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AL QAIDA IN THE RANKS? Noncitizen (Naval) reservist suspected of ties to terrorist network
Navy Times | July 29, 2002 | Christopher Munsey & Patricia Kime

Posted on 07/26/2002 11:00:47 AM PDT by aristeides

The al-Qaida terrorist network may have infiltrated the U.S. Navy – getting access to bases, uniforms, refueling procedures and more.

Federal authorities in the Seattle area are holding a drilling Naval reservist, a non-U.S. citizen, suspected of having ties to Islamic radicals with known connections to al-Qaida.

Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Semi Osman, 32, was arrested May 17 at his home in Tacoma, Wash., on charges of illegally trying to become a U.S. citizen and possession of a handgun whose serial number was “obliterated or altered,” according to court documents.

Osman pleaded not guilty at a June 5 arraignment before Magistrate Judge John Weinberg. He faces a jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Ziley on Aug. 12 in Seattle.

A federal official said Osman could receive a maximum of 10 years in prison on the immigration charge if convicted, and up to 5 years for the weapons charge.

Osman, who also served briefly in the U.S. Army in 1998, apparently first entered the United States in 1988 with a British passport. He has not been formerly (sic) charged as a terrorist, but a search warrant issued May 31 by the U.S. District Court in Seattle asserts that evidence seized from Osman’s apartment constitutes “material support for terrorists or foreign-terrorist organizations.”

If that can be proven, Osman would likely be the first U.S. service member publicly linked to a terrorism group since Sept. 11.

Searches of the apartment turned up Islamic literature, anti-American papers, military instruction manuals, maps, survival gear, handguns, an assault rifle and ammunition – all legal.

But authorities also found and seized a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun with its serial number filed off, documents said. Other items listed include:

1) A Lebanese passport issued in the name of Sami Samir El-Kassem. The date and place of birth are 1970 in Sierra Leone. The photo appears to be that of Semi Osman as a young child.

2) A book entitled “Acquiring New ID” that contained, between its pages, a Washington state birth certificate in the name of Daniel Anthony McClellan.

3) A document that looked like a scanned version of the Daniel McClellan birth certificate with the name altered to read “Michael McClellan.”

4) A visa application for Yemen.

Joining the Navy

Osman enlisted in the Naval Reserve on June 28, 2001, under the Non-Prior Service Accession Course, a Tacoma Reserve Center spokesman said. Until his arrest, Osman participated in monthly drills at the Tacoma drill center as a member of Supply Support Battalion One, Company F, a fueling unit.

“According to his supervisors, he was just like all our new affiliates – eager to learn the job and get qualified in his position,” said Cmdr. John Croce, a spokesman for Navy Supply Support Battalion One.

In early 1988 (sic), Osman reportedly served briefly in the Army, undergoing basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., from February to March 1998, before discharging as an E-2. Army officials contacted at Fort Benning could not locate records pertaining to Osman’s Army service, saying they likely had been transferred to permanent storage.

As a new Reserve member, Osman spent the bulk of his weekend duty training in Tacoma, though he also attended one field training exercise at Fort Lewis, Wash., Croce said.

“He didn’t actually have access to fuel,” Croce said. “It was an exercise in setting up equipment like a field fuel depot.”

But even that kind of observation could have been valuable to a terrorist organization, said Larry C. Johnson, a former deputy director in the State Department’s Office of Counterterrorism. A terrorist sympathizer holding a relatively benign job in the Navy could gather plenty of intelligence useful for a terrorist attack, he said.

The successful October 2000 terrorist attack on the destroyer Cole, in the port of Aden, Yemen, probably was accomplished with information about fueling times and procedures, Johnson said.

Getting a terrorist or sympathizer into the U.S. military is “an intelligence bonanza,” he said. “They’ll know what type of fuel is being used, what the procedures are.”

Such an individual also would have access to official identification and uniforms, Johnson said.

“If the guy has any type of ties whatsoever, it’s very serious. Military ID could be obtained and copied,” he said. “With access to uniforms, someone could appear to be something they’re not.”

