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Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Jamada al-Thani 25, 1428/ July 10, 2007 #53

Our America:

MICHAEL MOORE trashes CNN, Wolf Blitzer and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. On July 9 and 10, 2007 Michael Moore, famous for his documentaries on the Iraq war and the American health system, trashed CNN's coverage of both issues. He said very clearly that CNN has been misleading the American people on both issues. He called Wolf Blitzer's and Sanjay Gupta's reporting "crap." CNN is on the defensive and trying to answer Moore. [Muslims should note CNN's bigotry that the only doctor it could find to report on health issues is a Hindu although Muslim doctors are among the best doctors in America.]

News of Jamia Hafsa-Lal Masjid Tragedy
New Trend Special Report.
Poorly Armed Islamic Teachers, Students, Faced Pakistan's U.S. Trained Commandos. 100 explosions.
15 Hour Resistance Ruined Musharraf's Plan for a Quick Victory: Women Fought Back.

July 10, 2007. From dawn to dusk, General Musharraf's elite Special Forces, trained and armed by the U.S., destroyed the Islamic University for women, Jamia Hafsa, and the Red Mosque [Lal Masjid] which stood in defense of the women. By the end of the day, the scholar who led the resistance, Abdur Rashid Ghazi, his mother and 150 students had been killed. Another 300 were wounded [70 of the wounded were "captured" by Musharraf's men]. [Statistics are very preliminary. Dr. Anwarul Haque suggests that the slaughter of innocents in the 100 explosions is probably much, much higher. All hospitals in the city are now under government security cordon to conceal the death toll.]
Hospital sources in Islamabad indicate that at least 12 Pakistani storm troopers were killed and 29 wounded by the resisting students.
The Principal of the Islamic university, Umm Hasan, along with scores of other female students were "captured" by the military and moved to a military base. Umm Hasan was the moving spirit behind the resistance to the Pakistani juggernaut.
The Pakistani military, under direct command of General Musharraf, expected easy victory because artillery, mortars and explosive charges were used by the attacking force to shock and stun the students. It appears that Abdur Rashid Ghazi, and the young men and women, took good cover in the mosque and university basements while the bombardment was going on. The thick walls of the mosque compound were breached and then Musharraf's commandos poured in, shooting at will. At this point the scholar, Abdur Rashid Ghazi, and the men and women with him, emerged and routed Pakistan's best American-trained force.
General Musharraf was enraged and ordered an all out attack. Private TV coverage showed Pakistani tanks converging on the university. Pakistani commandos desecrated the mosque and hunted the students from room to room. Blood and bodies littered the mosque as the Commandos brought fire power to bear on the prayer areas and adjoining rooms used for night prayers [tahajjud].
Abdur Rashid Ghazi then retreated from the mosque into the University, Jamia Hafsa. Here, he and the students, were pursued by Musharraf's elite forces. Musharraf's men smashed through the class rooms and living quarters of the female students. Scores of women of women, in various conditions of injury, were later taken by ambulances to area hospitals.
Finally, overwhelmed by Musharraf's sheer firepower, Abdur Rashid Ghazi lay wounded, with a bullets in his leg. The Commandos demanded his surrender. He refused and went down in a hail of bullets.

Islamabad Dazed by scale and Brutality of Musharraf's Attack

All day the attack on the beautiful mosque known as Lal Masjid and the sedate women's university, Jamia Hafsa went on. From miles away, smoke was visible, as Musharraf used mortars, tanks and artillery on the sacred centers of Islam. Huge explosions rocked the Jamia-Hafsa-Lal-Masjid complex and could be heard miles away. [New Trend's eye witness could see the smoke from three miles away.] Media people counted at least 100 explosions as Musharraf pressed for the total destruction of the interior of the complex, room by room.

Large sections of the population of Islamabad sympathize with the Islamic movement. Some of them helped bring out the inside story of the tragedy being enacted by Musharraf by giving [or uploading] the cell phones to some of the students inside the complex. As a result, the students were able to call the media and give specific details of the carnage being carried out by General Musharraf's America trained Special Forces.

