Patterico's Pontifications

7/12/2006

(See-Dubya) Gotcha, Paracha: SWIFT disrupted Baltimore Bombing

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 12:59 pm



(a post by guest blogger See-Dubya.)

An excellent, in-depth Vent at Hotair today covers of Riverside County goat-farmer and Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn and the network of terrorists he is involved with—including a plot to blow up a Baltimore gas station.

Two names I recognized from this presentation are the father-and-son terror-finance team of Uzair and Saifullah Paracha, whom I blogged about here. My post pointed out how at least Paracha Junior was caught through SWIFT monitoring, and probably his father as well. At the time, as I noted previously, Paracha’s arrest was attributed to information gleaned from the interrogation of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, in order to prevent disclosure of the true source: SWIFT monitoring.

So: not only were the Parachas financing terror, they were helping terrorist Majid Khan return illegally into the country to carry out the gas station bombing. Paracha Jr. even posed as Khan on the phone to INS and picked up Khan’s mail in Baltimore.

In other words, SWIFT monitoring not only led to the arrests of the five or six terrorists I’ve detailed in my previous post, but if it brought Uzair Paracha to light…

…then SWIFT monitoring disrupted a terrorist attack on the United States.

But the terrorists won’t be so careless next time. Thanks, New York Times!

Cross-posted at Junkyard Blog.

27 Responses to “(See-Dubya) Gotcha, Paracha: SWIFT disrupted Baltimore Bombing”

  1. interesting, but not surprising. coincidently, I posted this last night, in which I wondered if we just saw the first terrorist attack that could have been prevented had the NYT not run with their story.

    steve sturm (b5aa23)

  2. Will any criminal ever use a bank transfer again?

    actus (6234ee)

  3. actus, if I steal your money, will you ever have any again? You will? Oh, I see, so you won’t be peeved at me for stealing the part you *did* have.

    Anwyn (40e48c)

  4. Oh, I see, so you won’t be peeved at me for stealing the part you *did* have.

    I’m not quite seeing how the analogy works.

    actus (6234ee)

  5. Well Actus, if the SWIFT people, pursuant to the baying of the European Parliament and the Belgian government refuse to cooperate with any other governmental investigations or inquiries, it looks to me like the international banking system is back as the freeway/cash conduit/bank transfer system for terrorist funds. No road blocks there again for Osama and his ilk.

    I really do think that it’s time for the LAT and NYT apologists on the SWIFT matter to come back from Doofus land. I thought you guys were the “reality based community”. At least, that’s what you told me.

    Mike Myers (290636)

  6. Wow, I’m soooo glad the NYT covered this program. We definitely don’t want any programs that work.

    sharon (fecb65)

  7. Well Actus, if the SWIFT people, pursuant to the baying of the European Parliament and the Belgian government refuse to cooperate with any other governmental investigations or inquirie

    Why would they refuse to answer subpoenas? They tout that fact on their website.

    actus (6234ee)

  8. It’s all Bush’s fault; he shouldda been connecting the dots faster than we’ve been erasing them.

    eraserhead reporters for peace (f9de13)

  9. I’m not quite seeing how the analogy works.

    No kidding.

    Anwyn (c5b81b)

  10. Hey, Actus . . to “connect the dots for you”: I think Anwyn’s point is that SWIFT is *gone* as a means of detecting and deterring terrorists. There undoubtedly are other programs, and there will be other programs developed in the future. But, given that SWIFT was effective, it’s a shame to forfeit the protections is USED TO provide based on the weak justifications offered by the Times2.

    Even with the development of future programs, it does not follow that every intelligence program can be replaced. (Sort of like the people and buildings the terrorists wish to destroy.) Yes, we’ll have other intelligence programs–just like there will be people born to replace (from a census standpoint) those people who perish in future terrorist attacks.

    Greg Miller (3660a8)

  11. Funny that every deposit in excess of $10,000 has been reported in the United States for years and no one complained. Must have been a moonbat program. Since a lot of people don’t know this it helps catch a lot of drug dealers that aren’t the sharpest pencils in the pack.

    Scrapiron (9f37aa)

  12. I think Anwyn’s point is that SWIFT is *gone* as a means of detecting and deterring terrorists.

    I get he thinks that. But whats with the theft analogy? And who says swift is gone?

    Since a lot of people don’t know this it helps catch a lot of drug dealers that aren’t the sharpest pencils in the pack.

    No. It can’t be. Once its disclosed, bad guys never use it.

    actus (6234ee)

  13. I was at the park today, feeding the pigeons bread crumbs.
    When I stopped feeding them, the pigeons flew away.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  14. I get he thinks that. But whats with the theft analogy? And who says swift is gone?

    He?

    HE?!??

    Anwyn (c5b81b)

  15. For your general enlightenment and amusement, actus, because I have some time to kill, I offer the following. Don’t say I never did nuthin’ fer ya.

    1) I am a woman.

    2) If I take your money, you can get more, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be mad that I stole it from you to begin with. And before you start any liberal or contrarian crap, I stole it because I felt like it, not because I needed it more than you did or because I was raised badly in the projects by an addict mom and no dad. And until you get more, you might be in hardship from the loss of what I stole.

    3) If our covert terrorist-tracking programs are blown, we can set up more, but at a lot of expense and difficulty, and we are in some amount of hardship from the loss of the one that was blown. And before you start any liberal or contrarian crap, SWIFT was blown because the NYT felt like it, not because it was dangerous to our civil liberties.

