"Thou shalt steal, al Qaeda tells militants in cash quest – Recommends stealing from ‘enemy’ to fund terror"

Begin forwarded message:


From: Michael Cutler <MCutler007@aol.com>
Date: January 19, 2011 11:51:23 PM PST
To: Michael Cutler <Mcutler007@aol.com>
Subject: Washington Times: “Thou shalt steal, al Qaeda tells militants in cash quest – Recommends stealing from ‘enemy’ to fund terror”

Hi Gang:
I decided to write my commentary that is predicated on a news report written by Shaun Waterman, an experienced journalist who has been covering various components of national security for many years.
The news report he most recently wrote appeared in yesterday’s edition of the Washington Times (January 19).  The focus was on how terrorism is funded.
There are several points worth noting- starting with the point that you could give this news report a second title, “First you lose and then you LOSE!”  What I mean to say is that terrorists are urged to commit crimes that certainly harm people.  As if t his is not bad enough, the proceeds from these crimes are then used to fund terrorist attacks that are intended to run up mass casualties whenever and wherever possible.
Many years ago, in the early 1980’s, I assisted the NYPD and members of BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) in conducting investigations in Palestinians who had purchased or rented so-called “bodegas” or small grocery stores in New York.  Most of these stores were located on the first floor of apartment houses that may have had just a couple of floors or as many as 6 or more floors above them.  Each floor contained private apartments that housed families.  The stores were used to commit coupon fraud in which the stores would send many coupons to various corporations to be re-imbursed for allegedly providing customers with discounts for the items relating to the coupons.
The corporations would then send a check to the store that submitted the coupons.  It was estimated that each year coupon fraud costs major companies tens of millions of dollars.  The way that it works is that the stores involved with such fraud did not actually redeem those coupons for their customers but simply clipped them out of sales circulars and consequently the company was paying for coupons that did not relate to the sale of their products. 
It was determined that the owners of the stores would often have members of their community clip the coupons for them so while the store in question may have sold 25 boxes of a particular cereal, the storekeeper would submit perhaps a couple of hundred coupons for the cereal.  This worked for all sorts of products and the fraud was discovered when an employee of a major corporation who had retired from a law enforcement career realized that the numbers of coupons being redeemed from was many times greater than the number of products the store had actually ordered.  It was believed that the money that was thus fraudulently obtained was sent to terrorist organizations in the Middle East.
It was ultimately believed that the stores owned by the Palestinians who came to be investigated, had asked for members of their community to giver the coupons to the crooked storekeepers.  In some instances, it was believed that some storekeepers, either our of fear that they would soon be discovered for committing fraud or perhaps because they were tired of playing this “game” set fire to their stores to get the insurance money and then forward the proceeds from the policy to Middle Eastern Terrorist organizations.  In some of these fires people were horribly injured while in other fires, people died.
The proceeds from these crimes are believed to have been used to pay for weapons and other “operating costs” related to terrorism.  
The companies and their shareholders were victimized by the fraud scheme, the people who were injured or killed in the fires were also victimized by the arsons and finally the people killed or injured in the terrorist attacks that were funded by these schemes became the final victims.
The sale of narcotics also funds terrorism.  It has been, on occasion estimated that 85% of the heroin used by drug addicts in England came from Afghanistan.  Think of how much suffering the use of narcotics inflicts on the addicts and the victims of crime- both direct victims and indirect victims are subjected to because of this.
Next I have to make note of the term “Homegrown.”  The article described Richard Reid, the infamous “Shoe Bomber” as having been “homegrown.”
I would remind you that he is a citizen of Great Britain and hence did not need a visa in order to board the airliner he attempted to destroy in flight by detonating the explosives concealed in his shoes.  He would not have needed a visa to seek entry into the United States if his intention had not been to destroy and airliner mid-flight but had been determined to attack a facility or other venue in the United States to kill as many people as possible.  It is because of Richard Reid that all passengers preparing to board airliners must remove their shoes to enable TSA to determine that the passengers’ shoes contain no explosives, yet the Visa Waiver Program that enabled Mr. Reid to board that airliner without first obtaining a visa is still alive and well and is being continually expanded!
It is also important to note that Reid was not the only terrorist who was a citizen of one of the 36 countries that are now enrolled in the Visa Waiver Program.
I guess you could say that the expectations of privacy and freedom under our Constitution are negotiable but because of extreme pressure being brought to bear by the executives of the Travel and Hospitality Industries make damned certain that the Visa Waiver Program will continue at least until, God Forbid, there is another horrific attack by terrorists who did not need visas to board an airliner or enter the United States.  You should know that the program that pushes the expansion of the Visa Waiver Program is called “Discover America.”  
Here is a link to their website:

