Sunday, April 26, 2009

Extremists' Defeat Requires Commitment, Centcom Commander Says

A substantial and sustained commitment is required to disrupt and ultimately defeat al-Qaida and other extremist elements in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the commander of U.S. Central Command told a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee on Friday.

"The strategy described by President [Barack] Obama several weeks ago constitutes such a commitment," Army Gen. David H. Petraeus told members of the military construction, Veterans Affairs and related agencies subcommittee. "Although ... additional resources will be applied in different ways on either side of the [border between Afghanistan and Pakistan], Afghanistan and Pakistan comprise a single theater that require comprehensive, whole-of-governments approaches that are closely coordinated."

Afghanistan requires a comprehensive counterinsurgency approach, which is what Army Gen. David D. McKiernan, commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and NATO's International Security Assistance Force will work to execute with the additional U.S. and coalition resources that will arrive there over the summer, Petraeus said.

The additional forces will provide increased capability to secure and serve the people, pursue extremists, support Afghan security forces development, reduce illegal narcotics and help develop capabilities that will increase the legitimacy of both Afghan local and national governance, Petraeus said.

"A major focus of our efforts in Afghanistan is building the Afghan security forces so that they are capable of assuming full responsibility for their country's security over time," the general said. "As was the case in Iraq, additional forces will only be of value if they are employed properly."

The increase of U.S. forces in Afghanistan has created new critical infrastructure requirements. Expanded contingency construction authorities for Afghanistan and across the area of responsibility provide an important interim solution, Petraeus said. He added his gratitude for the committee's support of the expansion.

Turning to Pakistan, Petraeus said the situation there is closely linked to that in Afghanistan.

"The extremists that have established sanctuaries in Pakistan's rugged border areas not only contributed to the deterioration of security in eastern and southern Afghanistan, they also pose an ever-more serious threat to Pakistan's very existence," he said. "Al-Qaida senior leadership and other transnational extremist elements are located in Pakistan, and have carried out an increasing number of suicide bombings and other attacks."

In addition, they have carried out attacks in India and Afghanistan, as well as various countries outside the region, including the United Kingdom, Petraeus said, and also have continued efforts to carry out attacks in the United States.

Though the Pakistani military has stepped up operations in parts of Pakistan's ungoverned tribal areas in response to the increased concern over this activity, much more work is required, the general told the lawmakers.

"Given our relationship with Pakistan and its military over the years, it is important that the United States be seen as a reliable ally in assisting with that work," Petraeus said. "The Pakistani military has been fighting a tough battle against extremists for more than seven years."

The U.S. military will focus its assistance in two main areas, the general said. It will expand its partnership with the Pakistani military and help it build its counterinsurgency capabilities by providing training, equipment and assistance.

"Second, we will promote closer cooperation across the Afghan-Pakistan border by providing training, equipment, facilities and intelligence capabilities and by bringing together Afghan and Pakistani military officers to enable coordination between the forces on either side of the border," Petraeus said.

These efforts, he said, would be aided substantially by the Pakistani Counterinsurgency Capability Fund.

"Pakistan is a unique situation and nuanced authorities," the Centcom commander said. "[Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard] Holbrooke and I have determined that we need both foreign-military financing and PCCF to accomplish our mission."

He explained the Pakistani Counterinsurgency Capability Fund will allow the U.S. military to expand and focus its security development plan with Pakistan, but added that the rest of the region poses challenges.

"As we increase our focus on, and efforts in, Afghanistan and Pakistan, we must not lose sight of other important missions in the Centcom [area of responsibility]," Petraeus said. "There has for example, been substantial progress in Iraq, but numerous challenges still confront its leaders and its people."

Despite these challenges, Petraeus said, progress is being made in Iraq, especially in the development of the Iraqi security forces. This steady progress has enabled the continued transition of security responsibility to Iraqi elements, further reductions of coalition forces and the steady withdrawal of U.S. units from urban areas, he said.

