Chairman Kean, Vice Chairman Hamilton, and members of the Commission, thank you for this opportunity to appear before you and the American people today to discuss the FBI's Counterterrorism mission.
I am honored today to speak to you on behalf of the dedicated men and women of the FBI who are working around the clock and all over the globe to combat terrorism. The FBI remains committed to fighting the threats posed by terrorism. But by no means do we fight this battle alone. I want to take a moment to thank our law enforcement and Intelligence Community partners, both domestic and international, for their invaluable assistance and support.
I also thank this Commission. The FBI appreciates your tremendous efforts to make recommendations that will help the FBI evolve to meet and defeat terrorist threats. We will continue to work closely with you and your staff to provide access to FBI personnel and information, for the purpose of ultimately strengthening the security of our Nation.
To the victims and family members that suffer as a result of the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001--and all acts of terrorism--the FBI has been heartened by your gratitude and mindful of your criticism. Under Director Mueller's leadership, the FBI has not merely begun a process of considered review--it has engaged in an unprecedented transformation. Today, the FBI is better positioned to fulfill its highest priority: "to Protect the United States from Terrorist attack."
The FBI employs a multifaceted approach in order to accomplish its mission. With approximately 28,000 sworn agents and support employees, and jurisdiction to investigate hundreds of crimes, the FBI is ideally positioned to exploit the inherent nexus between crime and terrorism. We have learned that to be of value, intelligence must be collected, exploited, and shared. The FBI's ability to deploy any required resources--at a moment's notice--to locations around the world in order to assist in the collection of intelligence and recovery of evidence has proven invaluable in providing us with an understanding of the tradecraft of terrorism.
Since September 11, 2001, the FBI and our partners have made huge strides towards creating an environment where information is exploited and shared at the federal, state, local and international levels. We have upgraded our computer systems. We have significantly expanded our Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), and have hired additional language experts.
Since September 11th, the FBI has investigated more than 4,000 threats to the U.S. and the number of active FBI investigations into potential terrorist activity has quadrupled. Working with our partners, we have also disrupted terrorist activities on multiple occasions inside the U.S., primarily terrorist financing operations.
In order to achieve success in this war on terror, we have transformed the FBI's Counterterrorism Division and program from one that was primarily reactive to one that is more collaborative and proactive; we have transformed the Intelligence Program and Integrated Criminal and Intelligence Operations; we have improved information sharing with other federal agencies and state and local governments; and enhanced our operational capabilities within FBIHQ and all local Field Offices. I will outline the details of these efforts for you today.
Cultural and Organizational Transformation:
• We created the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force (FTTTF) to keep foreign terrorists and their supporters out of the U.S.
• We established the National Joint Terrorism Task Force (NJTTF) to act as a liaison and conduit for information from FBI Headquarters to the JTTFs and to 38 participating agencies.
• We established Flying Squads, highly mobile response teams with specialized expertise in counterterrorism, languages, and analysis.
• We established the Counterterrorism Watch Unit, a 24-hour central clearinghouse for terrorist threats and intelligence.
• We established the Communications Exploitation Section, which analyzes and exploits the methods of communication by terrorists.
• We established the Document Exploitation Unit, which identifies and disseminates intelligence gleaned from millions of pages of documents or computers seized overseas.
• We established the interagency Terrorist Financing Operations Section (TFOS). The TFOS is devoted entirely to the financial aspects of terrorism investigations and liaison with the financial services industry. Since September 11, 2001, the FBI has frozen millions of dollars in financial assets of organizations that support terrorism.
• We crafted and promulgated to all FBI Field Offices the Model Counterterrorism Investigative Strategy, which is the blueprint for conducting intelligence driven and intelligence focused investigations. All FBI International Terrorism investigations now follow this prescribed approach.
Transformation of the Intelligence Program and Integrated Criminal and Intelligence Operations:
• Investigations of international terrorism are by definition both "intelligence" and "criminal" investigations. They are intelligence investigations because their objective is "the detection and countering of international terrorist activities," and they employ the authorities and investigative tools that are reserved for the intelligence mission of protecting the U.S. against attack or other harm by foreign entities. They are criminal investigations since international terrorism against the U.S. constitutes a violation of the federal criminal code.
