Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obama Economic Plan is Working...

President's Economic Plan is Working...

...Redistributing money from one group (small business owners, taxpayers and job creators) to hand it to your Democratic voters doesn’t improve GDP or create jobs, it destroys them.
Extending jobless benefits endlessly doesn’t create jobs. It guarantees that those who pay the bill (small business owners) will not create a single job, while those receiving the benefits have no urgency to look for one.
Handing billions of dollars out in “stimulus” and bailouts to government employee unions and Democratic campaign contributors doesn’t fix an economy. It just makes millionaires out of your cronies.
Spending $26 billion to protect government employee union jobs doesn’t help the economy recover. It just adds $26 billion more to the national debt, and makes our children’s future even bleaker.
Asking the Fed to create endless fake debt-based money has never created a single real job.
The largest tax increase in history that takes effect on Jan. 1 will not increase tax revenues, it will cause small business failures, lower consumer spending, and put millions more in the unemployment line.
The financial reform bill demanding “affirmative action” loans to minority small businesses puts the entire economy at risk. Isn’t this the same requirement Congress imposed on banks that resulted in subprime home loans leading to the collapse of the real estate market?
The multitrillion dollar Universal Healthcare bill won’t help the economy recover, but it will raise all of our healthcare costs and taxes. The cap and trade bill they so desperately want to pass will double or triple our utility and gas bills. The moratorium on oil drilling has cost 100,000 jobs...

http://www.newsmax.com/WayneAllynRoot/barackobamabenbernanke/2010/08/30/id/368737

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Obama Blames GOP for Weak Recovery at Accuracy in Media

Obama Blames GOP for Weak Recovery
By Don Irvine July 18, 2010
http://www.aim.org/don-irvine-blog/obama-blames-gop-for-weak-recovery/
In his weekly radio address President Obama accused the Republican leadership in the Senate of filibustering the recovery and obstructing the progress our the country.

From Political Punch
President Obama accuses the Republican leadership in the Senate is filibustering the nation’s recovery and using “stalling tactics” to try to obstruct the progress of the country.

“Too often, the Republican leadership in the United States Senate chooses to filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress,” the president said in his weekly address.

“That has very real consequences,” he warned.

Specifically, President Obama highlighted two areas where Republicans are causing a delay: a filibuster of passing unemployment benefits, and a small business aid bill that has yet to be called for a vote in the Senate.

On the small business aid bill, Obama said the “partisan minority” is using procedural tactics to block an up-or-down vote.

“Consider what that obstruction means for our small businesses – the growth engines that create two of every three new jobs in this country,” Obama said. “A lot of small businesses still have trouble getting the loans and capital they need to keep their doors open and hire new workers.”

The bill, which passed the House last month, would create a $30 billion fund run by the Treasury Department to boost lending to small businesses. Under the program, community banks – the primary source of credit for small businesses – would receive incentives to use the capital provided by the fund to extend loans to these firms.

A GOP Senate aide says that the president’s description of the small business aid holdup is inaccurate. According to the aide, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, moved to that bill a couple weeks ago, but pulled it down to focus on financial regulation. Reid said that the small business bill will be on the floor Monday, but that’s a no-vote day and he already announced he’ll move off of that and back to unemployment insurance on Tuesday.

On the unemployment benefits extension, the president said that three times the Senate has tried to extend temporarily the emergency assistance, and three times, “the same crowd who said ‘no’ to small businesses said ‘no’ to folks looking for work and blocked a straight up-or-down vote.”

Addressing those who claim unemployment insurance discourages people from looking for work, President Obama said, “I haven’t met any Americans who would rather have an unemployment check than a meaningful job that lets you provide for your family.”

And to those who would argue the government should not provide unemployment insurance because it costs money, the president said, they “are wrong.”

“The fact is, most economists agree that extending unemployment insurance is one of the single most cost-effective ways to help jumpstart the economy,” he said. “It puts money into the pockets of folks who not only need it most, but who also are most likely to spend it quickly. That boosts local economies. And that means jobs.”

Every Republican except Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine has opposed the restoration and extension of the jobless benefits through Nov. 30 on the grounds that it would add tens of billions of dollars to the nation’s deficit. One Democrat – Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska – also has opposed the measure.

Nevertheless, the long-term jobless are poised to get the help they’ve been waiting for since the benefits lapsed on June 2 when Carte Goodwin, a new interim senator from West Virginia, will be sworn in, ABC News’ Matt Jaffe reported.

In his weekly address, the president calls on Congress to increase loans to small business and renew unemployment insurance, “because when storms strike Main Street, we don’t play politics with emergency aid. We don’t desert our fellow Americans when they fall on hard times.”

The fact is the Republicans have been unwilling or unable to stop most of Obama’s agenda.

While he has been stymied on issues like climate change and card check, Obama and the Democrats have managed to push through a $787 billion stimulus program that the president himself would guarantee that unemployment wouldn’t rise above 8%, health care reform ( though that was mainly the House’s doing) and now financial reform. And yet he complains that the GOP has been obstructing his agenda?

The fact of the matter is that Obama’s economic plan isn’t working and he needs someone to blame. Unemployment is still stubbornly high, the deficit is at record levels (yes let’s just spend our way out of the recession) and now financial reform is supposed to save the day.

And what about his claim also echoed by Nancy Pelosi that unemployment benefits are one of the best ways to jumpstart the economy? Well if that were the case why do we need 99 weeks worth of benefits? As far as his claim of not having met anyone who would prefer an unemployment check to a job then the president should read the Wall Street Journal artcile from a couple of weeks ago on this subject. In that article the Journal mentioned the case of a recruiting firm in California who had five $60,000 year engineering jobs they needed to fill and were told by unemployed engineers that they contacted that it the job either didn’t pay enough money or that they wanted to be called back when their unemployment benefits ran out.

Sorry Mr. President but there are plenty of people out there who prefer the government dole over a paycheck .

The administration should be creating incentives for business to hire people but has chosen instead to increase regulations and taxes or spend taxpayer money on short term do nothing jobs that in the long run discourages job creation.

The President has said that he expects to be held accountable for the unemployment problem. Well now is the time and rather than blaming his policies he has reverted to the blame Bush or blame the GOP mantra.

If Obama thinks this strategy works then so be it, but his arrogance will surely cost his party dearly in November and then what does he do?

UPDATE:

Now comes Veep Joe Biden who said today that the stimulus was too small and that Americans don’t understand how successful the administration has been so far.

From the Politico

Seeming to echo a line of criticism usually voiced by Republicans, Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that most Americans and even many experts “don’t even know” what’s inside the White House’s signature legislative accomplishments.

Biden said that lack of understanding was “because of all the advertising done” by opponents of those bills.

Asked by ABC’s “This Week” host Jake Tapper in an interview aired Sunday if the administration “is getting enough credit” for the Wall St. bill, the health care bill, and the economic Recovery Act in light of polls showing the majority of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, Biden said: “The vast majority of the American people and a lot of people really involved don’t even know what’s inside the packages.”

“People don’t know a lot of what’s going on in The Recovery Act,” Biden said, ”understandably, because this has been so much stuff that has been flowing our way.”

Despite those polls, Biden said, the country is moving in the right direction, saying of Americans who disagree “nor could they or should they” understand that, given the 6.7 million jobs lost in the last six months of the Bush administration and the first six months of the Obama administration.

Pointing to jobs growth in recent months, he added that when the “country is in trouble, all [people] want to know is… that we’re moving in the right direction.”

“But they don’t think that we are, “ Tapper replied.

“No. No, they don’t think now because I don’t think they know the detail of what’s going on,” said Biden, who said “the health care numbers are going up” now “because they’re figuring out that small businesses are going to get a 30 percent tax cut. They didn’t know that because of all the advertising done.“

Detailing what he called “the summer of recovery,” Biden said, “We have two, three times as many highway projects going. We have significant investment in broadband for the first time now. It’s starting to really ramp up [with contracts] in high speed rail, in wind energy.

“This is a hard slog, man,” Biden said. “And it’s counter-intuitive. It’s counter-intuitive to say someone sitting at a kitchen table in Claymont, Del., who lost their jobs — by the way, we saved or created three million jobs and they pick up when we lost three million.”

Biden may need to explain to the president exactly what the administration has accomplished legislatively so he won’t complain about the GOP blocking his agenda.

As for the claim that they wanted a bigger stimulus the administration should be thankful that it wasn’t any larger based on the fact that it didn’t reduce unemployment or make a dent in the recession.

The more they talk the deeper the hole they dig.

Go to Glenn Beck's http://www.glennbeck.com/828/ for true info on his event

After reading the post on: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_dc_rally I felt that posting the Media Q and A's on Glenn's website would be helpful in providing more information.
http://www.glennbeck.com/828/

Restoring Honor
faq for media

What is The Restoring Honor
Event?
Throughout history America
has seen many great leaders
and noteworthy citizens change
her course. It is through their
personal virtues and by their
example that we are able to
live as a free people. On August
28, come celebrate America by
honoring our heroes, our heritage
and our future.
Join the Special Operations
Warrior Foundation, Glenn Beck,
Sarah Palin and many more
for this non-political event that
pays tribute to America’s service
personnel and other upstanding
citizens who embody our nation’s
founding principles of integrity,
truth and honor.
Our freedom is possible only
if we remain virtuous. Help us
restore the values that founded
this great nation. On August,
28th, come join us in our pledge
to restore honor at the steps
of the Lincoln Memorial in
Washington DC.
Isn’t this just a tea party rally
disguised as something about
honor?
No. The Tea Party isn’t affiliated
with the rally or SOWF in any
way. This is a non-political event.
Wait--this isn’t political?
Nope. We’ve discussed this
endlessly too. Not only is the
event non-political, we have
continuously encouraged those
attending to avoid bringing
political signs, political flyers, “I
heart the RNC” t-shirts and other
similar partisan paraphernalia.
There are plenty of opportunities
to talk about politics. This isn’t
one of them.
How much money are you
making off this?
None. In what might come as
a shock to our critics, all net
proceeds of 8/28 merchandise
and money raised through the
online charity auction, mail in
donations or online donations
go to SOWF. All contributions
will first be applied to the costs
of the Restoring Honor Rally
taking place on August 28, 2010,
as has been discussed endlessly
on the air. All contributions in
excess of these costs will then
be retained by the SOWF. It is
not possible to make a donation
in any of the above ways without
being told this first. In other
words, the process is normal and
similar to many events that also
benefit charity or as the Better
Business Bureau described it –
“transparent.”
If you would like to donate to their cause go to:
http://www.glennbeck.com/828/
and follow the links.

No, really, how much?
You already asked that. Zero.
Why is it happening on the
anniversary of Martin Luther
King’s “I have a dream”
speech?
We were targeting a Saturday
close to 9/12, and 8/28 just
wound up being the open date
that made the most sense to
various schedules that needed
to be coordinated. We didn’t
realize that the date was the
same as the MLK anniversary
until the media reported
it. However, it’s a perfect fit.
Martin Luther King’s message
of focusing on the content of a
person’s character above all else
is one of the most important and
direct ways to restore honor. We
are honored to welcome MLK’s
niece Alveda King as a featured
speaker at the event to discuss
this important concept.