"We are thus on track in implementing the security agreement with the government of Iraq and in executing the strategy laid out by the president," Petraeus said.

Iran also remains a major concern for Centcom, the general said. The country continues to carry out destabilizing activities in the region and is continuing development of nuclear capabilities and missile systems that many consider to be linked to the pursuit of nuclear weapons and delivery means.

"Iran's actions and rhetoric have, in fact, prompted our partners in the Gulf to seek closer relationships with us than we have had with some of them in decades," Petraeus said. "We are also helping to bolster the Gulf states and the Central Asian states to help them deal with threats to their security, which range from al-Qaida to robust militia and organized criminal elements."

The United States also is working with partner nations to counter piracy and to combat illegal narcotics production and trafficking, and to interdict arms smuggling. All of these activities threaten stability and the rule of law, and often provide financing for extremists, he said.

"Finally, in all of these endeavors, we seek to foster comprehensive approaches by ensuring that military efforts are fully integrated with broader diplomatic, economic and developmental efforts," Petraeus said. "There will be nothing easy about the way ahead in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or in many of the other tasks in the Central Command area.

"Much hard work lies before us," he continued, "but it is clear that achieving the objectives of these missions is vital, and it is equally clear that these endeavors will require sustained, substantial commitment and unity of effort of all involved."

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
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Mullen, Gates Share Deep Concern Over Pakistan

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed deep concern on Friday that "events continue to move in the wrong direction" in Pakistan and that the situation there may be approaching a tipping point.

"I think we're certainly closer to the tipping point," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told Ann Curry of NBC-TV's "Today" show, who is traveling with him in the region. "I don't think that we're there."

Mullen said he shares Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's concerns that the Taliban have taken full control of Pakistan's Swat Valley. Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on April 22 this trend "poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world."

U.S. officials fear it's giving extremists a safe haven for launching attacks in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.

"I'm increasingly both concerned and frustrated at the progression of the danger," Mullen said.

Mullen's comments were aired this morning as yet-unconfirmed news reports said the Taliban had begun to withdraw its forces from the Buner Valley, 60 miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

Yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates emphasized the gravity of the Taliban's increasing influence and control in Pakistan, and the need for a strong Pakistani response.

"My hope is that there will be an increasing recognition on the part of the Pakistani government that the Taliban in Pakistan are in fact an existential threat to the democratic government of that country," Gates told reporters who traveled with him to Camp Lejeune, N.C., to visit deploying Marines.

"I think that some of the leaders certainly understand that, but it is important that they not only recognize it but take the appropriate actions to deal with it," Gates said.

What happens in Pakistan directly affects Afghanistan, he said. "The stability and longevity of democratic government in Pakistan is central to the efforts of the coalition in Afghanistan, and it is also central to our future partnership with the government in Islamabad," he told reporters.

"We want to support them. We want to be helpful in any way we can," Gates said. "But it is important that they recognize the real threats to their country."

Earlier this week, as Mullen visited Combat Outpost Deysie in Afghanistan, commanders reported that Taliban forces are flowing back into Afghanistan after a winter spent training and refitting in Pakistan.

An additional 17,000 U.S. combat troops will begin arriving soon in Afghanistan to focus on this vulnerable region. "We're going as fast as we can go right now," Mullen said. "We want to get it right."

But Mullen said the Pakistani military "has to increase pressure as pressure increases on this side to stop that insurgent flow."

Additional U.S. trainers being sent to Afghanistan will help build capabilities within the Afghan security forces to stand up to these threats. Mullen said success in Afghanistan depends on the Afghan military's ability to provide the security needed for other progress to occur.

"They have to take over the security for their nation," Mullen said. "That's the only way we're successful in the long run."