Numerous bases nearby

The Tacoma Reserve Center is plum in the center of a host of military installations located in and around Puget Sound. The region is home to about 35,000 sailors and their families, spread out among four major Navy bases: Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Naval Station Bremerton/Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Naval Station Everett and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Other smaller Navy facilities also are in the region, with the Army’s Fort Lewis, which provides small-arms training and other facilities to sailors in the region, and McChord Air Force Base.

Lt. John Filostrat, a Naval Reserve spokesman in New Orleans, said Naval Reserve officials are cooperating with the federal investigation.

“We’re working with them. . . . Anything they need, we’re there to supply,” he said.

Pending the outcome of his arrest, Osman has been transferred to a non-drilling, non-paid status in a Volunteer Training Unit, Filostrat said.

From Sierra Leone via London

Among the court documents is a deposition given by Immigration and Naturalization Service Agent Darrick Smalley, in which he states that Osman appears to have been born Sami Samir El-Kassem in Sierra Leone. He holds a British passport and immigrated to the United States sometime in the late 1980s, entering te country through New York City in December 1988 on a tourist visa and a British passport in the name of Semi Osman. By June 2001, when he joined the Naval Reserve, he was listed as a permanent legal resident of the United States.

The military services allow noncitizens to enlist. The active-duty Navy has 16,248 noncitizen members. Noncitizens are not allowed to hold certain ratings, including those that require security clearances. Statistics on how many noncitizens are in the Naval Reserve were not available.

Grand jury investigation

The Seattle Times reported July 12 that a federal grand jury was investigating several Seattle Muslims – including Osman – for possible connections to terrorist groups.

Grand juries conduct their work in secret, but the paper quoted sources who asserted the jury is examining whether members of the now-defunct Dar-us-Salaam and Taqwa mosques in Seattle have aligned themselves with Sheik Abu Hamza al-Masri, a radical London cleric suspected by Western officials of recruiting for al-Qaida.

Osman’s civilian attorney, Robert Leen, said his client is not a terrorist and is not cooperating with federal investigators.

“The grand jury is looking into a lot of things,” he said. But Leen acknowledged Osman’s ties to the mosques pose a challenge to his defense. “It’s true he was a member of a mosque where it’s clear there were some things going on that probably bear investigation,” Leen said.

U.S. officials were tipped off to a possible link between the religious centers by a British-born Taliban member in custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the paper reported.

The Taliban soldier, Geroz Abassi, told investigators earlier this year that he traveled to Afghanistan from London in 2000 with a Muslim convert with ties to Seattle.

The two men reportedly met at the North London Central Mosque, the religious center led by Abu Hamza that was visited by Zacarias Moussaoui, the only suspect charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, and Richard Reid, the man accused of trying to blow up a U.S. jet liner with explosives hidden in his shoe.

Two men from Abu Hamza’s London mosque then traveled from New York in late November 1999 to a remote ranch in Bly, Ore., where Osman lived with a woman and two children.

Klamath County, Ore., Sheriff Tim Evinger told the Associated Press that Abu Hamza, other men “of Middle Eastern descent” and their guests were on the property for about three months.

“There were some folks living there, and they had some guests. They did some shooting on the property, mostly small-arms practice,” said Evinger, who was on the Klamath Falls police force at the time.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: Oregon; US: Washington; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: alqaida; anthraxscarelist; cole; infiltration; jihadinamerica; redcross; seattlecell; terrorists; terrorwar; usnavy
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If al Qaida folks have gotten into our military, we've got trouble, folks.
1 posted on 07/26/2002 11:00:48 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: knighthawk; *TerrOrWar; Lion's Cub
News of connection with London cleric Abu Hamza al Masri.
2 posted on 07/26/2002 11:02:02 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: thinden; OKCSubmariner
News of al Qaida in Seattle.
3 posted on 07/26/2002 11:02:36 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: xzins; Topaz; Travis McGee; harpseal
This guy was not in the Navy at the time of the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, but it's possible that other infiltrators facilitated the attack. We certainly know about Ali Mohamed having been in the U.S. Army back in the late 80's.
4 posted on 07/26/2002 11:04:53 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: aristeides
Oh boy. I think I'm gonna be sick.
5 posted on 07/26/2002 11:07:11 AM PDT by DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet
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To: aristeides
6 posted on 07/26/2002 11:18:50 AM PDT by caddie
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To: aristeides
Didn't an Al Qaeda man make it all the way through Special Forces training a few years back?
7 posted on 07/26/2002 11:21:34 AM PDT by untenured
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To: untenured
I think you're talking about Ali Mohamed, but he was arrested in '98, and had been out of the Army for some years before that. This new case suggests they have maintained their presence. Note that they tried to get this guy into the active-duty Army in '98. I wonder why he was discharged as an E-2 after a month.
8 posted on 07/26/2002 11:25:17 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: untenured
I do not think he did the Q and went fully through. But he was assigned to a Spec. Forces unit or 2. Quite a dis-tasteful episode.
9 posted on 07/26/2002 11:45:40 AM PDT by Khurkris
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To: aristeides; archy
"Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Semi Osman, 32,"