Numbers:
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation currently has 133
students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.
Last year, the Foundation provided $2.7 million in scholarship
grants, academic, financial aid, and family support to our families.
In 2009, the Foundation provided $311,000 in financial assistance
to severely wounded (hospitalized) special operations
personnel so their families could be bedside. To date, we have
provided over One Million Dollars to wounded Special
Operations warriors.
Total number of Special Operations Forces (SOF) casualties since
1980: 721
Total number of children in our program since 1980: 836
Total number of SOF casualties since 9/11/2001: 388
Total number of children left behind from SOF casualties
since 9/11: 441
Total number of SOWF college graduates: 158
Last year, America lost 46 Special Operations personnel… compared
to an average of 15 SOF casualties prior to Sept. 2001.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Democrats raise your taxes-Home Sales Fall-Unemployment 22%:Hope and Change is Working

New-Home Sales Fall to Record Low in July
Real Unemployment Rate 16.5%, 22%
single-family homes declined 12.4 percent
Senate Dems’ vote to let taxes increase

How is that Hope and Change Working For You!
New-Home Sales Fall to Record Low in July
August 25, 2010 - Sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 12.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 276,000 units in July, according to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department today. This was the lowest sales rate for new homes on record.

"Today's report, though not unexpected, is disappointing in view of the improvement in sales activity that we saw in June," said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "Potential home buyers have become very hesitant due to uncertainty about the economy and job market, and are putting off the decision to buy until they feel more confident."

"The slow pace of economic recovery and worries about job security are weighing heavily on the minds of potential home buyers right now," agreed NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "As a result, the housing market is clearly in a holding pattern. That said, NAHB does not project that a double-dip recession is in the cards, and we are looking for employment gains later this year to help bolster sales activity moving forward."

Sales of new homes fell across every region in July, with a 13.9 percent decline registered in the Northeast, an 8.3 percent decline in the Midwest, an 8.7 percent decline in the South and a 25.4 percent decline in the West.
http://www.nahb.com/news_details.aspx?newsID=11246
------------
More on Senate Dems’ vote to let taxes increase
By: Mark Hemingway
Commentary Staff Writer
08/05/10 2:30 PM EDT
Dave already mentioned this, but here’s some more detail on what happened with the votes to let tax rates rise in the Senate today. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., put two amendments to a vote:

(1) a permanent extension of the current marginal income tax rates with instructions to offset as necessary through spending reduction
and
(2) a permanent extension of individual income tax rates for small businesses with instructions to offset as necessary through spending reductions.

Both amendments went down by a vote of 58-42 earlier today. A statement from DeMint’s office notes how significant these impending tax increases are:

By defeating DeMint’s amendments today, Democrats approved tax increases on all marginal tax brackets that will rise significantly on individuals, families, and small business to their pre-2001 levels, which were five tax rates of 15%, 28%, 31%, 36%, and 39.6%. According to analysis by the Wall Street Journal, an individual in South Carolina making $40,000 next year will pay about $400 more in federal income taxes. A South Carolina married couple earning a combined $80,000 will see their federal income tax rise by nearly $2,200. A married couple earning $160,000 next year could pay $5,500 more to Washington.

Also, the Obama tax hikes are set to significantly increase taxes on small businesses earning more than $200,000. The IRS has noted that most small businesses file taxes as individuals making more than $200,000 per year, with around 30 million tax returns reporting small business income in 2008. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses employ over half of the nation’s private sector workforce, more than 60 million Americans. 21.6 million of those jobs are provided by small businesses with less than 20 employees.

Also worth mentioning here: Democrats already voted to raise the capital gains tax and the death tax in June and July, respectively.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/senate-dems-reject-gop-amendment-to-prevent-tax-increases-100051199.html

---------------------
The Real Unemployment Rate is 18 percent
Psst. That's 23 percent when you add the underemployed
By Mike Gimbel, Chair, Local 375, AFSCME “Labor/Community Unity Committee
August 23, 2010 http://www.theskanner.com/article/view/id/13217

The 9.5 percent “Official Unemployment rate” has no credibility. It is classic “political spin” intended to fill worker’s heads with a non-existent hope that a recovery “is right around the corner”. Isn’t it about time that we proclaim “The Emperor has no Clothes” in regards to these phony figures?
Here are the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data for the period of April, 2010 to July, 2010:

Civilian Labor Force Employed Unemployed Not in the Labor Force Part-time
July 2010 153,560 138,960 14,599 84,330 8529
June 2010 153,741 139,119 14,623 83,949 8627
May, 2010 154,393 139,420 14,973 83,107 8809
April, 2010 154,715 139,455 15,260 82,614 9152

The real unemployment figure for July, 2010 is 18.43 percent. The 9.9 percent unemployment rate for April became a 9.5 percent figure for July by artificially shrinking the total workforce numbers (employed and unemployed) by 1,155,000 over these three months, from 154,715,000 in April to 153,560,000 in July. Did the U.S. population decline precipitously these past three months? Of course not! The BLS hid the unemployed in a category entitled “Not in the Labor Force”. Between April and July, 2010 the BLS added 1,716,000 individuals into this category, while decreasing the number of the officially unemployed by 661,000 in the same period. Only about 230,000 (this number includes retirees, for instance) should have been added to the “Not in the Labor Force” category during those three months. The phony 661,000 decrease in the official unemployed were simply discarded, as if they were garbage, into the “not in the Labor Force” column. They weren’t even counted as part of the civilian work force, either employed or unemployed.

As a result, the “Not in the Labor Force” category is the convenient way for “disappearing” the real unemployed so that the capitalist politicians can “spin” fairy tales of a soon to arrive economic recovery. Workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits or have become discouraged, as well as youth who have yet to find a job, are all dumped into this catch-all category as a way of hiding the truth of the extent of the job crisis from the workers.

An estimated 16,802,000 unemployed workers have been hidden in the “Not in the Labor Force” category since April, 2000, the peak of the last economic cycle. When added to the officially listed 14,599,000 current unemployed, the total becomes 31,401,000 actually unemployed. When you add in the 8,529,000 who are working part-time, but want full-time work, this incredible total becomes almost 40 million distressed workers!

If you look at the numbers listed above, another fact should jump out at you. The BLS data shows how many workers are working part-time but want full-time work. These part-time workers dropped from 9,152,000 in April to 8,529,000 in July. In other words, 623,000 of the 1,716,000 added to the “Not in the Labor Force” category came from the underemployed workers who work part-time but want full-time work. It is a remarkable and stunning crisis when even the part-time workers are getting laid-off, as has clearly happened over these last three months! The real unemployment + underemployment figure is 23.44 percent when you include part-time workers looking for full-time jobs...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

America will become a Muslim country, said Abdulrahman Alamoudi, Islamic Association of Palestine Conference, Chicago, Illinois, 1996

“It depends on me and you, either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years,
but this country will become a Muslim country..." said Abdulrahman Alamoudi, Islamic Association of Palestine Conference, Chicago, Illinois, 1996.

Testimony of Matthew Epstein Before the
United States Senate Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security
“Saudi Support for Islamic Extremism in the United States”
September 10, 2003
Matthew Epstein, Assistant Director - The Investigative Project
5505 Connecticut Ave. NW #341
Washington, D.C. 20015
email: stopterror@aol.com -- phone: 202.363.8602 --fax: 202.966.5191
1
Executive Summary
Nearly two years to the day from the horrifying terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001, we must take a closer look at the organizations that
claim to speak for the Muslim community in America, and how they came to
such positions of influence. Despite Bush Administration outreach, large
sections of the institutional Islamic leadership in America do not support U.S.
counterterrorism policy, denouncing virtually every terrorism indictment,
detention, deportation and investigation as religiously motivated attacks on Islam.

To be clear, I would like to state that militant Islamic fundamentalism is not
synonymous with Islam the religion. The overwhelming majority of the world’s
more than one billion Muslims do not support violence or militancy. The
radicalization of the Islamic political leadership in the United States has
developed parallel to the radicalization of the Islamic leadership worldwide,
sharing a conspiratorial view that Muslims in the United States are being
persecuted on the basis of their religion and an acceptance that violence in the
name of Islam is justified. While such leaders protest that they have
condemned terrorism, and they have in the abstract, they refuse to specifically
condemn Islamist terrorist groups and leaders by name, or acknowledge
responsibility for their acts of terror.

Although the high visibility of such individuals and organizations suggests
broad leadership and significant followings in the United States, by many
accounts, they draw support from far fewer American Muslims than they
claim fall under their leadership. Unfortunately, however, militant Islamists
command a disproportionate share of media and political attention as a result
of substantial funding received from wealthy benefactors, led by the Saudis
and their Wahhabi brand of Islam. With deep pocketbooks and religious
conviction, the Saudi Wahhabists have bankrolled a series of Islamic
institutions in the United States that actively seek to undermine U.S.
counterterrorism policy at home and abroad. In the United States, the Saudi
Wahhabis regularly subsidize the organizations and individuals adhering to
the militant ideology espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood and its murderous
offshoots Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda, all three of
which are designated terrorist
2
organizations. Several of these U.S. based organizations drawing Saudi support have
recently been shuttered and many of their leaders indicted, including, the Holy Land
Foundation, Benevolence International Foundation and the Islamic Concern Project.
Saudi largess has similarly been bestowed upon the Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR), a U.S. based organization purporting to “promote a positive image of
Islam and Muslims in America” and “empower the Muslim community in America
through political and social activism.”1 However, in supporting claims of religious
discrimination, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and its leadership has
managed to disguise its true agenda of supporting militant Islam and protecting the
operations of radical groups supporting terrorism.


A careful review reveals that CAIR was a creation of the Hamas group in the
United States. CAIR leaders have been heard expressing their support for Hamas both in
public and on FBI surveillance tapes. CAIR has received support from, and lent support
to, Hamas financial conduits in the United States. Several CAIR officers and employees
have been recently indicted on terrorism-related charges. CAIR routinely questions the
motives behind U.S. counterterrorism policy and law enforcement.


The rise of militant Islamic leadership in the United States requires particular
attention if we are to succeed in the War on Terror. While the attacks of September 11,
2001 were executed by al-Qaeda, it is the bastions of militant Islam that provide the
recruits for tomorrow’s Mohammed Attas and the political cover to conceal their
operations. In this battle, we must distinguish between militant Islamic leaders, and the
vast majority of Muslims in the United States and around the world who do not support
their violent agenda. In preventing future attacks on American soil, we must actively
drain the pools from which Islamist terrorist organizations recruit and confront the
financial sponsors that create them.
1 www.cair-net.org.
3
This testimony was made possible by the extensive resources of the Investigative
Project, which is considered to be one of the largest non-governmental intelligence
centers on militant Islamic organizations. The author would like to thank Steven
Emerson, the founder and Executive Director of the Investigative Project, Tamar Tesler
and Scott Rosenbaum for their input, assistance and research in the preparation of this
testimony.


