Introduction: The program begins with an FBI informant’s contention that the Bureau missed a chance to interdict 9/11 hijacker Mohammad Atta’s activities. As we have seen in our many visits with the heroic Daniel Hopsicker, Atta was part of an intelligence/fascist milieu in Florida that was, past a point, untouchable to law enforcement.
Very, very disturbing in light of Hopsicker’s investigations is news that a large, sophisticated aviation network is linked to Latin American and African drug smuggling networks, as well as Muslim Brotherhood networks associated with al-Qaeda.The network is flying Boeing 727 jets, capable of carrying up to 10 tons of cargo. They are returning to the Americas, with cargo. The possibility that they could, ultimately, ferry-in WMD’s is an unsettling but very real prospect.
Turning to the crash of Air France flight 447, the program notes that the plane appears to have broken up in mid-air, suggesting the possibility of a bomb. Two of the victims of the crash are noteworthy for present purposes. Argentine campaigner Pablo Dreyfus and Swiss colleague Ronald Dreyer had been battling the overlapping arms and drug trade in South America, two areas in which the nexus of organized crime and Islamist terrorism may be found. There were also reports of possible Islamic militants on board the doomed aircraft.
Much of the program deals with the GOP/Muslim Brotherhood/terrorist axis. After noting that President Bush entertained Faizul Khan–an imam who ministered to the Fort Hood shooter and who is closely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood milieu, the program turns to the topic of GOP kingpin Grover Norquist. At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, Norquist, one of the major architects of the GOP/Muslim Brotherhood link, dismissed any notion that Islamists are a threat as a concoction of “The Israel Lobby.”
Program Highlights Include: Muslim gangs’ control of the British underworld; the U.S. Attorney in New York’s decision to merge investigations of drug trafficking and Islamic terrorism; GOP senatorial hopeful Tom Campbell’s support for Sami al-Arian; 9/11 hijackers’ imam Anwar Awlaki’s close association with Major Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter.
1. The program begins with an FBI informant’s contention that the Bureau missed a chance to interdict 9/11 hijacker Mohammad Atta’s activities. As we have seen in our many visits with the heroic Daniel Hopsicker, Atta was part of an intelligence/fascist milieu in Florida that was, past a point, untouchable to law enforcement. Whether the bureau bungled or was deliberately put off the trail of Atta and company is a subject for speculation.
On the eve of the eight year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, an FBI informant who infiltrated alleged terrorist cells in the U.S. tells ABC News the FBI missed a chance to stop the al Qaeda plot because they focused more on undercover stings than on the man who would later become known as 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta.
In an exclusive interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC World News with Charles Gibson and Nightline, former undercover operative Elie Assaad says he spotted and became suspicious of Atta in early 2001, when he was sent by the FBI to infiltrate a small mosque outside Miami. Atta was there with Adnan Shukrujuman, an al Qaeda fugitive who now has a $5 million U.S. reward on his head.
“There was something wrong with these guys,” Assaad, a 36-year-old Catholic native of Lebanon who pretended to be an Islamic extremist, says. . . .
. . . According to Assaad, Shukrujumah, whose father ran the mosque, invited the undercover FBI operative to meet him at his home, but the FBI told him to stay away. Instead, Assad says the agency assigned him to set up and sting what he calls wannabe terrorists, ending any hope of infiltrating the real al Qaeda terrorists.
Former national security official Richard Clarke, now an ABC News consultant, said the case is “yet another example of the way the system broke down prior to 9/11.”
“If the system had worked,” Clarke said, “we might have been able to identify these people before the attacks.”
2. Listeners familiar with Hopsicker’s work will find the following article genuinely chilling. The above-mentioned fascist/intelligence milieu was deeply involved with drug-smuggling. The possibility that a WMD might find its way into one of the rogue network’s aircraft–perhaps a 727–is a chilling possibiltiy. Note that in the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk, the United States is destroyed by terrorist attacks using WMD’s smuggled in through drug networks!
In early 2008, an official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent a report to his superiors detailing what he called “the most significant development in the criminal exploitation of aircraft since 9/11.“The document warned that a growing fleet of rogue jet aircraft was regularly crisscrossing the Atlantic Ocean. On one end of the air route, it said, are cocaine-producing areas in the Andes controlled by the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. On the other are some of West Africa’s most unstable countries.
The report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, was ignored, and the problem has since escalated into what security officials in several countries describe as a global security threat.
The clandestine fleet has grown to include twin-engine turboprops, executive jets and retired Boeing 727s that are flying multi-ton loads of cocaine and possibly weapons to an area in Africa where factions of al Qaeda are believed to be facilitating the smuggling of drugs to Europe, the officials say.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has been held responsible for car and suicide bombings in Algeria and Mauritania.
Gunmen and bandits with links to AQIM have also stepped up kidnappings of Europeans for ransom, who are then passed on to AQIM factions seeking ransom payments.
The aircraft hopscotch across South American countries, picking up tons of cocaine and jet fuel, officials say. They then soar across the Atlantic to West Africa and the Sahel, where the drugs are funneled across the Sahara Desert and into Europe.
An examination of documents and interviews with officials in the United States and three West African nations suggest that at least 10 aircraft have been discovered using this air route since 2006. Officials warn that many of these aircraft were detected purely by chance. They caution that the real number involved in the networks is likely considerably higher.
