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Roll call on Gaza flotilla portrays the values of international community

June 4, 2010 Leave a comment

By Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Israel was victimized twice this week, first by terrorists hiding yet again among the civilian population (one Turkish-sponsored jihadi boat traveling with five more-or-less civilian boats) and second by a world all too ready to blame Israel for the violence engendered by those who sought a bloody death for themselves and any Jews they could take along. By the end of the week, things began to look more normal-those who are already against remained against; those who try to split the difference split it (consider the “abstain” list below); and a few stood honorably above the rest.   

1) Italy, Netherlands and the United States voted against resolution A/HRC/14/L.1, “Grave Attacks by Israeli Forces against the Humanitarian Boat Convoy” in the UN “Human Rights” Council. It is of note that the major Italian newspapers supported Israel editorially as well. In the United States, public opinion ran strongly in Israel’s favor, as usual. 
 
After a nasty and public denunciation of Israel by President Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Kouchner, France abstained, probably reminded that in 1985 French commandos sunk a Greenpeace ship in what was called Opération Satanique. (You know what a threat those satanic environmentalists pose to Paris.) France was joined by Belgium, Burkina Faso, Hungary, Japan, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Ukraine and UK.
 
Voting in favor of the commission whose conclusion is in its title were Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritius, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, and Uruguay. 
 
Surprised?
 
2) President Obama: He almost got it right in a TV interview, but missed the essential point. “You’ve got a situation in which Israel has legitimate security concerns when they’ve got missiles raining down on cities along the Israel-Gaza border. I’ve been to those towns and seen the holes that were made by missiles coming through people’s bedrooms. Israel has a legitimate concern there.  On the other hand, you’ve got a blockage up that is preventing people in Palestinian Gaza from having job opportunities and being able to create businesses and engage in trade and have opportunity for the future.”
 
The President doesn’t know, or didn’t say, that Hamas is responsible both for the attacks on Israel and for the misery of the Palestinians in Gaza. Instead, he wanted to “work with all parties concerned-the Palestinian Authority, the Israelis, the Egyptians and others-and I think Turkey can have a positive voice in this whole process once we’ve worked through this tragedy. And bring everybody together…”
 
Aside from the fact that Turkey is fully complicit in the incident and thus should forfeit any seat at any future table, the Palestinian Authority has not represented Gaza Palestinians since Hamas evicted it in a bloody putsch in 2007. Instead of hoping to “bring everybody together…” the President should be working to evict Hamas from Gaza, for the sake of the Palestinians as much as anyone else.
 
3) The Czech Republic: Small countries that know what it means to disappear when others find them inconvenient stick together and we are grateful that they do. The President of the Czech Senate, Dr. Přemysl Sobotka, told Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, “As a doctor, I certainly regret any loss of life, but there is no doubt that this was a planned provocation designed to drag Israel into a trap… Many in the European community feel as I do, but they are afraid to speak out publicly… I support the position that views Hamas as a terrorist organization… It is too bad that European countries present an unbalanced position on this matter. Unfortunately, the positions of the international community are not always to my taste, particularly in Europe.”
 
We are reminded that 18 months ago, the Czech foreign minister issued this statement: “I consider it unacceptable that villages in which civilians live have been shelled. Therefore, Israel has an inalienable right to defend itself against such attacks. The shelling from the Hamas side makes it impossible to consider this organization as a partner for negotiations and to lead any political dialogue with it.”
 
And finally…
 
4) Mesheberach: During the Jewish Sabbath service, there is a prayer is for those who are ill or injured.   The “Mesheberach” includes the name of the person for whom the prayer is offered and, in an unusual practice, the name of the person’s mother rather than his or her father. Whether in the synagogue or not, we hope readers will remember the six soldiers injured while protecting the people of Israel:

Dean Ben (son of) Svetlana
Roee Ben (son of) Shulamit
Daniel Lazar Ben (son of) Tina Leah
Yotam Ben (son of) Dorit
Ido Ben (son of) Ilana
Boris Ben (son of) Eelaina

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Bryen is senior director of security policy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.  Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member.

