • and bombing places of public use and government facilities, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2332f.

The defendants, listed below, are also known by alias identities listed in the criminal complaint.

  • Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, a former resident of Pomona and naturalized United States citizen, born in Afghanistan

  • Ralph Deleon, 23, of Ontario, a lawful permanent resident alien, born in the Philippines

  • Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales (further described herein and in the criminal complaint as “Santana”), 21, of Upland, a lawful permanent resident, born in Mexico and whose application for citizenship is pending in the United States

  • Arifeen David Gojali, 21, of Riverside, a United States citizen

The complaint, which was unsealed today during the defendants’ initial appearance in U.S. District Court, alleges that in 2010, Kabir introduced Deleon and Santana to radical and violent Islamic doctrine and various extremist material, including essays and lectures by now-deceased al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader, Anwar Al-Awlaqi. Kabir traveled overseas in December 2011 and later to Afghanistan in July 2012, where he continued to communicate with Santana and DeLeon to arrange for their travel to join him in Afghanistan, according to the complaint. The complaint alleges that Kabir told Santana and Deleon that he had made contacts with individuals who have connections to terrorist organizations. Kabir further said that he would wait for their arrival before departing to a training location in Afghanistan and that, when they arrived, they would meet “the students” and “the professors.” According to the complaint, the term “students” referred to the Taliban and the term “professors” referred to al Qaeda.

The complaint alleges that Santana and Deleon told a confidential source working for the FBI, identified in the complaint as the “CS,” that they planned to travel to Afghanistan to engage in “violent jihad.” In addition, the defendants described potential targets for violent attacks, including overseas American military personnel and bases, according to the complaint. Evidence in this case demonstrates that the defendants used the word “jihad” to refer to armed combat, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, the defendants both discussed the plot among themselves and with the confidential source. The various conversations detail the defendants’ plans to travel overseas to attend terrorist training, as well as to kill American soldiers and others. In one discussion with the FBI confidential source, Santana and Deleon discussed their preferred roles in carrying out attacks. For example, Santana stated that he had experience with firearms and that he wanted to become a sniper. Deleon stated he wanted to be on the front lines with a second choice of explosives. Both men also indicated they were willing to kill an enemy.

In September 2012, Deleon and Santana recruited defendant Gojali to join them and to travel overseas to commit violent jihad, as alleged in the complaint. The complaint further alleges that defendants Santana, Deleon, and Gojali made plans to join Kabir in Afghanistan to attend terrorist training, and that they arranged travel logistics, including flight arrangements and required documentation. The complaint details the defendants’ activity in raising funds for their travel to Afghanistan and their discussion of various cover stories and code words they could use to conceal their true intentions when traveling abroad. The complaint further alleges that Santana, Deleon, and Gojali conducted preliminary training in southern California at firearms and paintball facilities to prepare for terrorist training overseas.

Defendants Santana, Deleon, and Gojali were apprehended on Friday without incident by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and had their initial appearance before a federal magistrate this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Riverside, California. Santana and Deleon were remanded to federal custody and Gojali’s detention hearing was continued to Monday, November 26. Kabir is in custody in Afghanistan.

If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.

This case is a continuing investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Riverside, California. The Riverside JTTF is comprised of members from the following agencies: Riverside County Sheriff’s Office; Riverside Police Department; San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department; Beaumont Police Department; Ontario Police Department; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI); the United States Attorney’s Office; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This case will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.