Alexandre Schmidt, regional representative for West and Central Africa for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, cautioned in Dakar this week that the aviation network has expanded in the past 12 months and now likely includes several Boeing 727 aircraft.
“When you have this high capacity for transporting drugs into West Africa, this means that you have the capacity to transport as well other goods, so it is definitely a threat to security anywhere in the world,” said Schmidt.
The “other goods” officials are most worried about are weapons that militant organizations can smuggle on the jet aircraft. A Boeing 727 can handle up to 10 tons of cargo.
The U.S. official who wrote the report for the Department of Homeland Security said the al Qaeda connection was unclear at the time.
The official is a counter-narcotics aviation expert who asked to remain anonymous as he is not authorized to speak on the record. He said he was dismayed by the lack of attention to the matter since he wrote the report.
“You’ve got an established terrorist connection on this side of the Atlantic. Now on the Africa side you have the al Qaeda connection and it’s extremely disturbing and a little bit mystifying that it’s not one of the top priorities of the government,” he said.
Since the September 11 attacks, the security system for passenger air traffic has been ratcheted up in the United States and throughout much of the rest of the world, with the latest measures imposed just weeks ago after a failed bomb attempt on a Detroit-bound plane on December 25.
“The bad guys have responded with their own aviation network that is out there everyday flying loads and moving contraband,” said the official, “and the government seems to be oblivious to it.”
The upshot, he said, is that militant organizations — including groups like the FARC and al Qaeda — have the “power to move people and material and contraband anywhere around the world with a couple of fuel stops.”
The lucrative drug trade is already having a deleterious impact on West African nations. Local authorities told Reuters they are increasingly outgunned and unable to stop the smugglers.
And significantly, many experts say, the drug trafficking is bringing in huge revenues to groups that say they are part of al Qaeda. It’s swelling not just their coffers but also their ranks, they say, as drug money is becoming an effective recruiting tool in some of the world’s most desperately poor regions.
U.S. President Barack Obama has chided his intelligence officials for not pooling information “to connect those dots” to prevent threats from being realized. But these dots, scattered across two continents like flaring traces on a radar screen, remain largely unconnected and the fleets themselves are still flying.
THE AFRICAN CONNECTION
The deadly cocaine trade always follows the money, and its cash-flush traffickers seek out the routes that are the mostly lightly policed.
Beset by corruption and poverty, weak countries across West Africa have become staging platforms for transporting between 30 tons and 100 tons of cocaine each year that ends up in Europe, according to U.N. estimates.
Drug trafficking, though on a much smaller scale, has existed here and elsewhere on the continent since at least the late 1990s, according to local authorities and U.S. enforcement officials.
Earlier this decade, sea interdictions were stepped up. So smugglers developed an air fleet that is able to transport tons of cocaine from the Andes to African nations that include Mauritania, Mali, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau.What these countries have in common are numerous disused landing strips and makeshift runways — most without radar or police presence. Guinea Bissau has no aviation radar at all. As fleets grew, so, too, did the drug trade.
The DEA says all aircraft seized in West Africa had departed Venezuela. That nation’s location on the Caribbean and Atlantic seaboard of South America makes it an ideal takeoff place for drug flights bound for Africa, they say.
A number of aircraft have been retrofitted with additional fuel tanks to allow in-flight refueling — a technique innovated by Mexico’s drug smugglers. (Cartel pilots there have been known to stretch an aircraft’s flight range by putting a water mattress filled with aviation fuel in the cabin, then stacking cargoes of marijuana bundles on top to act as an improvised fuel pump.)
Ploys used by the cartel aviators to mask the flights include fraudulent pilot certificates, false registration documents and altered tail numbers to steer clear of law enforcement lookout lists, investigators say. Some aircraft have also been found without air-worthiness certificates or log books. When smugglers are forced to abandon them, they torch them to destroy forensic and other evidence like serial numbers.
The evidence suggests that some Africa-bound cocaine jets also file a regional flight plan to avoid arousing suspicion from investigators. They then subsequently change them at the last minute, confident that their switch will go undetected.
One Gulfstream II jet, waiting with its engines running to take on 2.3 tons of cocaine at Margarita Island in Venezuela, requested a last-minute flight plan change to war-ravaged Sierra Leone in West Africa. It was nabbed moments later by Venezuelan troops, the report seen by Reuters showed.
Once airborne, the planes soar to altitudes used by commercial jets. They have little fear of interdiction as there is no long-range radar coverage over the Atlantic. Current detection efforts by U.S. authorities, using fixed radar and P3 aircraft, are limited to traditional Caribbean and north Atlantic air and marine transit corridors.
The aircraft land at airports, disused runways or improvised air strips in Africa. One bearing a false Red Cross emblem touched down without authorization onto an unlit strip at Lungi International Airport in Sierra Leone in 2008, according to a U.N. report.
Late last year a Boeing 727 landed on an improvised runway using the hard-packed sand of a Tuareg camel caravan route in Mali, where local officials said smugglers offloaded between 2 and 10 tons of cocaine before dousing the jet with fuel and burning it after it failed to take off again.
