Washington (CNN) -- Three African men suspected of ties to al Qaeda in North Africa have been arrested in Ghana and flown to New York to face charges that they engaged in drug trafficking and supported terrorism, federal officials said Friday.
The three Mali natives will stand trial for an alleged drug conspiracy and conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, authorities said. The Drug Enforcement Administration, which announced the criminal complaint, said the suspects will appear Friday in federal court in New York (terrorism connected).
Court documents released in Washington reveal a DEA undercover operation that included agents claiming to have ties to FARC, the guerilla army in Colombia that the United States has designated as a terrorist organization. The alleged plot involved shipment of cocaine from Africa to Europe, with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb helping facilitate the trafficking. The suspects are identified as Oumar Issa, Idriss Abdelrahman and Harouna Toure.
Authorities said the apparent ties between the suspected African terror group members and the cocaine traffickers appear to represent an increasingly global effort to use the drug trade to support terrorism. While such a relationship is long-standing in Afghanistan, it has not been common in Africa (oh really read below), officials said, more from this source.............
1). Private Investigator Bill Warner's http://www.wbipi.com/ articles posted on the Intelligence Summit website in 2005;
http://www.wbipi.com/ Bill Warner.. "Andalusian Clan" in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Amer el-Azizi – nick name Othman Al Andalusi, Othman of Andalus (SPAIN).
* The student card of Raquel Burgos Garcia, 34, a Spanish convert and the wife of Amer el-Azizi, was found, eventually, during Waziristan-Offensive in the village of Sherwangi, one of the Teherik-e-Taleban strongholds in FATA region, where there are strong links between Taliban leaders and the "core" Al Qaeda, the Pakistani army reported on 10/29/2009.
The Pakistani military has done an incredible discovery to find European passports of two South WaziristanThe region northwest of Islamabad, which is an objective of the major offensive by Pakistani forces since 17 October.
Raquel Burgos Garcia, her passport, is not believed to have taken direct part in any terror activities but has been used as a courier. She is thought to be the holder of a number of other passports. The Pakistani army also found in the same village the Passport of Said Bahaji. Raquel Garcia Burgos, Madrid, was 20 when he met al-Qaeda leader Amer el-Azizi. She married him, converted to Islam and changed her name to Anani ("cloud"). Her transformation was dramatic. She went on to dress in black from head to toe of the more rigorous Muslim style.
Al Qaeda leader Amer Azizi seen in control of "Andalusian Clan", note Mali just south of Algeria, the three arrested Mali natives Oumar Issa, Idriss Abdelrahman and Harouna Toure have been flown to NYC..Experts say radicals in; Cairo-7/23/05, London-7/07/05, Cairo-4/07/05, Jeddah US Consualte-12/06/05, Taba Egypt-10/07/04, Riyadh 4/21/04, Madrid-3/11/04, British Consulate Istanbul-11/20/03, Casablanca- 5/16/03, Riydah-4/12/03, New York/Washington-9/11/01, may have followed direct orders from the "Andalusian Clan", which consisted of; Mustafa Nasar (arrested) and Amer Azizi and prior to their deaths, Saleh al-Oufi (used car dealer in Jeddah SA) and Karim Mejjati.
See Washington Post Bio-Obit about Mejjati http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/01/AR2005050100947_pf.html
See Bio on Amer Azizi http://www.spokesmanreview.com/local/story_txt.asp?date=042904&ID=s1514317
2). 4/11 Bombers Targeted Interpol, Check out the pre-suicide photos of the Algerian bombers 4/11/2007.
This is the official communiqué from Al-Qaeda's Committee in the Islamic Maghreb (Algeria) Published 4/11/2007 to the Internet.
Please note the "Second Target" was the headquarters for Interpol, this is the first time Interpol has ever been targeted or even mentioned by al-Qaeda. All three suicide bombers were driving trucks with in excess of 700kg of explosives.