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
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Mullen Cautions Iraq on Arab-Kurd Confrontations

Iraqi Kurds and Arabs must compromise to realize the full potential of the country, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said during a visit to Erbil, Iraq yesterday. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff met with the president and prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government areas in Iraq. He also visited the U.S. Regional Reconstruction Team for the area. Mullen said there have been tense times between Kurds and Arabs in Iraq, but that any disagreements must be worked out. Cool heads must prevail, the chairman said.

"An outbreak of violence between the peshmerga (armed Kurdish fighters) and the Iraqi security forces would adversely impact the progress the country has made, and I told the Kurdish leaders that," Mullen said during the meeting with reconstruction team. "They know this must not be allowed to happen." The oil-rich city of Kirkuk is a flash point between the regional government and the national government. There have been confrontations between the peshmerga and Iraqi security forces – most recently in February – but they have no escalated to violence. Mullen was struck by the willingness to discuss and compromise from President Massoud Barzani in his meeting. The president also told Mullen that any solution to the PKK problem with Turkey, but be a political one. The PKK is a radical Kurdish group launching terrorist attacks inside neighboring Turkey. Development is key to the region's future, Mullen said.

"This is the civilian face of the Iraq surge," Lucy Tamlyn, the chief of the Regional Reconstruction Team, said to Mullen.

Tamlyn is an economic officer for the State Department. Her most recent assignment before taking the job was in the African nation of Chad. Now she is in charge of development for the three provinces that make up the Kurdistan Regional Government – Erbil, Dahuk and Sulamaniyah. Unlike the more well-known provincial reconstruction teams in the rest of Iraq and in Afghanistan, there are no U.S. servicemembers on the team, although they work with American servicemembers based in the region. The civilian workforce manages a large portfolio of projects aimed at improving life in the three provinces.

"The Kurds like us and they don't want us to leave," Tamlyn said. "We're working with the Kurds on goals they have set including essential services, rule of law issues and developing the private sector." The group also has a strong public diplomacy outreach effort. The area is peaceful and has been a "permissive environment" since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, she said. This means that team members are able to work closely with Kurdish officials on projects across the region. They are also able to train and mentor Kurdish Regional Government officials. Erbil is a booming city in the traditional sense. There are many new buildings and ground has been cleared for even more. Shops are modern and clean and there are road construction projects throughout the city.

"It gets more primitive out(side) of the cities, but that is part of the process as we move forward," Tamlyn said. The U.S. team is helping the Kurds build the infrastructure which includes water projects, electricity and the oil and gas infrastructure.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
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Monday, April 20, 2009

CanJet Flight 918 - Update

/PRNewswire/ -- April 20th 2009, Halifax, Nova Scotia - CanJet Airlines has set up a toll free number for anyone who may have questions about family or relatives who may have been travelling on CanJet Flight 918.

Family or relatives can call 1-888-777-6429.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Iraqi-Born Dutch Citizen Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Terrorism Conspiracy Against Americans in Iraq

/PRNewswire / -- An Iraqi-born Dutch citizen was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for conspiring to murder Americans overseas, including by planting roadside bombs targeting U.S. soldiers in Fallujah, Iraq, and by demonstrating on video how these explosives would be detonated to destroy American vehicles and their occupants.

The sentencing of Wesam al-Delaema, age 36, was announced today by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Jeffrey A. Taylor, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; and Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington Field Office.

At a hearing today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Paul Friedman imposed the 25-year sentence against al-Delaema for conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals outside the United States. Al-Delaema pleaded guilty to this charge on Feb. 25, 2009. The Court made a finding that this offense was a federal crime of terrorism. In addition, video materials referenced in al-Delaema's factual proffer were played in court for the first time.

On Tuesday, in a separate case, al-Delaema was sentenced in Superior Court for the District of Columbia to 18 months imprisonment for aggravated assault. Al-Delaema pleaded guilty to this charge on March 3, 2009, admitting that he kicked a D.C. prison guard to the point of unconsciousness while the guard was prone on the ground during an incident at the D.C. jail in 2007. The prison guard sustained significant injuries, including a subdural hemorrhage, during the incident.

