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A PEEK BEHIND THE HOMELAND SECURITY CURTAIN

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By thisistwitchy  •  January 20, 2005 12:18 AM

For those who may still be laboring under the illusion that we are not at war, I strongly suggest that you visit Cryptome.org’s Homeland Security Operations Morning Brief page before it gets taken down. The proprietor, John Young, was leaked sensitive but unclassified homeland security briefs and posted five months’ worth of the briefs (Sept 2004 – Jan 2005) online. It’s a controversial site, but the info is legit and as Young notes, much of the info was accessible to the general public (and remains so).

The most recent brief, dated Jan. 14, includes the following information:

1. (FOUO) MICHIGAN: Border Patrol Agents Arrest Lebanese National with Possible Ties to Hezbollah. According to BTS reporting, on 12 January, near Marysville, Border Patrol agents (BPAs) arrested Lebanese national Fadi Hussein NASSER (DOB: 01/28/1976; Alien nr: A98 223 310). BPAs arrested NASSER during a traffic stop and placed him in removal proceedings. NTC checks revealed that the address listed on NASSER’s MI driver’s license was possibly linked to Hezbollah and another subject with possible terrorist ties, as well as narcotics smuggling. Research revealed that NASSER entered the U.S. on 18 May 2001. (BTS Daily Operations Report, 13 Jan 05; HSOC 0182-05-05)

2. (FOUO) MARYLAND: Agents Search Home of Man Suspected of Illegally Exporting Military Items to China and Iraq. According to ICE reporting, on 11 January, Washington, DC ICE Agents executed a search warrant at the Potomac residence of a named Polish national and lawful U.S. permanent resident. Agents recovered documents, a computer, and a firearm from the residence. The subject is under investigation for violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) relating to alleged illegal exports of military items to the People’s Republic of China and Iraq. He is currently in custody for immigration violations relating to a prior felony conviction. (ICE Daily Summary of Operational Report, 13 Jan 05; HSOC 0183-05-05)

3. (FOUO) NEW YORK: Agents Arrest Lebanese Man on Fraud Charges. According to ICE reporting, on 12 January, New York City ICE Agents arrested Murtada Ali BARAKAT (a/k/a Charles Vicente ALAVA) for marriage fraud and false statements. BARAKAT, who was arraigned in the Southern District of New York and held without bail, was arrested as part of the Moslem BAIDOUN investigation. Moslem BAIDOUN is the subject of a New York ICE/JTTF investigation being conducted jointly with the New York City Police Department. Previously, on 13 December, 2004, a grand jury issued a twenty count indictment charging the following subjects: Moslem BAIDOUN, Mohammad BAYDOUN, Hani BAYDOUN, Hussain BAYDOUNE, Laila BAIDOUN, Ibrahim ISMAIL, Roque AVILES, Mohamad CHEBLI, Salwa JABER, Salah Osman HIJAZI, Ghazi HIJAZI, Youseff AJAMI, Hannaa Al-AJAMI, and Hassan DARWICHE. The arrest warrants were executed without incident on 14 December. All of the above named subjects were taken into custody with the exception of Hussain BAYDOUNE, who is believed to be in Lebanon, and Roque AVILES, who remains at large. (ICE Daily Summary of Operational Report, 13 Jan 05; HSOC 0184-05-05)

4. (FOUO) TEXAS: Refusal of Admission to a Possible Terrorist Organization Member. According to BTS reporting, on 13 January, Panamanian citizen and Colombian national Imad Turki ABUZENI WAKED (PPN 1209644, DOB: 07/28/1976) arrived at Houston Intercontinental Airport from Panama City, Panama. WAKED applied for admission as a visitor for pleasure and presented a Panamanian Passport. ICE interviewed WAKED and CBP identified WAKED as an Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) lookout match, TIPOFF match, visa revocation, and a NCIC terrorist organization member match. CBP found WAKED inadmissible as a non-immigrant without a non-immigrant visa. WAKED was processed as an expedited removal. (BTS Daily Operations Report, 14 Jan 05; HSOC 0185-05-05)

Young points out that many of the briefs were available as Google-cached HTML files and are still available to anyone who searches Google. Yesterday, a Department of Energy employee contacted Young and requested that he take down the files. Young declined. The Associated Press picked up on the story this evening and reported on some of the other brief contents posted by Young:

Authorities have arrested four people accused of having ties to suspected terrorists and blocked 12 more from entering the United States in the first two weeks of this year, according to government documents.

Daily reports from the Homeland Security Operations Center do not contain classified information. But they are not distributed publicly and generally intended to remain secret. They offer a glimpse into what national security officials are doing to prevent an attack, detailing arrests, criminal incidents and law enforcement tips.

A counterterrorism official confirmed Wednesday that the documents made available online this week were legitimate. The publication – at http://cryptome.org – initially led to an investigation of a possible security breach, but apparently their Internet posted resulted from an unsecured link on Energy Department’s Web site that has since been corrected, the official said.

Three arrests came last week in Michigan, New York and Louisiana, and suspects were either held in connection with terrorism investigations or placed in deportation proceedings, according to the documents. The fourth came Jan. 6 at Los Angeles International Airport. The documents named those charged as:

-Fadi Hussein Nasser, a Lebanese national, who carried a driver’s license bearing an address that authorities said was possibly linked to Hezbollah and “another subject with possible terrorist ties, as well as narcotics smuggling.” He was arrested Jan. 12 during a traffic stop near Marysville, Mich., and put in removal proceedings.

-Murtada Ali Barakat, who is being held without bail in New York in connection with an investigation conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Joint Terrorism Task Force and the New York City Police Department. Barakat was charged Jan. 12 with marriage fraud and false statements. His arrest was part of an investigation into “Moslem Baidoun,” who was named in a 20-count indictment issued Dec. 13 with 13 other suspects.

-Pakistani national Fazal U. Khan, described as the subject of a “national security investigation,” who was arrested Jan. 13 in Lake Charles, La. In October, Khan was arrested by the FBI as the result of a Joint Terrorism task Force “national security investigation,” and pleaded guilty on Jan. 6 of making false statements. He was placed in removal proceedings.

-Hussam Ahmad Khalil, a Jordan national, arrested Jan. 6 at the Los Angeles airport for allegedly violating state trademark regulations regarding impure oil. Authorities suspect he sends up to $40,000 to the Middle East each month and believe he is a member of Hamas. He is also suspected of wire fraud, trademark violations, harboring illegal aliens, narcotic smuggling and visa fraud.

Much of my work is spent pointing out the failures and shortcomings of homeland security officials. These files offer a much-needed reminder to all of us that every day, dedicated homeland security officials are working successfully under the radar screen to keep us safe from harm. They deserve our thanks.

***
On a somewhat related note, Alec Rawls calls attention to anti-Bush leaks of classified intelligence documents and wants to see prosecutions “NOW.”

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