For years, traffickers in Mexico have bribed officials to allow them to land and offload cocaine flights at commercial airports. That’s now happening in Africa as well. In July 2008, troops in coup-prone Guinea Bissau secured Bissau international airport to allow an unscheduled cocaine flight to land, according to Edmundo Mendes, a director with the Judicial Police.
“When we got there, the soldiers were protecting the aircraft,” said Mendes, who tried to nab the Gulfstream II jet packed with an estimated $50 million in cocaine but was blocked by the military.
“The soldiers verbally threatened us,” he said. The cocaine was never recovered. Just last week, Reuters photographed two aircraft at Osvaldo Vieira International Airport in Guinea Bissau — one had been dispatched by traffickers from Senegal to try to repair the other, a Gulfstream II jet, after it developed mechanical problems. Police seized the second aircraft.
One of the clearest indications of how much this aviation network has advanced was the discovery, on November 2, of the burned out fuselage of an aging Boeing 727. Local authorities found it resting on its side in rolling sands in Mali. In several ways, the use of such an aircraft marks a significant advance for smugglers.
Boeing jetliners, like the one discovered in Mali, can fly a cargo of several tons into remote areas. They also require a three-man crew — a pilot, co pilot and flight engineer, primarily to manage the complex fuel system dating from an era before automation.
Hundreds of miles to the west, in the sultry, former Portuguese colony of Guinea Bissau, national Interpol director Calvario Ahukharie said several abandoned airfields, including strips used at one time by the Portuguese military, had recently been restored by “drug mafias” for illicit flights.
“In the past, the planes coming from Latin America usually landed at Bissau airport,” Ahukharie said as a generator churned the feeble air-conditioning in his office during one of the city’s frequent blackouts.
“But now they land at airports in southern and eastern Bissau where the judicial police have no presence.”
Ahukharie said drug flights are landing at Cacine, in eastern Bissau, and Bubaque in the Bijagos Archipelago, a chain of more than 80 islands off the Atlantic coast. Interpol said it hears about the flights from locals, although they have been unable to seize aircraft, citing a lack of resources.
The drug trade, by both air and sea, has already had a devastating impact on Guinea Bissau. A dispute over trafficking has been linked to the assassination of the military chief of staff, General Batista Tagme Na Wai in 2009. Hours later, the country’s president, Joao Bernardo Vieira, was hacked to death by machete in his home.
Asked how serious the issue of air trafficking remained for Guinea Bissau, Ahukharie was unambiguous: “The problem is grave.”
The situation is potentially worse in the Sahel-Sahara, where cocaine is arriving by the ton. There it is fed into well-established overland trafficking routes across the Sahara where government influence is limited and where factions of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have become increasingly active.
The group, previously known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, is raising millions of dollars from the kidnap of Europeans.
Analysts say militants strike deals of convenience with Tuareg rebels and smugglers of arms, cigarettes and drugs. According to a growing pattern of evidence, the group may now be deriving hefty revenues from facilitating the smuggling of FARC-made cocaine to the shores of Europe.
In December, Antonio Maria Costa, the executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, told a special session of the UN Security Council that drugs were being traded by “terrorists and anti-government forces” to fund their operations from the Andes, to Asia and the African Sahel.
“In the past, trade across the Sahara was by caravans,” he said. “Today it is larger in size, faster at delivery and more high-tech, as evidenced by the debris of a Boeing 727 found on November 2nd in the Gao region of Mali — an area affected by insurgency and terrorism.”
Just days later, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials arrested three West African men following a sting operation in Ghana. The men, all from Mali, were extradited to New York on December 16 on drug trafficking and terrorism charges.
Oumar Issa, Harouna Toure, and Idriss Abelrahman are accused of plotting to transport cocaine across Africa with the intent to support al Qaeda, its local affiliate AQIM and the FARC. The charges provided evidence of what the DEA’s top official in Colombia described to a Reuters reporter as “an unholy alliance between South American narco-terrorists and Islamic extremists.”
Some experts are skeptical, however, that the men are any more than criminals. They questioned whether the drug dealers oversold their al Qaeda connections to get their hands on the cocaine.
In its criminal complaint, the DEA said Toure had led an armed group affiliated to al Qaeda that could move the cocaine from Ghana through North Africa to Spain for a fee of $2,000 per kilo for transportation and protection.
Toure discussed two different overland routes with an undercover informant. One was through Algeria and Morocco; the other via Algeria to Libya. He told the informer that the group had worked with al Qaeda to transport between one and two tons of hashish to Tunisia, as well as smuggle Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi migrants into Spain.
In any event, AQIM has been gaining in notoriety. Security analysts warn that cash stemming from the trans-Saharan coke trade could transform the organization — a small, agile group whose southern-Sahel wing is estimated to number between 100 and 200 men — into a more potent threat in the region that stretches from Mauritania to Niger. It is an area with huge foreign investments in oil, mining and a possible trans-Sahara gas pipeline.
“These groups are going to have a lot more money than they’ve had before, and I think you are going to see them with much more sophisticated weapons,” said Douglas Farah, a senior fellow at the International Assessment Strategy Center, a Washington based security think-tank.
