Thursday, August 30, 2007

Are children's lives worth more than 10 shekel?

Israel fire kills two children - Telegraph

Israel fire kills two children
By Tim Butcher in Jerusalem
Last Updated: 2:58am BST 30/08/2007

Where's the outrage from all the humanitarian groups? Where is the outrage from the Arab people? Why isn't there an intifada by the Arabs against the Arabs using children to retrieve the rocket launchers?

Two Palestinian children from the same family were killed when Israeli forces shelled on a rocket launcher in Gaza used by Palestinian militants.
Dr. Moaiya Hassanain of the Palestinian Health Ministry said 10-year-old Mahmoud Ghazal and his 12-year-old cousin Yehiya Ghazal were killed while their 10-year-old cousin Sara Ghazal was also seriously critically injured.
There were no eyewitnesses to the explosion although a spokesman for the Israeli army confirmed it fired an undisclosed number of shells in the area, aimed at the firing position used to launch qassam rockets into Israel.
An Israeli newspaper reported the Israeli army was aware some identified figures were in the vicinity of the launchers at the time of the strike.

Why doesn't Tim Butcher (don't even say it) mention that Israel could not tell whether the figures were adults (terrorist or civilian) or children?

A relative of the children, Wasfi Ghazal, said he heard the sound of an explosion and then children screaming. He held both Israel and the militant rocket squads responsible.
"We are victims of the occupation and victims of the misbehavior of some of the fighters who are randomly choosing our area to target Israel," he said.
About two hours before the shelling, a qassam rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel, and landed in fields just north of Kibbutz Nir-Am in the western Negev. The rocket did not cause any damage..

"The rocket did not cause any physical damage." The rockets which rain down on Sderot cause irrepairable damage on the psyche of the people who live and work there.

Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired more than 90 rockets into Israel in the past month.

So in August '07 that's about 3 per day.

Israel has used airstrikes, artillery barrages and even ambushes to try to deter the racketeers and while it tries to minimise civilian deaths several Palestinians have died after being caught in the crossfire.
Israel's artillery bombardment against the racketeers provoked controversy last year when eighteen members of the Athamneh family were killed by a barrage of shells into Gaza that went off target.
The incident forced Israel to suspend indefinitely the use of artillery.


From the site

August 10, 2007

Clip No. 1532

Yes, we can "liberate" Al-Aqsa "By means of morning prayers, blood, sacrifice, and pain, by means of martyrs, and with endurance. " Basically the message is murder the Jews but make sure sure you're kind to the cat because you don't want to go to hell like that lady who was mean to a cat.

Hamas' Bee Nahoul Abuses Cats and Lions at Gaza Zoo and Calls to Liberate Al-Aqsa Mosque

Following are excerpts from an episode of "Pioneers of Tomorrow," a children's program, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on August 10, 2007:

Nahoul, a giant bee: My friends, Al-Aqsa awaits you. My dears, Al-Aqsa is very sad. My friends, Al-Aqsa is being held prisoner and is besieged by the criminal murderers of children. We must arise in order to take revenge upon the criminal Jews, the occupying Zionists. We must liberate Al-Aqsa. Do you know how we can liberate it and get hold of its key, just like it was liberated by Saladin?
Child host Saraa : How, Nahoul?
Nahoul: How? By means of morning prayers, blood, sacrifice, and pain, by means of martyrs, and with endurance. This is the key. I am so sad, Saraa.
Saraa: Don't be sad, Nahoul. I, you, the dear children, even the older ones – the generation of the "Pioneers of Tomorrow"... Allah willing, we will regain the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and cleanse it of the impurity of the Zionists.
Nahoul: Allah willing.
Saraa: On a different subject, Nahoul, let's see what you got up to this week.
Nahoul: Nothing, Saraa.
Saraa: Let's see for ourselves.
Nahoul enters the cats' cage in the Gaza Zoo
Nahoul: Meow! Meow! I'm opening the door and going in. I opened the door and got into the cage, and the guy didn't see me. I am now standing in the cats' cage. The cats here are asleep – the poor, wretched, imprisoned cats. I feel like abusing them. This cat is asleep. I feel like attacking it.
Nahoul lifts the cat by its tail
Shoo... Meow...
I should get out of here before the guy comes, and I get scolded.
Nahoul throws stones and roars at the lions' cage
Saraa: What have you done, Nahoul? Haven't you heard of the hadith of the Prophet...
Nahoul: No, Saraa, I haven't heard.
Saraa: He said that a woman went to hell because she locked up a cat, without feeding it or letting it eat on its own, Nahoul. Therefore, Allah punished her and sent her to hell. If you keep doing this, you will have the same fate, Nahoul.