Introduction
Nearly two years to the day from the horrifying terrorist attacks of September 11,
2001, we must take a closer look at the organizations that claim to speak for the Muslim
community in America, and how they came to such positions of influence.
Despite Bush Administration outreach, large sections of the institutional Islamic
leadership in America do not support U.S. counterterrorism policy from Kabul to Gaza,
and from Portland to Tampa. Listening to sermons at mosques, attending Islamic
conferences, and reading Islamic publications, one would believe that the United States is
engaged not in a War on Terrorism, but instead a War on Islam. In the U.S., militant
Islamic leaders, operating under the false patina of serving as moderate religious, civil
rights and political leaders, have denounced virtually every terrorism indictment,
detention, deportation and investigation as religiously motivated attacks on Islam.
Instead of trying to cleanse the Islamic community from the extremism that
exercises disproportionate influence, various Islamic leaders, claiming that they represent
the majority of Muslims, have instead sought to portray counterterrorism efforts as part of
an orchestrated campaign against Islam. Such a position only serves to protect the
radicals and the terrorists who, as they did before 9/11, sought refuge in the unwillingness
of American policymakers to distinguish militant Islamic supporters from the vast
majority of Muslims who abjure violence.


To be clear, I would like to state that militant Islamic fundamentalism is not
synonymous with Islam the religion. The overwhelming majority of the world’s more
than one billion Muslims do not support violence or militancy.

