Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Treasury Seeks To Cast A Wider Net For Terrorists

The Treasury Department will soon publish new rules that would pave the way for tracking all of the money transfers coming in and out of the U.S. As envisioned, the Treasury Department would take all that information, feed it into a giant database, analyze it, and then ferret out patterns associated with terrorism financing. Experts say it isn't clear it is going to work.
Juan Zarate, the first assistant secretary of the Treasury for terrorism financing in the Bush administration, said the new regulations, which would require banks and financial services companies — like Western Union — to automatically provide money-transfer data on all their transactions, are controversial.
"A big debate and an important debate was whether or not we should formulate a new system that allowed for capturing more data and doing it in a way that is more automated," he said. "This is part of an ongoing debate. It is a serious change that has implications for civil liberties as well as what kind of access the government can expect to this kind of financial data."
Plan Criticized
The Treasury has released the new rules for a yearlong public commentary period. Some critics — from financial executives to civil liberties advocates — are already crying foul. They say the Treasury Department is seeking the financial equivalent of data mining.
Data mining has become the third rail of intelligence surveillance. It gathers massive amounts of information and often perfectly innocent people are caught up in the sweeps. In the case of traditional data mining, this had to do with gathering up e-mails and telephone conversations and other personal information to find patterns that might reveal unknown terrorists.
The concern is that the new Treasury regulations will essentially do the same thing, but with money transfers and bank records. Right now, financial institutions are only required to report transfers that are more than $10,000 — that amounts to about 14 million transactions a year. They also regularly file suspicious activity reports with the Treasury when they think something untoward might be happening. Adding every electronic transfer to that pool of information would vastly increase the data the Treasury would be collecting.
"Now you throw on top of it millions and millions of transfers that have no connection to any criminal activity at the start, and there is a real good question as to whether or not data will be held properly, will be protected and will be useful," Zarate said. "You have to ask whether you are adding more hay to the haystack as officials try to find needles in that haystack."
'A Mess Actually To Pursue It'
Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, says the new rules are a mistake and show just how scattershot U.S. terrorism investigations have become.
"When you gather information in this fashion, it generally suggests the government doesn't know quite what it is looking for," Rotenberg said. "So it gathers as much information as it can obtain and then makes a determination afterwards about where to pursue investigations, and I think we've learned this is not an effective strategy."
Rotenberg says European bankers and financial institutions are already complaining. They have resisted U.S. data requests in the past, saying they violate privacy laws in Europe. This proposal, Rotenberg says, makes an already strained relationship that much worse.
"It is quite a mess actually to pursue this," he said. "And I wonder if they might reconsider and withdraw it."
Plan's Supporters
That said, the Treasury Department's proposal does have some supporters. One of them is Eric Lewis, partner at Baach Robinson & Lewis in Washington. His law firm specializes in terrorism financing and money laundering cases. He says criminals and terrorists make end runs against current regulations with such frequency the practices actually have nicknames.
"What you often see happening is a practice known as smurfing; that is where you have people sending money below the reporting threshold," he said. "Smurfing like the little blue character on the cartoon, but not nearly so cute."
Lewis says criminals will send funds to the U.S. in 10 $9,999 increments to avoid detection. The new proposals would help prevent that from happening because all the transfers would be reported regardless of their size.
The new rules would also allow the Treasury to cast a wider net over an informal remittance system that has been at the center of a number of terrorist plots in this country. It is called hawala and is particularly popular in South Asia and Somalia. It basically uses brokers in the U.S. and overseas who can move money with just a phone call. Someone can simply walk into a hawala shop and ask to have $1,000 sent to, for example, Karachi, Pakistan. For a fee, the broker calls someone in Pakistan who makes the money available for pickup on the other end. It is all perfectly legal, but the amounts they work in are generally small, so they haven’t been automatically tracked.
The would-be Times Square bomber financed his plot using small hawala money transfers. So did the Sept. 11 hijackers.
The Treasury is hoping its new rules will make that kind of terrorism financing harder and alert it to these transfers at the beginning of a plot instead of after the fact. Treasury officials expect there will be hearings and more discussion on the new rules they are proposing. NPR

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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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