European Jewish Congress wants Turkish Islamist group IHH banned in Europe

June 4, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has called on the European Union and European governments to immediately ban the Turkish group IHH, which led one of the six Gaza Flotilla ships, and similar groups. “Organizations affiliated with and used as a front for terrorist groups like Hamas and al-Qaeda have to be outlawed with immediate effect,” said EJC President Moshe Kantor in a statement.

According to a report issued in 2006 by the Danish Institute for International Studies, the IHH maintained links with al-Qaida and a number of “global jihad networks.” The report also said that the Turkish government had launched an investigation into the IHH which began in December 1997 after receiving intelligence that the IHH had bought automatic weapons from Islamist terrorists. Following the revelation, the Turkish government launched a raid on the organization’s Istanbul offices, where they found weapons, explosives, and instructions for bomb-making. The report added that an examination of documents found at the IHH office indicated that the group was planning to take part in terrorist activities in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Bosnia.

According to the study, a French intelligence report found that in the mid-1990s IHH leader Bülent Yildirim recruited soldiers for jihad [Muslim Holy War] activities in a number of Islamic countries, and that the IHH transferred money, firearms, and explosives to jihadists in said countries. “It is evident that the IHH has been an organization long associated with terror and global Jihad” Kantor continued.  “Such organizations need to be immediately exposed so Europeans will not be deceived into believing that they are a legitimate humanitarian organization.”

It had become clear that this flotilla did not have a humanitarian goal when its organizers rejected repeated calls to pass their aid through Egypt or Israel, the EJC said in a statement.

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

ZOA calls for investigation of Turkey’s role in Gaza flotilla violence

June 1, 2010 Leave a comment

NEW YORK (Press Release)–The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned the media and foreign government attacks, including from China, France, Germany, Italy and Turkey, on Israeli defensive actions against the Gaza terror ship. This ship, part of the ‘Gaza flotilla’ which was organized by a Turkish Islamist group, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi – IHH),  deliberately attempted to breach the lawful Israeli blockade of Gaza, a territory at war with Israel, run by Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist regime whose Charter calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the world-wide murder of Jews (Article 7) and which has fired thousands of missiles into Israel in recent years.

The violence of the Hamas supporters on one of the six ships in the Gaza flotilla, including the use of knives, axes, bats, firebombs and metal rods, as well as seizing and using of Israeli personnel’s side-arms, led to clashes and exchanges of fire that has resulted in the reported deaths of 15 people onboard the flotilla. Seven members of the Israeli boarding party, whose non-aggressive intent was evident from being armed principally with paint-ball guns (usually used in crowd control situations, not armed confrontations) were also wounded and injured, some seriously.

The ZOA calls for an investigation of Turkey, the country in which the organization assisting Islamist terrorists and responsible for the flotilla is based; from which the flotilla set sail; and whose government wrongly assured that the flotilla cargo had been duly inspected and found to consist purely of humanitarian supplies and had found no weapons. Yet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged no Turkish responsibility, condemned Israel and demanded punishing Israel for the calling it a “bloody massacre.”

To call the deaths of the 15 on board, as Erdogan did, a “massacre” when shooting did not occur until half an hour after Israeli personnel boarded the vessel and were assaulted by Hamas supporters in the manner already described is an obscene and absurd charge. It was only when the lives of Israeli personnel were in serious jeopardy that the Israelis begin to defend themselves. If those on board had not brutally assaulted the Israeli soldiers, not one Israeli shot would have been fired and no one would have been harmed.

The ZOA also rejects international criticism of the lawful Israeli action to board and inspect the vessels of the Hamas-supporting Gaza flotilla and contrasts this criticism with the relative silence and lack of interest in North Korea’s recent, unprovoked torpedoing of a South Korean vessel, resulting in the deaths of 45 South Korean servicemen. That the United Nations and the world said virtually nothing over North Korea’s unjustified and unprovoked action exposes the hypocrisy of the hue and cry against Israel for a lawful boarding of the Gaza flotilla that encountered unnecessary, unjustifiable and deliberate assault from the Hamas supporters ion the flotilla.

