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Today's terrorist bank account number is...

By Jeremy Reynalds
web posted May 20, 2002

Government officials and officials at Internet service providers either don't know or aren't talking about terrorist web sites that they are allegedly requiring American Internet service providers to maintain on their servers.

The sites include www.azzam.com, apparently hosted by www.burst.net. The latest comment I received by e-mail from burst.net customer service manager Matthew McCormick read, "At this point, we cannot release any information in regards to this matter. I cannot divulge any information to this, and must remain silent."


I didn't fare any better with finding on what's going on with the Hamas web site (www.qassam.org). Apparently hosted at the behest of the government by "Everyone's Internet" in Houston, TX., on one portion of the site (http://www.qassam.org/tabaro3.htm#en) there is an appeal for donations to allow the Hamas to purchase guns and bullets "to help defend the Arab and Muslim Ummah."

My concern about such strongly worded rhetoric led me to call the Houston FBI., who promised me a phone call back. I'm still waiting!

Being a relatively impatient guy (and also wanting to fulfill what I felt were my duties as a citizen) I then called the Albuquerque FBI, where a worker who was unaware of the situation asked me to e-mail her information. This was her e-mailed response. "Thank you for your concern. This matter will be forwarded to the appropriate desk."

And then Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the U.S. Customs Service in Washington D.C. (which according to one media account was the government agency that asked "Everyone's Internet" to keep the Qassam site afloat) said he wished he could tell me something but he is unable to do so.

By this time, I figured that there's one of two things that could be going on. Either the FBI is stupid and irresponsible, which isn't inconceivable as the Associated Press reported earlier this month in relation to the 9/11 terrorist attacks that FBI headquarters didn't take any action on a memo from its Arizona office basically warning of impending problems.

That document read, "there were a large number of Arabs seeking pilot, security and airport operations training at least one U.S. flight school and which urged a check of all flight schools to identify more possible Middle Eastern students."

If it wasn't stupidity, something else was afoot. And that something else is more and more looking like there's government involvement with these sites (as the two ISP's involved are claiming).

I'm not the only one who's thinking this. In a recent e-mail I received, a reader commented, "Two possibilities occur to me: the government has hacked the sites and is able to monitor who is accessing them or the government has actually created the web sites for the same purpose, as bait. I feel the odds that this is the situation are overwhelming and while the cover has been blown, the sites are probably being accessed internationally, and the sites may be viable for a while longer."

Hopefully, for not too much longer. These web sites are bad news all the way round. For example. The qassam web site provides an e-mail address for interested readers to get information about sending money to the cause. Curious about what sort of response I might receive, I sent an e-mail to the address and within a few minutes received the following form letter back -- along with a bank account number -- which is reprinted in its entirety and just as I received it.

"in the name of Allah the most gracious the merciful. salam wa alikom wa rahmatu allah wa barakatu How are you brother? We hope that you are doing very well!
Thanks be to Allah and peace and blessings of Allah be upon His prophet Mohammed and upon his family, companions and followers. Dear noble mujahid brother,
In fact words alone can not express our gratitude that you answered our appeal for donation, may Allah reward you and admit you to the Garden of Eden and paradise as well. We also ask Him to help you especially on the Day of Judgement.
Dear donor, We assure you that all the money will be given to no body but to all the Mujahideen in Palestine. This is the bank account : Name: Ayman ataya Mansoor. Bank account no.: 38924/2/510 Arab bank- Gaza branch- Palestine
Please send us a copy of the receipt (the paper that shows you paid the money) by mail or tell us the moment you send the amount of money. Also please tell us the field in which you prefer your money to be spent on such as 'on martyrdom attacks, on buying weapons to the Mujahideen, training the youth, on inventing and developing missiles, on mortars, on explosives. or if you want us to decide it is also okay?'
send to e-mail (ok-support@qassam.org) when you send.
If you want to send money in the future, please let us know and do not use the same bank account, because we constantly change due to privacy and security necessity. So if you want just contact us and we will send you the bank account. may Allah reward you and be satisfied with you and make you a true mujahid. Thank you so very much from the leadership of Izz el-Deen el-Qassam Martyr Phalanxes.The military Wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement 'Hamas' Palestine."

Folks, how long is this going to be allowed to go on for? So-called "conspiracies of silence" worry me, and it looks like we've got one right here! Please contact your local talk radio show, your senators and congressmen and ask them just what the heck is going on.

Jeremy Reynalds is a freelance writer and the founder and director of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter. He has a master's degree in communication from the University of New Mexico and is pursuing his PhD in intercultural education at Biola University in Los Angeles. He is married with five children and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work can be viewed here and weekly at www.americasvoices.org. He may be contacted by e-mail at reynalds@joyjunction.org.

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