• Before September 11, 2001, due to limitations of the legal "wall", intelligence agents and criminal investigators working on a terrorist target had to proceed without knowing what the other may have been doing about the same target. In short, we were fighting international terrorism with one arm tied behind our back. The USA PATRIOT Act, coupled with the FISA Court of Review decision and ensuing Attorney General Guidelines, eliminated this "wall" and has enabled unprecedented information sharing, not only within the FBI, but with all our partners.
• Recognizing that the key to preventing terrorist attacks is the development of a robust intelligence base, we have placed tremendous emphasis on building a strong intelligence capability, which you will hear more about this afternoon.
Improvements in Information Sharing:
• We formed the NJTTF, and expanded the number of JTTFs from 35, prior to September 11, 2001, to 84 today, with over 4,200 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers. The JTTFs partner FBI personnel with investigators from federal, state, and local agencies across the country and are critical force multipliers in our fight against terrorism. It is these police officers across the U.S. who are on the front lines in this fight and to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude for their tireless efforts.
• We disseminated thousands of Information Intelligence Reports to the Intelligence Community, and state and local law enforcement where permissible
• We established the FBI Intelligence Bulletin, which is disseminated weekly to more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies and to 60 federal agencies. Many bulletins are joint publications with the Department of Homeland Security.
Enhancement of Operational Capabilities within FBIHQ and the Field Offices:
• We shifted 480 Special Agents to counterterrorism investigations. Thanks to bipartisan congressional support, the FBI's Counterterrorism Program has experienced a 99 percent increase in total personnel and a 101 percent increase in total funding since September 11, 2001.
• We centralized Program Management, which ensures accountability for the national terrorism program and for investigations that require national-level management. This change reflects the reality that counterterrorism investigations have national and international dimensions that transcend field office territorial borders and require centralized direction and coordination.
With the help of the Intelligence Community and our state and local law enforcement partners, the FBI has identified and dismantled terrorist cells and individuals across the country, including in Buffalo, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Tampa, Newark, New York and Minneapolis. I have previously provided other classified examples of some of our intelligence successes to the Commission in closed session.
Mr. Chairman, it is important to note that we attribute our successes to our close coordination and information sharing with other members of the Intelligence Community, with our overseas partners, and with the essential force multipliers--the state and local law enforcement officials who participate on our Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), who have and will continue to play a central role in our collective mission to prevent terrorism.
The initiatives that I have discussed today are just a few of the FBI's many innovative measures taken to transform the way we do business. Continued enhancement of our intelligence capabilities will ensure that the FBI is able to fulfill its criminal and intelligence responsibilities, and, moreover, its mission of terrorism prevention.
The nation calls upon the FBI to protect its citizens. We at the FBI will always answer that call. We remain committed to accomplishing our mission.
Additional Background Material for the
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States
April 14, 2004
Since September 11, 2001, the FBI's Counterterrorism program has made rapid, comprehensive changes in order to meet its primary mission of detecting, disrupting and defeating terrorist operations before they occur. This document summarizes many of our new initiatives and improvements.
Improved Information Sharing and Operational Coordination
Since September 11, 2001, the FBI has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve information sharing and coordination with our national and international partners. We began by quickly increasing the number of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) across the country, bringing the number up from 35 to 84 nationwide. The JTTFs partner FBI personnel with hundreds of investigators from various Federal, State, and local agencies and are important force multipliers in the fight against terrorism.
We also established a National Joint Terrorism Task Force (NJTTF) at FBI Headquarters, staffed by representatives from 38 Federal, State, and local agencies. The NJTTF liaisons with the local JTTFs and other participating agencies and acts as a conduit for information on terrorists threats and leads. The mission of the NJTTF is to enhance communication, coordination, and cooperation by acting as the "hub" of support for the JTTFs throughout the United States, providing a point of fusion for terrorism intelligence to support its operations. In order to fulfill this mission, the NJTTF has coordinated efforts to establish the FBI's Law Enforcement Online (LEO) virtual private network as the primary Internet-based information sharing platform for all law enforcement agencies in the United States. LEO operates in a "law enforcement sensitive" environment, enabling any law enforcement agency with a LEO account and an Internet connection to share terrorism information with JTTFs. The NJTTF is also working with LEO and the FBI's Office of Law Enforcement Coordination on the FBI Electronic National Alert System, which instantly notifies law enforcement of incidents that need immediate attention. This system was implemented in October 2003 and distributes instant messages directly to LEO accounts and the personal electronic device (e.g. pagers, personal digital assistants, cell phones, etc.) of participating law enforcement officers.