I'm alergic to Political Pixie Dust

Exclusive: Abbas wants Orient House reopened Jerusalem Post

It seems that the Arabs are ahead of the Israelis in term of setting the agenda. The Arabs come out and make demands, set stipulations, etc. and Israel seems to sit idle and quiet and sometimes reacting. (It seems like most of the reacting is done in the blogesphere.) Last I checked the Arabs lost all the wars to the Israelis in the past 60 years. Shouldn't Israel be treated like the victor having successfully, BE"H, won the wars? Shouln't the Arabs (PLO, PLA, Hamas, etc.) be treated as the losers? I think there needs to be/should have been something akin to the Imperial Japanese Government signing a declaration of surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri. In all these wars of the past 60 yeasr there has been a clear winner - Israel- and a clear loser(s) (Egpyt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, PLO, PLA, etc.). Once we establish this then meaningful negotiations can begin.

The Israeli and US government want to settle this politically and the Arabs have shown no comprimise. They maintain a maxilist (I don't know if the word exists) view and cede nothing. Israel cowers and gives everything away and most recent giving everything away for free. Some of the more right wing prime ministers talk a good game to get elected and then get sprinkled with political pixie dust (PPD) and give away Israel.

Sometimes it feels like the government officials have already worked out the deal and are just revealing and moving their plan along in baby steps so as to prevent a backlash from the people of Israel. If they feed the public small bites spaced out over time its easier to swallow. They seem to be of the mindset, for peace its OK to sacrafice this little bit. Before the public knows it they sacraficed too much and there's no returning.

Why aren't the people of Israel protesting and yelling from the red roof tops against ceding even and inch of Jerusalem??? Why haven't Shas and the other factions in the government protested and brought down the government? Why are so many Israelis just sitting there and taking it?

Exclusive: Abbas wants Orient House reopened
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has appointed a special adviser on Jerusalem affairs, PA officials in Ramallah said Wednesday, indicating that Israel and the PA are now readying to grapple in earnest with the issue of the city's status.

Adnan Husseini, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's new adviser on Jerusalem affairs and former director of Islamic Waqf.Photo: AP [file]
The officials told The Jerusalem Post the decision was taken ahead of November's US-sponsored Middle East peace conference, where Israel and the Palestinians are expected to focus on "fundamental" issues like Jerusalem, the borders of the future Palestinian state and the problem of the Palestinian refugees.

