Thursday, December 05, 2013

The IPT Update

General security, policy
1.  White House 'prepared' to let Iran keep enriching uranium; Reporter confronts State Dep't on Iran denial
2.  Pentagon: China failed to consult before imposing air defense zone
3.  Canadian authorities arrest Qing Quentin Huang on national security grounds for attempting to pass sensitive information to PRC
4.  Terrorists are gaining ground, intelligence committee heads say; FBI warns about Americans joining Islamist fighters in Syria; Jihadists gain in turmoil across Middle East
5.  NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show
6.  CIA witnesses offer more evidence Benghazi attack planned
7.  Follow up: Boston Marathon case: Feds ease Dzhokhar Tsarnaev jail restrictions
8.  US delays prison for Somali man as officials tell of 'intelligence watershed'
9.  Hezbollah commander gunned down in Beirut ambush once ran procurement ring in Vancouver
10. Via Rail terror plot suspect Raed Jaser denied bail
11. British Columbia teen labelled as high risk to commit terrorism, tight conditions imposed

Air, rail, port, health, energy & communication security
12. Truck stolen in Mexico carrying radioactive material found with load

Financing, money laundering, fraud, identity theft, civil litigation
13. TX couple sentenced to prison for conspiracy to defraud US & engage in money laundering involving Iranian charity
14. US court awards title to Iranian funds to terror victims
15. Maryland surgeon pleads guilty in Kashmir lobbying case
16. Relying on new NSA wiretap policy, Albany mosque imam & co-defendant appeal terror convictions
17. 5 people linked to an Oregon market face charges after 4 year probe found food stamp fraud

Border security, immigration & customs
18. Canada's border agency Hezbollah report raises concerns about money smuggling

19. Britain & western allies hold first face-to-face talks with Islamists fighting Assad
20. Boko Haram overruns Nigerian Air Force base
21. Hezbollah commander killed in Lebanon
22. Egypt unites against jailing of female 'terrorists'
23. 'It is possible' Ansar Jerusalem is tied to al Qaeda, brother of group's leader says
24. PA police arrest Palestinian-Canadian investor after calling to oust Abbas
25. Israeli 'Cyber Gym' hacking school trains corporate cyber warriors
26. Israeli Arab pleads guilty to Tel Aviv bus bomb
27. Although withdrawn, stoning proposal shows Afghanistan's "living hell"
28. Indonesian police confirm arrest of alleged terrorist cell leader
29. Australian suspected of sending fighters to Syria arrested; Ram-raid Muslim radicals - police fear crimes are funding Syrian war fighters
30. Australian-born terror suspect fails in passport claim
31. Jihadists returning home to Europe from Syria pose new terror threat
32. Trial: Drummer Lee Rigby was 'hacked like a joint of meat' in 'barbarous and cowardly killing'

Comment / analysis
33. Daniel Pipes: 
Saudis Bristle at Obama's Outreach to Iran
34. Abigail R. Esman:  Turkey's Democratic Reforms Aren't All That Democratic

The Investigative Project on Terrorism Update is designed for law enforcement, the intelligence community and policy makers for non-profit research and educational use only.   Quoted material is subject to the copyright protections of the original sources, which should be cited for attribution, rather than the Update.



1.  White House 'Prepared' to Let Iran Keep Enriching Uranium
Final accord could preserve Iran's most controversial nuclear activities
BY: Adam Kredo Washington Free Beacon December 4, 2013 10:00 am
The White House confirmed late Tuesday that it is "prepared" to let Iran keep a "limited" uranium enrichment program under any final nuclear accord reached with Tehran in the next months.
Iran's so-called right to enrich uranium has been a key sticking point in ongoing negotiations between the regime and Western nations.  The Iranians insist that they have an inherent "right" to keep enriching uranium, the main fuel for a nuclear weapon, for peaceful purposes. However, many in the West believe that Tehran would use this technology to clandestinely build a bomb.  The White House first told the Washington Free Beacon that it is currently exploring ways to preserve some of Tehran's enrichment activities and confirmed that position late Tuesday after multiple media outlets requested clarification…

Fox reporter confronts State Department on Iran denial
By JOSH GERSTEIN | 12/2/13 5:44 PM EST
Fox News Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen visited the State Department briefing room Monday to challenge what he suggested were false denials the department issued about high-level talks between Iran and the United States. With current State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki at the podium, Rosen read from a question he asked then-spokesperson Victoria Nuland in February about reports of "direct, secret bilateral talks with Iran."  "With regard to the kind of thing you're talking about on a government-to-government level: no," Nuland replied.  Rosen pointed Monday to reports that senior U.S. officials, including Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns and then-Director of Policy Planning Jake Sullivan, held a series of meetings in Oman in recent years with top Iranian officials.  "The question today is a simply one: when the briefer was asked about those talks and flatly denied them, that was untrue, correct?" Rosen asked.  In response, Psaki noted that the State Department recently confirmed such a meeting took place in March of this year—after the denial in question. However, she did not deny reports that the meetings stretched back to 2011...