SIXTY Islamabad citizens who helped the Islamic students with cell phones [known as mobiles in Pakistan] have been arrested by Pakistani police.

How Musharraf's top Gun was Killed: Broke into Women's University
Special to New Trend

On the night of July 6-7, 2007, there were 24 explosions at Jamia Hafsa as a crack Pakistani commando unit prepared to break in. The commandos apparently considered that the powerful explosions, which tore big chunks out of the thick walls of the university compound, would have terrified the women inside.
After the explosions, Musharraf's top Commando officer, Lt. Col. Haroon Islam, entered the university along with some of his best officers. Unfortunately for him, the women were not hiding. His group ran into precise rifle fire which brought him down, fatally, and seriously injured his second in command.
[Observers say that this incident was typical of Musharraf's cowardly military forces. Islam strictly forbids entry into homes by the back door and especially condemns entry without permission into women's quarters. Here we had one of Musharraf's heroes smashing his way into an Islamic women's school and getting killed. On July 8, Musharraf participated in Haroon's funeral and hailed him as a hero and a "martyr"].

Abdul Rashid Ghazi was a Man of Peace but would not Bow before Humans.
New Trend Special Report

"Do you think that you shall enter the Garden [of Bliss] without such trials as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When will come the help of Allah.' Surely the help of Allah is near!" [The Qur'an 2:214]

He was a man of peace. The martyr of Lal Masjid, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, had a difficult choice to make. He wanted his community to survive and prosper. His entire family was with him. He wanted them to live and have a future. He was a highly educated man, a distinguished scholar of Islam, fluent in four languages [including English].

His faith taught him that acceptance of oppression is worse than death. [The Qur'an 2:217]. A man of peace cannot bow before the power of the oppressor. Peace does not mean that one should become a slave. His enemy General Musharraf betrayed Pakistan, Islam and the Muslim world and is strongly linked to the U.S., U.K., Israel, India and Arab dictators. Acceptance of Musharraf by an Islamic scholar would undermine Islam's reality in Pakistan.

During his last days, the martyr tried many tactics to reach a peaceful conclusion.

He expressed willingness to meet scholars to explain the situation in Jamia Hafsa, even if these scholars were opposed to him.
When Musharraf claimed that terrorists were hiding in the mosque, he invited the media to enter the mosque and check who was there. [Musharraf panicked at this and would not allow it.]
He urged the young women and men in the mosque-university complex to leave and go home. They would not go. He insisted that they go because being unarmed and untrained in firearms, they would be helpless. Finally, in dribs and drabs, many of them left.
He was willing to leave the complex and go back to his village to take care of his mother, if that would avoid the military attack on the mosque.

Musharraf insisted that Abdul Rashid Ghazi surrender and be subjected to trial as if he was a criminal and a terrorist. He has never committed a crime in his life. Finally it was clear to Ghazi that the choice was: Martyrdom or humiliation as a criminal and a terrorist at the hands of a corrupt regime which has committed crimes against humanity including torture and "disappearance" of hundreds of people seen as opponents of the USA.

LETTERS from American activists

Ready For the Revolution

Thanks for the excellent expose of the Save Darfur Rally April 30. I am a producer host of "Freedom Now" at KPFK radio and that information will be put on the air and in the numerous efforts that a number of us are waging to stop the US invasion of the Sudan led by the "Out of Iraq Into Darfur" liberals. We thank you.

Kenneth Carr [Washington, DC]

New Trend Magazine is on the money; it has good reporting and analysis. I would like you to post directly to URCDiscuss, where it will reach a wider audience. Thank you.

Iskandar Langalibalele [Philadelphia]

When New Trend last year reported on the Jewish hand behind the drug trade in America, some thought we were moved by prejudice. Now a reader has brought to our attention that the U.S. government's own documents and Israeli media contain proof of the Jewish/Israeli role. Read and enjoy!

According to a report issued in 2003 by the U.S. State Department, Israel is at the center of international trafficking in Ecstasy.