The bad faith and violence of the flotilla has passed without serious condemnation from the United Nations and the world, thereby assisting the cause of the terrorists who organized this propaganda event.

The IHH is not a peaceable, charitable institution – it is a Muslim Brotherhood-connected, Islamist organization, outlawed by Israel in 2008 for involvement in Hamas’ global fund-raising machinery. It has been similarly involved in assisting violent Islamist groups in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. In 2006, the Danish Institute for International Studies demonstrated the IHH’s connections to al-Qaeda. The IHH belongs to a Saudi-based umbrella organization known to finance terrorism called the Union of Good (Ittilaf al-Kheir in Arabic), chaired by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who is known best for his religious ruling that encourages suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. In November 2008, the U.S. Treasury designated the Union’s leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) “created by Hamas leadership to transfer funds to the terrorist organization.”’

According to the French magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere, testifying at the Seattle trial of would-be al Qaeda Millenium bomber Ahmed Ressamin, the IHH had played “[a]n important role” in the al Qaeda Millenium bomb plot targeting Los Angeles airport.  The IHH has also been involved in weapons trafficking, and played in addition a key role in galvanizing anti-Western sentiment among Turkish Muslims in the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq.

The Gaza flotilla is also the brainchild of prominent members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), including ISM co-founder Huwaida Arraf, who has described suicide bombings as “noble” and argued that Palestinian so-called resistance “must”’ include violence.

The ZOA condemns those journalists and media outlets that grossly mislead the public by falsely identifying the Hamas-supporting Gaza flotilla members as “peace activists” (for example, Charles Levinson in the Wall Street Journal) and the armed clashes aboard the ship initiated by the Hamas supporters as a “massacre” (The Scotsman). It also condemns Associated Press (AP) reporters Selcan Hacaoglu and Lee Keath, who virtually eliminated from their account any reference to the violence initiated against the Israeli boarding party and who were silent about the video evidence showing the initiation of violence by the flotilla members against the Israeli boarding party.

These inexcusable omissions and distortions enabled them to mislead the public by writing of “Israel’s deadly commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip.” Such reports have given aid and comfort to the terrorists by helping produce condemnation and anti-Israeli demonstrations in Europe and the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Prior to sailing, the flotilla members were filmed chanting songs glorifying violence and killing, including one about ‘Khaybar’ – the iconic slaughter of Jews by Muslims in the 7th century which is used as a rallying cry to kill the Jews today by Islamist terrorists. Some of these supporters spoke keenly of ‘martyrdom’ – achieving their own death through launching violence against others.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA is appalled at the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the international criticism of Israel to the deaths on board the Gaza flotilla and the corresponding relative absence of international condemnation of the deliberate and violent assault of the Hamas-supporting Gaza flotilla members to a lawful Israeli boarding party….”

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Preceding provided by Zionist Organization of America

Muslims, Christians and Jews together ponder lessons of the Shoah

June 1, 2010 1 comment

By Jeanette Friedman

Jeanette Friedman

PHILADELPHIA–They came in early spring, like migrating birds from every corner of the world—more than 200 professors and clergymen, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and even atheists and agnostics—to discuss and study the Holocaust and to celebrate and honor the work of the late Rev. Franklin Littell at St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia. They came from as far away as Russia, Bosnia, Israel, France, England, and from across America—California, New York, New Hampshire and Florida. Sponsored by St. Joseph’s, Stockton State College in New Jersey and Temple University, the Conference was founded 40 years ago by Rev. Littell and Dr. Hubert G. Locke, who have been at the leading edge in presenting the latest research in Holocaust and Genocide Studies to the rest of us.