4


The radicalization of the Islamic political leadership in the United States has
developed parallel to the radicalization of the Islamic leadership worldwide. They share
several common characteristics, including (1) an increasingly pervasive conspiratorial
view that Muslims in the United States and around the world are being persecuted on the
basis of their religion, (2) a similarly conspiratorial belief that Western nations, led by the
United States, aim to destroy Islamic culture, and (3) an acceptance that violence in the
name of Islam is justified in the face of western aggression against the ummah (Islamic
community). As a result, the institutional Muslim leadership in the United States,
mirroring the rise of militant Islam, has grown increasingly anti-Western and anti-U.S.
Various Islamic religious and political leaders have depicted U.S. counterterrorism as
anti-Muslim in an effort to de-legitimize counterterrorism measures at home as religious
witch-hunts.
While such leaders protest that they have condemned terrorism, and they have in
the abstract, they refuse to specifically condemn Islamist terrorist groups and leaders by
name, or acknowledge responsibility for their acts of terror. For example, in November of
1994, Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR), was interviewed on the CBS news program 60 Minutes. Awad was asked his
views on Hamas less than four weeks after the group took responsibility for a suicide bus
bombing that killied 23 Israelis2:
“Mike Wallace: What do you think of the military undertakings of Hamas?
Nihad Awad: Well, I think that’s -- that’s for the people there to judge.
Wallace: I’m asking you.
Awad: The -- the United Nations Charter grants people who are under occupation
to defend themselves against illegal occupation.”3
In June of 2000, Hussein Ibish, the communications director for the American
Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), was a guest on CNBC. Ibish was asked his
views Hizbollah, and organization responsible for the deaths 241 American Marines:
“RIVERA: How do you stand about Hizbollah and Hamas? Do you condemn
them?
2 Associated Press. “Massive Security Effort Launched For Clinton’s Mideast Visit,” October 25, 1994.
3 CBS News Transcript. 60 Minutes, November 13, 1994.
5
IBISH: I--it's not up to me to condemn people. I think he's absolutely...
RIVERA: But I want to know. How do you feel about them?
IBISH: No. I think that Hizbollah fought a very good war against the Israelis, a
guerrilla war, a popular war that was clearly shown to be a war of liberation and
that had the support of the majority of the south Lebanese people.”4
In exploring the factors behind the radicalization of the Islamic leaders in the
United States, one element may have had the greatest impact: a flood of Persian Gulf
dollars, primarily from Saudi Arabia, funding the penetration of militant Islam in the
United States. This testimony will explore the vehicles through which militant Islamists
cause the propagation of anti-Western religious, political and social Islam in the United
States.
Foreign Sponsorship of Militant Islamic Agenda in the United States
Wealthy militant Islamic patrons from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf
kingdoms, as well as the governments themselves, have for years financed and otherwise
supported a number of organizations in the United States that advance the agenda of
propagating their violent strain of Islam known as Wahhabism. In recent months, major
media, scholars of Islam and high ranking government officials have provided detailed
accounts of Saudi support for Islamic extremism worldwide. Islamic militants have
declared the United States a crucial battleground in their bid to extend their ideology
worldwide. In this vein, they have richly supported U.S. based organizations operating as
charitable associations, religious institutions, civil rights groups and political action
committees which all have militant Islamic purposes.
The goals and means of this movement are discussed at conferences and
conventions held across the country, such as the statements made by Abdulrahman
Alamoudi, then head of the American Muslim Council (AMC), at the 1996 Islamic
Association for Palestine conference held in Chicago, Illinois:
4 ADC Communications Director Hussein Ibish interviewed on Rivera Live on CNBC, June 5, 2000.
6
It depends on me and you, either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years,
but this country will become a Muslim country.
And I [think] if we are outside
this country, we can say oh, Allah destroy America but once we are here, our
mission in this country is to change it. And (the prophet) told us that there are
three ways of changing things, either by your hand or your mouth or within
yourself, and we can change it by our hand and by our mouth, but positively.
There is no way for Muslims to be violent in America, no way. We have other
means to do it. You can be violent anywhere else but in America.”5
While stating he is against attacks in the United States, Alamoudi is not opposed
to violence per se, but rather carrying out attacks on U.S. soil; he implicitly gave the
green light for attacks on the U.S. overseas. When he says this country will become a
Muslim country, a statement which would rarely come to public light, he is reflecting a
hidden agenda in which the U.S. is viewed as becoming part of the Islamic empire.
Alamoudi, far from a fringe player in American politics, was the Executive
Director of the American Muslim Council (AMC). Alamoudi’s organization was
addressed by FBI director Robert Mueller at its 2002 annual convention held in
Alexandria, Virginia and called “the most mainstream Muslim group in the United
States” by Mueller’s spokesman.
In order to provide cover for their militant Islamic agenda and activities,
extremists routinely seek to undermine U.S. counterterrorism measures. Along these
lines, U.S. law enforcement is depicted as bias and racist. For example, on an
informational compact disc distributed at some mosques in the Washington, D.C.
metropolitan area, immigration and civil rights attorney Ashraf Nubani warned that:
“There is no reason, in general, that anyone should ever, ever, ever talk to law
enforcement as Muslims in the United States. The FBI is just a tool of whoever is
wielding it…and right now, it is very bad, it is very bad, it is very bad.”6
Similarly, groups such as AMC and the National Coalition to Protect Political
Freedom authored and distributed warnings that Muslims in America not talk to the FBI.
Posted on AMC’s website as late as 2001 was the following:
5 Abdulrahman Alamoudi. Islamic Association of Palestine Conference, Chicago, Illinois, 1996.
6 Compact Disc recording featuring Ashraf Nubani. Obtained from Washington D.C. metropolitan area
mosque August 2003.
7
“Why not Talk? The FBI is looking for information to use against you, your
family and/or your community. The FBI has a history of harassing and harming
minority and immigrant communities. Some people are spending a long time in
jail because they or their friends talked to the FBI.” 7
Although the high visibility of such individuals and organizations suggests broad
leadership and significant followings in the United States, by many accounts, they draw
support from far fewer American Muslims than they claim fall under their leadership. As
stated by the late Seif Ashmawy, former publisher of the Voice of Peace and someone
who has testified before Congress on the activities of Muslim extremists and their ability
to infiltrate and deceive the American public, “…both organizations [CAIR and AMC]
champion extremists whose views do not represent Islam. They do not represent
moderate Muslims such as myself.”8 Unfortunately, militant Islamists command a
disproportionate share of media and political attention as a result of substantial funding
received from wealthy benefactors, led by the Saudis and their Wahhabi brand of Islam.
With deep pocketbooks and religious conviction, the Saudi Wahhabists have
bankrolled a series of Islamic institutions in the United States that actively seek to
undermine U.S. counterterrorism policy at home and abroad. From Islamic centers to
student associations, from relief organizations to bookstores, an ideology committed to
the destruction of Western civilization is being offered as the only solution to the plight
of the ummah. Saudi and Kuwaiti organizations including the World Assembly of
Muslim Youth (WAMY) and the International Islamic Federation of Students
Organizations (IIFSO) actively promote religious hatred and violence through the
publication of books such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Muslim
Brotherhood. Islamic Views is an Arabic language book written by WAMY, a Saudi
government sponsored organization. Printed by the Saudi Government’s Armed Forces
Printing Press, Islamic Views teaches that Islam “is a religion of Jihad” and that Jihad
“was an answer for the Jews, the liars.”
“[T]each our children to love taking revenge on the Jews and the
oppressors, and teach them that our youngsters will liberate
7 Posted on http://amconline.org/main.shtml. “In the case of FBI: Know Your Rights!” 2001.
8 Pittsburgh Newsweekly. “A CAIR-free Muslim,” January 16-22, 1996.
8
Palestine and al-Quds when they go back to Islam and make Jihad
for the sake of Allah.”9
The Muslim Brotherhood, a book published by the Kuwaiti IIFSO and listed on their
website as late as July 200110, reads:
“…we want Muslim individual, Muslim family, Muslim nation, Muslim
government, and a state that should be able to lead the Islamic governments,
should be able to unite the dispersed Muslims, should be able to regain their
honor and superiority, should be able to recover their lost lands, their usurped
regions, and their occupied territories. Then it should be able to raise the flag of
Jihad and the Call towards Allah till the entire world is benefited by Islamic
teachings…
We want to make the whole world bow before the word of Allah. The command
of Allah is:
‘And fight with them till no mischief remains, and the religion is all for
Allah.”11
In the United States, the Saudi Wahhabis regularly subsidize the organizations
and individuals adhering to the militant ideology espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood
and its murderous offshoots Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda, all three of
which are designated terrorist organizations.12 By way of example, Saudi financial and
operational support have been bestowed upon U.S. based “relief organizations” such as
the Holy Land Foundation (Hamas) and Benevolence International Foundation (al-
Qaeda), and “research institutes” such as the World Islam Studies Enterprise (Palestinian
Islamic Jihad). In the last two years, all three of these U.S. organizations have been shut
down as terrorist fronts or conduits and many of their leaders have been jailed on
terrorism-related charges.
Several other organizations sustaining militant Islamic ideologies continue to
function in the United States, including the American Muslim Council (AMC), the
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the International Institute of Islamic Thought
(IIIT) and Mercy International – USA. Such organizations have all benefited from Saudi
9 Saudi Armed Forces Printing Press. “Islamic Views,” 13th Edition, circa 1991.
10 www.iifso.org/book.htm, as of June 10, 2003
11 Saeed Hawwa. “The Muslim Brotherhood,” International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations,
1985.
12 Office of Foreign Assets Control. “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons,” September 5,
2003.
9
and other Persian Gulf support. These groups frequently cooperate on rallies, conferences
and fundraising activities.
Similarly, Saudi largess has been bestowed upon the Council on American-
Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. based organization purporting to “promote a positive
image of Islam and Muslims in America” and “empower the Muslim community in
America through political and social activism.”13 Founded in 1994, CAIR’s stated
mission is to actively combat “anti-Muslim discrimination nationwide.”14 However, in
supporting claims of religious discrimination, the Council on American-Islamic Relations
and its leadership has managed to disguise its true agenda of supporting militant Islam
and protecting the operations of radical groups supporting terrorism.
A careful review reveals that the Council on American Islamic Relations and its
leadership promote a militant strain of Islam in the United States, including anti-Western
sentiments and support for violent Islamic causes. As with other such organizations in
America, CAIR has received significant economic, political and operational support from
Saudi funders.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations & Militant Islam
CAIR & Hamas
• The ideological and organizational roots of the Council on American-Islamic
Relations can be found in the extremist Muslim Brotherhood and its violent
Palestinian offshoot Hamas. In 1994, CAIR was founded by two officials from the
Islamic Associate for Palestine (IAP), a primary U.S. based support organization for
Hamas.
IAP & the origins of CAIR:
o In an article published in The Link, CAIR founder and Executive Director Nihad
Awad explained that,
13 www.cair-net.org.
14Nihad Awad. “Muslim-Americans in Mainstream America,” The Link, February-March 2000.
10
“After the Gulf War was over, I was offered a job with the Islamic
Association for Palestine (IAP) as their public relations director…In this effort
I worked closely with IAP president Omar Ahmad…Omar suggested to me
that we leave the IAP and concentrate on combating anti-Muslim
discrimination…In June 1994, we used a modest donation as a starting budget
to open the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington,
D.C.”15
o The first manifestation of Hamas’ presence in the United States was the creation
of the Islamic Association for Palestine for North America (IAP) in 1981.16
Founded by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, IAP has served as a Hamas
support organization in the United States by publishing Hamas communiqu├ęs,
distributing Hamas recruitment videos and hosting conferences raising monetary
and popular support for Hamas. Marzook has been listed by the Treasury
Department as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
o IAP conferences held in the Unites States routinely incite hatred, including this
incendiary statement clearly aimed at provoking violence against the U.S., made
by a Hamas supporter at an IAP conference after the 1991 Gulf War:
“Dear brothers and sisters, we used to cross swords with America and with
imperialism in a sportive way, by means of culture clash, by critique and
writing in newspapers and journals and in debates. But the confrontation has
reached a point of no return. All veils have fallen. All barriers have broken
down. And today, America is right here at your doorstep, in everybody's
house…The marines, dear brothers, are stealing the doors of your houses, and
the doors of your mosques, in obstinate and open provocation. They are at our
doors. Their plan is to penetrate the flesh of our girls. And our honor, and our
values, in order to turn our society into a pervert nation.”17
The speaker was standing in front of a banner with “Hamas” spelled out in Arabic
using human skulls, under the heading “Islamic Association for Palestine.”
o In an August 2002 court decision regarding the freezing of terrorist assets in the
United States, a federal court judge found that “the Islamic Association for
15Nihad Awad. “Muslim-Americans in Mainstream America,” The Link, February-March 2000.
16 Boim v. Quranic Literacy Institute, et al. 127 F. Supp. 2d 1002, USDC Northern District of Illinois.
January 10, 2001. Hamas was not formally established until 1987, until which time Hamas leaders operated
under the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, the predecessor to Hamas.
17 Videotape. IAP Conference on Palestine.
11
Palestine has acted in support of Hamas.”18 The decision was issued in support of
the December 2001 Executive Order freezing the assets of the Holy Land
Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). The Treasury Department
announced that the “U.S.-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and
Development provides millions of dollars each year that is used by HAMAS.”19
o CAIR received a $5,000 initial disbursement from HLF in 1994.20
• In a March 1994 speech at Barry University, future CAIR Executive Director Nihad
Awad announced, “…after I researched the situation inside and outside Palestine, I
am in support of the Hamas movement….”21
• On FBI wiretaps recorded in 1993, Omar Ahmed, who has served as President of IAP
and Board Chairman of CAIR, is overheard professing his commitment to Hamas.
According to the FBI translation and summary of the conversation:
“Another member [Ahmed] said we (the Union [IAP]) can’t, as an American
organization say we represent Samah (pronouncing Hamas from the rear to the
front). Can we go to the Congressman and tell him, I am Omar Yehya [Ahmed],
Chairman of the Union [IAP], Yassir Arafat doesn’t represent me, but Ahmad
Yasin does?
An FBI note explains that “Ahmed Yasin” is Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the spiritual
leader of HAMAS.”22
o As Omar Ahmed suggests, CAIR has an active lobbying effort in Washington,
D.C. and across the country. CAIR officials frequently meet with
representatives from the White House, the State Department,23 Congress and
the FBI.24 In 1997, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad was appointed to
18 Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development vs. John Ashcroft in his official capacity as Attorney
General of the United States. Civil Action # 02-422.
19 Treasury Department Office of Pubic Affairs. “Shutting Down the Terrorist Financial Network,”
December 4, 2001.
20 IRS Form 1023, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.
21 Statement by Nihad Awad at a panel discussion, “The Road to Peace: the Challenge of the Middle East,”
Barry University, March 22, 1994.
22 Exhibit 28 to HLF evidence submitted in support of Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development
vs. John Ashcroft in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States. Civil Action # 02-422.
23 CAIR News brief. “State Department PR Head Meets with U.S. Muslims,” Washington D.C., November
26, 2001.
24 American Muslim News Breifs. “CAIR Meets with Administration officials to Discuss Community
Concerns,” CAIR-net.org, September 18, 2001.
12
the “Civil Rights Advisory Panel to the White House on Aviation Safety and
Security.”25
• Future CAIR leadership was present at the infamous “1993 Philadelphia meeting,”
which FBI documents describe as “a meeting in the United States among senior
leaders of HAMAS, HLFRD and IAP.” According to FBI documents, the meeting
was attended by future CAIR board chairman Omar Yahya Ahmed26 and future
founding board member of the Texas CAIR chapter Ghassan Elashi.27 According to
an FBI action memorandum analyzing wiretaps of the meeting:
“The overall goal of the meeting was to develop a strategy to defeat the
Israeli/Palestinian peace accord, and to continue and improve their [HAMAS]
fund-raising and political activities in the United States...
The participants decided that for fund-raising purposes, the United States theater
was very valuable to them. They stated they could not afford to lose it. In the
United States, they could raise funds, propagate their political goals, affect public
opinion and influence decision-making of the U.S. Government.
It was mentioned that the United States provided them with a secure, legal
base from which to operate. The democratic environment in the United States
allowed them to perform activities that are extremely important to their cause.
In discussing financial matters the participants stated a belief that
continuation of the Holy War was inevitable.
It was decided that most or almost all of the funds collected in the future should
be directed to enhance the Islamic Resistance Movement and to weaken the selfrule
government. Holy War efforts should be supported by increasing spending on
the injured, the prisoners and their families, and the martyrs and their families.”28
The fact that participants in this senior Hamas meeting would go on to organize CAIR
in the United States exposes the militant Islamic disposition of CAIR leadership.
25 CV of Nihad Awad. Posted on
http://www.islamonline.net/livedialogue/english/Guestcv.asp?hGuestID=Z7oSDW.
26 Exhibit 14 to HLF evidence submitted in support of Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development
vs. John Ashcroft in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States. Civil Action # 02-422.
27 Action Memorandum from Dale Watson, Assistant Director Counterterrorism Division FBI, to Richard
Newcomb, Office of Foreign Assets Control. “Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development
International Emergency Economic Powers Act,” November 5 2001; Texas Secretary of State. Articles of
Incorporation, Council on American Islamic Relations, September 29, 1998.
28 Action Memorandum from Dale Watson, Assistant Director Counterterrorism Division FBI, to Richard
Newcomb, Office of Foreign Assets Control. “Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development
International Emergency Economic Powers Act,” November 5 2001.
13
• CAIR actively raised money for HLF via their mailing list CAIR-NET.29 In 2001,
HLF’s assets were frozen by the Treasury Department, which found the organization
to be a Hamas conduit. The Texas chapter of CAIR and HLF share a common
founder in Ghassan Elashi. As stated above, Elashi himself was present at the 1993
Philadelphia meeting that planned Hamas fundraising in the United States. This
meeting shows that future leadership of CAIR participated in meetings with senior
Hamas leaders and discussed Hamas fundraising in the United States.
CAIR Leadership Under Indictment
In the last year, at least three former CAIR employees or directors have been
indicted on terrorism, money laundering or fraud related charges. Ghassan Elashi, a
