Archive for August, 2007

California Connection: JI militants Dulmatin, Omar Patek and Zulkifli bin Hir

While the Philippine Military has it’s assistance from US, Australian, and, UK sources in its fight versus al qaeda backed bandits of the Abu Sayyaf and the SE Asia franchise of the terror group Jemaah Islamiyah- a California connection has come forward.
Or so say Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Scott N. Schools, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California; Joseph Billy, Jr., FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism; and Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).-in a case filed before a US citizen of Philippine and Malaysian descent and his Terror leader brother and belived leader of Jemaah Islamiah Mantiki 3 that is reportedly responsible for the recent attacks in Basilan and Jolo.that among other things involved the beheading and dismemberment of 10 Philippine marines last july 10th, 2007.

The US connection and aid flow was uncovered this week in a Federal district court of Northern California with the indictment of Zulkifli bin Hir and the arrest of his brother in the San Jose, California – who is accused and charged with providing materail support to terrorism. In a copy of the indicment posted online – details of which are marked sealed by the court – the indictment goes into specific acts that anyone who closely follows or as I reports on the fighting, War, and, acts of terrorism – is a blow by blow inside look into how JI members exist – specifics include raids, deaths, equipment shipments, orders of things like gun parts –  transmitters and radio scanners -it speaks also on the effectiveness of drones and P3 orion aircraft.  Chilling and if corelated to events on dates – reads like a diary of one Ji terrorist and his brother’s part in the Jihad in Mindanao – both of whom are Malaysian – of how they track news using popular philippine websites – for all i know even this blog!

[]…” Rahmat Abdhir, aka “Sean Kasem,” aka “Sean Kalimin,” age 43, is a U.S. citizen living in San Jose, Calif., and the brother of Zulkifli Abdhir. Rahmat Abdhir is charged in the indictment with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, providing material to terrorists, contributing goods and services to a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (his brother), and false statements. FBI agents arrested Rahmat Abdhir yesterday morning outside his place of employment in Sunnyvale, Calif. He made his initial appearance yesterday in federal court in San Jose. …” []

In the August 2nd – 16 count indictment- before the courts –Rahmat Abdhir, 43, aka “Sean Kasem,” aka. is accused of proiving support and also reports say had a weapons cashe that may indicate a Bay Area cell of the Abu Sayyaf or at least a support base for one exists in California.

Terror suspect kept guns in home, storage
San Jose Mercury News, USA – Assistant US Attorney John T. Gibbs argued in a federal court in San Jose that the 43-year-old bespectacled married father of four was far too dangerous to

South Bay Man Arrested For Al Qaeda Ties
abc7news.com, CA – Rahmat Abdhir has lived on Sunwood Drive in San Jose since 2003. The FBI raided his house yesterday. Rahmat’s younger brother is Zulkifli Abdhir,

It is believed the arrest and information gathered after it helped not only put a stop to at least one flow of technology, weapons, and, financial support but also had a hand in stopping a bomb plot versus malls in Metro Manila.

PNP thwarts plans to bomb NCR shopping malls and food terminals
Philippine Information Agency, Philippines – Text messages from the suspect’s cellphone coming from JI operative Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias Marwan; and Basit Usman, who is said to be a leader of the Moro

06 – PNP foils bomb plots in metro shopping malls
Balita.org, UK – Rosales said they saw text messages from Usman’s cellphone, recovered at his safe house, coming from JI operative Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias Marwan; .

MILF ties bared in Indictment: E-mails speak of protection provided to J.I.

In the wake of recent fighting in the South the indicment also says that the MILF or at leasst factions or elements of the MILF in Western Mindanao provide aid and comfort to JI fugitives:

[]…” Zulkifli Abdhir kept his brother in the U.S. informed of his situation on the ground in the Philippines by providing reports of battles between Philippine troops and his protectors there, including elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In one instance, Zulkifli Abdhir described an effort by Philippine government troops to capture him on Aug. 10, 2006 in which commandos surrounded his house and a gun battle ensued. Zulkifli Abdhir also described numerous battles and conflicts with Philippine government troops after a ceasefire between MILF and the Philippine government ended on Sept. 30, 2006. …”[] http://sanfrancisco.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/2007/sf080207.htm

The press release goes into details of the indicment and information is is readily available on the Web. There is a small mostly sympathetic support group among some Moro Fil-Am’s in the USA for the rebels in Mindanao but most are involved in suppoorting peace talks and efforts to end the fighting in Mindanao.

