Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Is this any way to fight the war on terror?

By Aussiegirl

I can't believe what I'm reading here. This seems like asking the cat to oversee the canary cage. Sure, in this quote from the article, they're trying to reassure us: Flynn and others said even under foreign control, U.S. ports will continue to be run by unionized American employees. "You're not going have a bunch of UAE citizens working the docks," Flynn said. "They're longshoremen, vested in high-paying jobs. Most of them are Archie Bunker-kind of Americans." For once, I agree with Schumer:

UAE Co. Poised to Oversee Six U.S. Ports - Forbes.com

A company in the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept. 11 hijackers with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism.

[...] The State Department describes the UAE as a vital partner in the fight against terrorism. But the UAE, a loose federation of seven emirates on the Saudi peninsula, was an important operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the attacks against New York and Washington, the FBI concluded.

[...] Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat whose district includes the New York port, urged the administration to consider the sale carefully.

"America's busiest ports are vital to our economy and to the international economy, and that is why they remain top terrorist targets," Schumer said. "Just as we would not outsource military operations or law enforcement duties, we should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties."

[...] Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the FBI has said the money for the strikes was transferred to the hijackers primarily through the UAE's banking system, and much of the operational planning for the attacks took place inside the UAE.

Many of the hijackers traveled to the U.S. through the UAE. Also, the hijacker who steered United Airlines flight into the World Trade Center's south tower, Marwan al-Shehhi, was born in the UAE.

After the attacks, U.S. Treasury Department officials complained about a lack of cooperation by the UAE and other Arab countries trying to track Osama bin Laden's bank accounts.

Soon after reading this alarming article, I was alerted to this next article, about the gold trafficking in Dubai--one of the UAE countries--and the hawala money transfer system, by SallyVee. The article comes from the excellent blog, All Things Beautiful. (For additional information on hawala, see this Wikipedia article, and another article from the BBC)

The Road to Allah is Paved With Gold


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