Flashback: The 5th plane to be seized on 9/11, and the terrorists who got away

Why.org

Have you heard about the airliner which was ordered back to the gate on 9/11 when the terrorist attacks began, only to have four young Arab passengers jump off the plane, after which box cutters and Al Qaeda documents were found in their abandoned bags?

I’ve heard that story before, but since it was never reported by the U.S. government, and not mentioned by the 9/11 Commission in their official report, I thought it might be another of those urban myths. Until now. Yesterday’s Wilmington (Delaware) News-Journal featured a front-page article on the Delaware Air National Guard’s first female general, Carol Timmons, who was promoted to that rank at a ceremony on Saturday. General Timmons has had a long career as a pilot, including time as a commercial pilot for Pan Am and United Airlines. The profile of General Timmons recounts that on the morning of September 11, 2001, she was the first officer on United Airlines flight 23 preparing to take-off from New York’s JFK Airport bound for Los Angeles. The plane had already pulled away from the gate and was taxiing down the runway when the airport was shut down and the crew was ordered to secure the cockpit. Timmons confirmed that as the pilot grabbed the crash ax, she jumped from her seat and started barricading the cockpit door. From the other side of the barricade the cabin crew relayed their concern about four young Arab men in first-class who became agitated when the take-off was cancelled, and fled from the plane when it returned to the terminal. Box cutters and Al Qaeda documents were later found in their luggage. Timmons, the pilot, and the rest of the crew were repeatedly questioned by the FBI, though the findings were never shared. The pilot concluded that Flight 23 would have been the next plane hijacked by terrorists if the airport shutdown order had been delayed.

“The FBI asks questions,” General Timmons is quoted as saying, “They don’t tell you things.”

Why wouldn’t the U.S. government want to report the incident? Why didn’t the 9/11 Commission mention it in their official report? Were they concerned about panicking the public? Were they trying to apprehend the four passengers who fled? Why maintain official silence about the incident a decade later?

Somali Refugees Busted in Tucson

Once again, immigration fraud has compromised U.S. national security.  Fortunately, this time, the discovery was made before a deadly terror attack.
The issue of immigration fraud was the focus of both an extensive article and a booklet I wrote on the topic, Immigration Fraud, Lies That Kill.
This time an alien couple stands accused of fraud when they entered the United States as refugees, and then applied for legal immigrant status, but they hid their ties to Al-Shabab, an Islamic militant group operating primarily in Somalia who itself has links to al-Qaeda.
The case we will examine today, less than one month before the 17th anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11, was brought to fruition by the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) as a result of the diligent work of the FBI and a division of ICE known as HSI (Homeland Security Investigations).

Obama’s Payout To Terror Financiers

 

Frontpage mag

Joseph Klein

Islamic terrorists, whether affiliated with al Qaeda or the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, are enemies of the United States. They have American blood on their hands. The Obama administration aided and abetted these enemies by knowingly funding the terrorists and allowing them to evade the enforcement of U.S. law against them. As Andrew McCarthy once wrote, Obama was an “anti-anti-terrorist.”

For example, as the National Review has just reported, based on a discovery by the Middle East Forum, the Obama administration decided that an al Qaeda affiliate in Sudan was a worthy recipient of U.S. taxpayer funds to the tune of $200,000. The beneficiary of the Obama administration’s largesse, the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), also known as the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), had been designated by the U.S. Treasury as a terrorist-financing organization a decade earlier. The Treasury Department’s designation was based on ISRA’s links to Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organization, financial support for the Taliban, and fundraising in Western Europe to help finance Hamas suicide bombings.

Not only did the Obama administration disregard the U.S. Treasury Department designation. It overlooked the fact that, as set out in a July 28, 2010 press release issued by USAID (the U.S. Agency for International Development), the executive director of the Islamic American Relief Agency, the U.S. branch office of ISRA, pleaded guilty to illegally transferring funds raised in the United States as purported charitable contributions to Iraq. He had “the assistance of a Sudanese man living in Jordan, who was subsequently identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a specially designated global terrorist.” Nevertheless, four years laterUSAID itself awarded a grant of $723,405 to a charity known as World Vision Inc. for the purported purpose of providing humanitarian relief in Sudan, out of which $200,000 was provided to ISRA as a sub-grantee. The money was directed “to help provide humanitarian aid, including emergency food, water, sanitation, and hygiene services, to displaced people affected by the ongoing conflict in Sudan,” according to a USAID official.

