Skip to comments.Alleged Terror Threat Operates in DC Suburb
Posted on 07/12/2004 5:52:04 AM PDT by kattracks
(CNSNews.com) - Fourteen miles from the U.S. Capitol, a basement-run organization with alleged ties to Hamas and al Qaeda is a crucial link in the planning of any future terrorist attacks against the United States, according to several terrorism experts who analyzed documents and other information obtained in a CNSNews.com investigation.
The United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), based in Springfield, Va., is publicly identified as a Muslim think tank but has multiple ties to the terrorism underworld, according to the CNSNews.com sources, who are both inside and outside government.
"UASR is a front organization for a terrorist group," said Peter Leitner, president of the Higgins Counterterrorism Research Center. Leitner, who is also a professor at the National Center for Biodefense at George Mason University, said UASR is "part of a shell game of international terrorism - phony organizations that are really terrorist cells [and] part of the international terrorist network."
Since the early 1990s, UASR has conducted business from a townhouse in an office park of condominiums in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Springfield, Va. Late last year, according to sources and documents, the group sold the upper two floors of the townhouse, moved out what one source described as "a lot of boxes" and then located itself in the basement.
The windows are covered with a false brick contact paper that matches the facade of the building blocking the view from the outside. CNSNews.com's investigation found meetings convening at the midnight hour on many occasions. From time to time, day or night, the occupants emerge from the office to make cell phone calls in the parking lot. Government investigators say that is for privacy in the likely event that a government counter-terrorism unit has placed listening devices inside the building.
Government investigators also say the use of pre-paid disposable cell phones make it virtually impossible for them to obtain a wiretap. It all adds up, investigators say, to indications that the group may be taking a more active role in terrorist activities.
UASR, Hamas and al Qaeda
Hamas, which the U.S. government has designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), has claimed responsibility for bombings that have killed scores of civilians throughout Israel, including American citizens. Historically Hamas has limited its deadly acts of terrorism to Israel. But now, according to a senior government terrorism official, who spoke with CNSNews.com on condition of anonymity, Hamas is merging with elements of Osama bin Laden's "all inclusive military arm ... that will carry out military strikes" against the U.S.
Bin Laden's military arm, widely known as al Qaeda, may have philosophical differences with Hamas and other terrorist organizations, but the groups are cooperating tactically in a kind of global holy war, operating under the banner, "International Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders," according to the government official who also warned of more deadly attacks on U.S. soil.
"They have operations planned for here, they have the capabilities to strike at will and when the time is right they will do it," the anonymous source said.
Brian Fairchild, a former CIA operative, told CNSNews.com that "evidence indicates that there is networking between the terrorist organizations."
"At the very minimum, organizations like UASR can act as a political lobby group on American foreign policy," but also further the global terrorist agenda by "recruiting new members, raising funds to support international terrorism and can actually support a terrorist attack in the U.S.," Fairchild said.
The complicated trail of terror
The nexus between international terrorist suspects, terrorism financiers and the UASR runs deep, according to government documents obtained by CNSNews.com .
UASR was incorporated in Illinois in 1989 by Mousa Abu-Marzook. Six years later, the U.S. government asserted that Marzook constituted a threat and included him on its "Specially Designated Terrorist" list. Later, while in U.S. custody, Marzook "expressly acknowledged his position as the leader of the political branch of HAMAS," according to documents filed in 1995 by the U.S. attorney's office in the Southern District of New York.
Also in 1995, during an attempt by the Israeli government to get the U.S. to extradite Marzook back to the Middle East so he could face charges of plotting terrorist attacks in Israel, U.S. District Court Judge Kevin T. Duffy found that "Marzook knew about the terrorist activities and promoted them."
Further documentation, filed this past March by the U.S. attorney's office in Cleveland, alleged a link between UASR and another terrorist.
Mohammad Salah, whom the U.S. also later dubbed a specially designated terrorist, "was employed at UASR when it was still located in Oak Forest, Illinois, in the early 1990s," according to U.S. Attorney Gregory White. Israeli authorities apprehended Salah in 1993, White stated, because they suspected him of being a military operative for Hamas. "[I]n January of 1995, Salah pled guilty in an Israeli military court to belonging to HAMAS and illegally channeling funds to the outlawed HAMAS organization," the documents stated.
A 1993 New York Times article reported that Salah was cooperating with Israeli prosecutors and providing information on Hamas operations in the U.S. The article quoted from Israeli transcripts of their interviews: "Mr. Salah said the political command of Hamas in the United States is at the United Association for Studies and Research, in Springfield, Va. He identified the Hamas leader in the United States as the head of the institute, Ahmed Yousef, a writer whose code name he said was Abu Ahmed."
Yousef is listed on some recent documents as the director of UASR. According to sources familiar with the organization's operations, Yousef is also in charge of day-to-day activities at UASR.
Salah's laptop computer also allegedly contained the information necessary for Israeli and American investigators to form a financial link and other operational connections between al Qaeda and Hamas, according to government documents filed in August of 2003 by the U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District of Virginia.
The computer included contact information for Yousef Nada and Ghaleb Himmat, both of whom the U.S. State Department had included on its list of specially designated global terrorists in November of 2001 for their roles with the Al Taqwa Bank. Because the Al Taqwa group had "long acted as financial advisors to al Qaeda," according to the U.S. Treasury Department and Salah had the names of the two operatives on his laptop, investigators believe there is a distinctive link between al Qaeda, Hamas and UASR.