In February 2002, the FBI disseminated the first FBI Intelligence Bulletin. Since then, more than 120 bulletins have gone out to more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies and 60 U.S. Government agencies and their subcomponents, as well as government agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The FBI Intelligence Bulletin is disseminated every Wednesday – with additional Special Edition Bulletins issued as circumstances warrant – through four mechanisms: LEO, the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS), the National Threat Warning System teletype, and the Regional Information Sharing System (RISS).
In May 2003, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, the State Department, and the Department of Defense formed the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) to assess terrorism related intelligence collected domestically and abroad to form the most comprehensive possible threat picture. This summer, the TTIC, along with a portion of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division and the Director of Central Intelligence's Counterterrorist Center, will be co-located in a single new facility.
On December 1, 2003, the FBI, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security and State and members of the Intelligence Community, stood up the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC). The mission of the TSC is to use information derived from the U.S. Intelligence Community and law enforcement agencies to identify known or suspected terrorists who are pulled over during routine traffic stops, who are screened while attempting to enter the U.S., or who apply for a VISA overseas. The TSC will consolidate unclassified identifiers from U.S. Government terrorist databases and provide 24/7 operational support for thousands of Federal, state, and local screeners across the country and around the world. The TSC will ensure that government investigators, screeners, and agents are working off the same unified, comprehensive set of anti-terrorist information, and that they have access to information and expertise that will allow them to act quickly when a suspected terrorist is screened or stopped. In its first two-and-a-half months of operation, the TSC received 1,848 calls from state, federal, and local law enforcement personnel, based on potential matches with known terrorists. This resulted in 740 positive identifications, some of whom have been apprehended and some of whom have been developed into informants or subjected to surveillance. On March 11, 2004, the TSC began using the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB). TSDB is the result of TSC's efforts to consolidate the disparate information currently held by multiple agencies and used in different ways into one unclassified law enforcement sensitive database that contains identifying information of known or suspected terrorists. The TSDB serves a single purpose – to help identify and detain potential terrorists in order to prevent future terrorist attacks.
On December 3, 2003, the FBI created a new Office of Law Enforcement Coordination (OLEC) to enhance the ability of the FBI to enhance cooperation and substantive relationships with all of our State and local law enforcement counterparts. The OLEC, which is run by a former Chief of Police, also has liaison responsibilities with the White House Homeland Security Council.
In addition, the FBI has moved to enhance the capabilities of its international Legal Attaché (Legat) offices. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, and throughout the following year, FBI Legats facilitated the rapid deployment of approximately 700 FBI personnel overseas. Last year, FBI Legats handled approximately 53,000 leads. The FBI's Legat program currently consists of 46 offices around the world, and new offices have been opened or are projected to open in the following locations: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Sanaa, Yemen; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Tunis, Tunisia. In addition, the establishment of three sub-offices of existing Legats in Bonn, Germany (Legat Berlin); Milan, Italy (Legat Rome); and Toronto, Canada (Legat Ottawa) is being reviewed. The Legats in Amman, Islamabad, Manila, Ottawa, Riyadh, and Cairo are being augmented with additional personnel.
Improved Analytical and Intelligence Capabilities
In October 2001, the FBI established a College of Analytical Studies (CAS) in order to provide training for all FBI analytical support personnel. The curriculum was developed with the recommendations and participation of the CIA, the Joint Military Intelligence College, and private educational institutions. The training consists of basic and advanced courses at Quantico, as well as CIA courses for FBI field personnel. Last year, more than 900 analysts completed the six-week training course. This training and stepped-up recruitment efforts have allowed us to dramatically increase the number of analysts dedicated to counterterrorism, from 218 in FY 2001 to 461 last year. Our FY 2004 appropriation is for 872.
By February 2002, the FBI had established an Intelligence Program and stood up the Office of Intelligence (OI), led by an Executive Assistant Director (EAD) for Intelligence. The OI is staffed by FBI and CIA analysts who examine intelligence and ensure it is shared within the FBI, among JTTFs, and with TTIC and the rest of the U.S. Intelligence Community. In addition, the OI designs and manages a high-level daily intelligence product for the Director and other key FBI executives. This product helps prepare the Director for his daily briefings to the President and the Attorney General. In the period from October 2002 to September 2003, the FBI produced 2,425 Intelligence Reports.