Among the presenters were Dr. Michael Berenbaum, founding director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; theologian Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, University of Bridgeport; premier Holocaust educator Samuel Totten, the Chambon Foundation’s Pierre Sauvage,  and Holocaust studies pioneers Father John Pawlikowski and Rabbi Irving Greenberg, all of whom paid tribute to Rev. Littell, who died on May 30, 2009.  This was the first conference to take place without him.

The conference was founded in 1970 to create an academic forum for the exchange of information and ideas about the Holocaust between scholars, researchers and educational pioneers; to promote an interfaith, international, interdisciplinary, rigorous intellectual tradition; to encourage continued research on church responses to the Holocaust and the destruction of European Jewry while encouraging and deepening interfaith discussions; to use the Holocaust to determine early warning signs of genocide and to get the information to others through review, editing and publication.

The opening evening was a memorial to Rev. Littell. A poignant 28-minute documentary about Littell was produced and presented by Dr. Sauvage, and earned unanimous acclaim. It was clear from the film, which consisted of clips from the Reverend’s own presentations and one-on-one interviews, that his philosophy of church responsibility in response to the Holocaust, his views of the need for Holocaust education, his passion and his teachings have had a deep impact on the way the Holocaust is taught today in middle schools and high schools. He has also influenced how research and Holocaust and Genocide studies are pursued on the university level.

The opening plenary session was devoted to the “Unfinished Agenda,” outlining the work that must still be done. Breakout sessions covered the lack of safe haven for Jews who attempted to leave Europe; contemporary theology; issues in teaching the Holocaust in primary schools; ethics after Auschwitz; uses of the law; contemporary antisemitism; the use of memoirs; the arts; Peter Bergson; the healing professions during the Holocaust; resistance; the churches’ response to the Holocaust; other genocides; and most interestingly, a Jewish-Christian-Muslim trialogue with participants Leonard Grob of Fairleigh Dickinson University, Henry F. Knight of Keene College, Rochelle L. Millen of Wittenberg University and Khaleel Mohammed of San Diego State University.

As noted by Dr. Marcia Littell, in addition to academicians, participants included survivors, descendants of survivors, community leaders, interfaith clergy and undergraduate and graduate students. In a parallel session, The Teachers’ Institute presented a seminar for high school teachers on Integrating Themes of Rescue and Resistance into the Teaching of the Holocaust and other Genocides.

Those who spoke most movingly during tributes to Rev. Franklin Littell were his devoted widow, Dr. Marcia Sachs Littell; Rabbi Irving Greenberg, one of the first leaders in the Jewish community to begin the movement to remember with his organization, Zachor, and Dr. Elisabeth Maxwell of Remembering for the Future, who is currently working on a searchable survivor testimony database—a central on-line directory of all the testimonies in existing collections.

The Conference’s executive director is Dr. Marcia Sachs Littell of Stockton State College’s Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Dr. Hubert G. Locke is the conference chairman. Honorary Chairman is Prof. Elie Wiesel and the major benefactor is Holocaust survivor Felix Zandman, who, with his wife, Ruta, was presented with the Eternal Flame Award.

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Friedman is bureau chief in the greater New York City area for San Diego Jewish World.

American Jews and friends plan demonstrations today to support Israel

June 1, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN DIEGO (Staff Roundup) –Demonstrations in support of Israel and against the pro-Hamas activists who sailed their flotilla towards Gaza are planned in various American cities today (Tuesday, June 1)

In New York, Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE) together with other American Jewish organizations will gather outside of the Israeli Consulate, located at 800 Second Avenue (42nd Street) at 6:00 PM to stand in support of Israel’s self-defense. Hundreds will gather waving American & Israeli flags, and bearing signs which read: “Peace Activists Don’t Attack Soldiers,” “Hamas & Al Qaeda Support the Flotilla”, and “We Stand with Israel.”