Archy, think you can find a photo of this turkey?

10 posted on 07/26/2002 12:08:57 PM PDT by rdavis84
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To: aristeides
Here's my post to another related thread: a guy they picked up here in Pittsburgh as part of the Pakistani jewelry ring (no pun intended) had been in our armed services, too. He had all sorts of information on bio and nuclear warfare -- he claimed it was training material from when he was with the US Army. They let him go -- I pray because they are tracking him to see who his friends are...
11 posted on 07/26/2002 12:14:06 PM PDT by ellery
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To: aristeides
I still can't figure out how a non citizen can be in our military!!! Why???
12 posted on 07/26/2002 12:16:56 PM PDT by pitinkie
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To: pitinkie
I think resident aliens have been allowed to join our military for a long time. This guy Semi Osman apparently has a green card.
13 posted on 07/26/2002 12:19:12 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: aristeides; *JIHAD IN AMERICA; Grampa Dave; Clovis_Skeptic; ladyinred; veronica; Travis McGee; ...
Not good news!


To find all articles tagged or indexed using JIHAD IN AMERICA, click below:
  click here >>> JIHAD IN AMERICA <<< click here  
(To view all FR Bump Lists, click here)

14 posted on 07/26/2002 12:22:43 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: aristeides
I think resident aliens have been allowed to join our military for a long time.

During the Cold War era, my dad went through basic training with a number of
other recruits that he is sure were Phillipino nationals.

A few months ago, I heard a caller to talk radio (The Hugh Hewitt Show?) say that
his immigrant father had served in WWI so that he could attain US citizenship five years
faster than under regular procedure.
15 posted on 07/26/2002 12:27:07 PM PDT by VOA
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To: aristeides
They've already been in our military. One Ali Mohammed trained with our special forces and wrote al Qaeda's training manual. Who knows how many more are out there.
16 posted on 07/26/2002 12:44:02 PM PDT by Catspaw
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To: aristeides
If al Qaida folks have gotten into our military, we've got trouble, folks.

almost as bad as having a couple communist living in the whitehouse for 8 years.

17 posted on 07/26/2002 12:46:55 PM PDT by thinden
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To: pitinkie
Actually non-citizens who enlist can become citizens in only three years, not five. Actually, an Al-Qurazy operative would probably have a much more difficult time infiltrating an active duty unit, becuase of the time the unit spends together. Reserve units, with their limited contact would be easier to have a mole in.
18 posted on 07/26/2002 1:04:08 PM PDT by jjm2111
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To: aristeides
We had a card-carrying muslim fifth columnist in the State Department--and advising the White House--not so long ago. Here's a November 2000 (i.e., pre-Sept. 11th) NewsMax article about him:

When Abdurahman Alamoudi, friend and sometime adviser on Islamic affairs to Hillary Rodham Clinton, stood before a Muslim crowd in Lafayette Park across from the White House this week and passionately declared his support for the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, he was revealing the true face of "moderate" Islam.

He was also revealing the blindness, or rather the willful complicity, of America's political elites, particularly the Clintons, who have welcomed these Islamic "moderates" into our midst and helped raise them to important positions of influence in American life.

