Dollars of Terror
By: Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, April 18, 2005
When referring to the enemy’s money we are usually concerned with how the terrorists collect the funds they need. As we know, the government efforts to stop terrorists financing have not been very successful thus far. However, equally, if not more disturbing is the possibility that terrorists may be using their money to buy into our national infrastructure in order to undermine our economy and security from within. Was Ptech, the Massachusetts-based company, used in this manner?
The privately owned technology company, based in Quincy, Massachusetts, received at least $20 million in financing from Saudi investors between 1994, when it was founded, and 2001. Fourteen million came from Yassin Al-Qadi, who was listed as a specially designated global terrorist on October 12, 2001.
Ptech is used primarily to develop enterprise blueprints at the highest level of US government and corporate infrastructure. These blueprints hold every important functional, operational, and technical detail of the enterprise. A secondary use of this powerful tool is to build other smart tools in a short period of time. Ptech’s clients in 2001 included the Department of Justice, the Department of Energy, Customs, Air Force, the White House, the FAA, IBM, Sysco, Aetna, and Motorola, to name just a few.
Examples of information gathered utilizing Ptech’s capabilities would 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.
A second example is a complete blueprint of food distribution patterns, which would include food suppliers, warehouse locations, distributors, vehicles and schedules. With this knowledge, fraudulent deliveries of contaminated food would not be difficult to accomplish.
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, which are a basic tool in the arsenal of criminals and terrorists alike.
Ptech’s Middle East branch called Horizons, received projects directly from Ptech, and is used to outsource projects for Ptech’s US clients. Other clients come from the Middle East and include clients such as the Egyptian military, the Saudi Bin Laden Company, and the Afghan based BTC Bin Laden Telecom, which provided pre-paid telephone calls.
Among Ptech’s top investors and management in 2001 was Yassin Al-Qadi, who was listed as a specially designated global terrorist on October 12, 2001. His investment of $14 million in Ptech in 1998 made him Ptech’s major investor. Al-Qadi was the Director of the Saudi-based Muwafaq Foundation ("Blessed Relief") that fronted for, and funded, Makhtab Al-Khidamat (MK), Al-Qaeda, Hamas, and the Abu-Sayyaf organization, to name just a few. According to a Treasury Department letter to Switzerland’s Attorney General in November 2001, there was "a reasonable basis to believe that Mr. Kadi has a long history of financing and facilitating the activities of terrorists and terrorist-related organizations, often, acting through seemingly-legitimate charitable enterprises and businesses."
Al-Qadi’s businesses extended 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. Last August, the Swiss government indicted Al-Qadi for financing terrorism.
The identities and connections of some other Ptech major investors and managers should have also raised a red flag: Suliman Biheiri, an Egyptian, is alleged by the government to have funneled $3.7 million from the Saudi funded charity, the SAAR Foundation, to Islamist terrorists through BMI, a now-defunct New Jersey-based Islamic investment firm of which he was the founder and president, and which fronted for and funded Hamas. Biheiri, who was convicted in October 2004, for lying about businesses with Hamas’ Mousa Abu Marzook, was already in prison for immigration fraud. He also had links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda’s money-laundering machine, the Al-Taqwa network. One of Al-Taqwa’s companies, which was designated as a terrorist entity, was used not only to fund Al-Qaeda, but also to launder Saddam Hussein’s money.
Yakub Mirza, a Pakistani, was not only a business partner with Yassin Al-Kadi in Ptech, but also the financial mastermind, Trustee, President and CEO of the SAAR Foundation, which according to the government is connected to the Safa Foundation, which the government claimed also provided material support to Islamist terrorist groups. Mirza 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. He set up and was the Secretary/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. Over the last four decades, the MWL received more than $1.3 billion directly from King Fahad. Both organizations have been documented to support Islamist around the world. In addition, according to an alert employee, Mirza was a subscriber to Worldwide Flight Guide since 1987. One wonders why Mirza as well as these organizations are still missing from the US government designated terrorist list.
Abdurahman Muhammad Alamoudi was the President of the American Muslim Council (AMC) and the American Muslim Foundation (AMF); both received thousands of dollars from the Success Foundation. The Success Foundation also shared offices with the SAAR Foundation and provided the logistical and financial support for Islamist terror organizations. Alamoudi also served as the Secretary of the Success Foundation, and openly stated his support for HAMAS and Hizbollah. Like Mirza, he was a member of the IIRO. Alamoudi pled guilty in July 2004 on charges related to a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. He, too, is still missing from the US Government Designated Terrorist list.
Suheil Laher, managed customer services for Ptech, and was closely associated with Care International, which acted as a branch office of the Al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn, NY from which Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman funded and plotted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Laher has also written many articles about 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).
In October 2001, former Vice-President of Sales for Ptech approached the FBI Boston office with detailed information regarding possible links between Ptech and the 9/11 attacks. He was followed by Indira Singh, a risk consultant at J. P. Morgan Chase, in May 2002, who approached the Boston FBI office, the NY Joint Terrorism Task Force, the management of J. P. Morgan Chase and FBI headquarters with more documentation regarding possible Ptech penetration of US government agencies and corporations.
The FBI finally raided Ptech on December 6, 2002. However, no arrests were made and the company continues to operate, and according to Ptech’s CEO, Oussama Ziade, in May 2004, "Ptech still has government agencies as customers, including the White House."
Even the concerns, few as they were, with Ptech, after it was raided were misplaced. The few questions that were raised were regarding Ptech’s software, and not the information to which Ptech’s employees, management and investors had access. The possibility that Al-Qaeda or other Islamist terrorists have taken advantage of our free market system to undermine our economy and national security seems quite real when you identify the connections and affiliations of Ptech’s management, investors and employees.
So, how could a small, Saudi-financed company with questionable terrorist connections obtain significant government and business contracts, and who facilitated this? Was Horizons, its Egyptian branch, ever investigated? Why wasn’t Ptech shut down? Why is it still allowed to operate? And even more importantly, are there other Ptechs around?
Recently, Ptech changed both the name of the company and of its software to GoAgile.
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, is Director of American Center for Democracy, and author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop It (Bonus Books, 2004,2005).
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