http://www.discoveramerica.com/ca/

As I have noted on previous occasions, the folks behind this wacky program and the politicians who, for the campaign contributions I am all but certain they received for becoming a Discover America “Bobble-head” should remember that Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have already “discovered America!” 

Some time ago I compiled a list of the ways in which the visa process can be helpful to law enforcement and bolster our nation’s efforts to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence on our country may prove harmful to our nation and our citizens. 


You can review the State Department’s website for information about this wrong headed and, indeed, treacherous Visa Waiver Program at: 

Here is the list of the 6 benefits that the visa requirement provides to national security:

 

1.  By requiring visas of aliens who seek to enter the United States, this process helps to screen potential passengers on airliners that are destined to the United States.  Richard Reid, the so-called “Shoe Bomber” was able to board an airliner to come to the United States although he had no intentions of entering the United States, his apparent goal was to blow up the airliner and its many passengers somewhere over the depths of the Atlantic Ocean by detonating explosives he had concealed in his shoes.  Because he is a subject of Great Britain, a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program, Reid did not obtain a visa before he boarded that airliner. 

2.  The CBP inspectors are supposed to make a decision in one minute or less as to the admissibility of an alien seeking to enter the United States.  The visa requirement helps them to do a more effective job.  Their’s is a tough job I can certainly relate to, I began my career at the former INS as an immigration inspector at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and worked there for 4 years before I became a special agent.

3.  The application for a nonimmigrant visa contains roughly 40 questions that could provide invaluable information to law enforcement officials should that alien become the target of a criminal or terrorist investigation.  The information could provide intelligence as well as investigative leads.  You can check out the application for a nonimmigrant (tourist) visa by clicking on this link:

https://evisaforms.state.gov/ds156.asp

 
4.  If an alien applicant lies on the application for a visa that lie is called “visa fraud.”  The maximum penalty for visa fraud starts out at 10 years in jail for those who commit this crime simply in order to come to the United States, ostensibly to seek unlawful employment or other such purpose.  The penalty increases to 15 years in jail for those aliens who obtain a visa to commit a felony.  For aliens who engage in visa fraud to traffic in narcotics or commit another narcotics-related crime, the maximum jail sentence that can be imposes rises to 20 years.  Finally, when an alien can be proven to have engaged in visa fraud in furtherance of terrorism, the maximum penalty climbs to 25 years in prison.  It is important to note that while it may be difficult to prove that an individual is a terrorist, it is usually relatively simple to prove that the alien has committed visa fraud when there is fraud involved in the visa application.  Indeed, terror suspects are often charged with visa fraud. 

5.  The charge of visa fraud can also be extremely helpful to law enforcement authorities who want to take a bad guy off the street without tipping their hand to the other members of a criminal conspiracy or terrorism conspiracy that the individual arrested was being arrested for his involvement in terrorism or a criminal organization.  You can arrest the alien who commits visa fraud for that violation of law and not for other charges that might make it clear that the investigation underway is targeting a criminal or terrorist organization.

6.  Even when an alien applies for a visa and his application is denied, the application he filed remains available for law enforcement and intelligence personnel to review to seek to glean intelligence from that application.


