War on Terror

9/11 lawsuit against Saudis would open window to Islamic ‘charities’ worldwide

The potential loss of tens of billions of dollars in damages is not what the Saudis fear most, should the Supreme Court allow this lawsuit to move forward. Way down in the Washington Times’ article today about the Obama administration irking 9/11 families by asking the Supreme Court to deny their appeal of a ruling barring a lawsuit against Saudi princes was this gem:

“A Justice Department spokesman said the administration held the meetings to hear from family members and declined to discuss details. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg said that while he sympathized with the families, the State Department is pursuing a broader strategy, using multiple tools to reach beyond U.S. borders and freeze terrorist assets.”

That was a hard pill for one who had bet on hope:

“I find this reprehensible,” said Kristen Breitweiser, a leader of the Sept. 11 families, whose husband was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center. “One would have hoped that the Obama administration would have taken a different stance than the Bush administration, and you wonder what message this sends to victims of terrorism around the world.”

The lawsuit would crack open a window into Islamic “charities” worldwide. Instead, we will continue to turn a blind eye to terror financing. Saturday, the AP reported al Qaeda’s finances are recovering:

“As the Taliban gains power in Afghanistan and Pakistan, its money is coming mostly from extortion, crime and drugs, the AP found in an investigation into the financial network of militants in the region. However, funding for the broader-based al-Qaida appears to be more diverse, including money from new recruits, increasingly large donations from sympathizers and Islamic charities [emphasis added mine], and a cut of profits from honey dealers in Yemen and Pakistan who belong to the same Wahabi sect of Islam.

“In three of the last five years, the No. 1 source of money into Pakistan through this hawala system has been the United States, according to the Pakistani security official. He couldn’t say how much of the money went to terrorists and how much was sent from Pakistanis abroad to their families.”

President Barack Obama said this during his June 4 speech in Cairo:

“Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which we protect it. For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That’s why I’m committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.”

Al Qaeda is banking on that change.

9/11 family member at DOJ meet asked ‘How many people here are in favor of closing Gitmo?’ Two hands went up

WJHG TV, an NBC affiliate in Panama City, Florida reports:

Arias’ brother, Adam, was killed when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed during the September 11th terrorist attacks. Arias was randomly selected to go to Guantanamo Bay this January and witness a competency hearing for accused terrorist Ramzi Binalshibh.

Arias says, “When I was in Gitmo, the defendants looked tanned and relaxed and quite cocky. They proclaimed how proud they were that they had killed almost 3,000 Americans.”

Arias is back from two weeks of meetings with the Military Commissions Prosecution Team in Orlando and the Department of Justice Task Force in the nation’s capital. Arias believes that President Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay is misguided. He says he met many people who agree with him: “An elderly fireman, who retired, who lost his son on 9/11, looked around the table and said, ‘How many people here are in favor of closing Gitmo?’ Two hands went up. ‘How many people here are in favor of keeping Gitmo and the tribunals open?’ Forty hands went up. That man said, ‘Bring that to the president, tell him what 9/11 families really want.'”

He says that under the President’s current orders, a multi-agency task force will review each case in the detention center, with guidance to put as many in federal court as possible. But, he claims this provides terrorists with more rights than they deserve, and he cautions that prosecuting attorneys would have to divulge sensitive information in court just to get a conviction.

“We would actually betray our allies in the field that way. So, that would give insight into the ways, means, methods in which we collect information to thwart terrorist attacks. So, we’re putting human lives in danger by doing that.”

Arias says a justice system that punishes war criminals is vital to winning the War on Terror. He offers an argument against those who say Gitmo can be used against us: “Prior to 9/11, there was no such thing as Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. Al-Qaeda needed no recruitment tool other than hatred to kill 3,000 Americans on 9/11.”

For those family members of the victims of terrorism unable to attend the Department of Justice’s meetings, but still interested in expressing views, the DOJ “welcome[s] written submissions.” Please send your written comments via email (nsd.ovt@usdoj.gov) or fax (202-514-4275) to the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OVT) no later than June 26, 2009. Click here for a few questions to consider when writing them.