Counter-Terrorism: The Trip From Glasgow to Dubai

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January 2, 2008: Last Summer's failed Islamic suicide bombing of a British airport, gave counter-terror officials some hot leads. That resulted in a "good news-bad news" situation. Good news was that investigators found dozens more Islamic radicals in Scotland and northern England. The bad news was that investigators found dozens more Islamic radicals in Scotland and northern England. One group that was publicly outed was a gang of fifty British born criminals of Pakistani origin, who were running various scams and passing on about $100,000 a month to a major Pakistani Islamic terrorist organization (Jaish-e-Mohammed, or JEM). This outfit was founded in 2001 by a radical cleric (Maulana Masood Azhar), who had just gotten out of an Indian jail. That was arranged by his followers, who hijacked an Indian airliner, and threatened to kill 155 passengers and crew if their guy was not released.

JEM initially claimed that it was fighting for the incorporation of Indian Kashmir into Pakistan. This border dispute has been going on for sixty years, and several Islamic terror organizations have been founded just to fight in Kashmir. But JEM went further and began making terror attacks deeper inside India, including the Indian capital. JEM has also branched out into Great Britain, where it has attempted several major terror attacks.

Using criminal activities to raise cash is a tricky undertaking. Captured al Qaeda documents constantly mention terrorist "brothers" who have been led astray (taking some of the money with them) by the gangster life. But this British crew, located in and around Glasgow, has apparently been sending lots of cash back to Pakistan. So much of the Glasgow cash was being moved that it caught the attention of the Western spies who monitor Persian Gulf money laundering operations. Places like Dubai are centers for all manner of shady dealings (for gangsters and terrorists). The local authorities have long been tolerant of the gangsters as long as they stayed clean while visiting. But the same is no longer true of the Islamic radicals. Al Qaeda's large scale massacres of Moslem civilians in Iraq has caused the terrorist group to take a big dip in its popularity ratings. The blood money still moves through Dubai, but it now has to keep a very low profile.

 


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