The Business of Terror
By: Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, June 17, 2005
On May 11, 2005, Muhamed Mubayyid was arrested and charged in Boston’s District Court for filing false tax returns on behalf of Care International, for which he acted as treasurer. Mubayyid was also the Customer Services manager of the company known as Ptech, a privately owned technology company based in Quincy, Massachusetts. Ptech, which recently changed its name to GoAgile, developed a software, also called Ptech, that was used primarily to develop enterprise blueprints that held every important functional, operational, and technical detail of a given enterprise.
Mubayyid is only the latest of Ptech’s top investors and managers to run afoul with the law. Mubayyid personifies the interlinks of the complex infrastructure, which were established by al-Qaeda and other Islamist organizations in the US.
But Mubayyid was not arrested for his connection with al-Qaeda. Rather, was charged for making false statements and conspiring to defraud the US by misrepresenting Care’s activities, which involved “the solicitation and expenditure of funds to support and promote the mujahideen and jihad, including the distribution of pro-jihad publications.”
Care International is the now defunct Muslim charity that was originally the Boston branch office of the al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn, New York, from which Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman funded and plotted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Care International was already publicly identified as supporting al-Qaeda back in 2002, yet it remained open, and several of its employees worked and/or were affiliated with Ptech.
Ptech was raided by the FBI on December 6, 2002, following a tip from an employee who suspected that the company was connected to the 9/11 attacks. Indeed, on October 12, 2001, Yassin al-Kadi, Ptech’s top investor at that time, was listed by the US government as a specially designated global terrorist for his support of al-Qaeda. Al-Kadi invested at least $18 million directly in Ptech, $5 million through the Isle of Man, and $9 million indirectly through BMI, a now-defunct New Jersey-based Islamic investment firm with connections to other members on Ptech’s management and investors. Al-Kadi also transferred $2 million USD to Ptech from Switzerland between 1997 and 2000, according to Swiss investigators.
Richard Clarke in his testimony before the Senate on October 22, 2003, said: “Qadi was the head of Muwafaq, a Saudi relief organization that reportedly transferred at least $3 million, on behalf of Khalid bin Mahfouz, to Usama bin Laden and assisted al Qida [sic.] fighters in Bosnia.” Moreover, according to the Treasury Department letter to Switzerland’s Attorney General in November 2001, Muwafaq fronted for, and funded Makhtab al-Khidamat (MK), al-Qaeda, HAMAS, and the Abu-Sayyaf organization, to name just a few. Yet, Muwafaq was not designated as a terrorist organization.
Al-Kadi’s businesses extend throughout the world, and included banking, diamonds, chemicals, construction, transportation, and real estate. It would be hard to find a more strategically placed individual to advance the agenda of al-Qaeda, or any other terrorist organization. Kadi is still at large, and according to recent media reports, expanding his business in Asia.
The identities and connections of some other Ptech investors and managers should have also raised a red flag. Even Ptech removed from its website the names of several board members and/or their affiliations after a WSJ exposé on December 6, 2002.
Take Hussein Ibrahim, who was Ptech’s chief scientist. According to former employees of Ptech and a whistleblower, he was introduced by Yassin al-Kadi to Ptech when the company was founded in 1994. Ibrahim developed the Arabic version of Ptech under the name Horizons. He was also BMI’s founder and President. After an expose about al-Kadi and BMI’s connections to HAMAS in the WSJ, Ptech removed any reference to al-Kadi and BMI from its website.
Ptech Board member Suliman Biheiri, also an Egyptian, is alleged by the US government to have funneled $3.7 million from the Saudi funded charity, the SAAR Foundation, to Islamist terrorists. He funneled the money through Hussein Ibrahim’s BMI.
Biheiri, who was already in prison for immigration fraud, was convicted in October 2004 for lying about businesses with HAMAS leader Mousa Abu Marzook. He also had links to the Muslim Brotherhood, and to a major al-Qaeda money-laundering machine, the al-Taqwa network. One of al-Taqwa’s companies, also designated as a terrorist entity, was used not only to fund al-Qaeda, but also to launder Saddam Hussein’s money.
Then, there was Yakub Mirza, a Pakistani, who was not only al-Kadi’s business partner in Ptech, but according to a government indictment on October 2003, was also the financial mastermind, Trustee, President and CEO of the SAAR Foundation. The indictment listed the SAAR foundation as connected to the SAFA Foundation, another Saudi sponsored foundation, which also provided material support to Islamist terrorist groups.