NARCOTIC INDUSTRIAL DEPOT
The Timbuktu region covers more than a third of northern Mali, where the parched, scrubby Sahel shades into the endless, rolling dunes of the Sahara Desert. It is an area several times the size of Switzerland, much of it beyond state control.
Moulaye Haidara, the customs official, said the sharp influx of cocaine by air has transformed the area into an “industrial depot” for cocaine.
Sitting in a cool, dark, mud-brick office building in the city where nomadic Tuareg mingle with Arabs and African Songhay, Fulani and Mande peoples, Haidara expresses alarm at the challenge local law enforcement faces.
Using profits from the trade, the smugglers have already bought “automatic weapons, and they are very determined,” Haidara said. He added that they “call themselves Al Qaeda,” though he believes the group had nothing to do with religion, but used it as “an ideological base.”
Local authorities say four-wheel-drive Toyota SUVs outfitted with GPS navigation equipment and satellite telephones are standard issue for smugglers. Residents say traffickers deflate the tires to gain better traction on the loose Saharan sands, and can travel at speeds of up to 70 miles-per-hour in convoys along routes to North Africa.
Timbuktu governor, Colonel Mamadou Mangara, said he believes traffickers have air-conditioned tents that enable them to operate in areas of the Sahara where summer temperatures are so fierce that they “scorch your shoes.” He added that the army lacked such equipment. A growing number of people in the impoverished region, where transport by donkey cart and camel are still common, are being drawn to the trade. They can earn 4 to 5 million CFA Francs (roughly $9–11,000) on just one coke run.
“Smuggling can be attractive to people here who can make only $100 or $200 a month,” said Mohamed Ag Hamalek, a Tuareg tourist guide in Timbuktu, whose family until recently earned their keep hauling rock salt by camel train, using the stars to navigate the Sahara.
Haidara described northern Mali as a no-go area for the customs service. “There is now a red line across northern Mali, nobody can go there,” he said, sketching a map of the country on a scrap of paper with a ballpoint pen. “If you go there with feeble means ... you don’t come back.”
Speaking in Dakar this week, Schmidt, the U.N. official, said that growing clandestine air traffic required urgent action on the part of the international community.
“This should be the highest concern for governments ... For West African countries, for West European countries, for Russia and the U.S., this should be very high on the agenda,” he said.
Stopping the trade, as the traffickers are undoubtedly aware, is a huge challenge — diplomatically, structurally and economically.
Venezuela, the takeoff or refueling point for aircraft making the trip, has a confrontational relationship with Colombia, where President Alvaro Uribe has focused on crushing the FARC’s 45-year-old insurgency. The nation’s leftist leader, Hugo Chavez, won’t allow in the DEA to work in the country.
In a measure of his hostility to Washington, he scrambled two F16 fighter jets last week to intercept an American P3 aircraft — a plane used to seek out and track drug traffickers — which he said had twice violated Venezuelan airspace. He says the United States and Colombia are using anti-drug operations as a cover for a planned invasion of his oil-rich country. Washington and Bogota dismiss the allegation.
In terms of curbing trafficking, the DEA has by far the largest overseas presence of any U.S. federal law enforcement, with 83 offices in 62 countries. But it is spread thin in Africa where it has just four offices — in Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and South Africa — though there are plans to open a fifth office in Kenya.
Law enforcement agencies from Europe as well as Interpol are also at work to curb the trade. But locally, officials are quick to point out that Africa is losing the war on drugs.
The most glaring problem, as Mali’s example shows, is a lack of resources. The only arrests made in connection with the Boeing came days after it was found in the desert — and those incarcerated turned out to be desert nomads cannibalizing the plane’s aluminum skin, probably to make cooking pots. They were soon released.
Police in Guinea Bissau, meanwhile, told Reuters they have few guns, no money for gas for vehicles given by donor governments and no high security prison to hold criminals.
Corruption is also a problem. The army has freed several traffickers charged or detained by authorities seeking to tackle the problem, police and rights groups said.
Serious questions remain about why Malian authorities took so long to report the Boeing’s discovery to the international law enforcement community.
What is particularly worrying to U.S. interests is that the networks of aircraft are not just flying one way — hauling coke to Africa from Latin America — but are also flying back to the Americas.
The internal Department of Homeland Security memorandum reviewed by Reuters cited one instance in which an aircraft from Africa landed in Mexico with passengers and unexamined cargo.
The Gulfstream II jet arrived in Cancun, by way of Margarita Island, Venezuela, en route from Africa. The aircraft, which was on an aviation watch list, carried just two passengers. One was a U.S. national with no luggage, the other a citizen of the Republic of Congo with a diplomatic passport and a briefcase, which was not searched.
“The obvious huge concern is that you have a transportation system that is capable of transporting tons of cocaine from west to east,” said the aviation specialist who wrote the Homeland Security report.
“But it’s reckless to assume that nothing is coming back, and when there’s terrorist organizations on either side of this pipeline, it should be a high priority to find out what is coming back on those airplanes.”
3. Turning to the crash of Air France flight 447, the program notes that the plane appears to have broken up in mid-air, suggesting the possibility of a bomb.
Autopsies revealing fractures in the legs, hips and arms of Air France disaster victims, coupled with the large pieces of wreckage pulled from the Atlantic, strongly suggest the plane broke up in the air.