2.  Pentagon: China Failed to Consult Before Imposing Air Defense Zone
Hagel, Dempsey do not demand roll back of zone; no contacts with Chinese counterparts
BY: Bill Gertz Follow @BillGertz December 4, 2013 6:15 pm Washington Free Beacon
China's military imposed a destabilizing air defense zone over the East China Sea without consulting the United States, and top Pentagon leaders said Wednesday there have been no contacts with their Chinese counterparts since the zone was set up Nov. 23.  Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a press conference at the Pentagon that the Chinese air zone is destabilizing the region.  However, both leaders declined to urge China to roll back the air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, as Japan's government has demanded of the Chinese.  The lack of U.S.-China consultation and communication highlights what observers say is a failure of three decades of exchanges aimed at building trust between the two militaries…

3.  RCMP make arrest under the Security of Information Act
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Press Release Dec 1, 2013
Toronto, December 1, 2013 - This morning, the RCMP along with partners from the Toronto Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police detailed circumstances that led to the arrest of 53 year old Qing Quentin Huang of Toronto.   Mr. Huang has been charged under the Security of Information Act with two counts of attempt to communicate to a foreign entity information that the Government of Canada is taking measures to safeguard.  On Thursday, November 28, 2013, the RCMP was informed that Mr Huang was taking steps to pass sensitive information to authorities from the People's Republic of China.  The information relates to certain elements of the Government of Canada National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy which includes patrol ships, frigates, naval auxiliary vessels, science research vessels and ice breakers.  "In these types of cases, sharing of information may give a foreign entity a tactical, military or competitive advantage by knowing the specifications of vessels responsible for defending Canadian waters and Canadian sovereignty," stated RCMP Chief Superintendent Jennifer Strachan, the Criminal Operations Officer for the Province of Ontario…

Ontario engineer tried to send secrets to China: RCMP
By Allison Jones, The Canadian Press Dec 1, 2013 4:30 PM Updated: Dec 2, 2013 | 11:51 am
TORONTO – A Canadian naval engineer is accused of trying to send classified information on Canada's shipbuilding strategy and marine sovereignty to the Chinese government.  Qing Quentin Huang, 53, from Waterdown, Ont., was arrested in nearby Burlington on Saturday, just two days after the RCMP say they became aware of the allegations against him.  The RCMP allege that they learned on Thursday that Huang was taking steps to pass on classified information to China relating to Canada's national shipbuilding strategy.  Huang is a Canadian citizen and an employee of Lloyd's Register, a subcontractor to Irving Shipbuilding Inc., the RCMP said Sunday at a news conference to announce the arrest…

'Totally groundless': China dismisses Canada's spying accusation in terse, one-line statement on arrest
Stewart Bell | Dec 2, 2013| Last Updated: Dec 2, 2013 10:57 AM ET National Post
TORONTO — Beijing is denying that a Toronto naval engineer arrested over the weekend leaked sensitive information about Canada's Arctic patrol vessels to the Chinese government.… The statement was somewhat misleading in that Mr. Huang has not been formally accused of passing government secrets to China. Rather, he has been charged with attempting to do so.  A Canadian citizen who immigrated from China via Singapore in 2001, Mr. Huang was employed at Lloyd's Register Canada, which was subcontracted to work on the design phase of Canada's Arctic patrol vessels… While China has long been accused of spying in Canada, police said Mr. Huang was allegedly working alone and this was not a case of "state-sponsored" espionage. "You can't blame the Chinese government for this if this is strictly him under his own steam," said Ray Boisvert, a former senior CSIS official. "But maybe not. Things are never as they appear, either."…

Engineer accused of spying did not have 'authorized access' to classified information, 'shocked' employer says
Joseph Brean | Dec 1, 2013 7:09 PM ET National Post

Chinese view Canadian naval spy charges with amusement, skepticism
NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE The Globe and Mail Published Monday, Dec. 02 2013, 9:23 AM EST

4.  Terrorists are gaining ground, intelligence committee heads say
Posted by CNN's Jason Seher December 1st, 2013 09:20 AM ET
Washington (CNN) - The leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence committees said Sunday that terrorists have gained ground in the past two years and that the United States is not any safer than it was at the outset of 2011.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, agreed that despite the death of Osama bin Laden and drone strikes aimed at decimating al Qaeda's leadership, President Barack Obama's administration has lost ground in the ongoing battle with global terrorism.  "Are we safer now than we were a year ago, two years ago?" host Candy Crowley asked Feinstein on CNN's "State of the Union."  "I don't think so," the Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman replied.  "I absolutely agree that we're not safer today," Rogers added.  Rogers warned that the Obama administration's successes against high-value targets have fostered a false sense of security… Feinstein said increasingly fundamentalist Islamist groups are gaining power and winning the minds of the disenfranchised in the Middle East and Near Asia…

FBI warns about Americans joining Islamic fighters in Syria
By one estimate, two dozen Americans may be fighting with Al Qaeda-linked groups against the Syrian government. FBI officials worry they may become radicalized and carry out attacks in the US.
By Emery P. Dalesio, Associated Press NOVEMBER 30, 2013
IPT NOTE:  Court documents in the Basit Sheikh case are posted at
RALEIGH, N.C. — Federal officials say Americans are joining the bloody civil war in Syria, raising the chances they could become radicalized by Al Qaeda-linked militant groups and return to the U.S. as battle-hardened security risks.  The State Department says it has no estimates of how many Americans have taken up weapons to fight military units loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in the 3-year-old war that has killed more than 100,000 people. Other estimates — from an arm of the British defense consultant IHS Jane's and from experts at a nonprofit think tank in London — put the number of Americans at a couple dozen. The IHS group says Al Qaeds-linked fighters number about 15,000, with total anti-Assad force at 100,000 or more.  This year, at least three Americans have been charged with planning to fight beside Jabhat al-Nusrah — a radical Islamic organization that the U.S. considers a foreign terrorist group — against Assad. The most recent case involves a Pakistan-born North Carolina man arrested on his way to Lebanon…