Marzook, UASR's founder, is also allegedly tied to al Qaeda.
The Wall Street Journal reported in June of this year that Marzook "was a major investor" in a New Jersey corporation called BMI Inc. Documents filed in August 2003 by the U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District of Virginia addressed an alleged money laundering/global terrorism operation being conducted by BMI.
"[A] BMI accountant contacted an FBI Agent and stated that 'funds the accountant was transferring overseas on behalf of the company may have been used to finance the embassy bombings in Africa,'" the documents stated, a reference to the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 220 people. If investigators are correct, that would link the founder of UASR, Marzook, to a major al Qaeda attack against the U.S.
According to documents filed with the State of Virginia Corporation Commission, UASR's board of directors also includes Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was indicted last October for alleged illegal dealings with Libya.
Court documents filed in Virginia and obtained by CNSNews.com indicate that a government investigation of Alamoudi has uncovered evidence linking him to al Qaeda through a non-profit called the Taibah International Aid Association (TIAA), based in Falls Church, Va.
"According to TIAA's 2000 IRS Form 990, Abdurahman Alamoudi is the Vice President of TIAA," the court documents stated. TIAA, founded in 1991, also "lists Abdullah A. bin Laden, as founding officer." He is the nephew of Osama bin Laden, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
The court documents filed by the U.S. attorney's office in Virginia stated that Mohammed El-Nagmy, an employee of TIAA and its sister organization Taibah in Sarajevo, Bosnia, served simultaneously as the Bosnian representative for the Global Relief Foundation (GRF).
GRF is also on the State Department's list of specially designated global terrorist groups.
"GRF ... personnel had multiple contacts with Wadih El-Hage, UBL's [Osama bin Laden] personal secretary when UBL was in Sudan," according to the U.S. Treasury Department. El-Hage was convicted in May 2001 for his role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.
The convoluted trails of personal associates and organizations add layers of deniability for key individuals involved in terrorist planning, Leitner told CNSNews.com , and make tracking the flow of money and assistance difficult for investigators.
"When you have compartmented organizations where audit trails are to be intentionally broken as part of their normal operations, you can't follow individuals, you have to look at the organizational structure," Leitner said.
Marzook, now believed to be in Syria, could not be reached for comment. Neither Yousef nor anyone else at the UASR office in Springfield, Va., would speak with CNSNews.com in person or return repeated phone calls seeking an interview.
E-mail a news tip to Scott Wheeler.
Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.
I am stunned at the amount of terrorists and traitors that are tolerated in the DC area.
They are thick in Northern Virginia.... another 'Muslim charity' is headquartered in Herndon, in the office next to my dentist! Many followers of Allah in Falls Church too.
DSS has an extensive training facility there also.......
I live in the Kingstown area (just moved 4 months ago) and I can't believe what is tolerated here. Just last month the FBI raided an organization fronting for terrorists in Fairfax and about 2-3 months ago a spy was arrested in a suburb in Maryland. If these people lived in in a city like Houston, Indianapolis, or St. Louis, they would have been arrested on the spot.
Thanks for the ping. This is NOT good news.
Two of the group who helped the "pilots" on 9/11 flights get driver's licenses were living in the same building, down the hall from a friend of mine. I noticed that there was something going on but didn't know "what". She never even noticed them. Talk about blinders on.
I'm again watching that same apartment, that mysteriously had a fire after they vacated it. A fire? To destroy what? The odor of explosives? Anthrax? What?
I think the FBI didn't do a thorough lab search of that apartment, thinking they were only involved in the driver's license part. I keep wondering if they also had something to do with the Anthrax letters that hit Capitol Hill following 9/11. Why else would the apartment suddenly have a fire in it?
I don't think it's any coicidence that Middle Easterners are again living in that apartment and that I saw them carrying in boxes last week. Packing to move before "something happens"?
I know - too many suspiscions. I think it's time to call the FBI but they're only good after the fact, not before something happens.
"They are thick in Northern Virginia.... another 'Muslim charity' is headquartered in Herndon, in the office next to my dentist! Many followers of Allah in Falls Church too."
This bespeaks a very well-organized and well-funded movement bent on destroying the American republic. For too long we have turned a blind eye to this cancer in our midst. And we do so at our peril. It's high time we excised this malignancy once and for all, and let the chips fall where they may. Failure to act now seals our fate, and it's a fate that should terrify all non-mohammedans and all moderate mohammedans, as well (if there really is such a thing; and I hope for their sake there is). The time for action is here, folks. We can't delay any longer.
"If we have any kind of incident that takes one American life in fly-over Country, it isn't going to be a pretty sight for any Muslim. Sorry, we are not rednecks, just traditional Americans who believe in our Country and our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Ya beat me to it...
If this group is KNOWN to be connected to terror groups, then why are they still in business ..??
Is the FBI monitoring them and getting good info .. and therefore won't shut them down YET ..??
Trojan Horse bump
> I think it's time to call the FBI
Just a simple question:
If this is even remotly true then why in the hell doesnt the government round these thugs up and ship them off to an internment camp somewhere until the facts can be sorted out?
I guess our government will wait until a lot of people are killed before anything is done.
Un PC to do anything proactive I guess.
Hmmm. Perhaps due to the history of this particular apartment and the fact there are more MI types living there, the FBI would sit up and take notice...?
See my 11.
What do YOU think?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.