"The issue of Jerusalem is once again on the table," said one official. "That's why we need someone to be responsible for the Jerusalem portfolio and to prepare for the negotiations with Israel."
The Prime Minister's Office had no response to the report.
The new adviser is Adnan Husseini, the former director-general of the Waqf department in Jerusalem. Husseini served in the Waqf job for more than a decade before he was replaced earlier this year by Azzam al-Khatib.
Husseini belongs to one of Jerusalem's oldest and most important families. His late cousin, Faisal Husseini, was for many years the top PLO leader in the city until his sudden death in 2001.
The new adviser told the Post one of his first tasks would be to try and persuade Israel to reopen Palestinian institutions in the city that were closed down by Israel over the past seven years.
One of these institutions, Orient House, served as the unofficial headquarters of the PLO in Jerusalem. Orient House enjoyed the status of an unofficial diplomatic mission - a fact that angered many in Israel, especially as some foreign ministers insisted on holding talks there with leading Palestinian figures.
Israel had argued that the presence of Orient House and other PLO-linked institutions in the city were in violation of the Oslo Accords, which banned the Palestinians from conducting such activities in Israel. The closure of Orient House was followed by similar moves against at least a dozen PLO-affiliated institutions.
"Jerusalem is living without a soul in the absence of Palestinian institutions," Husseini said in an interview with the Post. "The people of Jerusalem have been suffering because of the closure of their institutions. Today, everyone realizes that Jerusalem can't exist without these institutions, which used to provide essential services to the public."
Husseini said he was prepared to meet with Israeli government officials to discuss the issue if the institutions and other matters related to the day-to-day affairs of the Arab residents.
"We are prepared to open even small windows with Israel," he said. "We are prepared to do anything to serve the interests of our people in Jerusalem and end their suffering."
Husseini appealed to Israel not to waste time with regards to discussing the issue of Jerusalem.
"We believe that we can reach a solution to the issue of Jerusalem," he said. "We hope the Israelis will wake up and realize the importance of the city to the Palestinians. Israel must accept the fact that we will never give up our claim to Jerusalem."
Husseini said Israel must also realize that peace can't be achieved without a solution to the issue of Jerusalem.
"There will be no Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital," he said. "This is a holy city and we want Israel to acknowledge this fact. Israel is mistaken if it thinks that the policy of driving the Palestinians out of the city can lead to peace. Peace can't be achieved by denying the rights of others. Disrespect for others is a sign of weakness, not strength."
The Waqf department, which is in charge of the Islamic holy sites in the city, remained under the control of the Jordanians after the Six Day War in 1967. Attempts by the PA over the past 14 years to establish an alternative Waqf department have been thwarted by both Israel and Jordan.
Likud MK Yuval Steinitz on Wednesday said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had proven his hypocrisy by negotiating Jerusalem's future with Abbas. He recalled campaigning for the Knesset with Olmert, who told people to vote for him because he left the Jerusalem mayoralty to defend Jerusalem from a position of power against those who wanted to divide it.
"Olmert is a prime minister with zero public support, waiting for a verdict from the police and the Winograd Commission, who is ready to divide Jerusalem and allow it to be destroyed to save his skin," Steinitz said.
Jerusalem Municipality spokesman Gidi Schmerling declined to comment Wednesday.
Pensioners Minister Rafi Eitan, who recently replaced Immigrant Absorption Minister Ya'acov Edri as minister for Jerusalem affairs, also declined to comment.
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.•

Israel regrets terrorist exploitation of children 29-Aug-2007

Israel regrets terrorist exploitation of children 29-Aug-2007

Tragically, another example of the Arabs investing in their youth - their future.

Targeting of Kassam launchers in the Gaza Strip; 15-year-old bomber intercepted
29 Aug 2007
Israel regrets terrorist exploitation of children

(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
During an IDF operation in the northern Gaza Strip in recent days, IDF forces received warning of intentions to carry out an attack against them. On the night between August 28 and August 29, soldiers spotted a Palestinian youth approaching them. The soldiers confronted the 15-year-old and discovered that he was carrying two explosive devices, which he apparently intended to detonate in a suicide bombing attack against the forces. The teenager was taken for questioning by security forces.
The IDF regrets that terrorist organizations make frequent use of children and youth, in order to execute attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.
* * *
As part of the ongoing IDF defensive activity to protect Israeli civilians from terror threats this afternoon, the IDF targeted several Kassam launchers in the Beit Hanun industrial area, which were placed by Palestinian terrorists and aimed at Israel. Several Palestinians were identified handling the launchers at the time. This area is often used to fire Kassam rockets at Israel.
The IDF received claims that the Palestinians handling the launchers were teenagers. The IDF wishes to express sorrow for the cynical use the terror organizations make of the active participation of teenagers in terror attacks.
Close to 300 Kassam rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip during the past month.
Ynet added from an IDF source:
An IDF source said the attack targeted five Kassam rocket launchers that were aimed at Israel. The source said that during the attack a number of figures were spotted approaching the rocket launchers.
The source stressed that rocket launchers are a legitimate IDF target. "It's our duty to do everything possible to prevent attacks on Sderot and Gaza vicinity communities. Every time we identify a launcher aimed at Israel and a Kassam aimed at a house in Sderot or another target in the area, we will do everything to prevent the attack," the source said.
"The terror organizations are making cynical use of children, they are sending them to areas where the launchers are located, they are sending them to collect weapons and are consciously endangering them in places where there are IDF targets."
"More than once we preferred not to carry out this type of attack so as not to harm civilians. Nothing is certain here, if Palestinian civilians are identified, we hold fire, but this is not always possible," the source said. "In many cases, upon investigating the incidents, we find that civilians were killed because the terror organizations sent them to the battle zone, because the terrorists were staying among civilians or carrying out a certain activity that endangered the civilians."
"We have no intention of harming Palestinian civilians. They are not our enemy, but our duty is to prevent harm to Israel's citizens and it is obvious that if we do not attack these launchers, within minutes or hours attacks on Sderot and the surroundings will begin. In the future we will also continue to hit and foil anything facing us and threatening Israel's citizens. In cases where we don't fire, the IDF is taking a real risk, because minutes later, a child from Sderot could be injured from a Palestinian attack from that same exact point."
AP quoted Wasfi Ghazal, a relative of the three Palestinian children killed, as saying: "We are victims of the (Israel) occupation and victims fo the misconduct of fighters who have randomly chosen our area to target Israel."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Palestinian cops rescue Israeli soldier - Yahoo! News

