Friday, September 28, 2007

Millennial Opportunities: Catching and Listing new sleeper cell terrorists on the "Terrorist Watch List! Why Is It Difficult?

Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc for Peace and Prosperity-

Re: Why is it difficult to list some terrorists than others?

Does it take the massacre of 3,000 US Citizens to make list of terrorists?

What if the terrorists manged to massacre 74 in the Ogaden Chinese Oil Exploration Camp? Does citizenship of terror or terrorist matter?

Do the victims need to be US Citizens? or for that matter British Citizens to make it to the Terrorist Watch List? One wonders about the double standards and some time wonder why the world is mad with such incompetence?

Listing terrorists and putting them on international watch list or even better pre-empting their activities should be done by experts that are drawn from all over the world under the watch of the United Nations. Just like the nuclear experts, we need global terrorist experts under the UN. We might then see some justice done early before the damage.

The world cannot depend only on a busy US Department that is pre-occupied with executing its own war on terror to put up the terrorist list and also be the watch dog at the same time. This is asking too much and is not feasible either.

It is time for the U to be proactive and be at the forefront of the fight for peace, security and even prosperity, instead of trying to reduce poverty and terror.

May be the UN should be a little helpful here in the execution of the naming of terrorists as well as sanctioning on those known terrorists early before they manage to terrorize the rest of humanity. Remember the Clinton experience with Bin Laden at the Sudan, when he could have easily been put out of action? That was one great lost opportunity.

That indecision or rather poor decision gave us Afghanistan and Iraq, what will the Ogaden Massacre give us if we do not act sooner than later.

Here is another great opportunity. May be the October 2, 2007 10 am Hearing at the US Congress, Africa Subcommittee Hearing was the result of this gross injustice of pre-emptive sanction against the terrorists in the Horn. Here is another great opportunity for the US and international community to get to the bottom of Horn of Africa based terrorism.

Their sympathisers and protagonists are all coming under the pretext of the overt and covert terror hearing being deployed in the Horn of Africa. We will see not only the sympathisers but also their sanitizers and lobbyists including high placed US operatives. They will all present themselves n all their colours.

God knows what type of testimonies we wil hear as there are a number of sympathisers of terrorism and covert sleeper cell terrorists that are being lined up to testify at this hearing. We need smart questions that can bring out the hidden agendas of all those testifying and providing witnesses.

There is a need to verify and validate some of the stories that are going to be told at these hearing. For so long, these sympathisers have been exploiting the open liberal institutions with their well rehearsed propaganda stories well integrated into the historical socialist and communist rehetoric currently whitewashed to fit the new US policies against terror and universal freedom and democractic aspirartions of emerging nations.

The real questio is are we ready to decode the message they are sending at these hearings. Are going to be fooled yet again by false, indefensible arguments without the mechanism of substantiatiion of their claims and allegations?

Would we loose the same opportunity that President Clinton lost in catching Bin Laden while he was at the Sudan? Bin Laden was actually offered up to the US by the Sudanese and the US did nothing then.

Some of the Ogaden Terrorist sympathizers and sleeper cell activists are going to testify at US Congress Subcommittee on Africa meeting, on Tuesday, 02 October 2007. May be we should pay attention here!

It would be a very interesting experience of just checking the testimony with evidence and may be we will have the opportunity of unearthing some of the Sleeper Cell Terrorists in North America and the Horn, that are masquerading as humanitarians and failed politicians.

If are paying attention, we might get more than we bargained for at this hearing. Both the US and Horn of African nations should pay attention to the deliberations of this hearing as some interesting facts will turn up at the testimony and subsequent questioning. Some of these witnesses are pardonnees that left their home communities after requesting for pardon following a conviction at the court of law.

This is what is called Open Sources in Action by some analysts in the field.

Remember: Presenting false testimony to the US Congressional hearing will make one liable for prosecution. Here is an excellent opportunity for Homeland Security and National Security Agents to analyze the Sleeper Cell Terrorists testimony at the upcoming Congressional hearing.

We hope, that the Clinton-Binladen Fiasco of the Sudan will not be repeated at the upcoming hearing of US Congress on October 2, 2007.

If the US cannot catch Sleeper Cell terrorists at the doors of its congressional hearing, then we cannot expect them to catch Bin laden in the tribal caves of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

If the US cannot label sleeper cell terrorists or out right terrorist under its protection, then each region will make its own list, and god knows who will be in whose list?