The sentences for these separate offenses are to be served concurrently and were agreed upon as part of the global plea agreement. According to an agreement between the United States and the Netherlands, al-Delaema will serve out his sentence in the Netherlands.

According to the plea agreement and factual proffers filed in court, between October 2003 and May 2, 2005, al-Delaema entered into an agreement with several co-conspirators to murder U.S. nationals in Iraq. As part of the conspiracy, al-Delaema traveled to Fallujah in October 2003. There, al-Delaema and his co-conspirators -- calling themselves the "Mujahideen from Fallujah" -- declared their intentions to kill Americans in Iraq using improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

As part of the conspiracy, al-Delaema and his co-conspirators discussed and demonstrated, on video, the way in which the IEDs they had buried in a road near Fallujah would be detonated and would destroy American vehicles driving on the road and kill the American occupants of those vehicles.

According to the factual proffer that he agreed to, al-Delaema not only created "how-to" and recruitment videos, but also filmed the effects of roadside attacks in Iraq. Furthermore, after his return to the Netherlands, al-Delaema continued to attempt to obtain propaganda videos for those seeking to kill Americans in Iraq, frequently attempting to obtain raw footage of attacks on Americans in Iraq.

Al-Delaema was arrested by Dutch law enforcement authorities on May 2, 2005, and he initially faced similar charges in that country. Following his arrest, Dutch law enforcement and prosecution authorities worked cooperatively with the FBI in its investigation of al-Delaema's terrorist activities.

In September 2005, the United States filed a formal request with the Netherlands seeking al-Delaema's extradition. The extradition request was subsequently granted by a Dutch court and then by the Dutch Ministry of Justice. In December 2006, the extradition request was sustained on appeal in the Netherlands. In January 2007, al-Delaema was flown to the United States, arrested and taken into custody by the FBI.

"This case represents the first use of U.S. criminal courts to prosecute an individual for terrorism offenses against Americans in Iraq," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. "The sentence imposed today should serve notice that the United States will use all available tools to pursue those who would plot attacks against our men and women serving in Iraq."

"The actions of this defendant were repugnant and contributed to the considerable violence against Americans in Iraq," stated U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor. "This case, which represents the first use of the United States criminal courts to prosecute an individual for terrorism offenses against Americans in Iraq, demonstrates our resolve to use every tool at our disposal to defend Americans, both at home and abroad."

"The FBI is prepared at a moments notice to vigorously investigate injuries and threats to citizens, whether they occur in or outside the United States," said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Joseph Persichini, Jr. "We would particularly like to thank our Dutch law enforcement partners who worked with us for the past four years to bring this case to fruition."

The investigation into this matter was conducted by the FBI's Washington Field Office, with assistance from the Dutch National Police Agency and the National Office of the Public Prosecutor in the Netherlands. The Office of International Affairs in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice coordinated the extradition efforts on behalf of the United States.

The prosecutors handling the case are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregg Maisel and Rachel Lieber of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorney David I. Miller of the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division.

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U.S. Wrong on Somalia; Center Will Soon Appoint an Attorney for Somali Pirate in U.S. Custody

/PRNewswire / -- The Somali Justice Advocacy Center expresses a great deal of concern over the current U.S. policy in effect towards Somalia. The current geopolitical situation involving U.S. policy towards Somalia is one of abandonment.

The consequences of the absence of the Wilsonian idealism which American policy has stood for, and the continuation of a policy of non-engagement has clearly become catastrophic. This failed U.S. policy has led to factions that proliferate and strive while Al Qaeda is now shifting and controlling most of the southern Somalia.

Somali Justice Advocacy Center furthermore expresses a concern over recent U.S. and French deadly military action against the pirates. This endangered the lives of many other hostages in Somalia. The Center is involved in talks to release a Nigerian ship with ten crewmen who are now hostages in Somalia.