Palestinian cops rescue Israeli soldier - Yahoo! News

Amazing. An Israeli strays into Arab controlled territory and it makes international headlines. Shouldn't it just be another "ho-hum" incident? Aren't the "moderate" Fatah forces against terrorism having a common enemy with the Israelis?

By MOHAMMED BALLAS, Associated Press Writer Mon Aug 27, 6:34 PM ET
JENIN, West Bank - Palestinian police rescued an Israeli soldier Monday after he mistakenly drove into this West Bank town and was surrounded by a mob that later burned his car. Israel praised the rescue as a sign of the growing strength of Palestinian moderates.
Three policemen spotted the Israeli military officer inside the car and escorted him through the mob before taking him to their headquarters, police said. The soldier suffered no injuries and was handed over to Israeli troops.
The Israeli army said the officer entered Jenin, a town known as a stronghold of militants, by mistake and he was evacuated by Palestinian security forces in cooperation with the army.
Israeli TV stations broadcast video showing Palestinian security officers surrounding the soldier and hustling him away from the crowd, while reassuring him in Hebrew. It was not clear who took the video.
The rescue was a sharp contrast to seven years ago when two Israeli army reservists strayed into the West Bank city of Ramallah. They were captured by Palestinian police, who took them to a police station. A mob stormed the station and killed the two, throwing one body from a second story window as news photographers took pictures.
That incident, known to shocked Israelis as "the lynching," set the tone for violence and suspicion that has continued ever since.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as calling Monday's rescue a positive sign.
"This operation proves that the Palestinian government and its forces are growing stronger in the field relative to the terrorist organizations," Livni said during a meeting with Fayyad, the paper reported.
A senior Israeli officer told Army Radio that coordination between Israeli and Palestinian forces in the West Bank has improved since the government of moderate Prime Minister Salam Fayyad took office.
For more than a year before that, communications between the two sides were cut because the Islamic militants of Hamas ran the Palestinian government after winning a parliamentary election, ousting the longtime rulers from the Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas dismissed the Hamas government after the militants overran the Gaza Strip in June, replacing it with a moderate Cabinet led by Fayyad.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Israel: Halt Summary Expulsion of Sudanese Migrants (Human Rights Watch, 24-8-2007)

Israel: Halt Summary Expulsion of Sudanese Migrants (Human Rights Watch, 24-8-2007)

Unknown Fate Awaits Sudanese Fleeing From Darfur

(Washington, DC, August 24, 2007) – Israel should stop summarily expelling Sudanese nationals who enter the country illegally from Egypt and reinstate its policy of allowing them to remain in Israel pending refugee status determination, Human Rights Watch said today. Egypt’s official refusal to accept them combined with recent allegations of mistreatment by border guards suggests that Sudanese returnees are likely to be treated harshly and with no guarantees that they would not be returned to persecution.

Israel puts these people at grave risk by expelling them with no proper procedure and no indication of Egypt’s willingness to accept them.
Bill Frelick, refugee policy director for Human Rights Watch.