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3 Out of 4 Convicted Terrorists Came to U.S. Legally Via Current Immigration System

Illustrating the national security threats created by the nation’s immigration system, the overwhelming majority of individuals convicted of terrorism are foreigners who entered the United States legally through various federal programs. Three out of every four convicted terrorists between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2016 are foreign born and came to the United States through our immigration system, according to a new report issued jointly by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

At least 549 individuals were convicted of terrorism-related charges in American federal courts since 2001 and 402 of them-approximately 73%-were foreign-born, the report says. Here’s the breakdown by citizenship at the time of their convictions; 254 were not U.S. citizens, 148 were naturalized and received American citizenship and 147 were U.S. born. Additionally, 1,716 foreigners with national security concerns were removed from the United States. The Trump administration stresses that figures include only those aliens who were convicted or removed and therefore do not represent the total measure of foreign terrorist infiltration of the United States. Statistics on individuals facing terrorism charges who have not yet been convicted will be provided in follow-up reports that will be made available to the public.

This DHS/DOJ report, issued this month, is disturbing enough and reveals that a significant number of terrorists entered the country through immigration programs that use family ties and extended-family chain migration as a basis for entry. Among them is Mufid Elfgeeh, a national of Yemen who benefitted from chain migration in 1997 and was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for attempting to recruit fighters for ISIS. Sudanese Mahmoud Amin Mohamed Elhassan came to the U.S. in 2012 as a relative of a lawful permanent resident and eventually pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Pakistani Uzair Paracha was admitted to the U.S. in 1980 as a family member of a lawful permanent resident and in 2006 was sentenced to more than three decades in prison for providing material support to Al Qaeda. Khaleel Ahmed, a national of India, was admitted to the United States in 1998 as a family member of a naturalized United States citizen. Ahmed eventually became an American citizen and in 2010 was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

Other convicted terrorists came to the U.S. through the controversial visa lottery program, the multi-agency probe found. Among them is Abdurasaul Hasanovich Juraboev, a national of Uzbekistan who was admitted into the country as a diversity visa lottery recipient in 2011. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to support ISIS and in 2017 Juraboev was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Sudanese Ali Shukri Amin was admitted to the U.S. in 1999 as the child of a diversity visa lottery recipient and subsequently obtained American citizenship through naturalization. In 2015, he was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support and resources to ISIS. Amin admitted to using social media to provide advice and encouragement to ISIS and its supporters and facilitated ISIS supporters seeking to travel to Syria to join the terrorist group. Amin also helped a Virginia teen named Reza Niknejad get to Syria to join ISIS in 2015.

“The United States faces a serious and persistent terror threat, and individuals with ties to terror can and will use any pathway to enter our country,” the new DHS/DOJ report states. “Accordingly, DHS has taken significant steps to improve the security of all potential routes used by known or suspected terrorists (KST) to travel to the United States to ensure that individuals who would do harm to Americans are identified and detected, and their plots are disrupted. These figures reflect the challenges faced by the United States and demonstrate the necessity to remain vigilant and proactive in our counterterrorism posture.”

U.S. Sends Al Qaeda’s Arabian Peninsula Headquarters $768 Mil in Humanitarian Aid

Judicial Watch

The U.S. government keeps sending an Islamic nation that serves as an Al Qaeda breeding ground hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid. The cash—$768 million since October 2016—flows through the famously corrupt U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID), which has a monstrous budget and little oversight. The money is reportedly helping to counter a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the headquarters of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). In its Country Reports on Terrorism, the State Department reveals that AQAP militants carried out hundreds of attacks including suicide bombers, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), ambushes, kidnappings and targeted assassinations. The media has also documented this for years with one in-depth report confirming that “Yemen has emerged as the breeding grounds for some of the most high-profile plans to attack the U.S. homeland.”

Additionally, dozens of terrorists freed from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have joined Al Qaeda in Yemen. Among them is an Al Qaeda chief who masterminded a U.S. Embassy bombing after getting released, according to a mainstream newspaper. His name is Said Ali al-Shihri and after leaving Gitmo he became an Al Qaeda deputy chief in Yemen and he organized a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemen’s capital. The former captive was also involved in car bombings outside the American Embassy that killed 16 people. Remember that the convicted terrorist who planned to blow up an American passenger jet over Detroit on Christmas in 2009 trained in Yemen and the plot was organized by Al Qaeda leaders in the Middle Eastern Arab country. A recent study published by the RAND Corporation concludes that the most significant threat to the United States comes from terrorist groups operating in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

So why does the U.S. government continue giving Yemen huge chunks of taxpayer dollars? Because it is “gravely concerned about a worsening humanitarian situation” in the Islamic nation, according to a statement issued this month by USAID. The document was released to announce a recent $130 million in “emergency food assistance to Yemen.” The U.S. government has determined that “protracted conflict” has created the “world’s largest food security emergency” in Yemen as well as the “world’s worst cholera outbreak.” More than 17 million people are at risk of severe hunger or starvation, according to the agency. The U.S. is also using military force to crack down on Yemen’s Al Qaeda problem. Earlier this month U.S. airstrikes killed five Al Qaeda militants, including one of the group’s key leaders, Mujahid al-Adani.

