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Tag: Taliban

DEA Sting Nets 7 Charged With Supporting Taliban

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A DEA sting resulted in authorities charging a group of people with plotting to move large shipments of drugs and weapons for the Taliban, authorities announced Monday.

In court documents unsealed in New York, authorities charged seven people with conspiring to provide “various forms of support to DEA confidential sources whom they believed to be representatives of the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

The defendants included: Maroun Saade, Walid Nasr, aka “David Nasr,” Francis Sourou Ahissou, aka “Francois,” Corneille Dato, aka “Pablo,” Martin Raouf Bouraima, aka “Raul,” Alwar Pouryan, aka “Allan,” aka “Alberto,” and Oded Orbach, aka “Dedy,” aka “Jesse”.

Authorities said some defendants allegedly agreed to receive, store, and move ton-quantities of Taliban-owned heroin through West Africa, “portions of which they understood would then be sent to the United States.  Some also were willing to move  large quantities of cocaine.

Read more »

Sen. Feinstein Says DEA Needs More Helicopters to Fight Drugs in Afghanistan


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, renewed her call Monday for the State Department to cough up more helicopters for the DEA in Afghanistan.

The public call comes in wake of last week’s major airborne drug raid that netted more than a ton of high-grade heroin in Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan, Feinstein said in a press release.

“This raid netted 2,056 pounds of the highest-grade heroin with a wholesale value of $56 million,” Senator Feinstein said.

“That’s millions of dollars in heroin proceeds that won’t be going to the Taliban. This raid underscores the importance of helicopters to our counternarcotics effort in Afghanistan. Helicopters are critical to getting DEA agents and their Afghan partners to the drug processing facilities that are providing the Taliban with a ready source of cash.

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Feds Charge Hawaiian Man With Lying About Trying to Join Taliban

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds have arrested a Hawaiian man who traveled to Pakistan, hoping to join the Taliban or a similar group, the Associated Press reported.

Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, 21, a U.S. citizen, who was arrested Friday in Honolulu, was charged with making false statements relating to international terrorism, AP reported. The criminal complaint was unsealed Monday in New York.

Authorities say Shehadeh was living on Staten Island in New York in early 2008 when he made a plan to join the Taliban or a similar group in Pakistan.

Shehadeh actually flew from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Islamabad, Pakistan, on June 13, 2008, but was denied entry an returned to the U.S., AP reported. He originally told  FBI agents and New York police detectives that he traveled to Pakistan to visit an Islamic university and attend a friend’s wedding, but later confessed to his true purpose.

He also allegedly tried to recruit others, authorities allege, according to AP.

Leader of Pakistan Taliban Charged in Death of 7 CIA Employees in Afghanistan

afghanistan mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — U.S. officials launched a multi-prong attack against the Pakistan Taliban, placing the group on the international terrorism black list while indicting its leader in the death of seven CIA employees last year on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.

The State Department also announced that it was offering a $5 million reward each for information leading to the capture of two top leaders.

One of those leaders,  Hakimullah Mehsud, the self-proclaimed emir of the Pakistani Taliban, was charged in a criminal complaint announced Wednesday  in Washington in connection with the Dec. 30, 2009 suicide bombing that killed the seven CIA employees.

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Pakistani Linked to Militant Group Says he Helped NY Bomber, Washington Post Reports

pakistan-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Pakistani man linked to a militant group in his country has told authorities he acted as an accomplice to the failed New York car bomber Faisal Shahzad, the Washington Post is reporting.

The Post reported that the man, arrested by Pakistani authorities, has provided an “independent stream” of evidence implicating the Pakistani Taliban. American investigators have had direct access to him, the paper reported.

The news comes one day after authorities raided homes and businesses in three Northeast states, and arrested three people suspected of providing funding to Shahzad. Authorities have said it is unclear whether they knew what Shahzad was up to.