With more than 400 bits of debris recovered from the ocean’s surface, the top French investigator expressed optimism about discovering what brought down Flight 447, but he also called the conditions — far from land in very deep waters — “one of the worst situations ever known in an accident investigation.”
French investigators are beginning to form “an image that is progressively less fuzzy,” Paul-Louis Arslanian, who runs the French air accident investigation agency BEA, told a news conference outside Paris.
“We are in a situation that is a bit more favorable than the first days,” Arslanian said. “We can say there is a little less uncertainty, so there is a little more optimism. ... (but) it is premature for the time being to say what happened.”
A spokesman for Brazilian medical examiners said that fractures were found in autopsies on an undisclosed number of the 50 bodies recovered so far.
“Typically, if you see intact bodies and multiple fractures — arm, leg, hip fractures — it’s a good indicator of a midflight break up,” said Frank Ciacco, a former forensic expert at the US National Transportation Safety Board.
“Especially if you’re seeing large pieces of aircraft as well.”
The pattern of fractures was first reported by Brazil’s O Estado de S Paulo newspaper, which cited unnamed investigators. The paper also reported that some victims were found with little or no clothing, and had no signs of burns.
That lack of clothing could be significant, said Jack Casey, an aviation safety consultant in Washington, who is a former accident investigator. “In an in-air break up like we are supposing here, the clothes are just torn away.”
Casey also said multiple fractures are consistent with a midair breakup of the plane, which was cruising at about 10,500m when it went down.
“Getting ejected into that kind of windstream is like hitting a brick wall — even if they stay in their seats, it is a crushing effect,” Casey said. “Most of them were long dead before they hit the water would be my guess.”
When a jet crashes into water mostly intact — such as the Egypt Air plane that hit the Atlantic Ocean after taking off from New York in 1999 — debris and bodies are generally broken into small pieces, Ciacco said. . . .
4. Two of the victims of the crash are noteworthy for present purposes. Argentine campaigner Pablo Dreyfus and Swiss colleague Ronald Dreyer had been battling the overlapping arms and drug trade in South America, two areas in which the nexus of organized crime and Islamist terrorism may be found. Were the victims becoming overly troublesome to some of the mangers of these arenas of black commerce?
Of particular significance in this context is the so-called tri-border area between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina–a major area where Islamist terrorism, the arms traffic, drug smuggling and fascist elements overlap.
Note, also, that weapons left over from African civil wars and Brazilian companies that had purchased European munitions companies. For veteran listeners to this show, the German/Latin American link will bring to mind the Bormann capital network.
Ardgentina: Argentine campaigner Pablo Dreyfus and Swiss colleague Ronald Dreyer battled South American arms and drug traffickingFrom Andrew McLeod
Amid the media frenzy and speculation over the disappearance of Air France’s ill-fated Flight 447, the loss of two of the world’s most prominent figures in the war on the illegal arms trade and international drug trafficking has been virtually overlooked.
Pablo Dreyfus, a 39-year-old Argentine who was travelling with his wife Ana Carolina Rodrigues aboard the doomed flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, had worked tirelessly with the Brazilian authorities to stem the flow of arms and ammunition that for years has fuelled the bloody turf wars waged by drug gangs in Rio’s sprawling favelas.
Also travelling with Dreyfus on the doomed flight was his friend and colleague Ronald Dreyer, a Swiss diplomat and co-ordinator of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence who had worked with UN missions in El Salvador, Mozambique, Azerbaijan, Kosovo and Angola. Both men were consultants at the Small Arms Survey, an independent think tank based at Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International Studies. The Survey said on its website that Dryer had helped mobilise the support of more than 100 countries to the cause of disarmament and development.
Buenos Aires-born Dreyfus had been living in Rio since 2002, where he and his sociologist wife worked with the Brazilian NGO Viva Rio.
“Pablo will be remembered as a gentle and sensitive man with an upbeat sense of humour,” said the Small Arms Survey. “He displayed an intellectual curiosity and a determined work ethic that excited and enthused all who worked with him.”
According to the International Action Network on Small Arms Control (IANSA), Dreyfus’s work was instrumental in the introduction of landmark small arms legislation in Brazil in 2003. Under this legislation, an online link was created between army and police databases listing production, imports and exports of arms and ammunition in Brazil.
Dreyfus was an advocate of the stringent labelling of ammunition by weapons firms, arguing that by clearly identifying ammunition not only by its producer but also its purchaser, the likelihood of weapons being sourced by criminals from corrupt police or armed forces personnel is greatly reduced.
Though a Brazilian referendum on the right to bear arms was rejected in 2005, Viva Rio says the campaign should be considered a success because half a million weapons were voluntarily handed in to the authorities. Anti-gun activists put the referendum defeat down to fears criminals would circumvent the law and continue to gain access to small arms the usual way — through Paraguay and other bordering countries. This was not an irrational fear: until 2004, when Paraguay bowed to Brazilian pressure, even foreign tourists were allowed to purchase small arms simply by presenting a photocopy of their identity card. Dreyfus knew that many of the weapons from the so-called tri-border area between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina were reaching Rio drug gangs.