As revealed in last Friday's New York Daily News, Alamoudi, shortly before he began to work for the Clinton State Department in 1997 as a "goodwill ambassador" to Muslim countries, told the Islamic Association of Palestine in Chicago on December 29, 1996:

"I think if we are outside this country, we can say oh, Allah, destroy America, but once we are here, our mission in this country is to change it. There is no way for Muslims to be violent in America, no way. We have other means to do it. You can be violent anywhere else but in America."

In other words, whether by violent means from outside our borders or by nonviolent means from within our borders, the aim of Muslims is to destroy America. This message, which presumably Alamoudi delivered to Muslims in other countries as well as here, did not prevent a State Department official from saying this week that Alamoudi has had "overwhelmingly positive evaluations from our missions abroad."

Looking beyond the current flap over Hillary Clinton's return of a $1,000 campaign donation to Alamoudi and of $50,000 to a related Muslim group, the full extent of Alamoudi's relationship with the Clintons, going back several years, has not been widely reported.

As recounted by Steven Emerson in the March 13, 1996, Wall Street Journal, Alamoudi, then the executive director of the American Muslim Council, had repeated high-level contacts with the Clinton White House in late 1995 and early 1996, which happened to be the period immediately preceding the suicide bombings in Israel in early 1996. On November 9, 1995 he met with President Clinton and Vice President Gore at a meeting with 23 Muslim leaders at the White House. On December 8, National Security Adviser Anthony Lake met at the White House with Alamoudi and several board members of the American Muslim Council. On February 8, 1996, Mrs. Clinton wrote a newspaper column based on talking points provided by Alamoudi. And on February 20, 1996 (only a few days before the first Hamas bombing of the Number 18 bus in Jerusalem), Mrs. Clinton had Alamoudi's group draw up the Muslim guest list for a White House reception marking the end of the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, the first time such an event had ever been held at the White House.

Then, after the suicide bombings in Israel by Hamas (which, according to John Kifner in the March 15, 1996, New York Times, received crucial support from the Muslim community in the U.S. whose financial aid included assistance to the families of suicide bombers), President Clinton organized an "anti-terrorism" conference with Middle East Arab leaders, among them the same "moderate" leaders who supported the terrorist groups.

The American Muslim Council's ties with terrorists predated its intensive contacts with the Clinton White House in 1995 and 1996. The AMC had co-sponsored several conferences in the U.S. with a Hamas organization started by Musa Abu Marzuq, the Hamas leader who took responsibility for organizing suicide attacks against Israelis. The AMC had also arranged visits to the U.S. by Middle East militant groups such as the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood, and it also had a "special relationship" with the government of Sudan, which the U.S. had declared a terrorist regime.

Tolerant, "right-thinking" Americans are not supposed to notice any of this. We're not supposed to let the thought enter our heads that this tells us anything about the integrity of the Clintons, or about Israel's prospects for survival, or even about the fate of Western society as a whole, which has admitted millions of Muslim immigrants over the last several decades.

The politically correct line today is that Islamic radicals are only a "tiny minority" among American and other Western Muslims, the overwhelming majority of whom, we are assured over and over, are not extremists.

But even as the so-called moderate Muslims deny that they have any connection with extremists, they always seem to defend those same extremists.

In Steven Emerson's 1995 documentary "Jihad in America," a spokesman for the Islamic Committee for Palestine in Tampa, Florida, told an interviewer that his group had no alliance with terrorists. But when asked about Sheik Abdel-Rahman, the blind cleric who organized the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and who also had spoken at a conference sponsored by this same Tampa group, the spokesman replied that Sheik Rahman was not a terrorist, but a "conservative."

The "moderate" Alamoudi has used a similar logic. When Musa Abu Marzuq was arrested by the FBI in July 1995, Alamoudi said Marzuq had never been involved in terrorism, adding that Marzuq's arrest was an "insult to the Muslim community."

Even Marzuq used the same defense. When "Sixty Minutes" reporter Steve Croft asked the jailed terrorist, "If a man straps a bomb on his body, gets on a bus and blows himself up along with 30 Israelis, is that terrorism?" Marzuq insisted that such an act was not terrorism.

