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Future Threats

Future Threats

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Published by Roisnahrudin
Materials meet 4
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Published by: Roisnahrudin on Nov 26, 2007
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Volume 5 • Number 4 • September 2007
“We know that the nation requires more from our Intelligence Community than ever before because America confronts a greater diversity of threats and challenges than ever before. Globalization…does facilitate the terrorist threat, heightens the danger of WMD proliferation, and contributes to regionalinstability and reconfigurations of power and influence.”
The Honorable John D. Negroponte, Former Director of National Intelligence,Statement for the Record to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, January 11, 2007
Pakistani Authorities on the Lookout for Burqa-Clad Suicide Bombers
During the last week of September, Pakistani intelli-gence services released reports warning against sui-cide attacks carried out by burqa-clad bombers. Thereports advised senior law enforcement officials toissue instructions for increased scrutiny of suspiciouswomen and youths roaming near key installations,law enforcement personnel, and important public andcommercial buildings. Former male and female stu-dents of Jamia Hafsa and Lal Masjid, two neighbor-ing madrasahs shut down by the Pakistani govern-ment during Operation Silence, were singled out aspotential attackers.In response to these reports, the Interior Ministry dis-seminated special letters to senior security and admin-istrative officials. The Ministry also directed law en-forcement officials in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan,North-West Frontier Province, and Islamabad to em-ploy emergency precautionary measures. In Punjabalone, more than 2,500 special branch personnel weredispatched in response to the warning. Most of these2,500 officers were undercover female operativesworking in select areas, such as madrasahs forwomen.Despite these measures, a burqa-clad suicide bombermanaged to kill 16 people on October 1 at a policecheckpoint in Bannu. Although initial reports sug-gested that the bomber was a woman, the perpetratorwas in fact a man disguised as a woman. The bomberwas riding a motorized rickshaw and had beenstopped at the checkpoint when the bomb exploded.
(Combined dispatches)
Fatah al-Islam Leader and Militants at Large Fol-lowing Refugee Camp Raid
Contrary to earlier reports, Lebanese officials con-firmed that Shaker al-Absi, the leader of the jihadistgroup Fatah al-Islam, remains alive. Al-Absi, whowas among the militants fighting Lebanese forcesduring the bitter siege of the Nahr al-Bared refugeecamp, was reported to have fled the camp during amass breakout.Mohammed Yahya Shiba, a Yemeni Fatah al-Islammilitant arrested by Lebanese troops in the Miyeh re-gion on September 8, testified that he had seen al-Absi leave the camp shortly before midnight on Sep-tember 1. Although more than 50 militants were
Terrorism...................................................1Money Laundering....................................3Drug Trafficking........................................3Arms Trafficking.......................................4Cyber Crime ..............................................5Maritime Security......................................5Organized Crime.......................................5Nuclear Threat...........................................6
2killed and dozens were arrested during the massbreakout that marked the end of the 15-week standoff,many militants managed to escape alongside al-Absi.Despite the collapse of its stronghold at Nahr al-Bared, Fatah al-Islam remains a security risk. Thegroup is suspected by some of having links to alQaeda. Al-Absi personally knew the late leader of alQaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and was triedin absentia alongside him for the 2002 killing of aU.S. diplomat in Jordan. In July of 2006, Fatah al-Islam unsuccessfully attempted an operation inEurope when two of its suspected members plantedbombs on German commuter trains that failed to ex-plode.
(Combined dispatches)
Al Qaeda Terrorist Extradited to the United States
Oussama Abdullah Kassir, a Swedish citizen of Lebanese descent, was extradited to New York fromthe Czech Republic on the morning of September 25.Kassirhad been in Czech custody since December of 2005, when he was arrested pursuant to an Interpolwarrant. At the time of his arrest, he was on a layoverat the Prague-Ruzyne airport on the way to Beirutfrom his home in Stockholm. He subsequently re-mained in Czech custody, during which time he madea request for political asylum. The request was ulti-mately denied after the Prague High Court upheld alower court decision that the extradition was admissi-ble. Following the ruling, the Czech Republic grantedcustody of Kassir to the FBI on the condition that hewould only be detained in civilian facilities.The allegations against Kassir were set forth in acriminal complaint and superceding indictment re-turned by a New York grand jury in February of 2006. The superseding indictment named Kassir as adefendant in 12 of its 19 counts. Mustafa KamelMustafa and Haroon Rashid Aswat, both of whom arepresently detained in England awaiting extradition tothe United States, were also named in the indictment.All three men were charged for their efforts to estab-lish a training camp at Bly, Oregon, in 1999. Kassirwas also charged with operating several jihadist WebSites between 2001 and 2005 on which he posted in-structions on how to make bombs and mix poisons.
(Combined dispatches)
Spiritual Leader Warns of Danger from FightersReturning from Abroad