Sat., November 13, 2004

The agony of the Ecstasy

By Nathan Guttman

The most commonly heard estimate is that Israeli criminals control no less than 75 percent of the Ecstasy market in the U.S. How did Israel become a central player in this dubious game?

Washington -- Oded Tuito died on June 20 [2004] at Lutheran Hospital in New York, a few days after suffering a heart attack in his cell in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York. Tuito, 44, was thought to be one of the major drug dealers in the United States -- although he was never convicted -- and to be the person responsible for smuggling millions of Ecstasy (MDMA) tablets into that country in the late 1990s.

He was the first Israeli to be included on the White House list of "drug kingpins," which consists of 30 foreigners whom the U.S. administration views as bearing central responsibility for distributing drugs originating abroad in the U.S. The "kingpin" category is reserved for drug traffickers whose scope of activity makes them a threat to the national security of the U.S., so that a special effort is required to apprehend them, freeze their assets and stop their activity.

Oded Tuito died innocent, at least according to American law. He was facing legal proceedings in Brooklyn, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, but none of them had been completed. Still, Tuito in large measure personifies the Israelis who are increasingly being targeted by the U.S. law enforcement authorities as the dominant figures in the transfer of Ecstasy from European labs, where it is manufactured, to U.S. clubs.

Israelis involved in the Ecstasy trade in the U.S. are scattered around the country, and according to the authorities are not necessarily organized in large groups, and certainly not under one criminal umbrella organization. There is no Israeli mafia that deals in Ecstasy, but wherever the drug is trafficked on a significant scale, there are sure to be Israelis in the vicinity. Israelis figure prominently in cases currently under investigation in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and Miami -- cities that constitute the primary source of drug consumption at parties in the U.S.

According to a report issued in 2003 by the U.S. State Department, Israel is at the center of international trafficking in Ecstasy and Israeli crime organizations, some of them linked to similar organizations from Russia, achieved a dominant status in the Ecstasy market in Europe, and went on to control the drug's distribution in the States.

"Israeli drug-trafficking organizations are the main source of distribution of the drug to groups in the U.S, using express mail services, commercial airlines, and recently also using air cargo services," the report states. The authorities do not provide official data on the scope of the Israeli trade in Ecstasy, but the most commonly heard estimate is that Israeli criminals control no less than 75 percent of the Ecstasy market in the U.S.

How did Israel become a central player in this dubious game? The explanation is apparently historical in character. A report of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) explains, in understated language, that

"Israeli drug traffickers, perhaps thanks to their long-standing ties in Antwerp, continue to be the major elements in the transfer of large shipments of Ecstasy from Belgium [to the United States]."

Underlying this cautious formulation is the assumption that Israeli mobsters have been operating for years in Belgium, mainly in diamond smuggling, and that when the country became a source of Ecstasy production in Europe and Antwerp became the drug's major export hub to the U.S., Israeli criminals naturally became involved. After all, they were already there.

The Israeliness of the Ecstasy smugglers is a relative matter. Law-enforcement sources in the States and Israel emphasized that few Israelis are involved, and often they can be described as "former Israelis." Frequently they are young people who left the country of their own volition and hooked up with the underworld and the drug trade overseas. Some of them were, in fact, already connected with Israeli criminal organizations back at home, while others operate without any connections there. In some cases the struggle over control of the Israeli crime families has been exported to the drug market in the U.S., though the Israeli players in the Ecstasy market in America are only loosely connected to the major criminal organizations back home.

Las Vegas connection

Israel as a country is not a problem in the Ecstasy sphere in the U.S., but Israelis as individuals definitely are. The relatively new arena of the Israeli Ecstasy distributors in the U.S. is Las Vegas. In the past, the city's casinos and tumultuous nightlife have attracted many groups of criminals, from pimps to Mafia bosses, but the Israeli presence was not felt. True, the city still remembers the period more than 50 years ago when the Jewish bosses of the Mafia, Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky, were in control, but until this year, the Jewish or Israeli presence in the Las Vegas crime scene was not considered significant.