The pirates in Somalia are currently holding more than 200 hostages along the coastline and more on their ships.

Somali Justice Advocacy Center appeals to the international community to pay close attention to the plight of the Somali people and help the reinstitution of minimum law and order in the country. Somali Justice Advocacy Center will soon appoint a lawyer to the surviving pirate now in U.S. custody. The Center finds the idea of persecuting a Somali pirate in U.S. courts odd and illegal in strict accordance with international law. The Center furthermore believes the agreement between U.S. and Kenya to persecute Somali pirates in the Kenyan judicial system should be null and void. The Center asks the U.S. to hand over the Somali pirate to the Puntland administration in Somalia.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

WJS: Warnings on Iran

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the nuclear threat from Tehran.
Benjamin Netanyahu formally became Israel's Prime Minister last week, and he could not have been blunter about the strategic challenge ahead: "It is a mark of disgrace for humanity that several decades after the Holocaust the world's response to the calls by Iran's leader to destroy the state of Israel is weak, there is no condemnation and decisive measures -- almost as if dismissed as routine." He added, "We cannot afford to take lightly megalomaniac tyrants who threaten to annihilate us."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Financial Crisis Puts New Urgency on Security, Chairman Says

The global financial crisis is adding a layer of uncertainty that could exacerbate problems in many parts of the world, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said on NBC-TV's "Today Show" Thursday morning.

"This global financial crisis in the months ahead could have a significant effect on security around the world," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told host Matt Lauer during the interview. "That creates an additional sense of urgency [for leaders] in resolving that as fast as we can."

The chairman did not speculate as to where problems might crop up. Some obvious groups may take advantage of the added uncertainty of the financial crisis in their areas, but there are other areas in which planners may not have advance warning.

"We're not very good at predicting the future," Mullen acknowledged. "My concern is that as governments struggle to take care of their people, those shortfalls could result in increased pressures on those governments to provide for their people. That could result in increased levels of instability."

Mullen also touched on the importance of civilian experts and the troop-level increase in Afghanistan.

Civilian experts are needed to help put the Afghan governance infrastructure in place and to coach Afghans in the various ministries. Civilian experts also are needed to advise provincial and village councils.

Building government entities, improving agriculture and creating jobs will help improve the long-range outlook for Afghanistan. "That aspect of moving forward is really critical, and we haven't had that to date," Mullen noted.

The increase in U.S. troop levels that President Barack Obama has announced will serve two purposes, the chairman said. The 17,000 additional forces are combat troops and "are really focused on turning the tide with respect to the violence level and providing security for the Afghan people," he said. "Our center of gravity is the Afghan people who we've got to get to a point where they feel secure."

The chairman said 4,000 additional soldiers will train the Afghan security forces, and are the long-term aspect of the new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy the president announced last week.

"The exit strategy in Afghanistan is to have them provide for their own security -- the police the army -- and those 4,000 troops will be focused on that," Mullen said.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Social Software Keys Information Sharing, Security, Researchers Say

Social software such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter may close information gaps on the battlefield by advancing collaboration and information sharing among warfighters and analysts, according to researchers at the National Defense University.

"Social tools ... give people platforms to share information with each other in ways that you really can't do with e-mail or some more traditional forms of communication," said Mark Drapeau, associate research fellow at NDU's Center for Technology and National Security Policy during an April 1 "Armed with Science" audio webcast on Pentagon Web Radio.

"Every warfighter wants the right information at the right time, but in many cases it is very hard to know what the 'relevant' information is in advance," Drapeau said. "Social software can facilitate simple sharing of possibly relevant information to supplement traditional methods, yielding better knowledge for better decision-making."

Social software encompasses a broad range of tools that connect people and promote information sharing over networks such as the Internet. These tools include social networking, video and photo sharing, blogs, wikis, and instant messaging.

While many social software tools are freely available to the public, cyber security concerns, infrastructure limitations, employee demographics and existing federal policy have hindered the integration of these tools in the federal workplace.