“We will gather to stand united with the State of Israel, and to let President Obama, and the world know that we will not sit silently as Israel is attacked by her enemies. We stand with Israel in their battle against terrorism.  Israel has the right to stop terror at its door, and we condemn the United Nations for standing with terrorists. These so-called peace activists used knives, clubs and fire from weapons stolen from soldiers, and attacked soldiers who were seeking to enforce international law.  The boats were warned to change course multiple times, and we as the American Jewish community will not stand silently as Israel is attacked,” said RAJE Chairman, Rabbi Mordechai Tokarsky.

In Los Angeles, STandWithUs announced a rally will be held at 5 p.m. today (Tuesday, June 1)  in front of the Turkish consulate,  6300 Wilshire Boulevard.

StandWithUS President and CEO Roz Rothstein made the following statement:

“”Turkey played a key role in promoting the flotilla of six ships that tried to breach Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza on May 31st.

“The flotilla, organized by self described human rights groups, claimed it was bringing aid to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.  Israel offered to deliver the goods through official channels if the activists conformed to international and Israeli law, and agreed to dock at Ashdod instead of Gaza.  They refused.

“When Israel warned the approaching ships to redirect to Ashdod, they refused to do so. Exercising its sovereign rights under international law, Israel boarded the ships and escorted them to Ashdod. Five ships complied peacefully and no one was injured.  
“The sixth ship, Mavi Marmara, flying under the Turkish flag, refused to cooperate.

“As is shown in this video, when a small group of Israeli navy personnel attempted to board the Marmara, the alleged ‘peace activists’ ambushed them with guns, knives, steel pipes, bats, and other weapons.  Seven Israelis were wounded, two critically, and nine activists were killed. Watch the video here: 

“Turkey permitted the Marmara to fly under its flag.  Turkey knew that the IHH (Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation) had organized the Flotilla, and supports the genocidal terrorist organization Hamas, several Jihadist organizations in Bosnia, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere, and has ties with Al Qaeda.  But Turkey did not prevent the Flotilla from disembarking and attacking Israel’s sovereign right to protect itself from terrorists attempting to enter Gaza. 

“Now Turkey is condemning Israel for the unfortunate casualties, and is leading the charge to condemn Israel at the U.N.   It is Turkey that should be condemned by the United Nations for its role in this brutal trap set for Israelis.

“Turkey has blood on its hands, not Israel.”

In San Diego, community activist Tami Zohar has been sending out notices that supporters of Israel are encouraged on June 20 to wear blue.

“Imagine hundreds of thousands of people, in America, Canada, Israel, Europe and the whole entire world, committing to a simple easy action that will show their support for Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state?” said a note she forwarded  on FaceBook

“What kind of message will this give in a time where many have shown interest in painting Israel as alone and without any support? Would you be willing to join this international movement and show your pride and support for the Jewish state? Well, now you can! On June 20th 2010, we will all wear a blue shirt and show our support for the State of Israel. We will show the world that Israel does still have a lot of proud supporters. This incredibly simple action – just choosing to wear a blue shirt- will enable us to give a strong message which will be heard internationally! You will be able to say proudly: “Israel has supporters and I am one of them!”.

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Preceding compiled from a variety of sources

European Court of Human Rights rules Jews and Roma should be enfranchised in Bosnia-Herzogovina

December 23, 2009 Leave a comment

STRASBOURG, France (WJC)–The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has ruled that the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina discriminates against the Jewish and Roma minorities in the Balkan country and must be changed.

The court ruled on Tuesday in favor of the two plaintiffs, the president of the Jewish Community, Jakob Finci, and Roma leader Dervo Sejdic. Both men complained that their bids to run for the presidency and the upper house of Parliament had been rejected because they were not members of the ethnic groups defined in the constitution: Muslims, Croats or Serbs.

The court’s decision obliges Bosnia to reform its constitution, which was part of the 1995 Dayton peace accord that ended the ethnic war among the three groups in the early 1990s. The basic law was aimed at ensuring sharing among what it calls Bosnia’s constituent peoples. 

Finci said he was “delighted that the European Court has recognized the wrong that was done in the Constitution 14 years ago.” He urged politicians “to right the wrongs in the Constitution quickly.”