founding board member of CAIR’s Texas chapter,30 was indicted on charges of engaging
in financial transactions with terrorist entities. In addition, former CAIR employees
Ismail Randall Royer and Bassam Khafagi were indicted in separate investigations out of
the Eastern District of Virginia and the Eastern District of Michigan.
Ghassan Elashi was a founding board member of the Texas chapter of CAIR.31
Ghassan Elashi was also a founder of the now frozen HLF, originally known as the
Occupied Land Fund.32 On December 17, 2002, Elashi was indicted in the Northern
District of Texas for engaging in financial transactions with Hamas leader Musa Abu
Marzook, a Specially Designated Terrorist. According to the indictment, Elashi and
his company Infocom received at least $250,000 of investment capital from accounts
controlled by Marzook.33
29 CAIR-NET. “CAIR: American Muslims Asked to Pray for Palestinians,” September 9, 1996.
30 Texas Secretary of State. Articles of Incorporation, Council on American Islamic Relations, September
29, 1998.
31 Texas Secretary of State. Article of Incorporation, Council on American Islamic Relations, September
29, 1998.
32 California Secretary of State. Article of Incorporation, Occupied Land Fund, January 11, 1989.
33 United States v. Bayan Elashi, Ghassan Elashi, et al. United Stated District Court for the Northern
District of Texas. December 17, 2002.
14
• In June 2003, Randall Todd Royer (aka Ismail Royer), who had served as a CAIR
Communications Specialist,34 was indicted by a Grand Jury on charges that he and 10
other Muslim men were part of a conspiracy to support “violent jihad” overseas. The
indictment states that Royer traveled to Pakistan and trained with weapons at Lashkar
E-Tayyiba terrorist camps, where he also fired automatic weapons at Indian troops.35
Lashkar E-Tayyiba has been designed by the Treasury Department as a terrorist
organization. Members of Royer’s group declared that their intent was to fight against
Americans in Afghanistan.36 In the mid-1990’s, Royer engaged in military warfare
when he joined a combat unit of Muslim irregulars in Bosnia-Herzegovina.37
In a May 2003 Washington Times editorial, Royer identified himself as the
Communications director for the National Liberty Fund,38 an organization created to
raise money for the legal defense of indicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-
Arian.39 Criticizing the government’s case, Royer stated, “One wonders why the
government bothered to indict him if it was not prepared to go to trial.”40
According to a biography posted on IslamOnline.net, Royer served as CAIR’s
Communication Specialist starting in 1997.41 He worked for CAIR at least through
late October 2001 according to reports in the media. Thus, while he was still working
for CAIR, Royer purchased an AK-47 assault rifle and 219 rounds of ammunition,
distributed newsletters for a group later designated as a foreign terrorist organization
and fired at Indian targets in Kashmir, according to a federal indictment.42
• In January 2003, Bassam Khafagi was indicted and arrested on bank fraud charges
involving checks and money transfers between his corporation, International Media
34 Biography for Ismail Royer posted by IslamOnline.
35 United States of America v. Randall Todd Royer, et. al. United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia, June 2003 Term – At Alexandria.
36 Oral Hearings. United States of America v. Randall Todd Royer, et. al. United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Virginia.
37 Washington Post. “Virginia Jihad Suspects: 11 Men, Two Views,” August 8, 2003.
38 Randall Royer. “Jihad Suspect on Trial,” Washington Times, May 29, 2003.
39 http://www.nationallibertyfund.org; Flyer, “Stand up for Justice,” Fundraiser for Dr. Sami al-Arian’s
Legal Defense Fund, April 10, 2003.
40 Randall Royer. “Jihad Suspect on Trial,” Washington Times, May 29, 2003.
41 Biography for Ismail Royer posted by IslamOnline.net.
42 United States of America v. Randall Todd Royer, et. al. United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia, June 2003 Term – At Alexandria.
15
Group, Inc., and personal bank accounts.43 As late as November 1, 2002, Khafagi
served as Director of Community Relations for the Council on Islamic-American
Relations (CAIR).44 According to media reports, Khafagi employed by CAIR at the
time of his arrest.45
Khafagi was also a founding member and President of the Islamic Assembly of North
America (IANA).46 According to corporate records, Khafagi served in a leadership
position at IANA during the time senior Al-Qaida recruiter Abdelrahman Al-Dosari
(a.k.a. Shaykh Abu Abdel Aziz “Barbaros”) spoke at IANA’s 1993, 1994 and 1995
conferences.47
CAIR Supports 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Absolving Osama bin Laden
As part of its agenda to undermine U.S. counterterrorism measures, CAIR
officials and representatives have openly espoused conspiracy theories questioning al-
Qaeda’s responsibility for 9/11.
• On October 7, 2001, CAIR-New York Executive Director Ghazi Khankan asked an
audience:
“Why is it assumed that Muslims were behind the attack on 9/11? We know at
least three people assumed to be hijackers who are still alive in the Middle East.
The question is, who is impersonating these Muslim names? Who benefits from
assuming Muslims are behind this tragedy and who benefits from this tragedy? I
think the media should seriously go and investigate these three and find out if they
are really the 3 hijackers or someone else is impersonating them. I think it is a
very important thing that we insist the media not cover up these facts.”48
• On October 5, 2001, CAIR-New York encouraged it constituents to write letters to
the Editor of the New York Times questioning the identity of the 9/11 hijackers:
43 United States of America v. Bassem Kamel Khafagi, United States District Court of Michigan.
44 Khafagi was listed as the Director of Community Relations for CAIR at a fundraiser held on November
1, 2002.
45 Spokesman Review. “Egyptian with UI ties held in probe,” March 14, 2003.
46 Colorado Secretary of State. Islamic Assembly of North America, May 10, 1994.
47 Shaykh Abu Abdel Aziz. “Jihad and Revival,” Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA) 1993
Conference; Chicago, IL.
48 CAIR 7th Annual Fundraising Dinner. “Braving the Storm,” Vienna, VA, October 7, 2001
16
“The important questions are: Who is impersonating these three Muslim Arabs?
Why are Muslim Arabs been implicated in this terrorism? And, who could
‘benefit’ from this horrific tragedy? Definitely mainstream Muslims by the
consensus of Islamic religious scholars since the dawn of Al-Islaam could NOT
be the culprits...’”49
CAIR Defends Islamic Terrorists and Their Financiers
In an effort to undermine the financial War on Terrorism largely carried out by
the Department of Justice, Department of Treasury and the new Bureau of Customs and
Immigration Enforcement, CAIR officials have decried the arrest of terrorist leaders and
the seizing of terrorist assets in the U.S. as baseless witch hunts.
• Questioning the arrest of indicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian,
CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmed said,
“…we are very concerned that the government would bring charges after
investigating an individual for many years without offering any evidence of
criminal activity. This action could leave the impression that Al-Arian’s arrest is
based on political considerations, not legitimate national security concerns.”50
Of course, the arrest of Sami al-Arian was the culmination of a 100+ page indictment
drawing upon thousands of hours of wiretaps and videotapes, and thousands of pages
of documents. However, Ahmed surely knows that his constituents will never review
the indictment or evidence. The effect of Ahmed’s statement is to undermine Muslim
support for U.S. law enforcement and create fear in the Islamic community that the
U.S. government is their enemy.
• Following the arrest of the Elashi brothers for engaging in financial transactions with
designated terrorists, CAIR-Dallas chairman Mohamed Elmougy defended the
Elashis stating, “All I can tell you is the community is behind the Elashi brothers, and
they are caught in a kind of political game.”51
49 New York Times Letter to the Editor. “True Muslims Cannot Commit Suicide nor Kill Innocent Civilians. That is
Why Recognized Muslims Are not Part of the WTC Tragic Attack,” as posted on http://www.cair-ny.com/, October 5,
2001.
50 http://www.pakistanlink.com/Community/2003/Feb/28/10.html, April 25, 2003.
51 Associated Press. “Aid Sought for 5 Suspected of Terror Ties,” February 15, 2003.
17
• In May 2003, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies hosted a
forum titled “Bridging the Gap Between America and the Muslim World: The Role of
Muslim and Arab American Organizations.” Guest speaker and CAIR Executive
Director Nihad Awad commented on the closure of Islamic charities in the United
States. On the issue of the shutting down Islamic relief groups that served as conduits
for terrorism, and in particular the Benevolence International Foundation, Awad
observed that:
“Some of these relief organizations, serious charges against them were pleabargained.
And they ended up just charging one of the officials of that relief
organization in Chicago of giving boots to Bosnian soldiers at the time when the
US government was helping the Bosnian people. …
I am sure if we…put under the microscope, every major civic or political
organization in this country, including the Red Cross, you will see that some few
dollars went here and there in some country, but we don’t shut down the entire
operation of the Red Cross because it hurts millions of people.”52
The relief organization in Chicago identified by Awad is Benevolence International
Foundation (BIF). During the sentencing hearing for BIF leader Enaam Arnout, the
Chicago U.S. Attorneys filed a response clearly stating that BIF and its leaders had
provided significant financial and operational support to al-Qaeda:
“As defendant now acknowledges, defendant became well-acquainted with
Usama Bin Laden and al Qaeda in the 1980s, having spent significant time in bin
Laden’s al Masada camp in Afghanistan and then living in Bin Laden’s house. In
1997, defendant arranged to preserve in electronic form historical documents
concerning Usama Bin Laden and al Qaeda as well as other persons and groups.
These items, which have been discussed in detail in the government’s Santiago
Proffer and other filings, include the August 1988 minutes of the founding of al
Qaeda and handwritten notes taken by defendant himself in October 1988 of a
shura (“consultation”) council meeting at Bin laden’s house involving Bin Laden
and others that occurred two months after al Qaeda had been formed.
In or about 1993, Bin Laden advised al Qaeda member Jamal Ahmed al Fadl that
al Qaeda was using several charities to fund its operations overseas, specifically
naming al Birr, which translates in English to “Benevolence.” Al Fadl
understood from conversations with Bin Laden and others in al Qaeda that the
charities would receive funds that could be withdrawn in cash and a portion of the
money used for legitimate relief purposes and another portion diverted for al
52 Audiotape of Nihad Awad speaking at Johns Hopkins SAIS. “Bridging the Gap Between America and
the Muslim World: The Role of Muslim and Arab American Organizations,” Conflict Prevention and
Resolution Forum. May 13, 2003.
18
Qaeda operations. The charities also provided assistance for mujahideen who
traveled.”53
Belittling the significance of BIF support for terrorism serves only to discredit
counterterrorism law enforcement and incite the Islamic community.
• Following the 1998 attacks on the U.S. Embassies in East Africa, a Los Angeles
television station posted a billboard advertisement featuring a picture of Osama bin
Laden with the headline “the sworn enemy.” CAIR issued a press release protesting
that the billboard was “offensive to Muslims.” 54
CAIR Sponsors Rallies and Conferences that Support Terrorism
• On May 24, 1998, CAIR co-sponsored a rally at Brooklyn College.55 One of the
featured speakers, Wagdy Ghuniem, advised the audience that, “Allah says, he who
equips a warrior of Jihad is like the one who makes Jihad himself.”56
• On October 28, 2000, CAIR co-sponsored a rally in Washington DC where invited
speaker Abdurahman Alamoudi proclaimed, “Hear that, Bill Clinton, we are all
supporters of Hamas – Allahu Akbar. I wish they added that I am also a supporter of
Hezbollah.”57
Saudi Support for CAIR
In a press release dated November 8, 2001, CAIR officials proclaimed that they
do not receive support from foreign sources:
53 United States of America v. Anaam Arnout, Government’s Response to Defendant’s Position Paper as to
Sentencing Factors, USDC Northern District of Illinois.
54 CAIR-Southern California Action Alert. “CAIR demands removal of billboard stereotyping Muslims,” October 28,
1998.
55 MSANEWS. Direct Submission from the IAP Information Office, “50 Years of Occupation,” May 23,
1998.
56 Audiotape. Brooklyn College, New York, May 24, 1998.
57 Videotape. Anti-Israel Rally, Washington DC, October 28, 2000.
19
“We do not support directly or indirectly, or receive support from, any overseas
group or government. In all its actions and statements, CAIR seeks to reflect the
mainstream beliefs and views of the Muslim community in North America.”58
But in fact, records show that CAIR received significant Saudi financial support to
sustain and expand its American operations.
World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY)
CAIR has repeatedly sent representatives to Saudi Arabia seeking financial and
political support. CAIR often received such support from the World Assembly of Muslim
Youth (WAMY).
The relationship between WAMY and the Saudi government was perhaps best
described by Dr Abdul Wahab Noorwali, Assistant Secretary General of WAMY, “Saudi
Arabia's support has been enormous since the establishment of WAMY in 1963. The
Kingdom provides us with a supportive environment that allows us to work openly within
the society to collect funds and spread activities. It also provides us with protection
abroad through Saudi embassies and consulates, in addition to financial support.”59
Abdullah Naseef, Vice Chairman of the Majlis as-Shura of the Saudi Arabian
Government, Vice Chairman of WAMY and former Secretary-General of the Muslim
World League, explained “Praise is due to Allah SWT and then to the kings of Saudi
Arabia who supported this pioneering organization and other non-governmental bodies
such as the Muslim World League in Makkah in 1962 and the World Assembly of
Muslim Youth in Riyadh in 1973.”60
• In 1998, the Saudi Gazette reported that CAIR’s Executive Director Nihad Awad
addressed a press conference at the WAMY headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
According to the report, “He [Awad] said CAIR needed funds to fight discrimination
against Muslims, to promote the true image of Islam and to combat the anti-Islamic
propaganda.”61
58 CAIR Press Release. “Islamophobic Smear Campaign Goes Public.” November 8, 2001.
59 Middle East Newsfile. “WAMY Team in Afghanistan Risks Life to Deliver Aid,” November 20, 2001.
60 http://www.iiasa.org/researchcenter/symposium.htm accessed July 27, 2003.
61 Saudi Gazette. “Nike Violating agreement on Offensive Logo says CAIR,” July 3, 1998.
20
• According to a December 23, 1999 Arab News article, Dr. Hamid Shaygi, assistant
Secretary General of WAMY announced at a Riyadh press conference, with Nihad
Awad in attendance, that WAMY “was extending both moral and financial support to
CAIR in its effort to construct headquarters at a cost of $3.5 million in Washington,
D.C.” The article continued saying WAMY would also “introduce CAIR to Saudi
philanthropists and recommend their financial support for the headquarters project.”62
• On one fundraising trip to Saudi Arabia in 2002, CAIR and the World Assembly of
Muslim Youth (WAMY) proudly announced their cooperation on a million dollar
public relations campaign. As reported by The Muslim World, the weekly newspaper
of the Saudi Muslim World League:
“WAMY supports CAIR campaign against US anti-Islamic sentiment
RIYADH - The World Assembly of Muslim youth (WAMY) is extending support
to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a US-based organization,
which has launched a media campaign by publishing advertisements in leading
American newspapers and distributing books on Islam free of charge…
Speaking to newsmen at WAMY's new office in Riyadh, on 12 November,
Muhammad Ibn Ali Al-Qotatibi, Editor-in-Chief of Future Magazine, a WAMY
publication, said CAIR had already booked a quarter-page for every Friday of 52
week, in the 'USA Today.' The advertisement will commence in the 3rd week of
Ramadhan and will cost $1.04 million…
Al-Qotaibi said Awadh had already met leading Saudi businessmen at the Riyadh
Chamber of Commerce and Industries on 12 November, to brief them about the
projects and raise funds. Among the top businessmen Awadh is scheduled to
meet, with Prince Waleed Ibn Talal.
He said CAIR was also planning the Publication of advertisements in 10 other
leading newspapers in America, and that is why he is in the Kingdom seeking
funds for the purpose. ”63 (emphasis added)
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal
• In 2002, CAIR received $500,000 from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. As reported
by Arab News on November 18, 2002:
62Arab News. “WAMY spends SR12m on new mosques,” December 23, 1999.
63 The Muslim World. “WAMY supports CAIR campaign against US anti-Islamic sentiment,” November 9,
2002. See also Saudi Gazette. “WAMY supports CAIR campaign against US anti-Islamic sentiment,”
November 13, 2002.
21
“Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, has
donated $500,000 to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to
finance two of its projects.
The donation was announced when he received in his office in Riyadh Nihad
Awad, general manager of CAIR.
Awad is on a Middle East tour to gather support for CAIR programs and projects.
He will also take part in symposiums in several Arab countries to discuss the
challenges that Muslims face in the United States.
During his meeting with Prince Alwaleed, Awad discussed the smear campaign
being launched in the Western media against Islam and Muslims by certain
entities.
Awad briefed the prince on the programs and projects that are being developed in
the United States by CAIR to project the true image of Islam and Muslims and to
defend their legitimate rights and freedoms.64
Islamic Development Bank
• According to a Saudi Government press release, in August 1999, the Islamic
Development Bank approved “$250,000 as a contribution to the purchase of land in
Washington DC to be the headquarters for an education and research center under the
aegis of the Council for American Islamic Relations.”65
With headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the stated purpose of the Bank is to:
“foster the economic development and social progress of member countries and
Muslim communities individually as well as jointly in accordance with the
principles of Shari'ah i.e., Islamic Law.”66
According to news reports, the Islamic Development Bank was formally opened in
October 1975, inspired by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Of the $900 million in
founding capital, Saudi Arabia was reported as the top contributor with $240
million.67
64 Arabnews.com. “Prince Al-Waleed ibn Talal Donates $500,000 to CAIR,” November 18, 2002.
65 http://www.saudiembassy.net/press_release/99_spa/08_15_aid.html, August 15, 1999.
66 www.isdb.org.
67 The Economist. “Petro-aid takes off,” February 15, 1975.
22
International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO)
• According to tax documents filed by the International Islamic Relief Organization
(IIRO), CAIR was given at least $12,000 in financing from the U.S. offices of IIRO.68
According to federal affidavit, the U.S. operations of IIRO were financed by $10
million from IIRO in Jeddah Saudi Arabia. IIRO in the United States was a direct
subsidiary of its Saudi parent, sharing leadership and funds with the Jeddah-based
headquarters.69
IIRO’s U.S. offices were first raided by the FBI in 1997 as part of a Hamas money
laundering investigation.70 More recently, federal terrorism investigators have
confirmed that IIRO is the subject of a current terrorism and money laundering
investigation focusing on material support to al-Qaeda and Hamas. As declared by
Senior Special Agent David Kane with the Bureau of Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, “I know that terrorists who have attacked or tried to attack the United
States around the world have been associated with MWL/IIRO.”71
Conclusion
The rise of militant Islamic leadership in the United States requires particular
attention if we are to succeed in the War on Terror. While the attacks of September 11,
2001 were executed by al-Qaeda, it is the bastions of militant Islam that provide the
recruits for tomorrow’s Mohammed Attas and the political cover to conceal their
operations. As stated earlier, militant Islamic fundamentalism is not synonymous with
Islam the religion. In this battle, we must distinguish between militant Islamic leaders,
and the vast majority of Muslims in the United States and around the world who do not
68 IRO IRS Form 990, 1995 & 1997. Note: IIRO was incorporated in the United States as International
Relief Organization (IRO).
69 United States of America v. Soliman Biheiri, Declaration in Support of Pre-Trial Detention, USDC
Eastern District of Virginia.
70 Search Warrant In the Matter of the Search of 360 S. Washington Street, Falls Church, Virginia, 3rd
Floor, January 30, 1997.
71 United States of America v. Soliman Biheiri, Declaration in Support of Pre-Trial Detention, USDC
Eastern District of Virginia.
23
support their violent agenda. In preventing future attacks on American soil, we must
actively drain the pools from which Islamist terrorist organizations recruit and confront
the financial sponsors that create them.
http://kyl.senate.gov/legis_center/subdocs/091003_epstein.pdf