How about the 22 Arab taking in some of their own and caring for them? Let them cross into Jordan or Lebanon or... Why is the burden on Israel?

On August 18, Israel expelled approximately 50 Sudanese nationals who had crossed the border from Egypt the previous day. Most appear to have originated from war-torn Darfur, and are likely to have been seeking asylum. The summary expulsion marks a departure from Israeli policy, which had been to allow Sudanese migrants to remain temporarily in Israel pending refugee status determinations from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and possible third-country resettlement. “Israel puts these people at grave risk by expelling them with no proper procedure and no indication of Egypt’s willingness to accept them,” said Bill Frelick, refugee policy director for Human Rights Watch. A week earlier, on August 11, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying, “Egypt did not agree to re-admit the persons who previously trespassed to Israel through the Egyptian borders, affirming that Egypt officially conveyed to Israel that it is not obligated to receive any non-Egyptian citizen who has illegally trespassed to Israel.” The Egyptian statement came after reports surfaced that Egyptian border guards had killed three Sudanese men as they attempted to cross into Israel on August 1. Israeli soldiers at the border reportedly witnessed the Egyptian border guards beating to death one of two men whom border guards had already shot, as well as a third migrant.

How about bringing Egypt up on charges for shooting and beating Sudanese refugees? Why is the world not screaming and demanding Egypt treat the refugees properly? Why hasn't the UN put a peace keeping force in Darfur?

(Please see: An Israeli government spokesman, David Baker, stated on August 19, “The policy of returning back anyone who enters illegally will pertain to everyone, including those from Darfur.” “It is astounding that the Israeli government would hand over Sudanese nationals, even from Darfur, to Egyptian border guards after Israeli soldiers said they witnessed these guards shooting and beating Sudanese migrants to death,” said Frelick. The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, to which Israel is a party, forbids the expulsion or return of any person to a place where his or her life or freedom would be threatened. The obligation not only adheres to the return of refugees directly to persecution, but also to their return to a place from which they would be at risk of return to persecution. The convention also says that refugees should not be punished for their illegal entry or presence into another country. “In light of Egypt’s refusal to re-admit Sudanese from Israel and the reported killings on August 1, Israel’s return of Sudanese migrants without adequate screening for possible protection claims appears to be in violation of its legal obligations under the convention,” Frelick said.

Israel must do more for peace process, urges envoy | Israel and the Middle East | Guardian Unlimited

Israel must do more for peace process, urges envoy Israel and the Middle East Guardian Unlimited

Haroon SiddiqueFriday
August 24, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Mahmoud Abbas needs new assurances from Israel, according to Michael Williams.

That's one of the problems only Israel can provide assurances to the Arabs. The Arabs can not provide assurances to Israel (other than continuing the armed struggle with guns/ammo/training provided by the US and Israel.)

The man appointed by Gordon Brown to be the UK's Middle East envoy has warned that Israel must do more to improve the lives of the Palestinian people, or else attempts to revive the peace process could fail.

How about the Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza doing for themselves? Hundeds of millions of dollars are given to them and their leaders take a cut and put it in their Swiss bank accounts, buy guns and ammo to kill Jews and forget about their own people living in poverty and squalid conditions. Could you imagine if they actually used the money that the EU and the US sent them to help their own people live and provide better lives for themslves...

Michael Williams, who is currently the UN secretary general's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, spoke out ahead of taking up his new role next month.
A conference aimed at getting the peace process back on track is scheduled to take place in the US in November.
But Mr Williams suggested that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, would have to be given assurances of positive Israeli intentions before he would attend.
"For President Abbas to go to the States for this meeting, he will need some clear demonstrations of Israeli support for a continuing peace process," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Mr Williams, who recently met with the Palestinian administration, said more could have been done "to sustain the momentum behind President Abbas".
"There have been some moves - the release of 200 prisoners, the tax revenues once more flowing to the Palestinian authority - but this is nowhere near enough," said Mr Williams.
"On key issues like the outposts, let alone the settlements in the West Bank, and on the hundreds of checkpoints we've not seen significant or even any real moves by the Israelis so far."
Mr Williams also said the UK government would continue relations with the Iranian and Syrian administrations, despite the US president George Bush's policy of limited communication with them amid allegations they have been interfering in the Iraq conflict.
"I think it's the view of the prime minister and the foreign secretary that the US has to engage with countries like Iran and Syria," he said.
He stressed the importance of resolving the "problems" and "threats" in the Middle East and said it was imperative that the British government had an "active foreign policy" in the region.
He said: "No region poses such a substantial threat to international peace and security greater than the Middle East, there's no doubt about that

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ahmed - now known as "Juan"

The drug cartels and the terrorists share a common purpose exploit our security weaknesses.