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

Terrors conspirators sentenced to federal prison

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

ATLANTA, Georgia (Press Release)– Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, 23, of Roswell, Ga., and Syed Haris Ahmed, 25, of Atlanta, were sentenced Monday in federal court following their convictions earlier this year in separate but related criminal trials, the Justice Department announced.

“With their words and their actions, these defendants supported the wrongheaded but very dangerous idea that armed violence aimed at American interests will force our Government and our people to change our policies. That is terrorism, and it will not succeed,” said Sally Quillian Yates, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. “The risk posed by men such as these defendants continues, both here and abroad.  Hopefully, meaningful sentences such as these will make our citizens and our soldiers safer around the world as the message is sent that we will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who would ally themselves with terrorists.”

In Washington, D.C., David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division, said, “This case serves as another reminder of the global nature of the terrorism threat and the importance of international and domestic cooperation in addressing it. These defendants, who conducted surveillance of potential terror targets at home and pursued terrorist training overseas, were part of an online network that connected extremists in North America, Europe and South Asia. I commend all those who were involved in this prosecution and the related investigations around the world.”

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said, “The radicalization of U.S. citizens by jihadist recruiters abroad is a very real and growing concern that the FBI and the U.S. Government as a whole must deal with. The FBI is charged with preventing terrorist attacks before they occur and we are committed to this task. Individuals engaged in such activities as these two individuals cannot successfully argue that such activities are constitutionally protected.”

U.S. District Court Judge William S. Duffey, Jr., sentenced Sadequee to a term of 17 years in prison, to be followed by 30 years of supervised release. Judge Duffey sentenced Ahmed to 13 years in prison, also to be followed by 30 years of supervised release.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Yates and the evidence presented during the trial: Sadequee was born in Fairfax, Va., in 1986.  He attended school in the United States, Canada and Bangladesh. In December 2001, while living in Bangladesh, he sought to join the Taliban, to help them in their fight against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. 

Ahmed, a naturalized citizen born in Pakistan in 1984, came to the United States in the mid-1990s.  He attended high school in Roswell and Dawsonville, Ga., followed by college studies at North Georgia College and Georgia Tech.  

Sadequee and Ahmed began discussing their obligation to support jihad in late 2004.  By this time, both Sadequee and Ahmed had become active on several web forums known to support the cause of violent jihad.  These discussions quickly grew into an active conspiracy with others to provide material support to terrorists engaged in violent jihad. The evidence indicated that the material support consisted of (1) Sadequee, Ahmed, and other individuals who intended to provide themselves as personnel to engage in violent jihad, and (2) property, namely, video clips of symbolic and infrastructure targets for potential terrorist attacks in the Washington, D.C., area, including the U.S. Capitol, the World Bank headquarters, the Masonic Temple, and a fuel tank farm — all of which were taken by Sadequee and Ahmed to be sent to “the jihadi brothers” abroad.

At trial, the government presented evidence that Sadequee, Ahmed, and their co-conspirators used the Internet to develop relationships and maintain contact with each other and with other supporters of violent jihad in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and elsewhere. In support of the conspiracy, in March 2005 Sadequee and Ahmed traveled to Toronto to meet with other co-conspirators, including Fahim Ahmad, one of the “Toronto 18” suspects awaiting a terrorism trial in Canada.  While in Canada, Sadequee, Ahmed, and their co-conspirators discussed their plans to travel to Pakistan in an effort to attend a paramilitary training camp operated by a terrorist organization, as well as potential targets for terrorist attacks in the United States. 

In April 2005, Sadequee and Ahmed drove to the Washington, D.C., area to take the casing videos, which the government’s evidence showed they made to establish their credentials with other violent jihad supporters as well as for use in violent jihad propaganda and planning.  Sadequee later sent several of the video clips to Younis Tsouli, aka “Irhabi007” (Arabic for “Terrorist 007”), a propagandist and recruiter for the terrorist organization Al Qaeda in Iraq, and to Aabid Hussein Khan, aka “Abu Umar,” a facilitator for the Pakistan-based terrorist organizations “Lashkar-e-Tayyiba” and “Jaish-e-Mohammed.”  Both Tsouli and Khan have since been convicted of terrorism-related offenses in the United Kingdom and are imprisoned there.