Iran's Green Salt Project was initially brought to light by reports of a laptop computer in the CIA's possession


The Green Salt Project (also known as the "Project 1-11")[1] is an alleged secretive Iranian entity focusing on uranium processing, high explosives and a missile warhead design. The Green Salt Project derives its name from uranium tetrafluoride, also known as green salt, an intermediate product in the conversion of uranium ore into uranium hexafluoride — a toxic gas that can undergo enrichment or purification into fuel for nuclear reactors or bombs.[1] Uranium tetrafluoride has also been used as the source of metallic uranium for Magnox reactor fuel elements via chemical reduction. Since the International Atomic Energy Agency began investigating Iranian nuclear activities in 2002, the IAEA has discovered a series of clandestine nuclear activities, some of which violated Iran’s safeguards agreement with the agency.[2] The Green Salt Project is allegedly among these projects.

The Green Salt Project was initially brought to light by reports of a laptop computer in the CIA's possession which was supposedly smuggled out of Iran that contained a variety of information on Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program, from the design of underground testing facilities to schematics of nuclear missile warheads. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) referred to the green salt project on January 31, 2006, though the contents of the laptop have not been provided by the US to the IAEA for independent analysis or confirmation. IAEA officials reportedly remain suspicious of the information.

On 5 December 2005, the IAEA Secretariat had repeated its request for a meeting to discuss information that had been made available to the Secretariat about alleged nuclear research studies, including the Green Salt Project, as well as tests related to high explosives and the design of a missile re-entry vehicle, all of which could involve nuclear material and which appear to have administrative interconnections.[3]

On 16 December 2005, Iran replied that the “issues related to baseless allegations.” Iran agreed on 23 January 2006 to a meeting with the Deputy Director-General for Safeguards for the clarification of the alleged Green Salt Project, but declined to address the other topics during that meeting. In the course of the meeting, which took place on 27 January 2006, the Agency presented for Iran’s review a number of communications related to the project. Iran reiterated that all national nuclear projects are conducted by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), that the allegations were baseless and that it would provide further clarifications later.[3]

On 26 February 2006, the IAEA Deputy Director-General for Safeguards met with Iranian authorities to discuss the alleged Green Salt Project. Iran repeated that the allegations “are based on false and fabricated documents so they were baseless,” and that neither such a project nor such studies exist or did exist.[3]

China, Russia and North Korea have combined to supply Iran’s missiles

The West Lines up to Punish Iran
By Valerie Lincy
Updated August 2010

Last week, a host of Western countries lined up for the first time to hit Iran with a set of sanctions that could -- if vigorously applied -- cause real economic pain in Tehran. Although not as severe as the new U.S. strictures signed into law on July 1, Australia, Canada and the European Union went further than expected.

All 27 countries of the European Union are now barred from financing new projects in Iran’s oil and gas sector. Nor may they expand existing projects or supply “key equipment and technology.” Financial dealings are restricted as well. Transactions over €40 million involving banks domiciled in Iran, or Iranian banks overseas must now be individually authorized. Iranian banks are also barred from opening new branches in Europe or establishing new joint ventures. And all E.U. member states are prohibited (with some exceptions) from providing new loans, grants or other financial assistance to the Iranian government, and from insuring Iranian entities. The Europeans also decided to slap an asset freeze on Iran’s national maritime carrier -- the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) -- and 24 of its subsidiaries, along with a ban on all cargo flights operated by Iranian carriers or originating in Iran. Canada and Australia have adopted similar restrictions, which cover dealings with Iran’s energy, transportation and financial sectors.

Although these new measures exceed those required by the United Nations, they do not come close to the near total embargo implemented by the United States. In July 1, U.S. sanctions against Iran were further strengthened when U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act. This law, which President Obama called “the toughest sanctions against Iran ever passed by the United States Congress,” tightens the noose around the Iranian government’s primary source of income -- its energy sector -- and seeks to exploit one of Iran’s primary vulnerabilities -- its shortage of petroleum refineries.