When unidentified gunmen made off with a stash of hand grenades from an Argentine military garrison in 2006, Dreyfus deplored what he said was lax security at military depots across the world. “If a supermarket can keep control of the amount of peas it has in stock, surely a military organisation could and should be able to do the same with equal if not greater efficiency with its weapons,” he said. “The key words are logisitics, control, security.”
When Rio agents smashed a cell of drug traffickers who had sourced their weapons from the tri-border area, Dreyfus noted its leaders were prominent businessmen living in apartments in the plush Rio suburbs of Ipanema and Sao Corrado, “not in the favelas”.
In a recent report posted on the Brazilian website Comunidade Segura (Safe Community), Dreyfus noted that the Brazilian arms firm CBC (Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos) had become one of the world’s biggest ammunition producers by purchasing Germany’s Metallwerk Elisenhutte Nassau (MEN) in 2007, and Sellier & Bellot (S&B) of the Czech Republic in March. This would not be particularly noteworthy but for the fact that CBC’s exports had tapered off in recent years due to legislation restricting exports to Paraguay, arms that often found their way back into Brazil and on to the Rio drug gangs — the “boomerang effect”, as Dreyfus called it. “The commercial export of weapons and ammunition from Brazil to the bordering countries stopped in 2001,” wrote Dreyfus. “CBC lost commercial markets in Latin America, but Brazil won in public security.”
However, manufacturers from other countries had moved in to fill the void, and before its purchase by CBC, S&B was already “one of the marks most currently apprehended” by Brazilian police. Dreyfus said that, in view of the fact the Czech Republic was bound by the EU Code of Conduct on weapons exports — which states that EU countries must “evaluate the existence of the risk that the armament can be diverted to undesirable final destinations”, CBC should “consider the risk that some of these exports end up, via diversions, feeding violence in Brazil”.
Though his focus was on Latin America, Dreyfus also advised the government of Mozambique and at the time of his death was preparing to do the same for the government of Angola, where stockpiles of weapons left over from the civil war continue to pose a security problem.
Dreyfus and Dreyer were on their way to Geneva to present the latest edition of the Small Arms Survey handbook, of which Dreyfus was a joint editor. It was to have been their latest step in their relentless fight against evil.
5. There were also reports of possible Islamic militants on board the doomed aircraft.
A French submarine with advanced sonar equipment began searching yesterday for the flight recorders of the Air France airliner that crashed into the Atlantic last week, killing all 228 passengers and crew.
It was claimed yesterday by the French weekly L’Express that two names on the flight’s passenger list “correspond to people known for links to Islamist terrorism” by French intelligence services.
The French nuclear submarine Emeraude was sent to the area to hunt for the aircraft’s “black box” flight-data recorders, which might help to explain the disaster. They are believed to lie on the ocean floor.
The Air France flight is believed to have run into trouble when it hit a violent storm midway over the Atlantic Ocean.
Problems with air-speed sensors have become one of the focal points of the inquiry.
But other causes have not been ruled out. . . .
6. Under-reported is the profound connection between Islamism and organized crime. There is an entire chapter in “Dollars for Terror” by Richard Labeviere titled “Islamist Deal-Making and Organized Crime.” Our visits with Daniel Hopsicker have highlighted this link, to an extent.
In fact, much of the income derived by groups like Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other Islamist cadres comes from arms and drug sales.
A chilling article from the UK underlines the extent to which Muslim gangs dominate the British underworld. Although they are described as not being religious by members, one should bear in mind the economic support that groups like this have, and the extent to which that influence is amplified by their alliance with Muslim Brotherhood subgroups.
NB: “Asian” in popular British lexicon generally refers to people from Pakistan and India, not Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, etc.
In traditional Islamic headgear, Asian ex-gang member Amir poses with his sword and issues the stark warning: “Britain’s underworld belongs to the Muslims.”
The 21-year-old, whose organisation turned over thousands of pounds a day from drug-dealing and credit card scams, claims a post-9/11 fear of terrorism has allowed Muslims to develop a stranglehold on our criminal community.
Through Islam, he says, they have numbers which cannot be matched, and rival gangs are being forced out by ruthless Islamic criminals who only deal with each other.
They recruit black and white members in Britain’s jails, tempting them to convert to Islam in exchange for a cushier life inside.
Once released, the converted cons have access to an entirely new network of Muslim criminal contacts — and are trusted because they pray to Allah.
Amir claims that Britain’s underworld will soon be completely dominated by Islamic gangs — and he says the West’s paranoia over terrorism is to blame. “People don’t f*** with us because they think we’re all in al-Qaeda,” he explains.
“Our status in the criminal hierarchy changed literally the day the Twin Towers went down.
“From then, Asians have been associated with terrorism. People, including other criminals, think if you’re Asian you’ll blow up a Tube train or bomb an aeroplane.
“In the past 20 years we’ve capitalised on that. If we’re going to be thought of as extremists, why not use that fear?
“The reality is that Asian gangs don’t give much of [a] toss about religion, but with Islam comes fear, and with fear comes power. . . . ”
7. The United States attorney in Manhattan is merging the two units in his office that prosecute terrorism and international narcotics cases, saying that he wants to focus more on extremist Islamic groups whose members he believes are increasingly turning to the drug trade to finance their activities.
