Israel: Gaza Freedom Flotilla Organizers Linked To Worldwide Terrorism
by Joel Leyden - Israel News Agency - Jerusalem - May 29, 2010
The "Gaza Freedom Flotilla", a group of ships carrying up to 800 people and 10,000 tons of supplies destined for the Gaza Strip has the alledged aim of stirring international debate regarding the humanitarian situation in Gaza. However, questions have been raised as to their motives especially given evidence of the organizer's direct ties to international terrorist organizations including al Qaida and Hamas.
Israel security sources have told the Israel News Agency that the main organization behind the "freedom" flotilla that is now sailing towards the Gaza Strip is called The Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a so-called "relief" organization from Turkey.
This is an organization unabashedly proud of its close ties to Hamas, a terror organization as recognized by the United States, Israel and the European Union (EU).
The Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation is openly supportive of Hamas, an organization that is widely seen as the one of the largest perpetrators of human rights violations, having violently seized control of the Gaza Strip, and committed immeasurable human rights violations against its own people, not to mention hundreds of terror attacks initiated targeting the citizens of Israel.
These aren't the only roles the IHH has played to support Islamic terror, as if this wasn't enough. In fact, not only is IHH linked to global Islamic terror organizations, but it is the direct supporter of not only terrorism against Israel, but a primary backer of world-wide terrorism against nations which practice democracy.
At the heart of many terrorist networks are so-called Islamic "relief" organizations have proven invaluable as sources of cash, weapons, and recruitment of terror operatives. So effective is their role in covering up terrorist activity from the international intelligence community under the guise of promoting humanitarian aid, that Osama bin Laden has admitted that these NGO "charities" have been al-Qaida primary source of funding and have enabled the build-up of his organization to fly under the radar.
Examples of Islamic organizations funneling funds to terror organizations masked as NGOs include: the Benevolence International Foundation, Global Relief Foundation, Taibah International Aid Association, all of whom and countless other have been shut down, banned and its leaders arrested by the US government.
The IHH is one of such organizations, a primary example of an NGO that functions as a "charitable" organization in order to divert resources to terror activity.
In a working paper for The Danish Institute for International Studies, an independent international affairs research institution of Denmark, terrorism analyst and expert witness for the prosecution in U.S. terrorism trials, Evan Kohlmann details IHH's extensive affiliation with the Islamic terror network, including: explicit ties to Hamas, al-Qaida, as well other militant Islamic organizations based in Algeria, Libya, Turkey.
Even in Turkey there have been hostile exchanges between the IHH and the Turkish government, who had previously made efforts to combat home-grown terrorism. In December 1997, Turkey authorities began a criminal investigation into IHH when sources revealed to them that the IHH had purchased semi-automatic weapons from Islamic terror groups. Their Istanbul bureau was thoroughly searched and the local leaders arrested. Inside the bureau an array of items were found: "firearms, explosives, bomb-making instructions and a jihadi flag." After analyzing seized IHH documents, the Turkish authorities determined that the arrested leaders had been on their way to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya.
During the 1999 earthquake in Turkey, the IHH was banned from providing relief aid efforts because the organization was deemed by the government as a fundamentalist organization and would not provide transparency of their bank accounts to Turkish officials.
It is odd that today Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports the IHH in their attempt to break the maritime closure of the Gaza Strip, and ranks the IHH's efforts as his "top priority" for the country.
The IHH has also provided aid to insurgents seeking to kill American troops in Iraq. In his working paper, Kohlmann notes that the IHH played a large role in providing "charitable donations" to insurgent rich areas in central Iraq such as Fallujah and that the current president of IHH and organizer of the "Freedom Flotilla", Bulent Yildrim, had galvanized anti-America sentiment and incitement in these areas against U.S. troops during the Iraqi War.
Not only have the IHH stirred trouble in Turkey for supporting terror, but their aims to promote terror activity have reached a worldwide level.
In 1996, phone records of the IHH showed calls to an Al Qaida guesthouse in Milan and to Algerian terror cells throughout Europe.
Kohlmann also cited that famed counter-terrorism magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere found that in the mid 1990's Bulent Yildrim also conspired to recruit members in anticipation for a coming jihad, and sent IHH members to war zones in Muslim countries in order for them to gain combatant experience. He sought to obtain support by these Muslim countries for the IHH by transferring weapon and explosives caches to these countries.
Jean-Louis Bruguiere has also testified to a U.S. Court in 2003 that the IHH played a "central role" in the attempted al-Qaida Millenium bomb plot targeting Los Angeles International Airport, among other areas of the world. Bruguiere added that the IHH is a "cover-up" NGO which had served to recruit, forge documents and traffic weapons for the terrorists involved in the terror attack attempt.
The same U.S. Court document cites that the IHH has also had contact with Abdurahman Alamoudi, founder of the American Muslim Council, who is serving a 23 year sentence for illegal transactions with the Libyan government and was part of a Libyan plot to assassinate the Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.
The IHH organization is banned in Israel as part of a group of organizations ironically titled the "Union of Good." Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak signed an order citing the IHH as an organization that fund-raises and assists Hamas.
It would be comical to assume that an organization so entrenched in terror activity has good intentions in orchestrating a large PR publicity stunt for an area with a supposed "humanitarian crisis", and it would be naïve to assume that most of the so called peace activists on the ships heading towards Gaza are unaware of their organization's connections with terror.
In fact, one of the 39 principles of Islamic Jihad or Holy War practiced and advocated by Al-Qaeda's Jihad, which was exposed in a private study by Israel researcher Col. Jonathan D. Halevi (res.), explicitly illustrates a how-to chapter on performing electronic Jihad.
These people are not riding donkeys, rather these 21st century Jihadists have their fingers dancing on computer keyboards across the globe. In performing electronic Jihad - Al-Salem attributes paramount importance to the Internet as a component for Jihad. He calls believers to join the Jihad against all Jews and Christians by participating in Internet forums to defend the Islam and Mujahideen, to preach Jihad and to encourage Muslims to learn more about this sacred duty. The Internet provides an opportunity to reach vast, target audiences on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and respond swiftly to opposing allegations. Islamic computer experts are asked to use their skills and experience in destroying American, Jewish and secular Websites as well as morally corrupt web sites. The so called Gaza Peace ships are using this inciteful electronic Jihad as they broadcast live using the Internet from their ships.
Sadly, much of the international media from the BBC, SKY News and CNN to Reuters, AP and AFP are not reporting about recent previous terror activity and present media public relations tactics of the IHH, as well as the long history of bogus NGO's created to divert funds to Islamic terror groups.
The IHH and organizations similar to it have always sought to generate PR publicity stunts of providing humanitarian aid in order to mobilize their extremist base and the "Freedom Flotilla" is yet another example of this.
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