    I get that you think it’s funny to bait. So if you have anything else to say on the subject, make it a nonbait actual argument or you won’t get an answer from me.

    Anwyn (c5b81b)

  16. Actus on #7–that’s the same line of crapola that Keller was handing out: SWIFT could defend itself against outraged, upset, politicians by simply telling the various governmental entities where it operates that “I was only obeying a subpoena”.

    I’d like to say that in the real world when your government leans on you, you do what they say. But I can’t say that because Bill Keller and the NYT have demonstrated that, when their government leans on them, they “give it serious agonizing consideration” and give their government the digital salute.

    But in Belgium, which is more of a reality based community than the US liberal Doofus land, I suspect that when the Belgian government leans, SWIFT listens. And subpoena from the US Government in hand, the Belgian banks will tell us (because their government told them) to take a flying leap off a short pier. (I’d use other language, but this is an acceptable euphemism.)

    That’s the real world.

    Mike Myers (290636)

  17. 1) I am a woman.

    As If I couldn’t figure that out from your earlier post.

    If I take your money, you can get more, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be mad that I stole it from you to begin with

    I know. Theft is wrong. Speech isnt. Thats the problem with the analogy.

    SWIFT could defend itself against outraged, upset, politicians by simply telling the various governmental entities where it operates that “I was only obeying a subpoena”.

    And it will. You think the europeans — or even bankers for that matter — want to create a part of the financial world that doesn’t answer to law enforcement?

    And subpoena from the US Government in hand, the Belgian banks will tell us (because their government told them) to take a flying leap off a short pier

    Why would the belgian government want to become a haven for criminals?

    actus (6234ee)

  18. Why do the Swiss have numbered bank accounts?

    sharon (fecb65)

  19. Why do the Swiss have numbered bank accounts?

    Do you think the belgians are contemplating getting into this game?
    The swiss have these accounts probably for selling confidentiality. Which they will breach for crimes. Switzerland is part of the FATF, like our good friends at SWIFT.

    actus (6234ee)

  20. As If I couldn’t figure that out from your earlier post.

    As if that makes you smart.

    Anwyn (c5b81b)

  21. As if that makes you smart.

    “He” in italics? not that hard. I know.

    actus (6234ee)

  22. Actus:

    Yeah, SWIFT’S not “gone”, just rendered ineffective against sophisticated terrorists. I guess if you’re banging out your posts on an AppleII, you have firsthand knowledge that computers are never totally obsolete.

    SWIFT might continue to catch freelance operations like the idiots in Miami, but you have a poor opinion of organized terrorism if you think they are incapable of knowing which “roads” to steer clear of.

    You might want to search the archives before you trot out “speech” as homebase on this blog. Patterico has addressed in detail the issues of restrained speech and the consequences of that speech.

    Re #17 “theft is wrong. speech isn’t”: in this case the speech by the Times WAS wrong. Having taken advantage of the privilege to publish free of prior restraint, they now need to answer for the their actions.

    Greg Miller (3660a8)

  23. Yeah, SWIFT’S not “gone”, just rendered ineffective against sophisticated terrorists

    Swift is a bank clearing house. It sounds like you think this was the name of the program.

    Patterico has addressed in detail the issues of restrained speech and the consequences of that speech.

    I know. And we came to the conclusion that while leaks may be illegal, repeating them, like we are, is not.

    Having taken advantage of the privilege to publish free of prior restraint, they now need to answer for the their actions.

    What kind of answer do you have in kind?

    actus (6234ee)

  24. What kind of answer do you have in kind?

    I mean, in mind.

    actus (6234ee)

  25. Adam Gadahn’s Baltimore connections…

    Michelle Malkin’s put together a Vent on Adam Gadahn, an Islamic convert, homegrown terrorist and leading Al Qaida member who’s now on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list….

    Tel-Chai Nation (59ce3a)

  26. Actus, way to stomp on the issue of EFFICACY of THE PROGRAM. Sorry if my references to “SWIFT” gave you the impression that I was worried about some bank employees losing their jobs.

    I guess you’ve made your thoughts clear on the issue of EFFICACY of the PROGRAM by implying that SOME success in bank monitoring–however rare–is a serious refutation of concerns about the ability to track terrorist/criminal funds.

    Leaking exerts its damage WHEN its published. So whether or not publication is legal, it IS damaging.

    Regardless of whether or not publication was illegal–I’ve seen arguments on both sides–I think publication was WRONG. If something has to be illegal to be wrong, I can understand why you are now framing the question as legal/illegal. YOUR original words were my cue: “Theft is wrong. Speech isn’t.” Did you intend to say “Theft is illegal. Speech isn’t.”?

    What “answering” to I have in mind? Have the Times reporters testify before a grand jury. The Plame standard applied to a non-crime, so it seems reasonable that it should apply to the criminal violation of a government non-disclosure oath. I would prefer that Keller and Co NOT go to jail. The better result is for the leakers to go to jail. That would have the added benefit of inhibiting future illegal leaking.

    The other “answering” is whatever loss in subscriptions they’ve borne.

    Greg Miller (3660a8)

  27. If something has to be illegal to be wrong, I can understand why you are now framing the question as legal/illegal.

    I’m framing the question as legal / illegal because the analogy was to something clearly illegal.

    actus (6234ee)


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