Yet as this case shows there are also some who do support violence or so it seems by the actions mentioned in the indicment.

[] “… According to the indictment, Rahmat Abdhir shipped requested items to his brother in the Philippines using various aliases for the sender and the recipient. Between June 2006 and June 2007, Rahmat Abdhir allegedly shipped nearly 30 hand-held or two-way radios, as well as Colt .45 magazines, binoculars, a rifle scope and firearms manual, flashlights, batteries, and camouflage clothing to his brother. The indictment also alleges Zulkifli Abdhir routinely informed Rahmat Abdhir when he needed money sent or wired to the Philippines for purchases of items including firearms and ammunition. Rahmat Abdhir transferred the requested money to Zulkifli Abdhir through bank accounts that his brother provided in the Philippines, varying the times and amounts of money sent, and using false names and addresses. Between June 2006 and June 2007, Rahmat Abdhir allegedly sent more than $10,000 to his brother….”[]

But th arrest raises fear in the San Francisco Bay Area – in particular for those of Asian American descent many of whom suffered after 9-11 because of life history in areas of conflict in the southern Philippines some of whom are trying to remind others that the accused in the indictment is the exception to the rule – Filipino Americans for example make up the largest number of volunteers and largest single minority group serving in the US military and federal authorities in the War on Terrorism.

Another fear raised is the location of the arrests – this is Silicon Vally – the man lived in San Jose – worked in Sunnyvale – this is home to the US technology industry and also a center of possible areas of soft targets including the main telecommunications hubs of the internet and telecoms and computer industry. He worked at a company known as Applied Identity – revealed a federal detention hearing for Rahmat Abdhir. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Gibbs was also that Abdhir – worked for a Silicon Valley based company that provided ‘security’ to servers, resources, and, database and information systems all over the world. Among its listed clients are firms and government

While it may come as shock to those in the USA – the profile is typical of Al Qaeda ‘s Jemaah Islamiah supporters and groups in SE Asia – where Malaysians , Indonesians, and Singaporeans are concerned in that the members caught are mostly well educated, Computer and tech savvy, and also – very much involved in computers and systems management.

[] “… Applied Identity’s customers are organizations with more than 200 users. Initial vertical market focus includes financial services, health care and government.

The company’s ID-Unify and ID-Enforce appliance-based solutions enable organizations to enforce identity-based privileges, consolidate access policy development and provide user network activity data for risk management forensics and compliance. The company’s solutions integrate into networks, leveraging and extending existing identity and security infrastructures. “…[]

From Company mission and profile

[]…” Applied Identity provides the only identity-driven network access management solution with the flexibility to manage consistent trusted access to network
www.appliedidentity.com/ – 14k – CachedSimilar pagesNote this
Contact Ushttp://www.appliedidentity.com/company/contact-us.shtml
Productshttp://www.appliedidentity.com/products/
Companyhttp://www.appliedidentity.com/company/
Solutions: Network Security Controlhttp://www.appliedidentity.com/solutions/ …”[]

Ironically the Bay Area and Silicon Valley are also home of the largest groups of Anti-War and US Anti-establishment movements the possibility that there in this part of the USA terror ‘cells’ or ‘support groups’ exist is something many in the federal government’s intelligence community feel is a likelihood – or so they have said in prior interviews and stories I have done on SE Asian terror gangs linked to Al Qaeda.

They point out that while Bay Area residents where among the first victims of 9-11 to fight back – I.E. United Flight 93 was bound for San Francisco – where passengers fought hijackers that led to the palne crashing into a field rather than a Washington area building.

Prior to 9-11 California based support groups also existed for groups like the Abu Sayyaf in places like Oakland and Berkley and the South Bay Area. I remember working on stories on this topic – but most of it was lost in the mix post 9-11 and other sotires took to the forefront of the news.