Individual Charged with Attempt to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina (919) 856-4530 Nov 12, 2013
IPT NOTE:  Court documents posted at
RALEIGH—The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Department of Justice National Security Division announced that on November 5, 2013, a federal grand jury in Raleigh, North Carolina returned a one-count indictment charging Basit Javed Sheikh with attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B. Specifically, the indictment charges that Sheikh attempted to provide material support and resources to Jabhat al-Nusrah, which the United States Secretary of State has identified as an alias name for al Qaeda in Iraq, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization…

Jihadist Groups Gain in Turmoil Across Middle East
By ROBERT F. WORTH and ERIC SCHMITT New York Times Dec 4, 2013
WASHINGTON — Intensifying sectarian and clan violence has presented new opportunities for jihadist groups across the Middle East and raised concerns among American intelligence and counterterrorism officials that militants aligned with Al Qaeda could establish a base in Syria capable of threatening Israel and Europe.  The new signs of an energized but fragmented jihadist threat, stretching from Mali and Libya in the west to Yemen in the east, have complicated the narrative of a weakened Al Qaeda that President Obama offered in May in a landmark speech heralding the end of the war on terrorism. The leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan, raised warnings in an interview on CNN on Sunday when they said that Americans were "not safer" from terrorist attacks than they were in 2011.  The concerns are based in part on messages relayed this year by Ayman al-Zawahri, Al Qaeda's overall leader, indicating that he views Syria — where the number of jihadist rebels and foreign fighters is steadily rising — as a promising staging ground…

5.  NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show
By Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani, Updated: Dec 4, 2013 3:18 PM Washington Post
The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.  The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool... One senior collection manager, speaking on the condition of anonymity but with permission from the NSA, said "we are getting vast volumes" of location data from around the world by tapping into the cables that connect mobile networks globally and that serve U.S. cellphones as well as foreign ones. Additionally, data are often collected from the tens of millions of Americans who travel abroad with their cellphones every year…

6.  CIA witnesses offer more evidence Benghazi attack planned
By Catherine Herridge Published December 04, 2013
CIA personnel who testified Tuesday on the Benghazi attack provided new evidence that it was premeditated, telling lawmakers that the deadly mortar strike on the CIA annex began within minutes of a rescue team's arrival, Fox News has learned.  According to the closed-door testimony on the Hill by two CIA personnel, a small team was sent on the night of the attack from Tripoli and got held up at the Benghazi airport. After they were eventually cleared, they arrived at the annex. Witnesses testified that it did not seem coincidental that the mortar attack began soon after.  Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., told Fox News after the closed, classified session that all of the witnesses (eight total witnesses have now testified in these sessions) were on the same page about the nature of the mortar attack, which killed former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty on the annex roof. "These were trained people and ... it was an attack. It wasn't over any type of film or propaganda," Westmoreland emphasized, referring to the administration's initial claims that an anti-Islam film triggered protests that led to the attack…

7.  Feds ease Dzhokhar Tsarnaev jail restrictions
By JOSH GERSTEIN 12/3/13 11:46 AM EST
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has eased limits on legal visits to alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the wake of complaints from his defense team that the restrictions interfered with his right to counsel.  In a court filing Tuesday (posted at, prosecutors said they are now permitting joint visits by multiple members of Tsarnaev's legal team. In addition, a mental health consultant and a mitigation specialist—an expert in developing evidence used to argue against the death penalty—will be allowed to visit Tsarnaev independently of his lawyers of record.  Attorney General Eric Holder has also modified the "Special Administrative Measures" imposed on Tsarnaev and his attorneys to allow greater flexibility in the handling of information from Tsarnaev, who's been denied visitors other than family and his legal team. Under the modified rules, a mental health consultant and a so-called mitigation specialist are now permitted to disclose information obtained from Tsarnaev "for the sole purpose of preparing the defense." Previously, only Tsarnaev's legal counsel of record could make such disclosures…

8.  US delays prison for Somali man as officials tell of 'intelligence watershed'
Lawyers confirm extended co-operation from man who secretly pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in New York two years ago
Spencer Ackerman in Washington, Wednesday 4 December 2013 13.51 EST
IPT NOTE: Court documents in the original case are posted at 
A Somali man who secretly pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in New York two years ago continues to provide information to the US government in what officials describe as an "intelligence watershed", the Guardian has learned.  Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame has yet to be sentenced and transferred to federal prison for his inevitable incarceration, something lawyers say is rare so long after pleading guilty.  But Warsame's extended co-operation, confirmed to the Guardian by his lawyers, helps underscore why US officials consider his bizarre saga a potential template for counter-terrorism that relies less on targeted killings and more on captures, as Barack Obama pledged in May. At least one recent capture operation in Libya appears modeled on Warsame…

9.  Hezbollah commander gunned down in parking garage ambush once ran a procurement ring in Vancouver
Stewart Bell Dec 4, 2013 | Last Updated Dec 4, 2013 9:40 AM ET The National Post (Canada)  
A senior Hezbollah commander who oversaw a military procurement ring in Vancouver until it was shut down by Canadian police a decade ago has been assassinated in Beirut.  Hassan Lakkis was gunned down near his home in an attack that Hezbollah immediately blamed on the Israelis but that comes amid warring between Lebanese Sunni and Shiite factions over Syria.  He died in hospital at about 3 a.m. Wednesday. In a statement, Hezbollah said he had been shot in the head in the parking lot of his building as he was returning home from work at about midnight.  Lakkis was close to both Hezbollah boss Hassan Nasrallah and military chief Imad Mugniyeh, who was assassinated in Damascus in 2008 in a killing that has been widely attributed to Israel. Israel denied it was responsible for killing Lakkis.  During the late 1990s, Lakkis was in charge of a group of operatives who shopped for equipment in Vancouver and shipped it to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Following a joint investigation by CSIS, the RCMP and FBI, several suspected Hezbollah members were arrested in the U.S. and Canada...