This mind-set, so incomprehensible to Westerners, was on full display on a special segment of the "Charlie Rose" program immediately following the PBS airing of "Jihad in America" in 1995. The documentary included shocking footage of Islamic radical groups in America. Abdul Zindani of Hamas in Brooklyn was seen calling for "killing and finishing off" the "idol worshippers." Muslim radicals were shown meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, and a dozen other Middle American cities, spewing hatred of America and praising murder and terrorist acts.

One videotape of a meeting in New Jersey in 1993 showed Muslims chanting "we want the blood of Jews." In videos of Muslim summer camps in the U.S., young kids were saying "butcher the Jews." A man named Abdulla Azzam was shown speaking in Oklahoma City, Brooklyn, Atlanta, and Lawrence, Kansas, urging holy war against the West.

Instead of denouncing these barbaric calls to violence by American Muslims, the respectable "moderates" on the Charlie Rose panel – Clinton ally Abdurahman Alamoudi among them – all denounced the documentary for provoking anti-Muslim feeling. Alamoudi insisted that Hamas is not a terrorist group. Most amazingly, he and his fellow "moderates" said that Americans should not feel threatened by extremist leaders addressing large Muslim audiences in this country calling for "Jihad of the sword" and chanting "Kill the Jews, kill the Christians."

Attempting to explain away that murderous rhetoric, another well-known "moderate" on the panel, the late Mohammed Mehdi of the American Muslim Committee (a frequent guest on William Buckley's "Firing Line" over the years), said that Muslims habitually use hyperbole, such as "I'll kill your grandfather," but that it doesn't mean anything and people shouldn't take it seriously.

But the ineluctable problem remains: If the members of a certain group routinely engage in or approve of such bloodthirsty threatening language, how can they realistically be expected to be participants in a Western democratic society based on common allegiance to reason and the rule of law?

And how can any Western society survive the inclusion of large numbers of such people in it?

Thanks to the "moderates" themselves, we now understand some basic truths about Muslims, notwithstanding the contemporary notion that it is bigoted and racist to judge the Muslim community as a whole by the "tiny number" of extremists among them.

First, Islamic "moderates" deny that groups like Hamas are terrorists.

Second, Islamic "moderates" deny that preachers and mobs chanting "Kill the Jews, butcher the Christians" should be seen by Americans as a threat.

Third, Islamic "moderates" do not oppose the extremists, but show solidarity with their extremist fellow Muslims; make excuses for them; bitterly denounce American journalists for publicizing the existence of these groups; and, most significantly, describe any attempt by America to defend itself from Islamic terrorism as an expression of "anti-Muslim" bias.

In making this last argument, the "moderates" on the Charlie Rose panel didn't seem to realize what they were revealing about themselves and the community they represent: If opposing Islamic terrorism is anti-Muslim, then Islam is indeed inseparable from terrorism. Alamoudi and his fellow "moderates" thus provided a more profound indictment of Islam than anything in Stephen Emerson's chilling documentary about the extremists.

The "moderate" Muslims' insistence that Americans must see nothing, say nothing and do nothing about Muslim terrorists in our midst should give us an idea of what life will be like in this country when Muslims achieve real political power here. Thanks to the Clintons in particular and the U.S. political establishment in general, and thanks most of all to America's suicidal immigration policy of the last 35 years, America's quickly growing population of Islamic "moderates" have already started to acquire such power.
19 posted on 07/26/2002 1:19:15 PM PDT by Honorary Serb
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To: Honorary Serb
When Abdurahman Alamoudi, friend and sometime adviser on Islamic affairs to Hillary Rodham Clinton, stood before a Muslim crowd in Lafayette Park across from the White House this week and passionately declared his support for the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, he was revealing the true face of "moderate" Islam.

He is--or was--a donor to Cynthia McKinney's campaign. I don't know if he's donated for this election, but he certainly did donate to McKinney in the last election.

20 posted on 07/26/2002 1:24:50 PM PDT by Catspaw
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