The FBI has always operated as both a law enforcement and an intelligence agency. It has a dual mission to investigate and arrest the perpetrators of completed crimes (our "law enforcement mission") and to collect intelligence that will help prevent future crimes and assist policy makers in their decision making (our "intelligence mission"). History has shown that we are most effective in protecting the U.S. when we perform these two missions in tandem.
Revised Training Curriculum for New Agents
The FBI has expanded the integration of counterterrorism and counterintelligence training into every facet of New Agents training. Since September 11, 2001, an additional 32 hours of counterterrorism and counterintelligence training have been added to the curriculum, for a total of 55 hours. Last year, a number of additional in-service courses were offered, including: Basic International Terrorism Operations, Basic Analyst School, Advanced Analytical courses, and Counterterrorism Management for field supervisors. In addition, all FBI field offices provide eight hours of counterterrorism awareness training.
Enhanced Language Translation Capability
The FBI's approximately 1,200 translators are stationed across 52 field offices and Headquarters, and are now connected via secure networks that allow a translator in one FBI office to work on projects for any other office. Since the beginning of FY 2001, we have recruited and processed more than 30,000 translator applicants. These efforts have resulted in the addition of nearly 700 new linguists with a "Top Secret" security clearance.
In addition, shortly after September 11, 2001, we formed a Language Services Translation Center to act as a "command and control" center to coordinate translator assignments and ensure our capacity to render immediate translation assistance. On February 11, 2003, in accordance with the USA PATRIOT Act, the Director of the CIA established the National Virtual Translation Center (NVTC) and designated the FBI as its Executive Agent. Like the Language Services Translation Center, this Center acts at a clearinghouse to provide timely translations for Intelligence community Agencies.
Increased Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Collection
FISA coverage has increased significantly since September 11, 2001, reflecting both our increased focus on counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations and improvement in the operation of the FISA process. From 2001 to 2003 the number of FISA applications filed annually with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court increased by 85 percent. The FISA Court's granting of such FISAs has helped us investigate terrorist networks and operations and disrupt terrorist plots. In addition, the USA PATRIOT Act made a number of important changes to FISA procedures that have assisted our counterterrorism efforts. The most important of these was the dismantling of many of the walls between criminal and intelligence operations. This provision has given us the ability to coordinate our intelligence and criminal investigations and to use the full range of investigative tools against a suspected terrorist.
For example, on the intelligence side of an investigation, we can conduct surveillance on the suspected terrorist to learn about his movements and identify possible confederates, we can obtain FISA authority to monitor his conversations, and/or we can approach and attempt to cultivate him as a source or an operational asset. On the criminal side, we now have the option of incapacitating him through arrest, detention, and prosecution. Lowering the wall allows us to continuously balance the opportunity to develop intelligence against the need to apprehend the suspect and prevent him from carrying out his terrorist plans. This integrated approach has guided our operations, and it has successfully foiled terrorist plots from Seattle, Washington, to Detroit, Michigan, to Lackawanna, New York.
Specialized New Counterterrorism Units
On September 11, 2001, we established the Counterterrorism (CT) Watch Unit (then called the "Executive Watch"), as the FBI's 24-hour central clearinghouse for terrorist threats and actionable intelligence. As the FBI's "Threat Central," CT Watch is the focal point for the receipt, preliminary analysis, and immediate assignment for action on all terrorism threats. It ensures that all FBI Field Offices and Legal Attachés, all relevant government leaders and agencies, all JTTFs, and all state and local law enforcement agencies receive timely notification of terrorist threats. CT Watch is also responsible for producing several daily publications, including:
• The Director's Daily Briefing Book (DDBB), which contains a daily update on all significant threat information and updates on current terrorism investigations.
• The FBI Daily Counterterrorism Update (DCTU), which contains a summary of significant ongoing or very recent incidents that may be terrorism related.
• The Daily Intelligence Summary (DIS), which contains a daily update of significant intelligence collected concerning terrorist operations.
We also established the interagency Terrorist Financing Operations Section (TFOS), which is devoted entirely to the financial aspects of terrorism investigations. TFOS has focused on information sharing and the abilities of the JTTFs and Criminal Investigative units in the field to identify, predict and prevent future criminal enterprises. In cooperation with the financial services industry, we have frozen more than $172 million in financial assets from organizations that support terrorism.