10.  Via Rail terror plot suspect Raed Jaser denied bail
The Canadian Press Published Friday, November 29, 2013 1:09PM EST
TORONTO - One of two men accused of plotting to attack a Via Rail train has been denied bail.
The family of Raed Jaser was in attendance throughout his three-day bail hearing, which had been postponed from October due to a surety being out of the country.   Jaser, 35, faces four terror-related charges.  He and his co-accused Chiheb Esseghaier, 31, were arrested in April and accused of plotting to attack a train that runs between Toronto and New York City...

11.  B.C. teen labelled as high risk to commit terrorism, tight conditions imposed
By The Canadian Press Dec 2, 2103
KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A provincial court judge has tightened restrictions on a Kamloops, B.C., teenager labelled by the RCMP as a high risk to commit targeted acts of violence and terrorism.  The court heard that Mounties searched the 17-year-old boy's home earlier this year and found documents about bomb making, interrogation and torturing techniques and Canadian links to al-Qaida.  The youth, who can't be named under a publication ban, was in court Monday after he pleaded guilty to assaulting a social worker last month and breaching probation.  He is already serving a three-year probation order for a conviction of arson and break and enter last year....


IPT NOTE: For more items, see DHS Daily Open Source Infrastructure Reports ; DHS Blog;   TSA Releases ; TSA Blog

12.  Mexican authorities find stolen lorry containing radioactive material
UN's atomic watchdog says lorry was taking cobalt-60 from a hospital to a radioactive waste storage centre when it was stolen
Reuters in Vienna, Wednesday 4 December 2013 19.51 EST
Mexican police have found a lorry containing radioactive material that was stolen as it was being transported from a hospital near Mexico City.  Thieves who removed the cobalt-60, which is used in hospitals to treat some cancer, from its protective container have been exposed to potentially life-threatening levels of radiation, a Mexican nuclear safety official told a local TV station.  The area around the stolen truck has been cordoned off and an operation to return the radioactive material to a sealed case was under way, the official added.  The theft of the lorry – which was seized when its driver stopped at a petrol station in the town of Temascalapa, 20 miles north-east of Mexico City – sparked fears that the material could be used to make a "dirty bomb". But Mexican officials said the criminals were probably unaware of the lorry's radioactive cargo. Truck hijacking is common in Mexico and the theft did not occur in a drug cartel stronghold…

Truck carrying radioactive material stolen in Mexico
Published December 04, 2013
… The equipment for radiation therapy belonged to Mexico's public health agency and was no longer in use, said Ricardo Maza, a civil protection official in Veracruz state, where one of the alerts was issued.  The capsule of the radioactive material was sealed in lead, he added.  Maza said the thieves most likely wanted the truck and didn't know what it was carrying. The equipment was being transferred to a storage center for radioactive waste when the truck was stolen…


13.  Texas Couple Sentenced to Prison for Conspiracy to Defraud the U.S. and to Engage in Money Laundering
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon (503) 727-1000 November 27, 2013
PORTLAND, OR—A federal judge in Portland has sentenced Hossein Lahiji, 50, and Najmeh Vahid Dasterjerdi, a.k.a. Najmeh Lahiji, 33, both of McAllen, Texas, to prison following their June 2013 convictions by a jury in Portland for conspiracy to defraud the United States and to engage in money laundering. Hossein Lahiji is a physician specializing in urology, and Najmeh Vahid is an attorney, with both practicing in Texas… The indictment alleged that defendants conspired to impede and impair the functions of the Internal Revenue Service in the collection of income taxes and the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Treasury Department in the enforcement of the presidential embargo against Iran.  Trial evidence showed that defendants provided funds to a Portland charity, the Child Foundation, between 1998 and 2006. The Child Foundation, in turn, gave the defendants charitable donation receipts and transferred the funds to Iran. Defendants claimed charitable deductions from their income taxes for these payments. Some of the funds were used to purchase a building in Tehran in the name of Hossein Lahiji's sister. Additional funds were used to invest in an interest-bearing account in an Iranian bank. Yet additional funds were committed to be spent at the discretion of an Iranian Ayatollah.…

