Anti Terror Bill Aimed At al-Qaeda’s Bank Balances
Vol: 1 Issue: 30 Tuesday, October 30, 2001
Anti Terror Bill Aimed At al-Qaeda’s Bank Balances
The new anti-terrorism bill signed into law last week by President Bush will among other things, tighten controls on banking and financial networks. The government is also expanding its investigation into money laundering rings that were used by the 9/11 terrorists. The plan is to dismantle the financial networks that fund terror networks like al-Qaeda.
A Sword That Cuts Both Ways
But the anti-terror bill aimed at the sword of Islam cuts both ways. Stricter regulations will complicate international banking transactions. It will make it harder for US banks to compete with foreign banks. That ultimately could cut deeply into the US role on the global financial stage. In addition, it could only increase informal financial transactions like hawala — a practice popular in Islamic terror groups.
Banking Laws Won’t Touch Hawala
Hawala is a way of transferring debt between individuals in which a person in one country can go to a hawala dealer who functions as an informal bank, drawing against a promise of payment by a third party somewhere else. Where this works for al Qaeda is this way. Say Mohamed Atta needed X numbers of dollars. He goes to a hawala dealer and provides a special code. The dealer provides the money, supplies the code back to the al-Qaeda banker, and gets paid plus interest. All cash, no paper trail. Like most sweeping legislation, the ones most affected are those most likely to act within existing laws in the first place.
US Muslim Population Greatly Exaggerated, Says Report
If you ask most Muslim lobby groups, they’ll tell you there are nearly seven million Muslims in the United States. But there’s really no way of knowing. By law, the Census can’t ask questions about religion. It’s not even easy to define a Muslim. Do you include Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam? Do you include the Druze? To a traditional Muslim, that would be the same as lumping Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientologists together in the same category as traditional Christianity.
Numbers All Over The Map
In 1990, a demographic survey concluded there were about 1.3 million Muslims in America. In 1998, a Pakistani newspaper reported there were 12 million American Muslims. The Yearbook of Canadian and American Churches counted a half-million American Muslims in its 1996 edition, and almost 3.5 million two years later.
US Islamic lobby groups say there are between 6 and 7 million American Muslims. But the American Religious Identification Survey 2001 put the total American Muslim population at 1.8 million. The University of Chicago conducted its own survey and came up with 1,886,000. These two authoritative sources, neither of whom had an axe to grind and used universally accepted social survey methods came within a hair’s breadth of one another. The rest of the ‘estimates’ cited by Islamic lobbyists are so wildly divergent as to be statistically worthless.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) furiously accused the University of Chicago report of working “to block Muslim political participation.” The American Muslim Council said it was ‘trying to deny the existence of 4.5 million Muslims and said the report tore “at the very heart of America.” Where did the AMC claim it got its tally of 7 million? From US Census figures. News to the Census Bureau.
The Numbers Game And How To Use It
Inflated estimates of how many American Muslims there are gives the Islamic disproportionate political clout. Its a lesson they learned from the US gay rights lobby, who at one time had the government convinced they made up 10% of the population.
The Islamic lobby saw how quickly pro-gay legislation was passed. By the time somebody cut through the fog and determined the true number was less than 2%, it was too late to undo what was done. At ,1.8 million American Muslims represent a fraction of 1% of the total population.
Statistically speaking, 2% of Americans believe they have been abducted by aliens. Nobody invited the Raelians to speak at the National Prayer Meeting.
All Roads Lead To Baghdad in Anthrax Investigation
The administration doesn’t really want to hear it, but investigations into the anthrax attacks increasingly point the finger directly at the Iraqi government. Circumstantial evidence like Mohamed Atta’s meeting with Iraqi intelligence in Prague last summer is one thing. But finding the inclusion of Bentonite during the analysis of the Daschle letter is something else. Bentonite has a wide range of commercial uses; cat litter, for example. What it does is prevent clumping. But the Bentonite in the anthrax letters is produced only in Iraq.
On Sunday, Saddam met his director of military intelligence and senior officials to discuss the U.S.-led war against terrorism. The Iraqi News Agency said Saddam’s meeting was the latest in a series of sessions to ensure Iraqi readiness for any allied attack.
Tariq Aziz told the London Telegraph that the US has already put together a list of 300 targets in advance of an attack. The administration is not ready to move against Baghdad, and would prefer to keep this quiet until it is finished with Afghanistan.
If the Iraqi involvement in the anthrax attacks were acknowledged, the White House fears public outcry will force its hand early.