Rep. Benjamin Gilman was given a document from the GAO, U.S. General Accounting Office, purportedly on the hidden financial assets of the PLO. Strangely the U.S. government seems to have neglected normal responsible financial procedures by not requesting a fully documented disclosure of the PLO assets.[i]
Even before such a release of information might occur, damage control to protect Arafat is being initiated by the Rabin government and through President Clinton’s access to the media. The motivation by Clinton and Rabin is plain, since exposing a stash of billions of dollars under Arafat’s control would further harden Congressional resolve not to give Arafat $500 million U.S. dollars. That ‘gift’ is also contingent upon Arafat’s PLO keeping its agreements under Oslo, although they have already broken most of its provisions.
Other questions come up: Who else in the U.S. community may have received cash payments from this fund to support the PLO/Arafat movement? Will Rep. Gilman release the substance of the GAO report or will it remain embargoed – to be leaked a bit at a time?
The original investigation by the National Criminal Intelligence Service in the United Kingdom stated the following: “The conglomeration of Palestinian movements under the umbrella of the PLO are the richest of all terrorist groups. It is estimated that they have worldwide assets approaching $8-10 Billion U.S. and an annual income of about $1-2 Billion U.S. dollars.” [ii] “In 1992 Congress passed a law authored by Senator Charles Grassley giving federal courts jurisdiction over civil suits by American victims against terrorist organizations. The reason behind Grassley’s initiative was the common wisdom to ‘follow the money trail’. The Treasury Department did not comply with the law in deference to Arab sensitivity. Too bad. Terrorists active in the U.S. had once again taken advantage of our democratic system.”[iii] Islamic fundamentalists have been exposed raising funds in America for use by terror groups in Israel. The Hidden Assets of the PLO have great power to influence, but that is only one strand in a matrix of aggressive confrontation as follows:
The House of Representatives’ Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare report of January 19, 1994: “ISLAM AGAINST THE CHURCH”, delineates “the Islamists’ self-proclaimed “Holy War” (Jihad) against the West, increasing attacks on Christianity and Christian minorities living in Muslim countries. This world-wide campaign of new anti-Christianity propaganda, emanating from Iran and Sudan, has led to mob attacks and murders in Somalia, the Philippines, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan, Lebanon, and against the Christians in Israel. [iv]
In the PBS special: “Jihad in America” 11/21/94, Oliver Revell, former FBI Dallas Bureau Chief, states the danger: “…If you listen to [what the Islamic extremist terrorists] are really saying, they’re not just aimed at the Israelis …or the Jewish State. Their goals are completely and totally dedicated to eradicate any opposition to Hamas and to Islam and to move against the United States ultimately.”[v]
The ongoing trial of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and 10 other defendants in the plot to bomb New York City landmarks and public figures revealed details of the selection of bomb targets. As recorded secretly, Rahman advised them not to bomb the U.N. or the New York office of the FBI, but to bomb the U.S. military.[vi]
Besides connections to the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers bombing, the sheik’s disciples’ alleged plots included the blowing up the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, shooting foreign tourists in Egypt, planting bombs in the pyramids, targeting government ministers and the planned assassination of President Hosni Mubarak to topple the government in favor of a militant Islamic fundamentalist regime.[vii]
Kenneth Timmerman’s Los Angeles Times article of November 21, 1994 is instructive and alarming: “Brainwashing the Faithful for Heroic Afterlives: Radical Islamic terrorist groups use the rhetoric of hate in grooming young men to commit suicidal acts.” Timmerman was present at a ‘seminar’ of 6 people including Mahmoud Ahmed and 21 year old Hisham Ismail Hamad, who six days later blew himself up while also obliterating 3 Israeli soldiers. According to Mahmoud Ahmed: “Islamic Jihad considers Israel, Nazi (sic) U.S., Britain, France and the others are a cancer that must be removed. We would like to remind them that the Argentina bombs are only one of the actions of Islamic Jihad…It is our main strategy.” [viii]
Experts on international terrorism, Neil C. Livingstone and Robert J. Heibel, former FBI deputy chief of counter terrorism, say the truckload of explosives used in Oklahoma City bombing, the 1983 slaughter of 241 U.S. Marines in Beirut, and the 1992 World Trade Center is almost a signature or [group] calling card.” Abu Sayyaf, an Arab terrorist group, is linked to a web of international terrorist acts including the three truck bombings as well as the plot to assassinate the Pope. Terry Nichols traveled 20 times to Abu Sayyaf’s south Philippines headquarters, where six terrorists wanted in the World Trade Center bombing were caught. [ix] This connection has not been followed up by investigative reporting or Congressional hearings.
The original investigation by the British Intelligence’s NCIS itemized the financial resources of many terrorist organizations. By knowing the quantity of their assets and their sources of funds, the Secret Services could hope to control the activities of the terrorist groups. It has been reported that British Intelligence was reluctant to assist the U.S. in its current research into terrorist organizations’ assets. This was due to the close relationship of such terrorist groups as the PLO and the terrorist nations of Iraq and Syria with the U.S. during the Bush/Baker administration and now continuing under President Clinton. In other words, the U.S. could not be trusted with hard intelligence and British sources.
This brings into question the accuracy of the GAO report since U.S. intelligence has not penetrated Middle Eastern terrorism very well and has heretofore relied upon allies (Britain and Israel) for information. Moreover, for political purposes, the US has even attempted to exonerate Iran and Syria for their role in the Pan Am 103 bombing. Since the present Israeli government has adopted the role of protecting and apologizing for the PLO terrorists and has abandoned previous Arab informants to the un-tender mercies of the Palestinian Authority, the GAO would have received little accurate information from Israel.
However, the rapid spread of suicide bombings and explosives detonated by remote control ought to stimulate security services of all countries of the world to unite in common cause. The most effective investigations could be the ones that “Follow the Money Trail.”
If Arafat’s PLO or Arafat personally controls $10 to $12 Billion or more U.S. dollars, why would the U.S. Congress continue to supply $500 Million to him? Why should the American taxpayers foot that bill? Arafat has violated almost every obligation of the Olso Agreements. If the Peace Agreement Monitoring committee cannot stipulate that Arafat is in compliance with Oslo, Congress is forbidden to extend further financial assistance and President Clinton cannot morally override their decision. The payments of U.S. dollars to Arafat continue until Congress reconvenes in September.
1. “Giving Foreign Aid a Bad Name” by Frank Gaffney, Jr. WASHINGTON TIMES 7/18/95
2. “Don’t Underrate Arafat’s Bank Account” by Rachel Ehrenfeld Wall Street Journal, Europe 12/2/93.
3. “Is the PLO Really Bankrupt?” (Top Secret: Declassified) by Rachel Ehrenfeld Jewish Press 10/19/93
3. “Islam Against the Church” Task Force on Terrorism & Unconventional Warfare, U.S. House of Representatives, by Yossef Bodansky & Vaughn S. Forrest, Chairman: Rep. Bill McCollum (Fla.)
4. ‘Jihad in America’ by Steven Emerson on PBS Public Broadcasting System 11/21/94
5. “Terror-Plot Trial Details Selection of Bomb Targets” James McKinley New York Times 3/17/95
6. “Battle for Egypt: Terror in NY is Part of Larger War” U.S. News & World Report 7/19/93
7. “Brainwashing the Faithful” by Kenneth Timmerman Los Angeles Times 11/21/94
8. “Oklahoma Bomb Paid for by Arab Assassins” The Globe May 16, 1995