Next I want to call your attention to something that should be obvious but that is clearly noted in the news report:

In his article, Mr. al-Awlaki draws on the concept in Islamic theology and jurisprudence of “dar al harb,” or “land of war” — those parts of the world where Muslims and nonbelievers are in a state of conflict — to argue that “Muslims are not bound by the covenants of citizenship” in Western countries.

This is something that you would think is commonsense but for all too many of our leaders, not so much!
Who could possibly believe that aliens who believe that they are at war with our nation or with a Western nation would really care about the oaths of citizenship that they may take?  This is all the more reason why it is absolutely vital that when our government confers United States citizenship upon aliens that a true effort be made to conduct a “for real” background investigation of the alien seeking to become a citizen of our nation.  
Let me make this point as clearly as I can- the great majority of aliens who naturalize are honest and honorable.  They simply want to become citizens of our nation.  However, among the honest and decent folks are the bad guys “out there” seeking to do harm to us.
Ronald Reagan often said, “Trust but verify.”  He used that phrase to describe international relations- I will use it to describe the way that our immigration benefits program must have the capability and then make use of that capability to verify the backgrounds of aliens seeking various immigration benefits- especially aliens seeking to acquire resident alien status and, most certainly when they seek United States citizenship!
This was why I was absolutely infuriated that there were “leaders” who have pushed for legalizing millions of illegal aliens and would,, no doubt, seek to do so as soon as possible in the coming months!
This is why I came to refer to Comprehensive Immigration Reform as the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act!”
The nonsense that these advocates for immigration anarchy like to tout the “Background Checks” that would have been required.  Such checks would be all but worthless under the best of circumstances and actually likely to do real harm to national security!  Here is why:
A background check simply requires that an alien fill out a form and be fingerprinted without having any reliable documentation to attest to his (her) true identity.  This means that the name on the application may or may not be remotely related to the real name of the alien applicant.  In fact, it is entirely likely that a terrorist or transnational criminal who wanted to conceal himself in our country would provide false information about every identifying issue including his name, his date of birth, his parents’ names and perhaps even his country of citizenship.
If this person had never been arrested in the United States his fingerprints would reflect no criminal history.  His false name would certainly not show that he had any arrests or involvement in terrorist organizations- remember all of his information would be a series of utter lies!  Within scant minutes he would, no doubt, be given a “clean bill of health” and would be immediately eligible to receive a temporary identity document in a brand new identity that he could immediately use as a so-called “breeder document.”  He could get a real Social Security Card, a real driver’s license, a real library card and real credit cards and bank accounts- all in an utterly fictitious name!  A terrorist could easily game this system and put himself in his own witness protection program!
This is why background investigations must be conducted where investigators actually knock on doors, show photos of applicants for benefits and take reasonable measures to verify the information contained in the applications are accurate and honest.
Here is some more disturbing information that will help you stay awake this evening-
When an alien naturalizes, he (she) is permitted to assume a brand new identity.  He could utterly and completely change his name to reflect any ethnicity he would like!  Under this system, any alien can literally become “John Doe!”  When such a naturalized alien applies for and receives a new passport, the only name on the passport would be the name he took on the day he naturalized.  The entire world might be looking for this individual as a suspected terrorist and he would have morphed into a completely new identity and his United States passport would only reflect his new name!
Finally, the article noted that many of the individuals recruited to join al-Qaeda were petty thieves.  It must be understood that prisons have become recruitment centers for gangs and other criminal organizations.  It must be anticipated that terrorist organizations would similarly want to recruit inmates of jails.  The inmates have already proven themselves to be as antisocial as these groups could want in a recruit.  The inmates may have committed crimes of violence or crimes involving fraud and guile.  These predispositions would certainly be highly desired by those attempting to recruit terrorists.  It is of critical importance that measure be devise and implemented to do everything possible to prevent the recruitment of individuals into terrorist or criminal organizations while they serve out prison sentences.   
It has been said that “Ignorance is bliss!”  In my view stupidity of our “leaders” has the potential to kill- us!