The United States attorney in Manhattan is merging the two units in his office that prosecute terrorism and international narcotics cases, saying that he wants to focus more on extremist Islamic groups whose members he believes are increasingly turning to the drug trade to finance their activities.
Some Western law enforcement and intelligence agencies have long pointed to what they say are the symbiotic relationships that sometimes exist between terrorist groups and narcotics traffickers, from Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Hezbollah in the Middle East to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
But the move by the United States attorney, Preet Bharara, comes as United States officials have suggested that some members of Islamic extremist groups, including Al Qaeda and some of its affiliates, are more frequently turning to the drug trade — as well as kidnapping and other criminal activities — to help finance their operations.
It is, they say, partly a response to increased pressure on other financial sources, like Islamic charities and private donors.
By merging the units, Terrorism and National Security and International Narcotics Trafficking, Mr. Bharara said he is combining two groups that have developed many of the same skills — working overseas, often using classified information, to build complex cases against sophisticated targets.
The new unit, he said, would be better able to bring drug charges to bear against some terrorists, as well as use a new law that gives federal drug agents the authority to pursue narcotics and terrorism crimes committed anywhere in the world if they can establish a link between a drug offense and a terrorist act or group. . . .
8a. Sadly, observations like this come almost exclusively from a handful of conservative blogs and commentators, some of whom are willing to set forth the Bush/GOP/Islamist connection. The Bush administration and the GOP are profoundly connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and a funding apparaus that has supported al Qaeda, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Typifying this disturbing relationship is the visit of Faizul Khan to the White House.
Faizul Khan was one of the primary spiritual mentors to Major Hasan (the Fort Hood shooter)!
. . . In 2003 and 2004, President Bush asked Faizul Khan, who is affiliated with the Saudi-funded Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., and serves on the board of directors of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), to give the blessing. This year, the Justice Department officially labeled ISNA as a U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement aiming to establish a global Islamic empire, and also as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas fund-raising Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development trial still awaiting a verdict in Dallas. . . .
8b. He (Khan) is also linked to the milieu of the institutions targeted by the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002! Khan’s (and Hasan’s) mosque is linked to the Amana Mutual Fund, whose founder–Yaqub Mirza–set up the institutions raided on 3/20/2002.
One of the directors of the Amana Mutual Fund is Talat Othman, a former director of Harken Energy, a close personal friend and political adviser to both Presidents Bush, the man who delivered a Muslim benediction at the 2000 Republican convention, a director of Grover Norquist’s Islamic Institute, and the man who interfered on behalf of the individuals and institutions targeted by the 2002 Green Quest raids!
. . . We’ve also learned that, before his transfer to Ft. Hood last year, Hasan served as a psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, and regularly attended Friday prayer at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Md.
The Silver Spring clerics have issued formal statements condemning the carnage at Ft. Hood. But Imam Faizul Khan, long the main prayer leader at the mosque and a friend of Hasan, said he never believed Hasan capable of such an act. . . . And Khan is a leading board member of the Islamic Society of North America — the main Wahhabi-lobby group in the United States, established by Saudi Arabia to impose extremism on American Muslims. ISNA has a long and disgraceful record of promoting radical Islam.
On the roster of the ISNA board (listed on its Web site), the Silver Spring center’s Imam Faizul Khan is the fourth member under its president.
But the mosque has worse associations. On its own Web site (mccmd.org), it promotes a Sharia-based financial product — the Amana Mutual Fund, put together by the Wahhabis at the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), in northern Virginia.
Federal antiterrorism agents raided IIIT in the Operation GreenQuest raids of 2002. That operation remains an ongoing inquiry; IIIT and the Amana fund are still under investigation. Convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian is still in US federal custody because of his refusal to give evidence about the Virginia Wahhabi ring caught in GreenQuest. . . .
8c. Khan appears to have had a significant relationship with Hasan, for whom he was looking for a wife.
. . . Hasan attended prayers regularly when he lived outside Washington, often in his Army uniform, said Faizul Khan, a former imam at a mosque Hasan attended in Silver Spring, Md. He said Hasan was a lifelong Muslim.
“I got the impression that he was a committed soldier,” Khan said. He spoke often with Hasan about Hasan’s desire for a wife.
On a form filled out by those seeking spouses through a program at the mosque, Hasan listed his birthplace as Arlington, Va., but his nationality as Palestinian, Khan said. . . .
9. Another of the imams who ministered to Hasan was Mr. Awlaki, who also “ministered” to some of the 9/11 hijackers.
. . . Who is Anwar Nasser Awlaki? Investigators now suspect he was a key facilitator and advisor, and possibly even a surviving field commander, for the 9/11 cell that hit the Pentagon. He’s also an American citizen. They suspect he knew details of the plot and girded the al-Qaeda terrorists’ resolve to carry it out. Evidence is strong that he was enlisted to, at a minimum, hold the hijackers’ hands and take their temperature as they moved closer to Zero Hour. In short, he’s (if as yet unoffiicially) an unindicted 9/11 co-conspirator, and he remains at large.
Three of the hijackers of that uniquely all-Saudi cell that torpedoed the Pentagon spent time at the Saudi-connected Awlaki’s mosques in both San Diego and Falls Church, Virginia, where he served as prayer leader. The phone number for the Falls Church mosque–Dar al-Hirjah Islamic Center, controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and closely tied to CAIR–was found in the Hamburg, Germany, apartment of one of the planners of the 9/11 attacks, Ramzi Binalshibh. . . .