In early 2002, we created "Flying Squads" to provide rapid, highly mobile support in terrorism investigations around the globe. These teams have expertise in counterterrorism, FISA requirements, foreign languages, and intelligence analysis, as well as specialized knowledge of al Qaeda and familiarity with the U.S. Intelligence Community.
In December 2002, we established the Communications Exploitation Section, which analyzes terrorist electronic and telephone communications and identifies terrorist associations and networks. The following month, we established the Document Exploitation Unit, which identifies and disseminates intelligence gleaned from millions of pages of documents or computers seized overseas by intelligence agencies.
Restructured Existing Operational Units
In addition to establishing new Counterterrorism Sections and Units, we have also restructured our existing operational units to provide new or improved capabilities to address the terrorist threat. A short summary of the functions and activities of the Counterterrorism Division's other operational units is provided below.
The Investigative Operations Branch supports, coordinates, and manages terrorism-related investigations. It is comprised of four sections.
The International Terrorism Operations Section I (ITOS I) supports, coordinates, and provides oversight of FBI international counterterrorism operations related to al Qaeda and other Sunni extremist groups.
The International Terrorism Operations Section II (ITOS II) supports, coordinates, and provides oversight of FBI international counterterrorism operations related to other groups, such as Hizballah, HAMAS, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as the terrorist threat from state sponsors of terrorism.
The Domestic Terrorism Operations Section (DTOS) supports, coordinates, and provides oversight of FBI domestic counterterrorism operations, including animal rights extremists and eco-terrorists. In addition, DTOS's Special Events Unit plays a major role in planning, coordinating, and managing support to field offices charged with counterterrorism responsibilities for special events such as the Super Bowl, the Olympic Games, and the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
The Terrorism Reports and Requirements Section (TRRS) oversees the dissemination of raw intelligence reports and executes policies and procedures established by the Office of Intelligence. Since its inception in 2002, TRRS has disseminated more than 2,800 intelligence information reports to members of the Intelligence, Policy, and Law Enforcement Communities. When possible, these reports have been produced at the unclassified level in to order to allow rapid sharing information sharing with state and local security entities.
In addition to CT Watch (see above), the National Threat Center Section (NTCS) administers four other units relating to threat management.
The Threat Monitoring Unit (TMU) supports the FBI's operational role in defending the United States from the threat of terrorism by receiving, assessing, and disseminating threat information and suspicious activity in conjunction with FBIHQ, FBI Field Offices, Legal Attachés, and the Intelligence Community. Each month, the TMU processes approximately 1,000 threat and suspicious activity referrals from various federal, state and local governmental and law enforcement agencies, ensuring that the appropriate FBI units, JTTFs, and other government agencies are expeditiously apprized of the threat information. In addition, more than 2,700 significant threat and suspicious activity reports have been recorded into a searchable TMU threats database.
The Public Access Center Unit (PACU) provides the public with safe, reliable, and effective avenues to report information regarding terrorist and other criminal activity to the FBI via the Internet and a toll-free telephone hotline. The unit also analyzes and processes this information for FBI investigative and intelligence purposes, and for dissemination to appropriate Federal, state, local, and international agencies. The PACU receives and disseminates approximately 100 threat leads per month. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are entering into a 120-day pilot program which will route all DHS Web site Tip information to the FBI Tip Web site for processing by the PACU. The unit will then provide DHS with the ability to view and track the work flow of these tips in real-time and receive immediate notification when any action leads are sent to the field.
The Terrorist Watch and Warning Unit (TWWU) provides current terrorist-related intelligence information and analysis to a broad spectrum of users through the FBI Intelligence Bulletin (see above). In addition, the TWWU produces Special Event Threat Assessments that provide localized strategic threat analysis to field offices and local law enforcement agencies hosting large-scale special events such as the Super Bowl, New Year's Eve festivities and the President's State of the Union Address. The TWWU has disseminated over 140 Special Event Threat Assessments and updates. The TWWU is also responsible for the FBI's Terrorist Watch List (TWL), which is available to nationwide law enforcement through the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC). The TWL contains names of current subjects of FBI counterterrorism investigations.
The Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC) is primarily an administrative unit which supports the flow of information among the various FBI units and among the FBI and outside agencies. Information concerning significant incidents and case updates is communicated to SIOC via telephone, e-mail and fax and is immediately routed to the appropriate outside agencies, FBIHQ Units, FBI field offices and/or Legats by the SIOC staff. SIOC also disseminates National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS) messages to government agencies throughout the U. S., and publishes the "SIOC Morning Report," a daily summary of pertinent intelligence articles from the FBI and the intelligence community, which is distributed to FBI Field Offices and to JTTF members across the country.
The Counterterrorism Operational Response Section lends critical support in three areas. It supports the NTTJ; it coordinates deployment of the Headquarters-based Flying Squads and the field office-based Rapid Deployment Teams; and it conducts liaison with the Department of Defense (DOD) and manages FBI personnel working with the military in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Afghanistan.
The Counterterrorism Analysis Branch oversees the bulk of the Counterterrorism Division's intelligence functions, including analysis, evidence exploitation, and the preparation and dissemination of finished intelligence products and briefing materials. Today, the Counterterrorism Analysis Branch operates with the guidance and oversight of the FBI's Office of Intelligence and is a vital part of the FBI's enterprise-wide intelligence program. It is comprised of two sections.
The Counterterrorism Analysis Section includes five units whose areas of focus mirror those of the units in the Investigative Operations Section. In support of the FBI's counterterrorism operations, these units examine the composition, activities, tradecraft, ideology, and linkages of terrorist groups, and they assess terrorist activities and threats to assist FBI managers in making decisions about deployments and the allocation of resources.
The Communications Exploitation Section processes information and disseminates information derived from the full range of media. It is an integral participant in the National Document Exploitation Center process.
Of course, the most important aspect of all of these changes and reorganizations is the degree to which they have aided the FBI in disrupting and destroying terrorist threats. Following are a few of the FBI's success stories.
The Lackawanna Six
On September 13, 2002, the FBI arrested five U.S. citizens near Buffalo, New York (Sahim Alwan, Faysal Galab, Yahya Goba, Shafal Mosed, and Yasein Taher), charging them with "providing, attempting to provide, and conspiring to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization." In addition, Mukhtar Albakri, also a U.S. citizen, was rendered from Bahrain to the United States pursuant to an arrest warrant on the same charges. All six individuals were indicted on these charges on October 21, 2002. The arrests and indictments were based on information indicating that these individuals traveled to an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in the spring/summer of 2001, where they received military training and were visited by Usama Bin Laden. All six subjects pled guilty to terrorist related charges and received prison sentences ranging between seven and ten years. These subjects are also cooperating with ongoing terrorist investigations and have provided significant and corroborated reporting.
Benevolence International Foundation
On October 9, 2002, Enaam Arnaout, also known as Samir Motaleb, was indicted on federal charges for activities he undertook as Executive Director of the Chicago-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Benevolence International Foundation (BIF). Arnaout was charged with racketeering, material support to a designated foreign terrorist, money laundering; mail fraud, and wire fraud. Aranout and his BIF organization are believed to have provided facilitation, procurement, and financial support to Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
On October 3, 2002, six individuals were indicted on federal charges in the District of Oregon. The six (Ahmed Bilal, his brother, Mohammad Bilal, Habes Al-Saoub, Patrice Ford, Jeffrey Battle, and October Lewis) were charged with conspiracy to levy war against the united states, conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a terrorist organization, conspiracy to contribute services to al Qaeda and the Taliban, and possessing firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence. The following day, Battle, Ford, and Lewis were arrested in Portland and Muhammad Bilal was arrested in Detroit. Several days later, Ahmed Bilal was apprehended in Malaysia and returned to the United States. With the exception of Al-Saoub, these subjects have pled guilty to terrorism related and money laundering charges and have received federal sentences ranging from three to eighteen years. The only subject who has not been brought to justice, Al-Saoub, is believed to have been killed in Pakistan, by Pakistani military authorities.
Earnest James Ujamma
On July 22, 2002, Earnest James Ujamma, aka Bilal Ahmed, was arrested on a material witness warrant. Ahmed is suspected of being involved in a terrorist training facility in Bly, Oregon and providing other material support to terrorism. He was indicted on August 28, 2002, of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a terrorist organization and possessing firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence. Bilal Ahmed is an American-born Muslim convert who has worked for and provided services to Abu Hamza al-Masri. These services included taking computers to the Taliban prior to U.S. action in Afghanistan, as well as introducing a current Guantanamo Bay detainee to individuals at al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, enabling their matriculation into a terror training camp. Ahmed was under investigation based on information that he (on behalf of the Egyptian-born Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Masri of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London) provided material support to terrorism by attempting to establish a training camp in southern Oregon, pursuant to Hamza's jihad recruiting program, and served as Hamza's representative for the delivery of cash, computer hardware and software, and at least one combatant to Taliban and al Qaeda activities inside Afghanistan. Ujamma has pled guilty to terrorism related charges and has received a two year sentence. This investigation coupled with Ujamma's cooperation, has provided a wealth of intelligence which is being pursued aggressively against additional terrorist targets.