14.  US court orders Iran to pay $9m. to families of 1997 Jerusalem terror attack victims
NGO wins 1st potential seizure of Iranian funds in US; actual transfer of funds could still be blocked by appeal, current diplomatic process.
By YONAH JEREMY BOB Jerusalem Post Dec 4, 2013 
IPT NOTE: The cited S.D. Calif. court decision is posted at
For the first time in US history, victims of Iranian financed terror operations in Israel won a potential seizure of Iranian funds regarding a judgment against Iran relating to a 1997 triple suicide bombing in Jerusalem, NGO Shurat Hadin announced on Wednesday.  The approximately $9.7 million judgment lien entered in favor of the families of the five victims of the attack (as well as in favor of a parallel but separate claim by the daughter of an assassinated former Iranian prime minister) by a US federal court in California on November 27, is the first time that such victims have found Iranian assets in the US which could actually be transferred to them.  Still, in a complex decision, the court simultaneously rejected Shurat Hadin's – Israel Law Center - request for the immediate transfer of the funds, explicitly staying any transfer until Iran files its appeal.  An appeal involving the numerous complex legal issues and decades of history in the case, which has pieces nearly dating back to the 1979 Iranian Revolution itself, could take an undefined amount of time.  Also, the court explicitly recognized that any final transfer of the funds would have to take into account the current diplomatic process with Iran, another potential roadblock to the funds transfer…

Terror Victims Awarded Iranian Funds
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center

15.  Orthopedic Surgeon Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Take Fraudulent Tax Deductions for Money Transfers That Helped Conceal Lobbying Efforts Funded by Pakistan Government
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia (703) 299-3700 Dec. 2, 2013
IPT NOTE:  Court documents posted at
ALEXANDRIA, VA—Abdul Razaq, an orthopedic surgeon in La Plata, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the United States Department of Treasury by taking fraudulent tax deductions as part of a decades-long scheme to conceal the transfer of at least $3.5 million from the government of Pakistan to fund lobbying efforts in America related to Kashmir... In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Razaq, a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for International Help, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity based in New York, admitted to taking charitable deductions for money that he routed through the Society for International Help, as well as another charity—the Kashmiri American Council (KAC)—even though he was reimbursed at least in part for these deductions in Pakistan. Razaq also admitted to being part of Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai's financial network of donors, which Fai used to conceal that the KAC was funded with at least $3,500,000 from the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, Pakistan's military intelligence service. Fai was sentenced to serve two years in prison on March 30, 2012…

Maryland Surgeon Pleads Guilty in Kashmir Lobbying Case
by Abha Shankar  •  Dec 4, 2013 at 9:35 am
An orthopedic surgeon of Pakistani origin pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to help hide $3.5 million the Pakistani government sent to the United States to covertly lobby lawmakers over the disputed Kashmir region.  Abdul Razaq was one of several "straw donors" used to hide money from Pakistan's military intelligence service to a Washington, D.C.-based group called the Kashmiri American Council (KAC).  KAC founder Ghulam Nabi Fai pleaded guilty in 2011 to conspiracy and tax charges. Prosecutors say the KAC's actions were dictated by Pakistani intelligence…

16.  NSA spy case may benefit area imam
Albany cleric's lawyer says appeal focuses on new policy on wiretaps
By Robert Gavin Updated 9:10 pm, Tuesday, December 3, 2013 Albany Times-Union
IPT NOTECourt documents in the original case are posted at
Albany - The lawyer appealing the federal conviction of imprisoned imam Yassin M. Aref said Tuesday she hopes U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's recent policy change to notify certain defendants of evidence derived from the NSA's warrantless surveillance could lead to her client's freedom.  Kathy Manley told reporters she believes the case of Aref, 43, who was convicted in 2006 of supporting terrorism following an FBI sting that used a fictitious terror plot, should be reviewed because it involved warrantless wiretapping.  Holder said last month the Justice Department would review all criminal cases in which evidence was used from warrantless surveillance — and that the government would notify defendants in some of those cases... Aref, a Kurdish refugee from Iraq, was found guilty along with Mohammed M. Hossain, 58, a native of Bangladesh and naturalized U.S. citizen who owned the Little Italy pizzeria in Albany. They were convicted of planning to launder money from the sale of a shoulder-fired missile and sentenced to 15-year terms by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Thomas McAvoy…

17.  Beaverton market at center of food stamp fraud investigation, police say
Police arrested the co-owner of Beaverton Halal Meat and Mediterranean Groceries, his daughter and three of his employees Dec. 3 after a four-year investigation found cases of alleged food stamp fraud.

By Everton Bailey Jr. on December 04, 2013 at 8:16 AM, updated December 04, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Five people linked to a Beaverton market face charges after an investigation that began in 2009 found cases of food stamp fraud, police say.  Mahmoud Tajgerdu, 42, of Beaverton, the co-owner of Beaverton Halal Meat and Mediterranean Groceries at 11527 S.W. Canyon Road, charged people to exchange their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for cash, police said. Food stamps and Electronic Benefit Transfer cards can only legally be used to buy food…


18.  Border agency's Hezbollah report raises concerns about money smuggling
OTTAWA — A secret government report on Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has raised questions about federal efforts to prevent money and other support that originates in Canada from reaching foreign terrorist organizations.  The Canada Border Services Agency report from May says agents uncovered more than $135,000 in undeclared cash being carried out of the country by travellers "primarily destined for Lebanon" during a week-long blitz at the Halifax airport in July 2012.  Officers were able to seize about $56,500 in cases where a traveller was carrying more than $10,000, but were forced to let the rest through "as several individuals fell just below the seizure $10,000 threshold."  Obtained by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin through the access to information law, the CBSA report is heavily censored and what can be read does not draw a direct link between the money and Hezbollah.  But the report is intended to help border agents "identify potential (Hezbollah) operatives and/or financial supporters." It notes that "as Halifax is not a main airport for travel between Lebanon and Canada, it is possible that much larger sums of cash are leaving from other major Canadian airports, such as Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa."…