10. Criticism of GOP kingpins Grover Norquist and Karl Rove, architects of the Islamic Institute (a Muslim Brotherhood adjunct to the GOP), has been sparse. A continuing tragedy is that much of that sparse criticism comes from members of the conservative community, who have retained enough integrity to manifest outrage against the GOP’s alliance with the very Muslim Brotherhood elements against which the Republicans’ amen chorus rails.
One conservative willing to break with her milieu is Pamela Geller, a former editor of the New York Observer and editor of the Atlas Shrugs website. She recently noted Grover Norquist’s continuing activities on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood’ jihadists.
The Freedom Defense Initiative, a new organization I started with author and scholar Robert Spencer, hosted its inaugural event to an enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 19. But this event was at CPAC, not of CPAC. Could this be because of the influence of conservative kingmaker and power-broker Grover Norquist, who is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union, which hosts CPAC? The only event concerning the war on America at CPAC was worse than nothing at all: It was an Islamic propaganda (taqiyya) presentation entitled “You’ve Been Lied To: Why Real Conservatives are Against the War on Terror.” Its message was that “real conservatives” don’t support the war on terror because it is a creation of the “Israeli lobby.”
How did CPAC come to this?
Grover Norquist’s ties to Islamic supremacists and jihadists have been known for years. He and his Palestinian wife, Samah Alrayyes — who was director of communications for his Islamic Free Market Institute until they married in 2005 — are very active in “Muslim outreach.” Just six weeks after 9/11, The New Republic ran an exposé explaining how Norquist arranged for George W. Bush to meet with fifteen Islamic supremacists at the White House on September 26, 2001 — to show how Muslims rejected terrorism. . . .
It was Norquist who ushered these silver-tongued jihadists into the Oval Office of an incurious president after the worst attack ever on American soil. Instead of Hamas, Hezb’allah, and the Muslim Brotherhood, Ibn Warraq, Bat Ye’or, and Wafa Sultan should have been advising the president. Instead, at that September 26 meeting, Bush declared that “the teachings of Islam are teachings of peace and good.” It was a critically important, historic incident. What should have been the most important teaching moment of the long war became a propaganda tool for Islam. A singular opportunity was squandered, and the resulting harm is incalculable.
Bush did this because he trusted Norquist, who vouched for these Muslim leaders. Yet “the record suggests,” wrote Foer, “that [Norquist] has spent quite a lot of time promoting people openly sympathetic to Islamist terrorists.” And this continued for years. . . .
So it is no surprise that CPAC 2009, like CPAC 2010, had nothing addressing the war we are actually engaged in. This is due to the influence of Norquist, Keene, and Suhail Khan, a CPAC board member. According to Discover the Networks, Khan “has repeatedly been a featured speaker at MSA, ISNA and CAIR events” — that is, the Muslim Students Association, Islamic Society of North America, and Council on American-Islamic Relations, three groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, the international Islamic organization dedicated to establishing the rule of Islamic law and the subjugation of infidels worldwide.
Grover Norquist almost singlehandedly ushered Islamic supremacist leaders into America’s highest levels of government — subversives, the Islamic fifth column. He gave them unparalleled access. Why didn’t Gaffney’s revelations, and those that preceded and followed his exposé, end Norquist’s influence among conservatives? Why does he still have so much power? . . .
11. Next, the broadcast touches on the remarkable Ptech company and one of its principals, Yaqub Mirza (architect of the institutions raided in the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002.) Ptech–inextricably linked with the milieu of the Muslim Brotherhood and the 9/11 attacks–designed the threat assessment software architecture for the Air Force, the FAA and the Department of Energy (which oversees the country’s nuclear power plants).
The company where a convicted former Shrewsbury man worked was in the news recently when an officer of the company was arrested after arriving last week at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.
Buford George Peterson, a former Somerville resident living in South Korea, was the chief financial officer of PTech, a Quincy software company. Mr. Peterson, along with Oussama Abdul Ziade, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, are charged in a 2007 indictment indictment stemming from a January 2002 $650,000 loan application to the Small Business Administration to help small businesses struggling because of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. . . .
12. Another GOP politician running interference for individuals from the milieu of the Operation Green Quest raids is Senatorial candidate Tom Campbell. Campbell has supported Sami al-Arian, the investigation of whom led to the Operation Green Quest raids.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Campbell is facing a potentially crippling controversy over his past defense of a fired Florida professor with ties to terrorists and his inconsistent statements regarding what he knew and when about the man’s actions.
Dogged for weeks by criticism over his defense of Sami Al-Arian, who later pleaded guilty to aiding terrorists, Campbell has denied knowing about the man’s incendiary past, which included nods to Islamic jihad and calls for “death to Israel.” He also said that his dealings with Al-Arian occurred before the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
But Campbell, who was then a Stanford law professor, wrote a letter on Al-Arian’s behalf months after the Sept. 11 attacks that casts doubt on his claims of ignorance about Al-Arian’s radicalism.
“His inconsistent statements are particularly damaging because it creates a credibility problem,” said John Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College. . . .