After reading the article write to your senator and let him/her know boarder security must be addressed in a comprehensive manner.

Hearing sought on Islamic, Mexican ties
August 9, 2007
By Sara A. Carter -
A ranking House Republican yesterday demanded a hearing based on recent reports that Islamic terrorists embedded in the United States are teaming with Mexican drug cartels to fund terrorism networks overseas. Rep. Ed Royce, ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs terrorism and nonproliferation subcommittee, said the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) document — first reported yesterday by The Washington Times — highlights how vulnerable the nation is when fighting the war on terrorism. "I'll be asking the terrorism subcommittee to hold a hearing on the DEA report's disturbing findings," said Mr. Royce of California. "A flood of name changes from Arabic to Hispanic and the reported linking of drug cartels on the Texas border with Middle East terrorism needs to be thoroughly investigated." Likewise, Rep. John Culberson, Texas Republican, said the DEA document revealed startling evidence that Islamic radicals are camouflaging themselves as Hispanics while conducting business with violent drug-trafficking organizations. "I have been ringing the bell about this serious threat of Islamic individuals changing their surnames to Hispanic surnames for three to four years," Mr. Culberson said. "Unfortunately, Homeland Security's highest priority is to hide the truth from Congress and the public. I just hope we're not closing the barn door after terrorists have already made their way in." Mr. Culberson, a member of the House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee, yesterday wrote a letter to the subcommittee's chairman, Rep. David E. Price, North Carolina Democrat, requesting a full investigation and hearing into the matter. A spokesman for Mr. Price said the committee is contacting the law-enforcement agencies and will work closely with Mr. Culberson's office on the matter. "We certainly want to learn more about the matter from the agencies involved," said Paul Cox, press secretary to Mr. Price. The 2005 DEA report outlines several incidents in which multiple Middle Eastern drug-trafficking and terrorist cells in the U.S. are funding terrorism networks overseas with the aid of Mexican cartels. These sleeper cells use established Mexican cartels with highly sophisticated trafficking routes to move narcotics — and other contraband — in and out of the United States, the report said. These "persons of interest" speak Arabic, Spanish and Hebrew fluently, according to the document. The report includes photographs of known Middle Easterners who "appear to be Hispanic; they are in fact, all Spanish-speaking Arabic drug traffickers supporting Middle East terrorism from their base of operations" in the southwestern United States, according to the DEA. Michael Maxwell, a senior analyst with the House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee, said that the report is evidence that terrorism cells exist in the U.S. and are being aided by dangerous narco-trafficking cartels. "While the procurement of fraudulent or multiple identities by terrorists to hide criminal activity is not new, the information suggests terrorist tradecraft is evolving and relationships now exist between Mexican and Middle Eastern individuals or groups, embedded here in the United States," he added. The ties are as deep as family, according to the DEA report, which said that a Middle Eastern member of the Muslim Brotherhood, involved in narcotics sales and other crimes, married into a Mexican narcotics family. "One of the targets of this investigation is an Arabic man," the document said. A 2006 Department of Homeland Security intelligence report — also obtained by The Times — said that Al Qaeda has tried and is planning on using the Southwest border to enter the U.S. Mark Juergensmeyer, director of the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara and a terrorism specialist, said that links between terrorism and narcotics trafficking have been well-established in foreign nations, such as Afghanistan. But Mr. Juergensmeyer said the DEA report linking terrorist organizations in the United States to Mexican drug cartels displays a new evolution in terrorist tactics and poses a serious concern in the area of security. "In some ways, that's even more frightening to think that drug-trafficking organizations in Mexico may adopt some jihadist ideology," he said. "If it's an ideology being adopted by a drug culture then that makes this situation very dangerous."