"[The Defense Department] is simply the largest organization in the world. Large organizations, in general, are not very good at sharing information," Drapeau said.

Drapeau is working with Linton Wells II, former chief information officer for the Pentagon, on a soon-to-be published research paper that proposes a framework for how the department can use emerging social software to increase information sharing, transparency, and engagement with the public. The paper will address the national security and intelligence concerns that have limited the use of these tools, he said.

Drapeau compared the balance between information sharing and security to the balance between inhaling and exhaling. "We need both," he said.

"While cyber security is a very serious and important issue, completing your mission is a more serious and important issue," Drapeau said. "People need access to tools that will help them accomplish their mission."

Social software has played a role in a number of international events with U.S. national security implications. During last year's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, citizens used the micro-blogging platform, Twitter, to share information about the events as they happened in real-time. In March, the State Department used Twitter to deny rumors that could possibly have led to a siege on the American Embassy in Madagascar.

The push to incorporate social software into the Defense Department is in line with a memo President Barack Obama issued in January, "Transparency and Open Government," which directs leaders to foster in their agencies a system of transparency, public participation and collaboration by leveraging emerging information technologies, including social software.

Drapeau said this effort extends beyond just allowing the use of social software in the department.

"It means the government being more accountable to the people, being more transparent to the people, and working better with the people," he said.

(Author John Ohab holds a doctorate in neuroscience and works for the Defense Media Activity's Emerging Media directorate.)
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Former U.S. Navy Member Abu-Jihaad Sentenced for Disclosing Classified Info‏

Nora R. Dannehy, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and other federal officials announced that Hassan Abu-Jihaad, formerly known as Paul R. Hall, 33, of Phoenix, Arizona, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for disclosing previously classified information relating to the national defense.

“This defendant provided classified information to others with the understanding that it could be used to endanger the lives of hundreds of members of the United States Navy, and we are pleased that the court imposed the maximum prison term allowed under the law,” Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy stated. “I want to acknowledge the efforts of all the agents, analysts and prosecutors involved in this matter who have worked diligently over the course of several years to bring this defendant to justice.”

According to the evidence provided at trial, in 2001, four or five months after the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole, Abu-Jihaad provided classified information regarding the movements of a United States Navy battle group, which was charged with enforcing sanctions against the Taliban and engaging in missions against Al Qaeda, to Azzam Publications, a London-based organization that is alleged to have provided material support and resources to persons engaged in acts of terrorism through the creation and use of various internet web sites, e-mail communications, and other means, including

Between approximately February 2000 and the end of 2001, the web site was hosted on the computer web servers of a web hosting company located in Trumbull, Connecticut. At the time the classified information was disclosed to Azzam Publications, Abu-Jihaad was an enlistee in the United States Navy on active duty in the Middle East and was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Benfold, one of the ships in the battle group whose movements were disclosed.

Evidence presented at trial indicated that, in December 2003, British law enforcement officers recovered a computer floppy disk in a residence of one of the operators of Azzam Publications. Forensic analysis of the disk disclosed a password-protected Microsoft Word document setting forth previously classified information regarding the upcoming movements of a U.S. Naval battle group as it was to transit from San Diego to its deployment in the Persian Gulf in 2001. The document went on to discuss the battle group’s perceived vulnerability to terrorist attack.

According to the evidence at trial, subsequent investigation uncovered several email exchanges from late 2000 to late 2001 between members of Azzam Publications and Abu-Jihaad, including discussions regarding videos Abu-Jihaad ordered from Azzam Publications that promoted violent jihad and extolled the virtues of martyrdom; a small donation of money Abu-Jihaad made to Azzam Publications; and whether it was “safe” to send materials to Abu-Jihaad at his military address onboard the U.S.S. Benfold.

