From: Andrew Johnson
Date: 2006-09-26 19:57:47
Where do the “messages” come from? This seems like an April Fool – except it’s September. I can’t decide if the website this article discusses is real, or whether it is just some weird joke. It’s bizarre. Where do messages from OBL, Zawahri come from?
lookingglassnews.org…, July 01st, 2006 Ever wonder how the government gets access to audio and video tapes from the likes of terrorist masterminds like Ossama Bin Laden or Ayman El Zawahri? Turns out that they pay a couple of third-rate privately owned, US-based counter-terrorist organizations to provide them with a constant stream of terrorist propaganda from popular Islamic evil-doers. The unique access these two groups have to these terrorist ‘releases’ is nothing short of remarkable. It’s almost as if they have an exclusive license to market the world’s most popular foes.[The pace of messages] has increased dramatically this year – with four audiotapes from bin Laden and seven audios and videos by his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.Hours after last Friday’s message appeared, an advertisement on the same Islamic Web site said bin Laden would issue another tape directed to “the Islamic nation in general and the mujahedeen in Iraq and Somalia in particular.” A similar announcement proceeded bin Laden’s message Friday by about 24 hours.The advertisement banner was signed by As-Sahab, the production branch that releases al-Qaida videos, and had an old picture of bin Laden. The teaser was first reported by the SITE Institute and the IntelCenter, two U.S.-based independent groups that provide counter-terrorism information to the U.S. government and media. The IntelCenter said the promised message was expected within 36 hours.How would they know?For the past 13 years, offerings from IntelCenter and its sister company, Tempest Publishing, have been designed to assist professionals in furthering this goal. “Our primary client base is comprised of military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the US and other allied countries around the world…. Our focus as a company is on studying terrorist groups and other threat actors and disseminating that information in a timely manner to those who can act on it. We look at capabilities and intentions, warnings and indicators, operational characteristics and a wide variety of other points in order to better understand how to interdict terrorist operations and reduce the likelihood of future attacks…May we be ever vigilant and never lose our clarity of purpose in this gravest of conflicts.Sincerely, Ben N. Venzke, CEO”For the past 13 years? Where were they on 9/11?Their “products” are not cheap either. According to their “sales catalog”…GOVERNMENT (MILITARY, INTELLIGENCE, FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT) TERRORISM THREAT INTEL PACKAGE US$3,175 per user per year [!!!] This package is designed to enhance your situational awareness of the current terrorism threat environment. Feeds will provide detailed information on incidents around the world, information on new threats and tactics and much more… Information will range from non-sensitive to law enforcement sensitive. Two hours of phone consultation is also included. http://www.intelcenter.com/aboutus.html Restricted Intelligence Products/Services (Government Sales Only) http://intelcenter-store.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/page2.htmlPhone consultation?The US government, which has billions of dollars at its disposal for intelligence operations around the world needs desk help from a private subcontractor that appears to be nothing more than a highly automated one man show that operates two companies from one PO Box and sells over-priced cheesy merchandise on its website?And what about the other group, SITE Institute (“The Search for International Terrorist Entitities”)? What are they about? http://www.siteinstitute.org/mission.htmlThe SITE Institute works regularly with and provides important and often unique information to journalists, law firms pursuing civil litigation, major corporations, law enforcement, U.S. Congress, and numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Treasury Department, Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), the FBI, Customs, and the Department of Justice.What kind of “unique” information? Who are these people?Rita Katz, Director and co-founder of the SITE Institute, has studied, tracked, and analyzed international terrorists and their financial operations for more than six years.Since well before September 11, she has personally briefed government officials, including former terrorism czar Richard Clarke and his staff in the White House, as well as investigators in the Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security on the financing and recruitment networks of the terrorist movement. Many of her leads have prompted the government to investigate and take legal action against individuals and organizations suspected of ties to terrorism.Before founding the SITE Institute in 2002, Ms. Katz served as Research Director of the Investigative Project in Washington, DC. Born in Iraq and a graduate of the Middle Eastern Studies program at Tel Aviv University, Katz speaks both Arabic and Hebrew with native fluency.Ms. Katz is the author of TERRORIST HUNTER: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman who Went Undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America (HarperCollins, 2003). Her commentary on terrorism issues frequently appears in prominent media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, 60 Minutes, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal.Josh Devon, Senior Analyst and co-founder of the SITE Institute, focuses on the research and analysis of the global terrorist network. He has consulted on terrorism-related investigations for several government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the FBI. Mr. Devon has published numerous articles on terrorism, including the extensive use of the Internet by terrorist groups and their followers worldwide. He appears regularly in the media. Mr. Devon has a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently pursuing an advanced degree in International Relations, concentrating in Middle East Studies, at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). That’s it? Two people run SITE and one guy runs IntelCenter? And our government and media are getting all their terrorist intelligence from them? Is this some kind of sick joke?