Skip to comments.Federal agents raid local Islamic relief group
Posted on 10/14/2004 6:03:13 AM PDT by Augie
Federal agents seized cars, scores of boxes and more than a dozen computers in what appeared to be a well-planned raid on the Islamic American Relief Agency near Providence and Broadway that began Wednesday afternoon and ended roughly six hours later.
No arrests were made.
FBI Special Agent Jeff Lanza said the raid was part of a long-running, ongoing investigation of the Islamic American Relief Agency. The U.S. Department of Treasury said in a release Wednesday that the name Islamic American Relief Agency is one of the names used by some of the 40 organizations worldwide with links to the Islamic African Relief Agency, which is alleged to have links to Osama bin Laden, Al Qaida and the Taliban. The Treasury Department blocked all accounts, funds and assets of the Islamic African Relief Agency and its affiliates in the United States on Wednesday.
The Treasury Department alleged that the overseas branches of the Islamic African Relief Agency provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bin Laden in 1999. Treasury also believes that as early as 2003, the group was responsible for moving money to the Palestinian territories to support terrorist activities and served as a conduit to Hamas in one Western European country.
FBI, IRS criminal investigative division and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents along with state and local police and highway patrol surrounded the organizations office in a small, nondescript brick building at 201 E. Cherry about 2:30 p.m. At least two vans were searched and towed from the scene while the nearly 30 agents worked inside the building, removing filing cabinets, binders, PCs, a fax machine and sealed paper bags and boxes. One box was marked posters of Iraq in black marker.
The documents were seized under a warrant obtained by the FBI and other federal, state, and local agencies under the authority of the Office of Foreign Asset Control.
The warrant is being executed pursuant to an ongoing federal investigation, Lanza said. Its a federal criminal investigation and the affidavit in support of the warrant is sealed. Lanza would not say what agents were seeking but would only emphasize the warrant authorized a search, not arrests.
FBI agents were also searching a Columbia home, Lanza said. He wouldnt elaborate.
Attempts to reach any of the individuals listed as directors on the agencys 2002 tax form were unsuccessful.
Lorenzo Vidino of the Washington, D.C.-based The Investigative Project, a counter-terrorism research agency, said the Islamic American Relief Agency has been used by the Sudanese government to spread radical Islam, and still is. The agency also has provided employment and financial support to Somali fundamentalists, he said.
Vidino said members of the agencys board are involved with other charities whose assets have been frozen, and some are under investigation themselves.
Weve been watching this charity for a long time, but we never had a smoking gun, said Vidino. I suppose [the government] did.
Agents moved in and out of the building while police officers from various local, state, and inter-state agencies provided security around the scene Wednesday.
Jeff Westbrook, of the Columbia Police Department, said he arrived at the scene around 2 p.m.
Were basically providing security, he said. I dont know whats going on inside.
Officers with the Federal Air Marshals, the U.S. Secret Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Postal Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were also involved. The Mobile Response Unit of the Columbia Police Department and one other large police vehicle were used as temporary operation bases while police cars closed off all entrances, including shutting off access to the Walgreens drive -through pharmacy window.
Lanza would not comment on whether the search was connected to the January request by the Senate Finance Committee to turn over IRS files on the Islamic American Relief Agency.
Ninth District Rep. Kenny Hulshof, who had asked the FBI to divulge any information it had about terrorism cells in Columbia before Sept. 11, 2001, said he was not given advance notice of Wednesdays raid.
"There hasn't been any information exchanged between then and today and that's what's troubling--this was out of the blue," Hulshof said.
Hulshof said he would contact FBI officials today to find out what motivated them to act Wednesday.
Bernell Dorrough, Kate Moser, Jennifer Oladipo, Mike Burden, Robbie Ketcham, Heather Olson, Nadia Afifi and the Associated Press contributed to this report
That was the first article that I've posted. Please be gentle...
Glad to see the HLSD is at work.
I'm no expert. Indeed, I post articles willy-nilly.
"That was the first article that I've posted."
Looks fine to me. Also, it's of interest since I'm down the road in St. Louis and we have a pretty good FReeper contingent there.
With this band of handsome ruffians about, the terrorists probably weren't safe in those parts anyway.
The Columbia ACLU office will file a complaint by noon today...
It was posted on the state board last night. This should get interesting.
Bet on it.
Yeah, they've grown a bit since that picture was taken.
Now they've got guns, cars, girlfriends and hickeys. LOL!
They still like the old tractors though.
"The Columbia ACLU office will file a complaint by noon today..."
I'm surprised to hear it will take that long.