In another email exchange with Azzam Publications, Abu-Jihaad described a recent force protection briefing given aboard his ship, voiced enmity toward America, praised Usama bin Laden and the mujahideen, praised the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole – which Abu-Jihaad described as a “martyrdom operation,” – and advised the members of Azzam Publications that such tactics were working and taking their toll. The email response from Azzam Publications encouraged Abu-Jihaad to “keep up... the psychological warefare [sic].”

The evidence at trial also indicated that Abu-Jihaad’s contact information – namely, his Navy email account – was among the few saved in an Azzam Publications online address book.

The evidence at trial included the testimony of six Navy witnesses indicating, among other things, that as a Signalman in the Navigation Division of the U.S.S. Benfold during the 2001 deployment, Abu-Jihaad had access to certain classified information, including advance knowledge of the battle group’s movements.

The evidence at trial also included court-authorized wiretap recordings, during which Abu-Jihaad used coded conversation to refer to jihad; admonished others not to speak openly about jihad over the phone or on the Internet because it was “tapped”; and discussed having conversations with associates using a shredder and after frisking them for electronic components.

The calls played for the jury also included Abu-Jihaad’s use of the terms “hot meals” and “cold meals” in reference to his current and former ability, respectively, to provide inside information or intelligence about potential U.S. military targets. Abu-Jihaad told an associate that he “hadn’t been on that job in X amount of years . . . to see . . . what the fresh meal is,” and in 2006, told another associate that he had not “been in the field of making meals” for more than four years. The evidence established that Abu-Jihaad had left the U.S. Navy in 2002.

On March 5, 2008, a federal jury in New Haven found Abu-Jihaad guilty of one count of providing material support of terrorism, and one count disclosing previously classified information relating to the national defense. On March 4, 2009, Judge Kravitz partially granted a defense motion for a judgment of acquittal on the material support of terrorism charge. The charge of disclosing previously classified information relating to the national defense carries a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy commended the substantial efforts and cooperation of the several federal law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”); the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New Haven, Phoenix and Chicago; the United States Attorney’s Offices in Phoenix and Chicago; the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; and the Internal Revenue Service’ Electronic Crimes Program.

Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy also praised the substantial efforts of law enforcement authorities from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter-Terrorism Command within New Scotland Yard, whose efforts and assistance have been essential in the investigation of this matter.

This case is being pursued by a Task Force out of Connecticut consisting of law enforcement officers from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service’s Electronic Crimes Program; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

The case is being prosecuted by a team of federal prosecutors including Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen Reynolds and William Nardini from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, Trial Attorney Alexis Collins from the Counter-Terrorism Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division in Washington and Trial Attorney Rick Green from the Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, with the assistance of Paralegal Specialist David Heath.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Heritage Foundation: North Korea Positions Missile on Launch Pad

The North Koreans are expected to launch a long range ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States some time during the next week. North Korea's actions indicate that America's enemies are working as diligently as ever to advance and test their ballistic missile capabilities. In response, America must continue to develop and enhance our ballistic missile defenses to counter this devastating threat.

The truth is brutal -- a missile launched from North Korea would take 33 minutes or less to hit the U.S.

33 Minutes, produced by The Heritage Foundation, opens our eyes to the reality that, many years after 9/11, Americans still remain vulnerable to a missile attack. Shot in high definition, 33 Minutes features breathtaking and dramatic footage as well as exclusive interviews with world leaders including Lady Margaret Thatcher, Attorney General Edwin Meese and others.
33 Minutes is your go to source to better understand the threats our enemies pose and what we need to do now to protect America. 33 Minutes on WTIC-AM Hartford!

Heads-up Connecticut! Don’t miss Heritage Foundation national security expert Peter Brookes on WTIC in Hartford this Friday, April 3rd, from 9-12 AM. Peter will be discussing 33 Minutes and the latest on missile defense. Be sure to tune in!

33 Minutes in your hometown!

Go to to see a full list of upcoming screenings. Don't see a screening in your hometown? Host your own! Go to for details.

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