I always wondered why so much effort was made to freeze assets and accounts of Al Qaeda members linked to the Abu Sayyaf and was told because bank accounts in the USA were found for some ASG members and their families – also ransom funds – in some cases – reports said actual bills from ransoms paid in the ASG kidnaping spree traced via serial numbers of bills – ended up in circulation in the California and Nevada areas.

Considering the amount of cash spread out in just the Sipadan kidnapping – $20 million dollars in cash -It is most likely that the money made its way there via – US bound Fil-ams who bought bills in Mindanao – or the alleged ‘cut’ or commissions of officials who allegedly profited by provided ‘bulk exchange’ to Pesos to ASG members or middlemen.

As early as 2000-2001 investigation prior to 9-11 showed of support groups and organizations who at least on the internet provide some form of propaganda assistance to groups like the ASG and other Philippine based -terrorist designated groups – but – considering free speech issues and legal concerns – most go unnoticed except when they send funds or material support like alleged actions of Rahmat Abdhir : At his bail hearing FBI agents said he was in possesion of several guns over 1,000 rounds of amunition and communications gear – Guns per say – are not illegal – nor are there any limits on the number of rifles a person may own in the USA – but if the alleged shipment of weapons took place then there is problem for Abdhir – emails discuss more than just basic materail support but right down to bomb compnents used – funds needed to set aside for the terrorists children if he’s killed and also references to attacks – weapons and whole stack of details that by and of itself – looks like and reads like a detailed description of support given and where and who is doing what to help the Malaysian and Indonesian JI members in Mindanao.

[] “… , Rahmat Abdhir routinely kept his brother informed by providing news stories and Internet links that reported on the conflict in the Philippines and the fact that Zulkifli Abdhir was a wanted fugitive. –

This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Francisco, with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Schmidt of the Northern District of California and Trial Attorney John T. Gibbs of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Counterterrorism Section.

The public is reminded that the charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. …”[]

August 14, 2007 at 10:16 pm 1 comment

World CDO credit crisis: Philippines secure…

Sometimes lessons can be learned by the rest of world from the Philippine banking system and its slow conservative approach to stock investments while may slow the pace of growth have left it somewhat insulated from the ongoing credit crisis over investment securities overseas – in particular on subprime mortgages.

 

A credit crisis is sweeping the global financial markets although its impact will be felt perhaps in currency fluctuations and investment retirement funds – the western credit financed with stock and insurance and assurance markets tied into financial investment credits is somewhat in disarray.

 

At the center of the crisis are CDO’s meaning – Collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) are a type of asset-backed security and structured credit product. CDOs gain exposure to the credit of a portfolio of fixed income assets and divide the credit risk among different tranches: senior tranches (rated AAA), mezzanine tranches (AA to BB), and equity tranches (unrated). Losses are applied in reverse order of seniority and so junior tranches offer higher coupons to compensate for the added risk. CDOs serve as an important funding vehicle for portfolio investments in credit-risky fixed income assets.

 

Philippine central bank Governor Amando Tetangco says domestic liquidity is sufficient and that local banks have no significant exposure to the market for collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). Tetangco believes that any impact of the crisis on the domestic economy ‘will be largely indirect, mainly in the form of risk aversion. ”It is expected to be limited. Philippine banks are not exposed in any significant way to CDOs.

‘There is sufficient liquidity. More fundamentally, the increased availability of longer-term funding in pesos has also reduced the country’s vulnerability to adverse external market developments,’ he said.

 

Europe slammed by US credit crisis
International Herald Tribune, France – FRANKFURT: Fears of a credit crisis in Europe deepened Thursday, as a big French bank announced it would close three investment funds,
Credit crisis puts global finance to test International Herald Tribune
Subprime crisis hits BNP, sends markets reeling Indian Express
Markets fear crisis in capital Salt Lake Tribune

 

The Bank of Japan pumped one trillion yen into the local money markets Friday as overnight rates shot up amid fears of shrinking liquidity.

 

In Australia, the Reserve Bank injected more than twice the average daily amount of funds into the banking system. The central bank’s market data showed it injected 4.95 billion Australian dollars into the system Friday, well above the daily average for the year-to-date of around 1.86 billion dollars.