The new law strengthens existing U.S. sanctions against Iran by penalizing not only firms that help Iran develop its petroleum and natural gas infrastructure, but also firms that sell gasoline to Iran, or that help Iran purchase gasoline by providing shipping, insurance or financing services. Firms found to be engaging in sanctionable activity are no longer eligible for U.S. government contracts. The law also increases the menu of sanctions that the president “shall impose,” adding a prohibition on accessing foreign exchange in the United States, a prohibition on accessing the U.S. banking system, and a prohibition on property transactions in the United States. A least three of the now-nine sanctions must be imposed unless the President chooses to exercise his waiver authority.

In addition to the energy sector, the law targets financial institutions that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities, including entities affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; these institutions must choose between helping Iran and continuing operations in the United States. Firms that provide Iran with “sensitive technology,” including telecommunications and computer equipment, are barred from U.S. government procurement contracts. And Iranians identified as human rights abusers are subject to visa restrictions and financial sanctions. The law also authorizes state and local governments to divest from firms involved in Iran’s energy sector, and it seeks to disrupt Iran’s weapon-related procurement by allowing the President to designate a country as a destination of diversion concern. This designation would allow a cooperating country to receive U.S. export control assistance; it would restrict U.S. exports to uncooperative countries.

Congress has long supported these measures. The executive branch, however, had worried that U.S. sanctions targeting foreign firms would alienate countries whose vote was needed on a U.N. sanctions resolution against Iran. Those concerns were quieted with the approval of U.N. Security Council resolution 1929 on June 9. A number of countries, and notably the European Union, have since announced plans to further tighten sanctions against Iran. On June 16, the U.S. Department of the Treasury blacklisted thirteen Iranian companies and three individuals for their links to proliferation. And the European Union announced on June 17 “new restrictive measures” against Iran, which will target general trade, including financial and energy companies that do business with Iran, and Iran’s transportation sector. The E.U. will also freeze the assets of additional Iranian entities, and issue visa bans on additional individuals.

The sanctions required by resolution 1929 are limited in scope, especially given that over two years have passed since the U.N. last acted against Iran -- a period during which Iran made considerable nuclear and missile progress. The resolution expands the list of Iranian officials subject to a travel ban and the list of firms and individuals subject to financial penalties; fifteen entities linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and three entities linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines are specifically targeted. The resolution also bars Iranian nationals and entities incorporated in Iran from investing in nuclear and missile projects abroad. And it prohibits Iran from importing certain categories of conventional weapons. All of the required penalties are limited to Iranian proliferation. Elective penalties include a call for countries to “exercise vigilance” in doing business with, and in providing financial services to Iranian entities, and in dealing with Iranian banks. Similarly, countries are called upon to inspect suspicious shipments into and out of Iran, including on the high seas, and to refuse services to Iranian ships suspected of carrying illicit cargo. These conditions make it easy for countries to claim ignorance and avoid taking action.

The resolution received support from all the countries on the Security Council except for Brazil, Lebanon and Turkey. Lebanon abstained. Brazil and Turkey voted against the resolution because of a conviction that additional sanctions now could jeopardize their diplomatic outreach, which resulted in a May 17 nuclear fuel swap agreement with Iran. The agreement revives a proposal first presented to Iran last October by France, Russia and the United States. Iran rejected this proposal, which would have required the export of some 1,200 kg of its low-enriched uranium stockpile in exchange for the provision of research reactor fuel. At the time, this export would have temporarily eliminated Iran’s ability to use its uranium to fuel a nuclear weapon in a “break out” scenario. At present, Iran's export of 1,200 kg of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride would have no impact: Iran would be left with some 1,400 kg of this material, with more produced every day. This quantity is more than sufficient to fuel one first generation implosion bomb, in the estimate of Iran Watch. (See Iran’s Nuclear Timetable).

Iran has begun converting a portion of this low-enriched uranium stockpile into fuel for its Tehran research reactor, by enriching the uranium to higher levels. This effort, which Iran began in early February, is widely seen as an indication of nuclear weapon intentions: It would accomplish 90 percent of the work needed to bring Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile to weapon-grade. Iran claims that it will use the pilot plant at Natanz to produce the 19.75 percent enriched uranium fuel needed to run the Tehran reactor. However, Iran is not presently capable of converting this material into the fuel assemblies needed for the reactor. Nor does the pilot plant currently contain a sufficient number of centrifuges to do the necessary enrichment work in a timely manner. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran had produced 5.7 kg of uranium enriched to 19.3 percent as of May 21. On July 11, the head of Iran’s atomic energy organization claimed that Iran had produced about 20 kg of this material.

Iran has also pursued work on more advanced gas centrifuges, the machines used by Iran to enrich uranium. On April 9, Iran unveiled what it termed a “third generation” centrifuge, claiming it would be up to six times as efficient as the thousands of first-generation machines operating at Natanz. This machine has apparently not yet been tested with nuclear material. And Iran has announced plans to work with metallic uranium, which has nuclear weapon applications, without giving any explanation of how this material might fit into Iran’s claimed civilian nuclear program. Meanwhile, Iran has reduced cooperation with international inspectors, making it increasingly difficult to track Iran’s growing nuclear capability. In particular, inspectors are unable to monitor centrifuge development and manufacturing workshops, limiting knowledge of Iran's progress in upgrading its centrifuges.

The IAEA’s most recent report registered concern "about the possible existence in Iran of […] activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile." The report fails, however, to shed additional light on the alleged military aspects of Iran's nuclear work, which the Agency has been investigating for years. Issues of "serious concern" include reports that Iran acquired designs for a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop Iran’s medium-range Shahab-3 missile. Other possible military activities include:

•High explosives testing, involving high voltage and exploding bridge wire detonators, an underground test arrangement, and “a full-scale hemispherical, converging, explosively driven shock system that could be applicable to an implosion-type nuclear device,” perhaps with the support of “foreign expertise”;
•Using military-related institutes for nuclear research and the procurement of spark gaps, shock wave software, neutron sources, special steel parts and radiation measurement equipment;
•Manufacturing centrifuge components at Defense Industries Organization workshops;
•And the possession of a document describing how to produce enriched uranium metal and how to machine the metal into hemispheres, which are nuclear weapon components.
The Agency says these allegations come from “consistent and credible” sources. Taken together, this information makes a strong case that Iran may be trying to make nuclear weapons.

The status of sanctions
Countries that are leading diplomacy with Iran have pursued a two-track strategy: Penalties -- such as U.N., E.U. and U.S. sanctions -- are coupled with offers of incentives and engagement. To implement U.N. Security Council resolutions and to further tighten the noose around Iran’s nuclear and missile developers, the United States has largely relied on Executive Order 13382. Of the 115 entities listed in Security Council Resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803 and 1929, the United States has designated 76 under this Executive Order, which freezes the bank accounts and financial assets of these entities, and prohibits U.S. persons from doing business with them. U.S. action against a number of entities not yet designated by the Council have probably had more impact, notably sanctions imposed against almost all major Iranian banks, along with some of their affiliates and subsidiaries. The bill signed by President Obama on July 1, 2010, is much broader in scope. As described above, it targets foreign firms that support the development of Iran’s oil and gas sectors, and firms that sell gasoline to Iran.

The United States has also invoked banking laws to encourage major financial institutions around the world to limit or cut ties with Iran. Last November, Treasury revoked Iran’s license for “U-turn” bank transfers, which had allowed certain dollar-based transactions involving Iranian entities to briefly enter the United States before being sent to offshore banks. And in March 2008, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network warned U.S. banks that Iran is resorting to "an array of deceptive practices" in order to avoid sanctions. According to Treasury, Iran's central bank, also known as Bank Markazi, may be facilitating transactions for sanctioned Iranian banks. Bank Markazi and other Iranian banks have also requested that their names be removed from global transactions in order to mask the parties in the transaction. A number of banks have limited or ended business with Iran because of these risks, which has made it more costly and difficult for Iran to move hard currency around the world, and has raised the cost of doing business for the Iranian government and Iranian companies.

For its part, beginning in 2007, the European Union has pursued sanctions beyond the Security Council. In July 2010, member states adopted the broadest economic measures yet, targeting not only Iranian proliferators, but also Iran’s energy, transportation and banking sectors. In August 2008, the E.U. strengthened financial sanctions against Iran by requiring member states to “exercise restraint” in using public money to support trade with Iran, to inspect suspicious air and sea cargo to and from Iran, and placing additional due diligence requirements on E.U.-based financial institutions in their activities with Iranian banks. In late June 2008, 26 additional Iranian entities linked to missile and nuclear work were targeted -- including Iran’s Bank Melli and officials from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Defense. The move requires all E.U. member states to freeze the assets of listed entities and to institute a travel ban on listed individuals. Earlier, in April 2007, the E.U. acted outside the Council in hitting 23 Iranian entities with such penalties.

Iran’s refusal to suspend enrichment, reprocessing and heavy water work has led the U.N. Security Council to vote four rounds of sanctions: Resolution 1929 of June 9, 2010, resolution 1803 of March 3, 2008, resolution 1747 of March 24, 2007, and resolution 1737 of December 23, 2006. These resolutions bar Iran from importing or exporting most conventional weapon systems, as well as items related to uranium enrichment, reprocessing, heavy water and nuclear weapon delivery systems; they also bar states from providing Iran with financial or technical assistance aimed at acquiring these items. Resolution 1803 also bars Iran from purchasing dual-use nuclear and missile items, requests that countries inspect suspect cargoes to and from Iran, reduce public financial support for business with Iran, and cut back on transactions involving Iranian banks, particularly Bank Saderat and Bank Melli. However, the resolution’s language leaves plenty of room for countries uninterested in enforcing such measures to ignore them. Combined, the resolutions call for a freeze on the assets of some 117 Iranian entities linked to missile and nuclear work. States must also “exercise vigilance” in providing Iranian nationals with specialized nuclear and missile-related training and are called upon, but not required, to cut off “grants, financial assistance, and concessional loans” to the Iranian government. In addition, countries must report whether a person sanctioned by the Council has entered into or transited through their territory. Resolution 1929 applies a travel ban to all individuals designated by the Security Council so far.

In order to oversee implementation, the Security Council created a Committee composed of Council members, responsible for investigating alleged violations of the resolutions, for expanding the asset freeze and travel surveillance to additional entities, and for considering exemption requests. The Committee reported in December 2009 on two additional instances of illegal exports of conventional arms from Iran to Syria, in violation of resolution 1747. As of June 2010, out of 192 countries, the Committee had received reports on the implementation of resolution 1737 from only 92, reports on the implementation of resolution 1747 from 79, and reports on the implementation of resolution 1803 from 68. No new implementation reports were received since the Committee's September meeting.

Nuclear progress
After an intermittent freeze on uranium enrichment that lasted several years, Iran resumed enrichment work in January 2006. Since early 2007, Iran has stepped up efforts at its underground commercial-scale enrichment plant at Natanz, with the installation of piping, wiring and control panels, and the installation and linkage of IR-1 (P-1) centrifuges in cascades. Iran has nearly completed the installation of three “units” at Natanz, with roughly 3,000 centrifuges each. As of the IAEA’s May 2010 report, 24 cascades of 164 machines were operating there on May 24, or about 3,939 centrifuges. All these centrifuges have been fed with UF6; a further 4,592 machines have been installed. According to an IAEA inventory in November 2009, Iran produced 969 kg of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride at the plant since November 2008, the date of the last verification. In all, as of May 1, Iran had produced about 2,427 kg of this material.

