American Companies Support Terrorist Organizations

The U.S. government should establish an office whose sole responsibility it is to monitor terrorist media outlets and see to it that American companies stop doing business with terrorists or be punished to the full extent of the law. . . By monitoring terrorist mass media outlets, and taking swift action against American complicity, we send the right message that terror is not welcome on our shores. . .

Policy Briefing: American Companies Support Terrorist Organizations
By: Avi Jorisch* 21.9.2004
Source: Independent Media Review and Analysis www.imra.org.il
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S)
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
www.intelligence.org.il/eng/var/am_sup.htm

Key Facts

1.American Internet and Media Companies are actively supporting the two biggest threats to the U.S. - Al-Qaeda and Hizbollah.

2.Following the attacks of September 11, 2001 both the executive branch and Congress created some impressive weapons to curb terrorist financing.

Executive Order 13224 empowers the U.S. government to impose financial sanctions against those "that support or otherwise associate" with "specially designated global terrorist" (SDGT). Specifically, the SDGT order, in addition to Congress's USA PATRIOT Act (sections 311 and 319), empowers the Treasury Department to take action against the financial structure of terrorist organizations, blocking their fiscal transactions and targeting the banks that support them.

3.Executive Order 12947 and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1707) prohibit the provision of "financial, material, or technological support" to any SDGT, while U.S. Code makes it illegal to "knowingly provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization" (Title 18, U.S.C. Section 2339B).

Analysis

4.AP's Washington bureau provides services to the Washington Bureau Chief of al-Manar Hizbollah tv, Mohamed Dalbah. AP also provides the satellite link-up necessary to contribute to live broadcasts from al-Manar's Beirut studios.

5.Telestar 5, a California-based company, broadcasts al-Manar's signal to subscribers in North America 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

6.Internet Companies are providing web services and hosting to a number of Al-Qaeda and Hizbollah internet sites.

7.Hizbollah's American supporters include:

a. Alabanza Inc., based in Baltimore, Maryland hosts the following sites:

Hizbollah's weekly newspaper at www. intiqad.com
Hizbollah's radio station at www.al-nour.net
HIzbollah's women's organization at www.alaaleb.org
Hizbollah's Islamic Emdad Charitable Committee at www.alemdad.org
Hizbollah schools at www.maahadalmahdi.org and www.daralislamia.com
Hizbollah's Boy Scouts Organization at www.almahdiscouts.org
Hizbollah's Hospital Organization at www.alrassoul.org

b. DataPipe, based in Hoboken, New Jersey hosts
Hizbollah's television station at www. manartv.com

c. ServePath LLC. Based in San Francisco, California hosts
Hizbollah's Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah's web site at
www.nasrollah.org
Hizbollah's radio station at www.alnour.net
A Hizbollah magazine at www.baqiatollah.org
Hizbollah's Islamic Resistance Support Association at www.moqawama.org
Hizbollah's Development Organization at www.jihadbinaa.org
Hizbollah's Charity Society for those Injured in Lebanon's Wars at
www.aljarha.org
Hizbollah's Deputy Secretary General Naim Kassem's web site at
www.naimkassem.org

d. iPowerweb Inc. based in Santa Monica, California provides web services to another Hassan Nasrallah web site at www.Nasrollah.net

8.Al-Qaeda's American supporters include:

a. Everyone's Internet Inc., a Houston-based company hosts
Message forums used by al-Qaeda supporters, including www.alsaha.com and www.qal3ati.org
Sites that feature Al-Qa'ida's Al-Battar Training Camp magazine and Sawt al-Jihad, al-Qaeda's bi-monthly newsletter at
www.hostinganime.com/neda4/index.htm and
www.hostinganime.com/sout19/bttar.htm

b. Affinity Internet Inc. based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida hosts
A pro-al-Qaeda website that also features among other documents,
al-Qaeda's bi-monthly magazine Sawt al-Jihad at www.neda2-friend.co.uk

c. Verio Inc., based in Englewood, Colorado hosts
www.almjlah.com, a pro al-Qaeda web site

Policy Recommendations

9.The U.S. government should establish an office whose sole responsibility it is to monitor terrorist media outlets and see to it that American companies stop doing business with terrorists or punished to the full extent of the law.

10.By monitoring terrorist mass media outlets, and taking swift action against American complicity, we sent the right message that terror is not welcome on our shores

11.Undoubtedly, much of the web-hosting business will go to companies in Europe and elsewhere around the globe. Many of these countries are allies in the war on terror the U.S. could use diplomatic channels to pressure them to close their businesses to terrorist organizations as well.

12.There will undoubtedly be those who will argue that providing these terrorist organizations with Internet services supports freedom of the press. Nothing could be further from the truth. By providing these services, Internet companies are directly promoting terrorist propaganda in return for cash payments .

13.U.S. media companies regularly refuse to run advertisements they deem unacceptable. They should show the same restraint when doing business in the often shadowy Internet byways and when terrorist funds are involved. It's not just their responsibility, it's the law.

Note: This article reflects the author opinion

* Avi Jorisch is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and author of Beacon of Hatred: Inside al-Manar Hizballah Television, which will be published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in October, 2004



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