Does race has any thing to do with it? At least the US legal system is colour blind and hopefully its envorcers too. I hope not, I would like to believe it is shear incompetence, may be an expensive one in terms of its long term impact and present lost opportunities.

The Ethiopian Ambassador Samuel Asseffa alerts the world about the hypocrisy of the West's notion of Terrorist Lists and the price of not acting sooner before more damage is done. The Ogaden 7/24 is no different than the US 9/11 or the UK 07/07. Lives are lost in all these places due to terrorists success and our failure to protect the innocents.

Who should name, names in the list? A UN Body? or some bureaucrats at the State Department? Who should alert the world community to take precaution or pre-emptive actions that will save the world too much misery and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

That is the question of the day! There should be mechanism in place to verify some of the claims that are likely to be presented and if there are intentional attempts to mislead the US Congress and the International Communities, then we should have ways of dealing with it.

The question is how do we deal with deliberate misinformation, the recent Iranian President performance at the Colombia University should teach us to be much smarter than what the University President did. There should be a mechanism for transparency and accountability, after all that is what is democracy is all about. It is afterall about Good Governance.

Let us see what we would learn and what we will do at the hearings and after they are delivered.

Article published Sep 28, 2007
Terrorism double standard?

September 28, 2007

Samuel Assefa - Imagine for a moment that a military group — aligned with al Qaeda and supported by a bordering hostile nation — slaughtered 74 workers at a business in America or Europe.

How long would it take for this group to be declared a terrorist organization by Western governments and widely condemned in the media?

On April 24, 2007, my country, Ethiopia, suffered just such an attack. Yet Western governments have not labeled the perpetrators as terrorist and the media has been largely unsympathetic.

Is there a double standard in what constitutes terrorism depending upon whether the victims are Western? Certainly there is no double standard under U.S. law.

The Foreign Relations Authorization Act says "terrorism" is "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents."

In Ethiopia a group calling itself the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has committed numerous acts of violence against civilians, Ethiopians and non-Ethiopians alike.

The ONLF's goal is to forcibly separate Somali-speaking Ethiopians from the rest of Ethiopia.

In April, the ONLF attacked a Chinese oil exploration facility in this region and proudly claimed credit. In this single attack the ONLF murdered 74 innocent Chinese and Ethiopian civilians, including a 3-year-old child, many as they slept.

The talents of the ONLF extend beyond slaughtering innocents. The group is remarkably adept at public relations and has romanced some Western journalists with the notion its members are modern-day Che Guevaras.

The New York Times recently called them "Rebels with a Cause," and its correspondent praised their boldness.

Yet they are, plain and simple, terrorists. The ONLF has killed local elders opposed to its policies, attacked people in markets and religious institutions, killed mourners at funerals of ONLF victims, bombed a stadium, planted bombs near a railroad, assassinated local businessmen and government officials and kidnapped foreign workers and staff of humanitarian organizations. Just recently, the ONLF threatened violence against any oil company that seeks to work in the Somali Regional State.

The ONLF has also allied itself with al Qaeda-aligned terrorist groups operating in Somalia. These groups have a common state sponsor in Eritrea.

A recent United Nations report concluded that Eritrea has armed terrorists in Somalia with weapons including suicide belts and anti-aircraft missiles.

The ONLF has safe-haven bases across the border from which they can attack us. Recently, the U.S. Department of State said it is considering naming Eritrea as a state-sponsor of terrorism. That would be a significant positive step.

Collectively, this unholy alliance is trying to destabilize the Horn of Africa, already one of the most dangerous breeding grounds for al Qaeda recruits.

They know that Ethiopia, a strong American ally, stands in the way of their reprehensible plans. Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have issued fatwas against Ethiopia.

Failure to designate groups like the ONLF as terrorists undercuts international efforts to build a global consensus and coalition against terrorism. It instills doubt in the core value of democratic societies — the belief every human life has equal value.

If the international community is to succeed in combating terrorism, there can be no double standard.

An attack on any innocent victim for political means must be treated in the same fashion no matter the color of the victim's skin, the God she prays to, the ethnic group he hails from or the nation she calls home.

It is this commitment that Ethiopia has made to its people and to the international community long before the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Now as we face this common terrorist threat we respectfully ask for that same commitment.

Samuel Assefa is Ethiopia's ambassador to the United States.


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