Holy Land Foundation
The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) is registered as a nonprofit humanitarian organization that has conducted fund-raising activities in the United States. In December 2001 the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated HLF as a Specially Designated Terrorist (SDT) based on information that HLF provided material support to HAMAS. InfoCom, a computer company and Internet Service Provider closely associated with HLF, is being investigated for providing material support to terrorism and multiple violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act for illegal shipments to state sponsors of terrorism. FBI investigation has determined that InfoCom is facilitating the HLF's fund-raising efforts via their computer support and may be assisting HAMAS via covert communications. As a result of a superceding indictment related to the InfoCom investigation, the Dallas Division arrested four suspects who had been indicted for terrorist related charges. Two additional suspects were also indicted, however, they are in fugitive status and remain at large. The four individuals arrested on these charges are expected to go to trial in the immediate future. It is important to note that one of the fugitives is Mousa Marzook, the Deputy Head of the HAMAS Political Bureau and a Specially Designated Terrorist.
Jewish Defense League
Investigation by the Los Angeles JTTF revealed that Irving Rubin and Earl Krugel were active members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a known violent extremist Jewish Organization. A Cooperating Witness reported statements made by Rubin and Krugel indicating a plan to attack the Islamic Muslim Public Affairs Council (IMPAC) office in Los Angeles or possibly the California office of United States Congressman Darrell Issa. Statements made by Kruger indicated the motivation for the attack was to serve as a "wake up call" to the Muslim Community. Rubin and Krugel were arrested by members of the Los Angeles JTTF for conspiring to build and place an improvised explosive device at the IMPAC office. Irving Rubin committed suicide and Earl Krugel's charges are pending.
Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheik
Daniel Pearl, South Asia Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, was kidnaped in Pakistan on January 23, 2002, and subsequently murdered. The Newark Field Office assumed the investigation due to the fact that the kidnaping was perpetrated via internet email through the Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal's computer server system, which is located in South Brunswick, New Jersey. As a result of exceptional international law enforcement and intelligence community cooperation, Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheik, a British national and Islamic radical, was apprehended in Pakistan in early February 2002. As a result of investigative work into the source of the e-mailed ransom communications, three other Pakistani nationals – Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib, and Sheik Mohamed Adeel – were also apprehended. All four were charged and convicted under Pakistani law for Pearl's abduction and murder. Sheik was sentenced to death by hanging and the other three were sentenced to 25 years in prison.
On February 12 and 13, 2003, Joshua Caleb Sutter and Davis Wayne Hull, Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, were arrested on a range of charges, including teaching or demonstrating the making and use of a destructive device, selling illegal weapons, and corruptly persuading a witness with intent to influence his or her testimony. A search warrant on Hull's property uncovered fifteen firearms and some pipe bomb components. As the less culpable party, Sutter pled guilty to weapons violations and awaits sentencing. Hull was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on May 13, 2003, and his matter is pending trial.
EARTH LIBERATION FRONT
Pursuant to an FBI investigation, John Wade, Adam Blackwell, and Aaron Linas pled guilty to maliciously damaging and destroying vehicles, houses, and other property in the Richmond, Virginia area during the summer and fall of 2002. The incidents were claimed on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), and total damages were estimated at approximately $225,000. On April 12, 2004, Aaron Linas was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison. Wade and Blackwell await sentencing.
We have previously briefed you in closed session on significant successes in the intelligence arena, the details of which remain classified.
Terrorism is a global problem that can be solved only by enhancing our ability to share and act quickly on information provided to and developed by the international intelligence and law enforcement communities. The initiatives detailed in this document represent examples of the many innovative measures being taken to transform the way the FBI conducts its business. Continued enhancement of its intelligence capabilities will ensure that the FBI is able to fulfill its criminal and counterterrorism responsibilities in the face of this most serious threat to the nation.