The change began with the exposure of an Israeli crime syndicate, which the American media dubbed the "Jerusalem Network" and which, according to the police, seized control of the Ecstasy market in the city. At the beginning of this month, Gabriel Ben-Harosh, 39, who is suspected of being the head of the Jerusalem Network, was extradited from Canada to the U.S.

Ben-Harosh, along with four other Israelis, is accused of committing a series of crimes involving extortion and money laundering. However, the indictment, filed in April, does not cite drug offenses. Law-enforcement officials in Las Vegas believe that the major source of the network's income derives from the distribution of Ecstasy to clubs in the city. According to Sergeant Blake Quackenbush, from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police: "A lot of the Ecstasy we see in Las Vegas comes from Israeli dealers." Apart from the current gang, he notes, a good many Israelis have been arrested in the city in recent years, most of them in connection with attempts to smuggle Ecstasy and distribute it to local clubs.

The investigation against the Israeli gang in Las Vegas lasted 14 months, and when the indictment was issued last April, it turned out that the tracks led from Las Vegas via drug and other criminal activity throughout the U.S., to drug suppliers in Europe and to the group that is considered one of the largest organized crime gangs in Israel: the Abergil family. Quite possibly the term "Jerusalem Network" stems from a misunderstanding, as in Israel the nickname of "Jerusalem Gang" is actually applied to a different crime family, and the major activity of the Abergils has not taken place in Jerusalem.

Police and DEA officials in the States believe that Ben-Harosh is the representative of Yitzhak Abergil in the Las Vegas underworld. Abergil, who, by order of the Israel Police has lived outside Israel since his release from prison, is considered the major rival of Ze'ev Rosenstein (right, wetting his pants, arrested) and a key figure in the Israeli crime scene. The police maintain that Ben-Harosh was responsible for setting up the network in Las Vegas and for creating a monopoly in that city's Ecstasy market.

Abergil's man

In addition to keeping Ben-Harosh under surveillance, Las Vegas detectives spent considerable time tracking another suspect, Hai Waknine, 32, who is believed to be Ben-Harosh's deputy and is also wanted in the city. The investigation found that Waknine, who resides in Los Angeles most of the time, went on high-rolling trips to Las Vegas, dropping thousands of dollars at casinos. Wiretapping of Waknine's phones turned up the fact that he spoke constantly with Ben-Harosh, who was in Spain at the time, and that he laundered drug money for him. The other aspects cited in the Las Vegas indictment are Assaf Waknine (Hai's brother), Yoram El-Al and Sasson Barashy.

According to reports in the Las Vegas media, the Israeli mobsters in the city succeeded in forging ties with a number of owners of local clubs where large quantities of Ecstasy are consumed, and in ensuring an Israeli monopoly on local distribution of the drug. The Israeli network indeed controls the Ecstasy market, say the police and the DEA, but it also engages in other activity -- notably extortion and the protection racket.

The local descriptions of the Israeli group are hardly flattering. Its members are said to be flashy, not especially careful (during the lengthy surveillance of the group, police discovered that most of the suspects attended a lavish Passover Seder at one of the most expensive hotels in the city), and not deterred by the use of violence or threats of violence to get what they want.

GABRIEL Ben-Harosh was arrested in Canada at the request of the U.S. authorities and held in custody for several months in Toronto before being extradited -- with his full consent, according to his lawyer -- to Las Vegas. The lawyer, David Chesnoff, says his client requested to go to the U.S. to prove his innocence. "He is looking forward to his day in court," Chesnoff says, adding that Ben-Harosh "does not know anything about any `Jerusalem Network' and about any allegations [against him]."

Chesnoff, a prominent lawyer who was part of the team that defended Martha Stewart, adds: "I met with him in Canada and he told me he is 100 percent innocent. I believe he will be acquitted."

At this stage it's not clear what the probe into "an Israeli organized crime syndicate," as it is called in the indictment, will turn up. The charges, as stated, don't yet include drug-related clauses. Meanwhile, the prestigious lawyers involved promise a lengthy judicial process. A source in the Las Vegas police said one of the results could be a decision by the Israeli mob to leave town, if they feel that the police are hot on their heels. On the other hand, the large profits and the Israelis' absolute control of the Las Vegas Ecstasy market make this unlikely.