USAID is well known for gushing out cash with no follow up or oversight to assure the money is spent appropriately and the Yemen allocations are probably no exception. A perfect example is that millions of dollars in malaria drugs provided to Africa are stolen each year and sold on the black market. The problem has gotten so out of control that USAID launched “malaria hotlines” to offer cash rewards for information about the illicit operations that have fleeced American taxpayers out of tens of millions of dollars. Through a variety of programs, the U.S. government has spent billions of dollars to combat malaria in Africa in the last few years. One USAID program alone has dedicated north of $72 million since 2011 to give 19 African countries free malaria drugs, $15 million in 2016 alone. The agency has long acknowledged that malaria drugs financed by American taxpayers are regularly stolen in Africa. “This is not the first report of theft or illegal diversion,” USAID admitted in a statement years ago.

USAID has committed other atrocities with public funds and Judicial Watch has launched investigations to uncover details. Earlier this year Judicial Watch obtained records showing that USAID spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros. The scheme was masterminded by Barack Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily, who worked behind the scenes with Soros’ Open Society Foundation to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Judicial Watch’s ongoing probe has so far revealed that USAID earmarked at least $9.5 million to intervene in the Balkan nation’s governmental affairs, which deviates from its mission of providing humanitarian assistance.

The Bin Laden Files Reveal Growing Terrorist Threat to U.S.

Family Security Matters

by DR. MICHAEL LEDEEN

 

At long last, most of the files captured when U.S. Special Forces  killed al-Qaeda’s leader in May 2011 have been released. Although bits and pieces have dribbled out, they should have been public long since.

The best short discussion of the files is in The Long War Journal, written by Bill Roggio and Tom Joscelyn, my colleagues at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. They, along with Stephen Hayes at The Weekly Standard, have long advocated the release of the archive.

The files are very important. They provide invaluable insight into the growing terrorist threat to the United States, document AQ operations well beyond the Middle East, and show remarkable patience in the use of media. Bin Laden is gone, but his blueprint for his organization’s long-term strategy remains active.

Why has the intelligence community been so reluctant to release the files? It took so long because a lot of the story they tell is at odds with the official narrative, according to which AQ had been gravely weakened, and bin Laden himself largely marginalized, by the time of the attack. Other files document the details of the oft-denied cooperation between AQ and the Tehran regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Still others document relations with Pakistan and with other governments and regimes in the region.

General Michael Flynn, whose DIA experts had access to the whole archive and had analyzed key parts of it, wrote in a best-selling book I co-authored (“The Field of Fight”) that

When (Obama) and his supporters were assuring the American people that al Qaeda was broken and on the run, we learned that their strength had roughly doubled.

Flynn wrote,

One letter to bin Laden reveals that al Qaeda was working on chemical and biological weapons in Iran….Others speak of Mumbai-style attacks on European cities….The story of the bin Laden documents is just one of many…

That’s why another top American general has called the bin Laden files “the single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever,” and why the suppression of the documents is so serious. It will take time for public debate to reveal the full significance of the archive, and some of it remains classified. This massive release will help, but we must not ignore the fact that the CIA did what it could to prevent an informed debate all along.

It seems clear that our picture of al-Qaeda has been erroneous in the past, and may still be.  The impetus for releasing the documents seems to have come from the president’s office. In any event, we can hope that they will put an end to the very damaging notion that Sunnis and Shi’ites don’t work closely together.

Curiously, we were smarter when we knew less. In 1998, when the U.S. government indicted bin Laden and al-Qaeda for the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the indictment said

Al Qaeda forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group, Hezbollah, for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States.

Back then, it wasn’t hard for us to acknowledge that AQ Sunni bombers worked with Shi’te terrorists in Hezbollah and elsewhere in the Iranian regime. Then we got more sophisticated, to our misfortune. Let’s hope the bin Laden documents help our understanding, and eventually help shape a winning strategy.

We Didn’t Beat ISIS, It’s Here

Family Security Matters

by DANIEL GREENFIELD

 

ISIS has been beaten. It’s been forced out of city after city. Its fighters are dying or have run away. Its resources are exhausted.

It’s over.

And yet once again, there’s blood on the pavement and screams filling the air of a Western city. And the note in the bloodied truck links the attack to ISIS.

We didn’t beat ISIS because it’s not just an army or an alliance. It’s an idea. The idea is Islam.

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