The Post also reported that Pakistani security officials in Islamabad have said they have yet to find concrete evidence to link Shahzad to militant activity in Pakistan, or for that matter, that he trained with the Taliban.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

DEA Expands Role in Fight Against Taliban in Afghanistan

It’s tricky going after the home grown crop that not only supports the Taliban efforts, but also supports the every day farmers. Not everyone in Afghanistan is cheering over the arrival of more DEA agents.

afghanistan
By Josh Meyer
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON – – The U.S. government is dramatically expanding a long-neglected second front in the war in Afghanistan, dispatching Drug Enforcement Administration agents in an effort to decapitate the Taliban-linked drug trafficking networks that are fueling the insurgency and corrupting the Afghan government, current and former counternarcotics officials say.

The move is seen as a recognition that the war in Afghanistan cannot be won with military force alone. Until near the end of its eight years in office, the Bush administration failed to link the drug traffickers in Afghanistan with the rising insurgency, basing its anti-drug campaign primarily on an effort to destroy the vast fields of poppy that produce more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin.

But that campaign has proved politically unpopular with Afghans and some NATO-led U.S. allies operating in the country. It is considered by the new administration to have been an expensive failure that backfired and drove farmers and influential tribesmen into supporting the insurgency.

For Full Story

Extremist Websites Passing on the Word Through U.S. Hosts

The Internet, which has become the wild west, is open to all including many we’d rather not see on there including the Taliban and al Qaeda. It’s a mixed blessing. In one way, authorities can get a better sense of what terrorists are up to. On the other hand, the Internet is a tool to spread the word to the true believers.

the-planet-internet
By Joby Warrick and Candace Rondeaux
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — On March 25, a Taliban Web site claiming to be the voice of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” boasted of a deadly new attack on coalition forces in that country. Four soldiers were killed in an ambush, the site claimed, and the “mujahideen took the weapons and ammunition as booty.”

Most remarkable about the message was how it was delivered. The words were the Taliban’s, but they were flashed around the globe by an American-owned firm located in a leafy corner of downtown Houston.

The Texas company, a Web-hosting outfit called ThePlanet, says it simply rented cyberspace to the group and had no clue about its Taliban connections. For more than a year, the militant group used the site to rally its followers and keep a running tally of suicide bombings, rocket attacks and raids against U.S. and allied troops. The cost of the service: roughly $70 a month, payable by credit card.

The Taliban’s account was pulled last week when a blogger noticed the connection and called attention to it. But the odd pairing of violently anti-American extremists and U.S. technology companies continues elsewhere and appears to be growing. Intelligence officials and private experts cite dozens of instances in which Islamist militants sought out U.S. Internet firms — known for their reliable service and easy terms that allow virtual anonymity — and used them to incite attacks on Americans.

For Full Story

Tangled Tale of How Private Spy Firm Helped the Feds Bust An Afghan Heroin Trafficker and Got Screwed

Well, as the old addage goes, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. In this case, the spy firm, Rosetta Research and Consulting, helped the feds make their case, then got screwed.

Feds Hold Press Conference in 2005 After Arrest of Noorza/dea photo

Feds Hold Press Conference in 2005 After Arrest of Noorza/dea photo

By Richard Leiby
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — After a federal jury in New York swiftly convicted a major Afghan heroin trafficker and Taliban supporter named Haji Bashir Noorzai, the government promptly issued the usual celebratory news release thanking the men and women of the DEA and FBI for their “countless sacrifices” in making the case.
Left out was any credit to the party most responsible for the government’s victory: an unusual three-man private intelligence firm called Rosetta Research and Consulting.
At the instigation of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Rosetta agents lured Noorzai to America and delivered him right into the feds’ hands. He spent 11 days in an Embassy Suites Hotel in Manhattan in 2005, enjoying room service and considering himself a guest of the U.S. government — until he was arrested. He was imprisoned for three years awaiting his trial, which concluded in September. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced in January.
For Full Story