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Terrorism Headlines of the Week- 10/10/03

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 11:13 am    Post subject: Terrorism Headlines of the Week- 10/10/03 Reply with quote

Terrorism Headlines of the Week- 10/10/03

A Strategy for Stemming Terrorists' Financing
In the spring of 2001, when David Aufhauser agreed to serve as the Treasury Department's general counsel, he looked forward to trying to help reshape how U.S. foreign aid was delivered around the world. Instead, immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks, President Bush asked him to lead the efforts to choke off terrorist financing.

"I wanted to focus on putting our money to good account, but what happened was the mirror image of that," Aufhauser recalled as he prepared to leave his job next week. "I found myself deeply engaged in looking at bad accounts, whether it was bad accounts that helped Saddam Hussein avoid economic sanctions and led us to war, or accounts that permit people to finance terror by pushing a keystroke."

Then-Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill asked Aufhauser, a 54-year-old attorney who had worked as part of Bush's legal team in the 2000 Florida recount, to lead the National Security Council's policy coordinating committee on terrorist financing. The sometimes-fractious interagency group was responsible for fashioning a strategy to shut down the money pipeline to terrorist organizations. Until then, virtually no attention was paid to the flow of money to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and there was no central database of suspected donors or front organizations.

Source: Washington Post

Homeland Security Dept. Planning 7 Offices Overseas to Screen Visas

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 The Homeland Security Department plans to open law enforcement offices throughout the Muslim world, with agents assigned to investigate visa applicants who are suspected of ties to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, senior Bush administration officials said on Monday.

The officials said permanent offices would open early next year in American embassies and consulates in Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, chosen because of their visa volume and because of the regional presence of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

Two offices opened in August without announcement in Saudi Arabia, one in Riyadh, the capital, and the other in Jeddah, the commercial center.

Source: New York Times

FBI Sent Money to Hamas in 1990s

WASHINGTON - In an undercover operation run in the shadow of Mideast peace talks, the FBI secretly sent money to suspected Hamas figures to see if the militant Palestinian group would divert it from charitable purposes to terrorist attacks, according to interviews and court documents.

The counterterrorism operation in 1998 and 1999 was run out of the FBI's Phoenix office in cooperation with Israeli intelligence and was approved by Attorney General Janet Reno, FBI officials told The Associated Press.

The money, usually just a couple of thousand dollars, was sent to suspected terror supporters during the operation as the FBI tried to track the flow of cash through terror organizations, the FBI said in a rare acknowledgment of an undercover sting.

Source: Associated Press

7 Canadians accused of links to terror still in foreign custody

The release of Maher Arar of Ottawa from a Syrian prison still leaves seven Canadians in foreign custody on allegations of involvement with criminal terrorist organizations.

Brothers Omar and Abdul Rahman Khadr, who have lived in Ottawa and Toronto, gained national notoriety during the U.S.-led siege on Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Omar Khadr, 17, known as Canada's John Walker Lindh, is alleged to have killed a U.S. soldier with a grenade in an incident last July. Both are being held at the U.S. terrorist internment camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Report: Australia may boost funding for pro-Western schools in Indonesia

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) Australia may give more money to secular Indonesian schools in a bid to curb the influence of extremist Islamic schools in the world's most populous Muslim nation, a report said Saturday.

The measure aims to prevent more students from drifting to schools that breed terrorism and preach hatred of the West, said a report in the national newspaper The Australian. It didn't cite sources.

Source: Associated Press

US Says Former Suspect Tied To Chechen Terrorists

DETROIT (AP) -- Prosecutors have asked a federal judge to revoke the bond of a former terrorism suspect, saying new information has linked him to terrorists in Chechnya.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Straus made the request to U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds on Thursday, saying that Russian intelligence had tied Omar Shishani, 49, of Dearborn, to Islamic extremists in the breakaway republic, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The married father of two originally was arrested in July 2002 after returning from Indonesia with $12 million in counterfeit cashier checks.

Source: Associated Press

Belgium investigates role of suspect Muslim couple in Al-Qa'idah network

Brussels (Belga): The federal prosecutor's office has been in contact with the Spanish legal authorities in connection with the Muslim couple from Putte who are suspected of maintaining links with figures from the Al-Qa'idah terrorist network. Spokeswoman Lieve Pellens confirmed this.

Source: BBC Monitoring

Italian-Moroccan gets 15 years jail for terrorism

An Islamic fundamentalist who holds dual Italian-Moroccan nationality was condemned late Friday to 15 years in jail for "terrorist activities", judicial sources said.

Britel Abu Al Kacem, a naturalised Italian, was convicted of "forming a criminal group with the aim of preparing and committing terrorist acts".

Britel, 36, was also accused of belonging to an "Islamic group of Moroccan fighters", as well the Salafia Jihadia, an Islamic movement that has been blamed for suicide attacks in Casablanca in May.

Source: Agence France Presse
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