Hersi Hilole, the chairman of the Somali Council of Australia, has warned that Australian Muslims return-ing from combat in Somalia might be prone to carryout terrorist activities. Fighting between Ethiopian-backed Somali forces and the Islamic Courts Union, aloose coalition suspected of having ties with alQaeda, has mobilized Somali men living in Australiato join the conflict. While the exact number of Aus-tralians who have traveled to fight in Somalia remainsunknown, Hilole was quoted in April as saying thisnumber exceeded 20.In the same warning, Hilole also accused hard-lineWahabi clerics in Melbourne of radicalizing youngSomali men, which in turn encourages them to travelabroad and fight. Wahabism is popular in Somalia,making its fundamentalist interpretation of Islam pal-atable among young men of Somali extraction, eventhose living in westernized nations such as Australia.A striking example of this phenomenon can be seenin Ahmed Ali, a young Somali man living in Austra-lia who traveled to fight alongside the Islamic CourtsUnion. In an interview, Ali’s mother insisted that heworked as an interpreter with al Qaeda. She alsoclaimed that Sheik Mohammed Omran, a Jordanianreligious leader living in Melbourne, was entirely re-sponsible for her son’s radicalization.The migration of jihadists returning to their nativelands after fighting in religiously motivated conflictshas historically led to increased terrorism. From fund-raising and weapons procurement to the sharpeningand development of ideologies, such conflicts fullyprepare radical fighters to wage war at home. Jihadistcampaigns in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq, and So-malia have emboldened extremists and provided prac-tical training that is otherwise unavailable. Fightersreturning from abroad also assist the wider movementby leveraging their status as role models to bolsterrecruitment among disenfranchised Muslims prone toradicalization.
(Combined dispatches)
Federal Grand Jury Indicts 39 in InternationalMoney Laundering Scheme
According to an FBI press release, four separatemoney laundering schemes involving 46 defendantsin the United States, Canada, Belgium, and Spainwere broken up this month as a result of OperationCash-Out. The four-year undercover operation in-volved local and state law enforcement agenciesworking in tandem with foreign agencies and led tothe indictment of 39 individuals.Three of the four disrupted schemes eschewed tradi-tional financial networks in favor of a monetary ex-change system known as hawala. The United Statesdistrict attorney responsible for the case described thehawala system as a crude form of Western Union.Though not technically illegal, the hawala system ismore informal than traditional networks and thus isharder for authorities to track and regulate. This inturn opens the door for unlicensed and unreported il-licit transactions.For the most part, witnesses cooperating with law en-forcement agents told the defendants that the moneythey were laundering came from drug trafficking andcigarette smuggling. One of the defendants in thecase, however, Saifullah Ranjha, was told he waslaundering money for al Qaeda. All told, the govern-ment sought the ownership of two convenience storesand $5,148,000 in criminal forfeitures from the de-fendants.
(Combined dispatches)
Collective Security Treaty Organization LaunchesDrug Interdiction Operation
Operation Kanal-2007, which involved 91,000 lawenforcement officers hailing from seven nations of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO),has led to the seizure of over 10 metric tons of narcot-ics, according to the Russian anti-drug agency. In ad-dition to narcotics, CSTO operatives seized 223 met-ric tons of drug-making chemicals and raw materials,687 firearms, 15,000 rounds of ammunition, and morethan $1.7 million dollars worth of cash and valuables.During the weeklong blitz, extra personnel were sta-tioned along major transportation hubs such as air-ports, border crossings, and railroad stations. In addi-tion to CSTO law enforcement officers, observersfrom Azerbaijan, the United States, China, Latvia,Lithuania, Mongolia, Poland, Ukraine, and Finlandtook part in the operation.States of the CSTO have faced an ever-increasing in-flux of narcotics since Afghanistan surpassed theGolden Triangle in opium production. Thirty yearsago, the Golden Triangle produced more than 70 per-cent of the opium sold worldwide. This figure is nowdown to 5 percent due to economic pressure fromChina, among other factors. This precipitous declinecreated a worldwide scarcity of supply, which incen-tivized Afghan poppy farmers to increase production.With fertile soil that yields on average four timesmore opium than crops grown in the Golden Triangle,Afghanistan now produces about 92 percent of theworld’s opium. This explosive growth has thrustTurkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan into thefront line of the CSTO’s war on drugs, necessitatinginnovative anti-drug initiatives such as the Kanal op-eration to stem the flow of Afghan heroin.
(Combined dispatches)
Cocaine Kingpin Arrested in Columbia
On September 10, an elite Columbian unit arrestedcocaine kingpin Diego Montoya, a senior leader inthe brutal Norte del Valle cartel. Montoya, arrested inthe rural town of Zarzal, was among the FBI’s top 10most wanted fugitives and will be turned over to thebureau following questioning by Columbian authori-ties. During Montoya’s tenure, authorities estimatethat the Norte del Valle cartel killed about 1,500 peo-ple and trafficked hundreds of tons of cocaine to theUnited States and Europe. Montoya was one of Co-lumbia’s largest traffickers, and his arrest will likelycause a temporary disruption to Columbia’s cocainetrade as competitors vie to fill the vacuum left by hisdeparture.The success of the large-scale operation that led toMontoya’s arrest was credited, in part, to a purge of high-ranking officers in the armed forces. Many othe purged officers, especially those in the army, weresuspected of colluding with Montoya’s cartel. His in-filtration of the armed forces provided Montoya with

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