19.  Britain holds first face-to-face talks with Islamists fighting Assad
As secular groups lose control of opposition, western allies reach out to hardliners in hope they can find common cause
By Richard Spencer, Middle East Correspondent 7:04PM GMT 04 Dec 2013 Daily Telegraph (London)
Britain and its western allies have held their first face-to-face talks with Islamist factions fighting President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, including militant groups demanding a hardline Sharia state, as the secular forces they previously backed lose ground.  The meeting was held in the Turkish capital, Ankara, officials said, as the western alliance grows increasingly alarmed by the strength of jihadist, al-Qaeda-linked factions that now dominate parts of rebel-held territory.  The western alliance is hoping that non al-Qaeda Islamist groups will form a common cause with the secular Free Syrian Army and the western-backed Syrian National Coalition, despite their deep ideological differences. However, they have previously refused to back several of these Islamist groups for fear that arms sent to moderate groups will just leak to the extremists.  The officially recognised head of the Free Syrian Army, Gen Salem Idriss, this week repeated his belief that if Assad falls from office, rebels will have to join forces with the remnants of his army to drive al-Qaeda forces out of Syria…

20.  Boko Haram overruns Nigerian Air Force base
Written by Bill Roggio & Zachary Elkaim December 2, 2013 11:46 AM The Long War Journal
Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist group with ties to al Qaeda, launched a major attack on a Nigerian Air Force base in the insurgency-wracked city of Maiduguri. A number of security personnel were killed and several aircraft were destroyed during the nighttime attack that is said to have been executed by hundreds of Boko Haram fighters.  Hundreds of fighters assaulted the base on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, using trucks and even a stolen armored personnel carrier, beginning at 2:30 a.m. local time, according to The Associated Press. Boko Haram fighters yelled "Allahu akbar" as they attacked.  According to Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, the Ministry of Defense spokesman, at least 20 security personnel and 24 insurgents were killed, while two helicopters and three decommissioned military aircraft were "incapacitated." Boko Haram's use of explosives and RPGs has been confirmed… Boko Haram has also expanded its propaganda efforts to show solidarity with al Qaeda and its affiliates. In July 2010, Shekau issued an online statement praising al Qaeda and offering condolences to al Qaeda of Iraq for its loss of Abu Ayyub al Masri and Abu Omar al Baghdadi. He also threatened the United States...

21.  Hezbollah Commander Killed in Lebanon
Hassan al-Laqees Killed Outside His Home in Beirut
By RIMA ABUSHAKRA and MARIA ABI-HABIB Wall Street Journal Updated Dec. 4, 2013 8:10 a.m. ET
A senior commander of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah was gunned down outside his home overnight in an assassination that appeared to be part of escalating sectarian violence spilling over into Lebanon from the Syrian civil war.  Hassan al-Laqees was an elusive figure, a member of Hezbollah since its early days and a close friend of the group's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, relatives and friends said. Mr. Nasrallah would stay at Mr. al-Laqees' home in Baalbek when he visited, town residents said Wednesday.  There were various accounts about his role in the organization. A former Israeli intelligence official said he was believed to be chief of rocket development while Iran's semiofficial Fars News Agency said he was in charge of communication and technology networks… A previously unknown group calling itself the Free Sunnis of Baalbek Battalion claimed responsibility, saying the "jihadist operation was implemented by free Sunni lions from Lebanon" in a Twitter message. The reference to Sunnis suggested sectarian motives.  Later, another previously unknown group calling itself the Battalion of the Muslim Umma also claimed responsibility.  Hezbollah blamed Israel, saying Mr. al-Laqees had survived previous assassination attempts. But Israeli officials strongly denied involvement—a rarity, as Israel usually refuses to confirm or deny involvement in such operations… He had two wives and five children...

22.  Egypt unites against jailing of female 'terrorists'
The sentencing of 21 young women including two 15-year-olds over a Muslim Brotherhood protest has caused alarm even among supporters of the military-backed regime
By Richard Spencer, Alexandria 9:11PM GMT 02 Dec 2013 The Daily Telegraph (London)
One of the girls plays the guitar and enjoys going for a daily walk before school with her mother. The other, also 15, likes painting and watching television cartoons.  When Rawda el-Saadany and Salma Reda Mohammed got caught up in a small Muslim Brotherhood demonstration a month ago, their families thought they could just go to the police station and bring them home, as countless other parents had done in recent years.  Instead, the pair were jailed along with five other minors, all handed indefinite terms in detention by a justice system that seems to many Egyptians to have gone mad… Egypt's famously fragmented opposition has united around its outrage at the jailing of the seven underage girls and 14 other young women over a Muslim Brotherhood demonstration which ended peacefully and with only the slightest damage to property. The sentences have reenergised protests against the regime; even anti-Brotherhood figures such as Hamdeen Sabbahy, the leading leftist politician who backed the army's overthrow of Mohammed Morsi, called for the sentences to be overturned…

23.  'It is possible' Ansar Jerusalem is tied to al Qaeda, brother of group's leader says
Written by David Barnett on December 4, 2013 8:25 AM  The Long War Journal
In a recent visit to North Sinai, CBS News' Clarissa Ward, like other journalists who have visited the area in recent months, interviewed Haitham el Menai, the brother of purported Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) leader Shadi el Menai.  During the interview, Haitham praised his brother, also known as Prince Shadi, as he said, "If my brother is a terrorist, I thank him. They burn our houses, who else will defend us?" When asked whether he viewed his brother as a hero, Haitham told Ward: "Not just my brother. We treasure anyone who defends our children."  And, when asked whether Ansar Jerusalem has "any relationship with al Qaeda," Haitham did not deny a connection, but rather stated that "only God knows. It is possible."  Numerous recent reports have indicated that Shadi el Menai plays an important role in Ansar Jerusalem. His exact role is unclear, however. For example,  McClatchy described him as "a founding member" of the Salafi jihadist group, while Slate referred to him only as "a member" of the group. And, according to CBS News, Prince Shadi is "the leader" of Ansar Jerusalem…