Work at the Natanz pilot plant has shifted away from the first-generation IR-1 centrifuges towards the development of more advanced machines, including the IR-2, IR-3 and IR-4. All of these machines have been tested with UF6. The IR-2 is a sub-critical machine with a single carbon fiber rotor and no bellows, according to a report by the Institute for Science and International Security. According to the IAEA, Iran is also testing a modified version of the IR-2. This modified IR-2, or one of the other, more advanced centrifuge models, is likely made with higher strength metals, like maraging steel. It is not clear whether Iran is able to manufacture, assemble and install any of these advanced machines in large quantities, as Iran may rely on foreign suppliers for some of the machine’s key materials and parts. However, Iran is working to make centrifuge operations entirely indigenous; at its Kalaye Electric research and development laboratory, Iran is developing not only centrifuge components, but also measuring equipment and vacuum pumps.

Iran has also continued to produce uranium hexafluoride (UF6) – a gas that can be enriched to make fuel for reactors or bombs – at its Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) in Isfahan. From March 2004 through August 2009, Iran produced a total of 371 tons of this material.

At the same time, other parts of Iran’s nuclear program have progressed. Despite calls by the U.N. Security Council, the IAEA and Europe to abandon the project, Iran has pushed forward with its heavy water production plant at Arak, and with its 40-megawatt heavy water reactor nearby. The heavy water plant was inaugurated in August 2006, and, using satellite imagery, the IAEA has assessed the plant to be operational. The IAEA board indefinitely blocked Iran’s request for technical assistance for this project at a meeting in November 2007, over concerns that the reactor could be used to produce plutonium for weapons. During a visit by to the reactor in August 2009, IAEA inspectors confirmed that no reactor vessel was present and asked Iran to provide additional design information related to the reactor’s fuel and to fuel handling and transfer equipment. Inspectors’ access to the heavy water production plant is blocked, as long as Iran fails to implement the Agency’s Additional Protocol allowing for enhanced inspections. On May 23, 2009, Agency inspectors were able to visit the Fuel Manufacturing Plant; it was then operational and had produced natural uranium pellets to fuel the heavy water reactor. During a follow-on visit, in January 2010, inspectors confirmed that no new fuel assemblies had been produced since last May.

After years of delay, the light water power reactor at Bushehr, which is being built by Russia for over $1 billion, is nearing completion. Preliminary testing began in late February 2009 and start-up was then projected before the end of 2009. However, Russian officials have once again delayed start-up, which is now expected in March 2010. Delivery of the reactor fuel needed for start-up, some 82 tons, was completed in January 2008. The billion dollar reactor is expected to supply 1,000 megawatts of energy to the national power grid. Each year, the reactor will also generate spent fuel containing some 250 kg of weapon-useable plutonium – enough to fuel several dozen nuclear weapons after further processing. The spent fuel will be returned to Russia, in accordance with a protocol signed in February 2005.

Grounds for suspicion
Doubts about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear work have grown in response to Iran’s decision to limit its cooperation with the IAEA. In early February 2008, the IAEA presented member states, including Iran, with specific evidence that Iran had pursued work related to nuclear weapons. In its May 2008 report, the Agency listed eighteen documents supporting these allegations. Iran has called the documents “forged” or “fabricated,” but still refuses to help the Agency investigate their validity by providing access to individuals, records and sites. For instance, it has barred IAEA inspectors from interviewing Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, former head of the Physics Research Center who was reportedly described by the IAEA as the Iranian military official in charge of Iran's nuclear effort. Since May, the IAEA has made a number of proposals aimed at breaking this impasse -- none of which Iran has accepted.

The IAEA has also presented specific information showing that a company in Iran involved in uranium conversion was in touch with a team designing the inner cone of a missile re-entry vehicle that could, according to the Agency, “quite likely accommodate” a nuclear warhead. The IAEA wants Iran to explain documents and technical information that link Iran to the testing of high voltage detonator firing equipment, the development of exploding bridge wire detonators and an arrangement for underground, remote explosive testing. The Agency considers these activities to be “relevant to nuclear weapon R&D.”

The IAEA also wants clarification on Iran’s efforts to procure such potentially nuclear weapon-related items as spark gaps, shock wave software, neutron sources, corrosion resistant steel parts and radiation measurement equipment. These items might have been intended for use in interrelated studies on uranium conversion, high explosives testing and the design of a nuclear-capable missile re-entry vehicle.

The IAEA is still reviewing elements of Iran’s undeclared nuclear program, including the illicit import of centrifuge equipment in the late 1980s and 1990s. In November 2007, Iran finally turned over a one-page document containing a 1987 offer from the network run by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan. According to Iran, this is the only remaining evidence of the offer, which included supplying a disassembled P-1 centrifuge, centrifuge manufacturing specifications, blueprints for a “complete plant,” and materials to make 2,000 centrifuges. The offer also included auxiliary vacuum and electrical drive equipment, mechanical, electrical and electronic support equipment for the centrifuge plant, and a document on how to reduce UF6 to metal, and how to cast and machine enriched, natural and depleted uranium into “hemispherical forms.” Iran insists that it only received some components for two disassembled centrifuges along with supporting drawings and specifications.

After reviewing what the Agency described as “the limited documentation provided by Iran,” the IAEA concluded that its findings matched Iran’s statements about the 1987 acquisition of P-1 centrifuge technology. However, several questions about Iran’s early research and development work following this offer remain open, including the genesis of a 1993 offer of P-1 enrichment technology from the Khan network and the conditions under which Iran received a document on how to make hemispheres of uranium metal—an activity uniquely useful for bomb making.

As for the development of its more advanced centrifuge program, Iran is sticking to its unlikely story that after receiving a full set of drawings for Pakistan’s P-2 from the Khan network in 1996, during a meeting in Dubai, it conducted no work at all on the P-2 until 2002, and that it never received P-2 components. Iran has also insisted that it procured only a small number of magnets for the P-2. The IAEA was unable to substantiate evidence that Iran received 900 magnets from a foreign supplier during the period between 1996 and 2002 when Iran says it undertook no work on the P-2. As a result, the Agency has concluded its findings about Iran’s P-2 activities match Iran’s statements. Yet, Iran’s current pursuit of the IR-2 makes uncertainties about the program’s early development troubling.

Foreign assistance
Imports of nuclear-, chemical- and missile-related equipment have been indispensable to Iran’s weapon efforts. The latest report by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence on transfers of mass destruction and advanced conventional weapon technology, which covers 2008, repeats claims made many times in the past that Iran has continued to seek foreign assistance from entities in Russia, China, and North Korea. According to the report, China supplies “a variety of missile-related items” to Iran; and Russia provides assistance to Iran’s missile and “civilian nuclear program.”

The nuclear smuggling network run by Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan is believed to have been the main supplier to Iran’s centrifuge enrichment program. Speculation as to exactly what equipment and material Iran received has been the subject of numerous media reports since Libya renounced its mass destruction weapons and the Khan network was revealed as Libya’s primary supplier. The IAEA has already confirmed that the enrichment programs in Iran and Libya relied on the same technology obtained from the same foreign sources. And Iran’s P-2 centrifuge design is the same as the one found by the Agency in Libya. The P-1 centrifuges Iran has installed at Natanz are of an early European design, similar to the machines that have been under the control of the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) in Pakistan. If Iran indeed received the same package of nuclear goods as did Libya, then it is possible that Iran received the same Chinese-origin bomb design. Iran may also have received more sophisticated nuclear weapon designs from the Khan network. Such designs were found on computers seized from Swiss nationals Friedrich, Marco and Urs Tinner. The Tinners were a known part of the Khan smuggling network and the designs found on their computers would reportedly require only 15 kilograms of highly enriched uranium and would be small enough to fit atop Iran’s medium-range Shahab-3 missile.

China has also provided key assistance to Iran’s nuclear effort. Chinese entities have helped Iran prospect for uranium, have sold UF6 ready for enrichment and have provided Iran with blueprints, equipment test reports, and equipment design information for its uranium conversion plant at Isfahan.

Russia’s main contribution is the 1,000 MW light-water power reactor it has been building at Bushehr. As of December 2005, 700 Iranian experts had completed training at Russia's Novovoronezh training center, which is run by the Russian nuclear power agency Rosenergoatom. The training included a theory course, work on a nuclear power unit simulator, and work at Russian nuclear power plants similar to the Bushehr reactor. The Iranian experts will continue their training at the Bushehr reactor itself. In addition to the reactor, Russian entities are alleged to have supplied laser equipment for uranium enrichment, know-how for heavy water reactors, and help with heavy water and nuclear-grade graphite production.

Iran has also sought dual-use nuclear technology from some members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an organization of 45 nuclear supplier countries. According to the New York Times, seven NSG countries have denied Iran the purchase of nuclear-related materials at least 75 times, mostly since 2002. Iranian end users involved in these denied sales, according to the Times, include the government of Iran, the atomic energy organization, energy, engineering, aircraft and petrochemical companies, schools and universities, a plasma physics center, a helicopter support company and mineral research centers. Denied sales involved nickel powder, petrochemical plant components, compressors, furnaces, steel flanges and fittings, electron microscopes, radiometric ore-sorting machines, valves and tubing, lasers, a rotary drilling rig, a mass spectrometer and a nitrogen production plant.

China, Russia and North Korea have combined to supply Iran’s missiles. Iran’s 1,300 kilometer Shahab-3 missile is essentially an imported North Korean Nodong missile enhanced by Russian technology. It was distributed to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in June 2003 and has since been tested several times. And it is widely assumed that if Iran fields a Shahab-4 missile, it will be a copy of Russia’s SS-4 missile. Both the Nodong and the SS-4 can carry a nuclear warhead. In January 2007, Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov confirmed that Russia had delivered Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Iran. Iran has already tested the missiles and will use them to defend key nuclear sites. North Korea, in addition to selling the Nodong missile, has furnished Iran a fleet of SCUD-B and SCUD-C short-range missiles, plus the factories to make them. Both the SCUD-B and SCUD-C have a diameter sufficient to accommodate a compact nuclear warhead.

From China, Iran has imported the 150 kilometer CSS-8 ballistic missile and a series of land-, sea-, and air-launched short-range cruise missiles. Many of these latter are anti-ship weapons.

In addition, Grigory Omelchenko, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, revealed in early February 2005 that a former officer in Ukraine’s secret police sold six unarmed Soviet-era cruise missiles to Iran between 1999 and 2001. The nuclear-capable missile, known as the KH-55 or the AS-15, has a range of up to 3,000 km and travels near the ground in order to avoid air defenses.

http://www.iranwatch.org/update/