Mirza was a busy man. He was also a Trustee on the board of Sanabel, the investment arm of the Saudi International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), which shared the same address as the SAAR Foundation: 555 Grove Street in Herndon, Virginia. Mirza set up and was the Secretary and Treasurer of the US branch of the Muslim World League (MWL), another Saudi charity that also served as the fund-raising arm of the US branch of the IIRO. Mirza, along with these organizations, is still missing from the US Government Designated Terrorist list.
Abdurahman Muhammad Alamoudi, another Ptech founder, was the President of the American Muslim Council (AMC) and the American Muslim Foundation (AMF); both received thousands of dollars from the Success Foundation, which provided logistical and financial support for Islamist terror organizations. Alamoudi openly and frequently stated his support for HAMAS and Hizbollah. Like Mirza, he too was a member of the IIRO. Alamoudi pled guilty in July 2004 to charges related to a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. Like Mirza, Alamoudi is also missing from the US Government Designated Terrorist list.
Suheil Laher, who was Ptech’s chief architect, was also closely associated with Care International. Laher has written many articles in support of Jihad, frequently quoting Abdullah Azzam, Bin Laden’s mentor, whose general philosophy is shared by all Islamist terrorists: “Jihad and the rifle alone! No negotiations; No conferences; and No dialogues.” (emphasis added). He was let go after the media reported about his affiliation with Care International. He now runs his own “Islam Site.”
The connections and affiliations of Ptech’s investors and management with known terrorists and/or terror funding organizations are especially worrisome when you consider Ptech’s clients in 2001, which included the Department of Justice; the Department of Energy; Customs; Air Force; FAA; the White House; IBM; Sysco; Aetna; and Motorola, to name just a few.
Examples of information gathered utilizing Ptech’s capabilities include the following:
A complete blueprint of a nuclear waste disposal site would detail the security procedures required to access military bases during transfer of nuclear waste materials. It would also include security rules, revealing where tight security searches vs. random searches exist for conducting detailed identity screening and security checks. These are typically noted in the architecture process, and surely, would be of interest to terrorists.
Another example is product specifications in the blueprint for Smartcards - as implemented in various defense facilities. It would include enough information to provide templates for duplication, and for unauthorized production of fake Smart IDs. Needless to say, these are basic tools in the arsenal of criminals and terrorists alike.
When Ptech was raided in December 2002, no arrests were made and the company continued to operate. Interviewed by a local newsletter, on May 2004, Ptech’s CEO, Oussama Ziade said: “Ptech still has government agencies as customers, including, the White House.” Repeated calls to GoAgile went unanswered, there was no voicemail, and communication by e-mail is possible only for clients.
Even the concerns - few as they were - with Ptech after it was raided were misplaced. On Jan. 22, 2003, Sen. Grassley wrote to FBI Director Robert Muller: “I am concerned…[with] vulnerabilities which might arise from using Ptech software.” However, no questions were raised regarding the information to which Ptech’s employees, management, and investors had access. Mr. Mubayyid’s recent indictment seems to provide the opportunity for reexamination of Ptech’s access to our national security infrastructure.
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, Director of American Center for Democracy (www.public-integrity.org), is the author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop it (Bonus Books, 2005) and a member of the Committee on the Present Danger.
 U.S. Dept. of Justice, Michael J. Sullivan, Press Release, “Former Officers of Care International Inc. Indicted,” May 12, 2005.
 “The I Team Investigates P-Tech,” CBS4, December 9, 2002. http://wbz4.com/iteam/local_story_343143121.html
 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Crim. No.) v. MUHAMED MUBAYYID, and EMADEDDIN Z. MUNTASSER, May 12, 2005.
 According to the Wall St. Journal Dec. 6, 2002) and Newsday (December 7, 2002),
 On the Ptech Affair, see: Justin Pope, “Software company tries to survive terrorism investigation,” The Detroit News, January 4, 2003. http://www.detnews.com/2003/technology/0301/06/technology-51266.htm
 see: MATTHEW BARAKAT Muslim Banker Convicted of Lying About Business with Hamas Leader, AP Thursday, Mar. 31, 2005).
 see also, http://wbz4.com/iteam/local_story_343145212.html
 (http://webpages.marshall.edu/~laher1/ .
 (according to Ptech’s website at that time, as well as the WSJ and other media reports)
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