I

our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!


The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  I implore you to resolve this year to get involved!


If this situation 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!

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- 


Please check out my website:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/19/al-awlaki-says-al-qaeda-in-dire-need-of-money/

Thou shalt steal, al Qaeda tells militants in cash quest

Recommends stealing from ‘enemy’ to fund terror

**FILE** Anwar al-Awlaki

**FILE** Anwar al-Awlaki

The latest edition of al Qaeda‘s
online, English-language magazine includes an article offering an
Islamic justification for extremists to steal from non-Muslims to
finance their activities. Analysts say this shows that the
U.S. and its allies are succeeding in drying up sources of terrorist funding.

The five-page article in Inspire magazine was written by Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-Yemeni radical cleric who is regarded by counterterrorism officials as one of al Qaeda‘s most dangerous leaders because of his ability to inspire homegrown, lone-wolf extremists in Western lands.

“Rather
than the Muslims financing their jihad from their own pockets, they
should finance it from the pockets of their enemies,” he adds in the
article, a lengthy recitation of the Islamic jurisprudential debates
over “ganimah,” or war booty.

“Our jihad cannot depend wholly
on donations made by Muslims,” he writes, noting “jihad around the world
is in dire need of financial support.”

Although these are long-established elements of extremist ideology, and several al Qaeda operatives have financed themselves through petty crime, some scholars see the timing of the article as important.

“It is significant that he took the time and space to offer this justification now,” Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told The Washington Times. “It is even more significant because he juxtaposes [stealing funds] to donations.”

Mr. Joscelyn notes that Mr. al-Awlaki acknowledges that al Qaeda‘s enemies have succeeded in slowing down the flow of donations that had helped fund its activities.

In his article, Mr. al-Awlaki
draws on the concept in Islamic theology and jurisprudence of “dar al
harb,” or “land of war” — those parts of the world where Muslims and
nonbelievers are in a state of conflict — to argue that “Muslims are
not bound by the covenants of citizenship” in Western countries.

“It
is the consensus of our scholars that the property of the disbelievers
in dar al harb is halal [permissible for believers to use] and is a
legitimate target for the mujahedin,”
Mr. al-Awlaki states.

Leading al Qaeda
scholar Peter Bergen said the article does not sound a “new theme” in
extremist thought and noted that many of the first generation of
homegrown radicals, like would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid and would-be
“dirty” bomber Jose Padilla, had a criminal past before they were
recruited to
al Qaeda.

“Many of those attracted to this were petty criminals in the first place,” he said.

The 67-page magazine, the fourth edition of Inspire, was published last weekend by al Qaeda
in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Yemen-based extremist franchise.
It also contains an article urging lone-wolf extremists in the West to
blow up buildings using natural gas — a plot thought to have originated
almost a decade ago with Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

Analysts linked both these articles to a new emphasis on bottom-up organizing by al Qaeda,
in which the terrorist network uses the Internet to radicalize young
Muslims, singly or in small groups, and then incites them to commit
small-group or lone-wolf attacks.

Using social media is an
important part of the bottom-up strategy, and among other websites from
which Inspire could be downloaded Tuesday morning was a
Facebook
page. By the afternoon, the page was unavailable, though the magazine
was still accessible through multiple file-sharing sites on the
Internet.

Facebook
does not comment on decisions about individual pages, but an executive
there told The Times on the condition of anonymity that the company had
removed the page for violations of its terms of service.

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in an e-mail: “There is no place on Facebook
for people who promote violence, and we devote significant resources to
prevent even the rare instances when people try to misuse our service.”

Mr.
Noyes said employees proactively scan the site for pages that promote
violence “using sophisticated tools and lists from the State and
Treasury Departments” and pass information about them to the
authorities.

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author
Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman

Shaun
Waterman is an award-winning reporter for the Washington Times,
covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior
editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a
decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003.
His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by
which some of its recommendations finally became …

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