The government’s evidence additionally showed that Sadequee and Aabid Hussein Khan, the convicted U.K.-based terrorist, using a members-only violent jihadist web forum known as “At-Tibyan Publications,” recruited at least two individuals to participate in violent jihad.  One, a self-identified 17-year-old American convert, was praised by Sadequee for his “capacity of fulfilling [his] largest obligations in [his] native land.”

The government also presented evidence at trial that in July 2005, Ahmed traveled from Atlanta to Pakistan in an unsuccessful attempt to enter a paramilitary terrorist training camp and ultimately engage in violent jihad.  While in Pakistan, Ahmed met with Aabid Hussein Khan, and the two discussed Ahmed’s intention of joining a camp. The day before Ahmed returned to Atlanta, Sadequee departed Atlanta for Bangladesh, carrying with him, hidden in the lining of his suitcase, an encrypted CD; a map of Washington, D.C., that covered all of the areas he and Ahmed had cased; and a scrap of paper with Aabid Hussein Khan’s mobile phone number in Pakistan.

Once in Bangladesh, Sadequee began to conspire more closely with Younis Tsouli and Mirsad Bektasevic, a Swedish national of Serbian origins.  Specifically, Tsouli, Bektasevic, Sadequee and others formed a violent jihadist organization known as “Al Qaeda in Northern Europe.”  The group was to be based in Sweden.  The evidence at trial showed that in October 2005, Sadequee sought a visa that would allow him to relocate from Bangladesh to Sweden.  Bektasevic was arrested in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Oct. 19, 2005.  He and a co-conspirator were found in possession of over 20 pounds of plastic explosives, a suicide belt with detonator, a firearm with a silencer and a video recorded by Bektasevic demonstrating how to make detonators; showing an arsenal of semi-automatic weapons, grenades, explosives and other arms; and depicting Bektasevic and others placing a grenade booby-trap in a forest near Sarajevo.  Sadequee had been in electronic and telephonic contact with Bektasevic as recently as three days before Bektasevic’s arrest, discussing the silencer and explosives Bektasevic had acquired for the group.  Bektasevic has since been convicted of terrorism offenses in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Meanwhile, after returning to Atlanta to resume his studies at Georgia Tech in August 2005, Ahmed remained in contact with Sadequee, expressed regret at his failure to join violent jihadists, conducted internet research on topics such as high explosives and defeating Special Operations troops, and discussed his intent to make another attempt to enter a violent jihad training camp.  In March 2006, Ahmed was approached by FBI agents and agreed to a series of voluntary, non-custodial interviews over the course of eight days.  Amid efforts to deny his illegal activities and mislead the agents, Ahmed made increasingly incriminating statements.  Efforts by the FBI to obtain Ahmed’s cooperation in the ongoing international terrorism investigation ended after the FBI discovered that Ahmed was surreptitiously contacting Sadequee, who was still in Bangladesh, to advise him of the FBI investigation and to warn him not to return to the United States.

Ahmed was arrested on March 23, 2006, in Atlanta, on material support of terrorism charges.  He has been in custody ever since.

Sadequee was arrested on April 20, 2006, in Bangladesh, on charges arising out of false statements he made in an August 2005 interview with the FBI in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY).  Sadequee was indicted in the Northern District of Georgia on July 19, 2006, and transferred to Atlanta in August of that year, after the charges in EDNY were dismissed at the Government’s request.   

This case was investigated by agents and officers of the Atlanta Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which is led by the FBI, Atlanta Division.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert McBurney, Alexis Collins and Christopher Bly prosecuted the case.

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Preceding provided by the U.S. Justice Department