Awwww, heck! Now who's gonna pay for Achmed's bomb-belt???
Why should Kenny Hulshof want to know or be given this information?
I live in Columbia and the place raided is about a block from my husband's office. Hulshof is particularly interested in what the authorities may know because, following 9/11, Columbia, MO was named as one of 5 or 6 places in the US where a cell had been known to be connected to OBL. We are a University town with a very large muslim population and a very active mosque. A student at one of the local colleges had purchased the cell phone that was used to authorize the Kenya embassy bombing. This town is very much aware of the possibility of terrorist support and Husholf is our congressman.
So many of them are operating out in the open because they appear to be "charitable" organization or child care facilities. Donors don't always know who they're givine money to and what it's being used for.
This map is two years old and I haven't been able to get ahold of Steven Emerson as yet.
The Mosque's have metastasized. There are quite a few more that popped up across the United States since this map was published. Scary, isn't it?!
Great post. First post? Give me quality over quantity every time.
All the more reason to withold the info from him.
Great post, Augie!
Thanks. Heard the story on KFRU as I was driving to work this morning. Was surprised to see that it hadn't already been posted.
They'll stand in line at Kinkos with everyone else.
That was a stupid thing to say. Did the Feds need his permission ?
This location is reeaallly close to our Infinite FReep site. With the interest shown currently (and in te future) this gives me the opportunity to invite all of the "locals" to join us in our Troop supporting/counter demonstration against the anti American useful idiots every Saturday morning, 10 to 11 AM across from the Post Offfice on Walnut.
One of these days I'll make it down there to join you. I've seen the pics that have been posted and it looks to be a whole lot of fun.
Keep moving. . .
Just another nuisance.
There's a darn good reason why Congresspeople shouldn't get the first wiff of Intel because they (regardless of party) cannot keep their politically motivated mouths shut. Case in point:
[snip]"The day of the 9/11 attacks, Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, told the Associated Press that intelligence agencies "have an intercept of some information that includes people associated with [Osama] bin Laden who acknowledged a couple of targets were hit." He made similar comments to ABC News and said the information had come from officials at the CIA and FBI. White House officials were more than mildly displeased with the Hatch at the time. [snip]
A Brief History of Classified Leaks by Jim Geraghty for NRO
After Hatch's statement to the MSM, AQ stopped using satphones completely and started using very hard to track runners to communicate.
I don't know your Congressman; however there's plenty who would love to get face time with a camera and damn the consequences.
Very good first article. You have paragraphs and a working link. Cool.
don't know your Congressman; however there's plenty who would love to get face time with a camera and damn the consequences.
Husholf is a good guy. I suspect -- although I don't know, of course -- that his intent was to simply see what he could find out so that he could respond to constituents "I'm in contact with authorities. Information is classified." He has not struck me as a grandstander.
Hulshof must be unaware of the need to know basis. Advance notice for him to thwart the raid and help his muzlimb bloods out. Glad to see the FIBs' being pro-active rather than reactive. I guess I will have to stop calling them the First Bunch of Idiots, now that we have a real President in Office.Bush/Cheney 2004
Hey, I didn't realize it was your pic, before I saw that it was your posting I thought, what a great pic. I was raised on a farm and it was a good way to grow up. Mar
The pic belongs to Augie. It's from his home page. I just thought a proud papa should have his kids with him on his first posted thread.
Absolutely. There's a great deal of material law enforcement should never reveal to the public in the war on terror because revealing it will make winning the war impossible.
Exiling people like kerry, kennedy, klintoon and the rest of the Ratpack would also help our cause. Bush/Cheney 2004
I read the story headline and of course immediately took it to mean that the Feds had raided some local Democrat Party a.k.a. People for the American Way a.k.a. Southern Poverty Law Center a.k.a. Americans for Separation of Church and State if it feels good tax it "exchange center."
Another Islamofascist charity scam down. Too bad these bastards aren't getting the death penalty.
Ping. Did you guys hear about this? (Our Saturday friends?????)
I wonder if any of these people are among our "Saturday friends"....
Also, Dr. Germ was a student, and later a teacher, there (if I remember correctly).
Prolly so ;)
Waves at Prov and all the Friends
Yep, Snowflake and I watched them loading up the van yesterday from the FReep. Pretty interesting!!!
Great post, local news of national interest!
Yep, MU must be proud. For those FReepers not aware of Missouri University's love of the left, on 9/12/01 the management of THE MU OWNED TV STATION prohibited their on- air staff from wearing or showing red, white and blue items including label flag pins. Real Americans. NOT