Se Habla Arabic

For those who think we need open boarders with Mexico - think again. It's time to seal the US boarders, especially the one one with Mexico.

Write to your senator today!

Article published Aug 8, 2007
Terrorists teaming with drug cartels
August 8, 2007
By Sara A. Carter -
Islamic extremists embedded in the United States — posing as Hispanic nationals — are partnering with violent Mexican drug gangs to finance terror networks in the Middle East, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration report. "Since drug traffickers and terrorists operate in a clandestine environment, both groups utilize similar methodologies to function ... all lend themselves to facilitation and are among the essential elements that may contribute to the successful conclusion of a catastrophic event by terrorists," said the confidential report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times. The 2005 report outlines an ongoing scheme in which multiple Middle Eastern drug-trafficking and terrorist cells operating in the U.S. fund terror networks overseas, aided by established Mexican cartels with highly sophisticated trafficking routes. These terrorist groups, or sleeper cells, include people who speak Arabic, Spanish and Hebrew and, for the most part, arouse no suspicion in their communities. "It is very likely that any future 'September 11th' type of terrorist event in the United States may be facilitated, wittingly or unwittingly, by drug traffickers operating on both sides of the United States-Mexico border," the DEA report says. Rep. Ed Royce of California, ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs terrorism and nonproliferation subcommittee, said the DEA document substantiates information that his committee has been given in the past year. "Hearings I held in Laredo [Texas] last year and this DEA report show that our southern border is a terrorist risk," Mr. Royce said. "Law enforcement has warned that people from Arab countries have crossed the border and adopted Hispanic surnames. The drug cartels have highly sophisticated smuggling and money-laundering networks, which terrorists could access." Garrison K. Courtney, spokes- man for the DEA, would not comment on the document. However, he said that the DEA, which has only 5,000 active agents worldwide, is sharing information with other U.S. intelligence agencies and working closely with local law enforcement. "We focus on drugs, but we keep our eyes open for any connection that can aid our other partners in law enforcement," Mr. Courtney said. "Everything we do relies on our ability to gather intelligence. We have said for years that there are shades of gray in the organizations we're dealing with. Intelligence requires us to look at the whole picture. Realistically to leave out a certain set of dots could be a huge mistake." In the two years since the report was written, other DEA intelligence officials have said they are still struggling to cooperate with and share and gather information from other lead U.S. agencies charged with fighting the war on terrorism. Lack of information sharing between U.S. intelligence agencies is creating a blind spot in the war on terror and has left the U.S. vulnerable to another attack, the report states. "We are the eyes and ears when it comes to gathering intelligence on the cartels and smugglers," said the DEA official. "What we know for sure is that persons associated with terrorist groups have discovered what cartels have known all along — the border is the backdoor into the U.S." According to a Department of Homeland Security intelligence report obtained by The Times, nearly every part of the Border Patrol's national strategy is failing. "Al Qaeda has been trying to smuggle terrorists and terrorist weapons illegally into the United States," the 2006 document states. "This organization has also tried to enter the U.S. by taking advantage of its most vulnerable border areas. The seek to smuggle OTMs [other than Mexicans] from Middle Eastern countries into the U.S." Peter Brown, terrorism and security consultant, stated that the "biggest element" to the DEA report is the ease with which terrorist cells have taken on new identities. "The ability for people to completely transform their nationalities absent of their own identities is a dangerous step in the evolution of this cross-border operation," he said. "This is a true threat." Lending credence to Mr. Brown's concern, an El Paso, Texas, law-enforcement report documents the influx of "approximately 20 Arab persons a week utilizing the Travis County Court in Austin to change their names and driver's licenses from Arabic to Hispanic surnames." Under the current drug-intelligence collection, analysis and reporting posture, the DEA runs the risk of failing to detect or report the entry of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction or portable conventional weapons into the United States, according to the DEA document. Many times, smugglers don't know what they are transporting. "Despite all the pronouncements of the administration that these networks and their funding is being traced," Mr. Brown warned, "progress has been limited, and in certain circles of intelligence, they are nonexistent."