OK, here again we have to ask where did the 3 trucks come from, and why all of a sudden is al-Qaeda targeting Interpol. Interpol has launched an aggressive attack against stolen cars coming out of Dubai and into Africa starting in early 2006, they are cutting off Al-QAEDA FINANCES, BILL WARNER http://www.wbipi.com/
3). Amer el-Azizi and the "Andalusian Clan" in Europe (Spain), North Africa (Algeria) and the Middle East; Amie el-Azizi (‘Uthman al-Andalusi), a 42-year-old Moroccan with Spanish citizenship was also among Algerian jihadist leader Qari al-Suri’s companions from the Madrid period. Amer el-Azizi is a former "emir" of al-Zarqawi in the Iraqi city of Al-Fallujah, until a short time ago the main bastion of the insurgents and Arab terrorists in the Sunni triangle. Amer el-Azizi is a 42-year-old Moroccan terrorist, married to a Spanish woman, is considered by the intelligence services one of the leaders of Al-Qaida in Europe and North Africa. There are two international warrants for the arrest of Amer el-Azizi issued by judges Baltasar Garzon and Juan del Olmo for his suspected involvement in the 9/11 and 3/11 attacks.
el-Azizi has been described as a deputy and envoy for al-Suri, and is suspected of having played a role in the Madrid bombings. Qari Al-Suri also maintained contacts with prominent Saudi Osama bin-Ladin sympathisers such as Khalid Fawwaz and leading Saudi dissidents, such as Saad al-Faqih, the head of the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA). His contacts also included Riyad al-Uqla (Abu Nabil), the top representative of the Jordan-based al-Tali‘ah al-Muqatilah, and the Syrian businessman Ma’mun Darkanzali, based in the Hamburg district of Uhlenhorst. Darkanzali was later indicted by Spain and the United States on charges of being a key al-Qaida financier in Europe (drugs and stolen cars), and of assisting the 9/11 Hamburg cell.
A Spanish press report in March 2005, citing European antiterrorist services, suggested that al-Suri and his associate Amir Azizi had found permanent refuge in ‘Iranian Kurdistan’, where they headed al-Qaida’s ‘Andalusian clan’, a network of some 100 fighters with experiences from the wars in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Chechnya. This network allegedly ‘extended through North Africa and Europe’, and ‘is planning attacks in Europe’.
4). Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) or L'Organisation Al-Qaïda au Maghreb Islamique, Formerly Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat or Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat;
AQIM originated as an armed Islamist resistance movement to the secular Algerian government. Its insurrection began after Algeria's military regime canceled the second round of parliamentary elections in 1992 when it seemed that the Islamic Salvation Front, a coalition of Islamist militants and moderates, might win and take power. In 1998, the group declared its independence from another terrorist organization, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), believing the GIA's brutal tactics were hurting the Islamist cause. The GSPC gained support from the Algerian population by vowing to continue fighting the government while avoiding the indiscriminate killing of civilians. The group has since surpassed the GIA in influence and numbers to become the primary force for Islamism in Algeria.
There are indications that terrorism in North Africa is on the rise and that AQIM is using the Iraq war and other unpopular Western policies to recruit new membership. "Despite the official happy talk," says Olivier Guitta, a Washington-based foreign affairs consultant, "kidnappings by Islamists to raise money for their cause are a routine occurrence in Algeria. And not a day goes by without terrorists' attacking military personnel, government employees, or ordinary civilians, whom they regard as allies of the government."
Collusion between AQIM and al-Qaeda is not a new phenomenon. According to a 2007 report by Emily Hunt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Osama bin Laden provided funding for Algerian Islamists in the early 1990s and was involved in the GSPC's early formation. Many of the group's founding members trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. The GSPC declared its allegiance to al-Qaeda as early as 2003, but al-Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, officially approved GSPC's merger in a videotape released on September 11, 2006. AQIM has since claimed responsibility for attacks under its new name.
Abdelmalek Droukdal, also known as Abu Musab Abdul Wadoud, is the current chief of the group. University-educated as a science student and well known for his bomb-making abilities, he has led the group since 2004, when its previous leader, Nabil Sahraoui, was killed in a firefight with Algerian forces.
Amari Saifi, also known as Abderrazak el-Para because he was trained as an Algerian paratrooper, is a former leader of the group that remains an important figure. Saifi is best known for organizing the lucrative 2003 kidnapping of European tourists in the Algerian Sahara. He was known as the "Bin Laden of the desert" and classified as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" by the United States, a title shared by top al-Qaeda commanders before he was captured in Chad in 2004 and eventually extradited to Algeria. In February 2008, AQIM militants kidnapped two Austrian tourists in Tunisia and listed el-Para's release as one of their demands. Algerian courts recently sentenced him to death, though the last execution in the country occurred in 1993.
Smuggling and petty crimes are a lucrative source of income, according to the CPT report. The porous, unpoliced borders of the Sahara region make smuggling vehicles, cigarettes, drugs, and arms particularly easy. Europe-based cells provide funds to AQIM through drug dealing, counterfeiting money, and other illegal activities, French and Italian police forces reported to Europol in 2008. The ransom paid as a result of the 2003 kidnapping provided a significant windfall for the group, more from this source................