24.  PA police arrest Palestinian-Canadian investor after calling to oust Abbas
PA claims businessman "insulted" a PA representative, son says; was released after being held for eight hours.
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 12/02/2013 20:49 Jerusalem Post
Palestinian Authority policemen on Monday arrested Palestinian Canadian investor Mohamed Al Sabawi for "insulting" PA President Mahmoud Abbas.  Al Sabawi, 68, was arrested from his office in Ramallah by several armed PA policemen and taken to a police station.  Al Sabawi is President of the Board of Directors and Director General of Ahlia Insurance Group, which employs hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank.  A video posted on YouTube documented the arrest of Al Sabawi…

25.  Israeli 'Cyber Gym' hacking school trains corporate cyber warriors
By Agence France-Presse Monday, December 2, 2013 8:27 EST
Three hooded hackers hunch over their computer screens in the control room at Israel's new state-of-the-art "Cyber Gym", where IT and infrastructure company employees train to defend against cyber attacks.  The facility, a series of small buildings in the shadow of the looming Orot Rabin power station on Israel's northern coastline, was inaugurated this month by the Israel Electric Corp (IEC), which has experienced its fair share of cyber attacks.  "Israel, we believe, is the most-attacked country," Cyber Gym director Ofir Hason told AFP.  "And as the most-attacked civilian company in Israel, this gives us the unique capabilities to train other companies around the world" to defend against system hacking.  IEC itself is subjected to some 10,000 attacks per hour, CEO Eli Glickman said, and the Cyber Gym's instructors are well-versed in the art of cyber warfare…

26.  Israeli Arab pleads guilty to Tel Aviv bus bomb
Mon Dec 2, 2013 6:34am EST  Reuters
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli Arab pleaded guilty on Monday to planting a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus a year ago, during Israel's eight-day offensive in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, an Israeli court said.   The bomb detonated as the bus was driving near the Israeli defense ministry, wounding 15 people.  The Tel Aviv District court accepted a plea deal from Mohammed Mafarja, 19, and convicted him of attempted murder, attempting to assist the enemy and assault, the ruling said.  Mafarja, who was accused of working on behalf of Islamist group Hamas, will be sentenced at a later date, the court said.

Alleged Tel Aviv bus bomber to agree to plea bargain
Taibe resident accused of 2012 attack expected to admit to most charges; prosecution to drop charge of coordinating bombing with Hamas.
By YONAH JEREMY BOB 12/01/2013 16:33 Jerusalem Post
… As part of the plea bargain, Muhammad Abed al-Jaffer Nasser Mafarja will admit to most of the charges and facts against him, but the charges against him for carrying out the bombing in coordination with the Hamas war effort against Israel at the time will be dropped… During his arraignment hearing at the Tel Aviv District Court, Mafarja's lawyer objected to the use of the word "bomb," saying that the device was purposely constructed of lower-grade explosives that could not possibly have killed anyone…


27.  Although Withdrawn, Stoning Proposal Shows Afghanistan's "Living Hell"
by IPT News  •  Dec 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm
Afghan officials say they are dropping proposed legislation bringing back public stoning for adultery after an international outcry.  The proposal came from a committee charged with proposing laws based on sharia. That committee is led by Afghanistan's justice minister, described by the Guardian as "an outspoken conservative who last year denounced the country's handful of shelters for battered women as brothels."  Writer Phyllis Chesler notes that the proposal itself is a sign of Afghanistan's looming descent as American forces prepare to complete their withdrawal. "I know that if Western boots on the ground leave Afghanistan, that every humanitarian project will disappear overnight and the country will become a Living Hell," she writes.  Chesler, a noted feminist and author, experienced some of Afghanistan's tribal misogyny first hand, as recounted in her new book An American Bride in Kabul

28.  Police Confirm Arrest of Alleged Terrorist Cell Leader
By Bayu Marhaenjati on 6:09 pm December 2, 2013 Jakarta Globe
Jakarta - Police have arrested a man whom they allege was the leader of a terrorist cell responsible for non-fatal attacks on four policemen in Bekasi and Bogor last year.  The man, identified by police as Y. Y. — he is said to go by other aliases — was arrested in Klender, East Jakarta, on Nov. 21. He is the second person arrested in the case after police detained another member of the cell last year. A third person was gunned down after allegedly resisting arrest.  Three other people allegedly involved in the police attacks remain at large..

29.  Australian suspected of sending fighters to Syria arrested
Alleged ringleader to be accused of illegally 'facilitating travel into Syria for Australian citizens to fight,' police official says
BY Associated Press December 3, 2013, 4:57 am
CANBERRA, Australia — The alleged Sydney ringleader of a criminal network that sends Australians to fight in Syria has been arrested, police said Tuesday.  Police estimate that about 100 Australian residents and citizens have traveled to Syria to fight in contravention of Australian law, some taking up arms with terrorist-linked militias.  Two Sydney men became the first suspects to be arrested by a four-month-old joint federal and state police counter-terrorism investigation into Australian citizens attempting to travel to Syrian to fight in the civil war, Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Peter Drennan said...