 

All of this – follow the European Central Bank’s move Thursday to pump an unprecedented 94.84 billion euros into the euro area money markets to meet a liquidity shortage after France’s biggest bank BNP Paribas froze three of its funds with exposure to the US subprime market as it could not accurately determine their value.

 

WHAT ARE CDO’s:

 

Investors can assess the various tranches of the CDO with full knowledge of what the collateral will be. The primary risk they face is credit risk. Which is currently what is being attempted to be addressed with the current cash in-flows into the banking and subprime sectors of the US credit system.

 

Under extreme pressures now are portfolio managers who are appointed to actively manage the collateral of the CDO. But in many cases the CDO’s much like 80’s venture capital has yet to see maturity and if credit is dried up in the meantime the deals and goals and financial situation could see movement and aversion from investors to take risks for something not yet ready. Think of it as investing in a dream or idea or program or platform – yet – while it will be worth something someday- currently -0 it is project under development. Often secured by collateral – but at the same time still being developed. Investors know if and when the projects come to full development the projects they have will see a high rate of return.

 

However – risks are there a managed deal often has three phases:

 

Ramp-up lasts about a year, during which the portfolio manager initially invests the proceeds from sales of the CDO’s securities.

 

The reinvestment or revolver period lasts five or more years. The manager actively manages the CDO’s collateral, reinvesting cash flows as well as buying and selling assets.

 

In the final period, collateral matures or is sold. Investors are paid off.

 

“At the time they purchase the CDO’s securities, investors in a managed deal do not know what specific assets the CDO will invest in, and those assets will change over time.” The riskglosarry.com defines it further by pointing out. “ All investors know is the identity of the portfolio manger and the investment guidelines that he will work under. Accordingly, investors in managed CDOs face both credit risk as well as the risk of poor management or credit crisis. ‘

 

It is in some cases CDO’s being at times proprietary in concept do not reveal goals plans or investment potential to those seeking investments – in simple terms – its higher risk for those with unknown or untried fund managers but is often clearly protected when fund mangers are large investment house or in some cases banks or financial institutions.

 

August 10, 2007 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

53 dead in renewed Jolo fighting

At east 53 combatants – 26 soldiers and 27 Abu Sayyaf gang members have been killed reports reaching manila say in clashes in the southern philippines on the island of jolo in Sulu province.

The fighting stems from an ambush if a convoy which left 9 dead – and a later clash with Abu Sayyaf blockigng force left another 10 dead and more injured in pursiot operations. Media reports say the remaining causalities on their side came from injured troops who died en route or at hospitals in Jolo.

VIDEO: GMANews.TV  click to view

25 soldiers, 27 Abu Sayyaf killed in Sulu clashes

25 soldiers, 27 Abu Sayyaf killed in Sulu clashes

No MNLF rebels in Sulu clashes

AFP: No MNLF rebels in Sulu clashes

Sulu clashes kill 25 soldiers

Sulu clashes kill 25 soldiers

The latest action versus ASG members who experts say may be trying to create a diversion and devide AFP attention versus susspected ASG members involved in the beheading of Marines in near-by Basilan Proivince.

MILF agrees to reposition forces in Basilan to give way to
Minda News, Philippines – fighters will move out from their camps in Al Barka town in Basilan to allow the Marines to hunt four suspects believed to be Abu Sayyaf members who,

There at least five battalons of Philippine Army troops and Marines are seeking the men responsible for another ambush and later beheading of a military patrol there three weeks ago in Thursdays clash in Jolo.

The units coming from Camp Austurias were met by heravy resistance from ASG members who seem to have beefed up thier strength in new actions two weeks apart tht are targeting small units into ambush and attack tactics similar to those used in mainland mindanao by more veteran Moro fighters.

Over 50 killed in southern Philippines fighting Swissinfo
‘Fifty dead’ in Philippines clash BBC News
Fighting in Southern Philippines Kills at Least 20 Soldiers Voice of America
Wall Street Journal – Times of India

The goal appears to be the capture of weapons and equipment – there is also some speculation as well that the ASG and JI allies are looking for foreign civilian advisor’s – and or contractors who frequently travel with AFP units to project numerous development project sites.