Be that as it may, the information uncovered by the law-enforcement authorities about the activities of Israeli criminals in Las Vegas sheds light on the scope of the phenomenon today -- ties with organized crime in Israel, various centers in Europe and across the U.S., and criminal activity that combines classic Mafia deeds with niche operations involving trafficking in Ecstasy.

The indictments in Las Vegas are perhaps the most recent and most detailed, but they are certainly not the only ones concerning Israeli involvement in the distribution of Ecstasy in the U.S. The list is long and extends from coast to coast: two Israelis in their twenties who were arrested with a million Ecstasy tablets in their possession in New York in the summer of 2001; two others who were picked up when they received a Fed Ex package containing 200 kilos of Ecstasy tablets; three residents of the city of Givatayim, adjacent to Tel Aviv, who were extradited to the U.S. last year after a shipment containing 500,000 tablets that they sent to Brooklyn was seized by the authorities, a few years after they were extradited to south Florida after a scheme to smuggle drugs into Miami was exposed; and many others.

Along with the small fry, some Israelis in the top ranks of the Ecstasy business have also been arrested -- notably Jacob "Cookie" Orgad, who controlled the market in Los Angeles, and Ilan Zarger, who was the Ecstasy supplier to the well-known Mafia figure Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, from the Gambino crime family.

Mistakenly released

Two classes of players can be distinguished among Israelis involved in the Ecstasy scene: the directors of the networks, who usually also have connections to crime organizations in Israel and come from the underworld, and the couriers, who are responsible for getting the drugs from Europe to the States. The couriers are recruited in Europe or the U.S. in return for the promise of big profits and for the most part carry out similar missions many times.

The numerous charges against the late Oded Tuito cast some light on how the Israeli networks operate. Tuito was suspected of having ties with Ecstasy suppliers in Europe and of being a major recruiter of couriers in the U.S., who were carrying millions of tablets into the country from Europe. The prosecution alleged that Tuito developed a fondness for strip joints in New York during his visits to the U.S. and hired strippers to fly to Europe in return for a payment of $10,000 to bring back suitcases filled with tens of thousands of tablets. The luggage the women took with them to Europe contained tens of thousands of dollars in cash -- Tuito's earnings from previous drug deals.

In addition to the strippers, Tuito also made use of young ultra-Orthodox Jews, whom he recruited by word of mouth in New York yeshivas. He believed -- and rightly so, as it turned out -- that the U.S. authorities would not suspect yeshiva students dressed in the traditional black garb and therefore would not check their luggage at the airport in New York.

Hundreds of thousands of Ecstasy pills reached the U.S. this way. Later he also started to recruit elderly ultra-Orthodox, again in return for thousands of dollars per delivery.

Tuito was initially detained in France, but was released by mistake and got to Spain, from where he was extradited to the U.S. after a years-long legal battle. In testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee last March, DEA administrator Karen Tandy stated that Tuito "was known as the world's largest trafficker of MDMA [Ecstasy]." Tuito, she added, was responsible for the importation of over 7 million tablets of MDMA into the U.S. during his period of activity. The investigation against him completely "dismantled Tuito's MDMA trafficking organization and seriously impacted the ability of Israeli organized crime groups to distribute MDMA into domestic consumer markets," she stated in her testimony.

Alexi Schacht, Tuito's lawyer, believes that the description of his client's exploits in the Ecstasy market was greatly exaggerated.

"The government behaved as if Ecstasy is the same as cocaine and heroin, as if he is one CEO that runs the operation, but it doesn't work that way. With Ecstasy, people buy and sell to everyone."

The new Israelis who are active in the Ecstasy market in the States are different from Tuito, not only in the scale of their trafficking but also in their methods of operation. When Ecstasy came onto the drug market it was a new phenomenon. It was manufactured in the underground and penetration of it in the U.S. required mainly thought, boldness and a great deal of money.

2007-07-10 Tue 20:38:28 cdt