Ram-raid Muslim radicals - police fear crimes are funding Syrian war fighters
COUNTER-terrorism officers have charged a figurehead of last year's Muslim riots and infamous Sharia "whipping" case over an attempted ATM ram-raid in Sydney's north.  Wassim Fayad, 46, one of two head spokesmen during the riots, was arrested at 7.30am last Friday at Auburn and charged over the failed ram-raid involving at least two other men at North Ryde on May 15.  The investigation, kept under wraps until now, has been continuing for several months, running at the same time as another case with the Joint-Counter Terrorism Team examining a syndicate sending young Australian Muslims to fight in the Syrian civil war. Police also have been investigating Fayad's activities to see whether he has any connection with the Syrian syndicate.  While the ATM attack would normally be left with local authorities, counter terror police are understood to have led the investigation because of their interest in how the alleged assailants had planned to spend the proceeds of the crime... Fayad is presently on bail, a court heard last week, awaiting the outcome of an appeal against a two-year sentence he received for his role in whipping a Muslim convert who confessed to drinking alcohol and taking drugs in 2011.  The new charge, laid by the Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command, is over the aggravated break and enter on a shopping centre at Waterloo Rd, North Ryde... AN investigation has been launched into a radical Australian Muslim receiving a disability pension while allegedly helping to finance young men to travel to Syria and fight alongside al-Qaeda…

30.  Terror suspect fails in passport claim
AAP 4:25pm December 2, 2013
An Australian-born Muslim suspected by authorities of having terrorist intentions has failed in his bid to have his confiscated passport returned.   The man, identified only as 'BLBS', had his passport removed as he attempted to travel from Melbourne to Yemen in 2010, after the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) raised serious concerns about him with the government…


31.  Jihadists Returning Home to Europe from Syria Pose New Terror Threat
Series of Arrests Heighten Fears, Problem Expected to Grow as Conflict Drags On
By SIOBHAN GORMAN in Washington, CASSELL BRYAN-LOW in London and MARIA ABI-HABIB in Beirut
Dec. 4, 2013 7:40 p.m. ET Wall Street Journal
Scores of jihadist fighters from Europe who streamed to Syria to join Islamic extremist rebels have begun returning home, where some are suspected of plotting terror attacks, according to U.S. and European intelligence and security officials.  Authorities in the U.K. and France recently made several terror-related arrests of individuals suspected of links to Syria.  "They're real committed jihadists," a senior U.S. intelligence official said. "The concern is that we're at the very early stages of this."  For the U.S. and Western countries, the returning jihadists pose the biggest long-term concern of the Syrian civil war, the official said. Governments are rushing to counter the new terror threat… The total number of fighters from Europe is difficult to track, but officials and academics estimate it at about 1,000 or more, including from Germany, France and the Netherlands. Dozens have traveled to Syria from the U.S.  Once there, many are believed to fight alongside al Qaeda-affiliated groups such as Jabhat al Nusra, or the Nusra Front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, known as ISIS… But the number going to Syria has mounted more rapidly, U.S. and European officials said.  Recruited through a network of mosques across Europe, these jihadists then make the pilgrimage to safe houses in southern Turkey, where they prepare to cross the border into Syria's battlefields.  The recruiting efforts in Europe's mosques aim for Muslim youth with clean records who aren't on the radar of intelligence services. This makes it easier for them to return home later, the European diplomat said.  An international Islamic group, Hizb al Tahrir, is at the center of this recruitment in Europe, Western officials say. The group is particularly strong in the U.K. and Denmark, the European diplomat said…

32.  Drummer Lee Rigby was 'hacked like a joint of meat' in 'barbarous and cowardly killing', court hears
Rigby family leave court before jury shown footage of 'horrific and frenzied attack' in which 25-year-old was mown down and 'virtually decapitated'
By Tom Whitehead, Security Editor, & Hayley Dixon 10:25PM GMT 29 Nov 2013 Daily Telegraph (London)
Drummer Lee Rigby was hacked to death like he was a "joint of meat", the Old Bailey was told on Friday.  The 25-year-old was virtually decapitated by two Islamists in broad daylight on May 22, the court heard.  Witnesses described a "horrific and frenzied attack" as he was mown down by a car from behind before being attacked with a meat cleaver and knives… The two Islamists claimed that they were acting in revenge for the actions of David Cameron and his Government against Muslims…

Lee Rigby trial: full text of letter given by Michael Adebolajo to 'Angel of Woolwich'
Read the transcript of a letter given by suspect Michael Adebolajo to 'Angel of Woolwich' Amanda Donnelly when she arrived on the scene shortly after Lee Rigby's murder
5:16PM GMT 29 Nov 2013 The Daily Telegraph (London)

33.  Saudis Bristle at Obama's Outreach to Iran
by Daniel Pipes The Washington Times December 3, 2013
Mr. Pipes ( is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2013 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

34.  Guest Column: Turkey's Democratic Reforms Aren't All That Democratic
by Abigail R. Esman Special to IPT News December 4, 2013
Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.
The IPT accepts no funding from outside the United States, or from any governmental agency or political or religious institutions. Your support of The Investigative Project on Terrorism is critical in winning a battle we cannot afford to lose. All donations are tax-deductible. Click here to donate online. The Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation is a recognized 501(c)3 organization.  

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