There have also been reports the ASG, JI, and sympatisers are also sabotaging deep wells, damaging or burning comunity building and attemtping to destroy infrastructure in remote areas to reduce communications and transportion as well as community sympathy for the Philippine Military.

August 10, 2007 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

Narco-Terrorism revisited

More of the same as history repeats itself anew – something the Russians, and also the British had to face in the fight in Afghanistan also similar to battles in Indo-china to the Vietnam war. insurgents often use smuggling, narcotics, and, other illicit trade items to fund the fights they carry on. It is often why some regions of the world are kept in a impoverished state with little education and infrastructure in areas where the narco-trade exists to make people Dependant on the growing, cultivating, and consumption of narcotics to allow for cartels to sell and function and provide local communities with a all empowering control over thier areas of production.

At the US house of representatives – there is talk of funding a war on drugs linked to the war vs. terror. A realizaton is seen and acceptance to what the US military and drug agencies have been saying that narcotics and insurgent extremist groups are linked.

  !– D([“mb”,”the anti-planting message, particularly with NATO\’s International Security\u003cbr /\>Assistance Force, is also a welcome step.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\>What the plan lacks is the recognition that Afghanistan is approaching a\u003cbr /\>crisis point, and that immediate action is required to eliminate the threat\u003cbr /\>of drug kingpins and cartels allied with terrorists so we can reverse the\u003cbr /\>country\’s steady slide into a potential failed narco-state.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\>In June, the House overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation that\u003cbr /\>requires the appointment of a coordinator for Afghanistan and paves the way\u003cbr /\>for greater assistance for counter-narcotics programs by the U.S. and our\u003cbr /\>allies including the elite Colombian National Police anti-drug unit.\u003cbr /\>\u003cbr /\>We urge the Senate to adopt legislation that will put in place an effective\u003cbr /\>counter-narcotics strategy in Afghanistan.\u003cbr /\>\u003c/div\>”,0] ); D([“ce”]); //–>[]”… Recognition of the need for a comprehensive long-term strategy to fight the growing cancer of opium and eroin production in Afghanistan. We welcome greater use of financial ncentives to deter poppy production and appropriate penalties for those who ontinue to engage in illicit drug trafficking.  Improving coordination of the anti-planting message, particularly with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, is also a welcome step.

What the plan lacks is the recognition that Afghanistan is approaching a
crisis point, and that immediate action is required to eliminate the threat
of drug kingpins and cartels allied with terrorists so we can reverse the
country’s steady slide into a potential failed narco-state.

In June, the House overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation that
requires the appointment of a coordinator for Afghanistan and paves the way
for greater assistance for counter-narcotics programs by the U.S. and our
allies including the elite Colombian National Police anti-drug unit.

We urge the Senate to adopt legislation that will put in place an effective
counter-narcotics strategy in Afghanistan.  …”[]
Joint Statement of Lantos and Ros-Lehtinen on Announcement of Revised Counter-narcotics Strategy in Afghanistan

But what the committee fails to see is that this is happening also in Iraq and other areas where the groups lke Al Qaeda and its allies exist. The Narcotics trade and other fast revenue generation criminal issues like counterfeiting, piracy, IPR theft, internet scams, donation drive using false NGO groups – even front organizations that mimic legitimate peoples groups also function sometimes linked and tied to legitimate NGO organizations  in order to create discord at times and also raise funds for groups engaged in acts of terrorism. Is this happening here? Public statements show as much but it is often given little value in media reports.

Nearly every former hostage I interviewed over the years freed after being held by extremist groups also mention that many of the members of the organizations were under the influence of narcotics – more often than not shabu or methamphetmine hydrocloride.

In areas of their control or influence the varied extremist organizations in Rasia from southern Thailand to Indonesia, and Malaysia as well as here often turn up in raids involving thier members which is an indication of at partipation for purposes of funding.

The Question now is what else are they using to raise funds – and – the ironic impact on the very so called purist societies the extremists say they want to create built on illicit trade and criminal actions like kidnapping for ransom and piracy leave moderates  wondering after seeing the Taliban model of the society created that resembles a nothing more than drug lord kingdom hiding under a cloak of religion.

August 10, 2007 at 9:56 am Leave a comment


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