michael chertoff defended accused terrorist financer dr. Magdy Elamir

Security Risk?

by: Melissa Johnson and Sander Hicks, News Reporter and Special to the Star –

Federal Appeals Court Judge Michael Chertoff’s ties to the financiers of the Sept. 11 attacks may prevent his confirmation as Homeland Security Chief.

According to a June 20, 2000 article in the The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey, Chertoff defended accused terrorist financier Dr. Magdy Elamir.

Elamir’s HMO was sued by the State of New Jersey to recoup $16.7 million in losses. At least $5.7 million went “to unknown parties… by means of wire transfers to bank accounts where the beneficial owner of the account is unknown,” according to the article.

Foreign intelligence reports given to then chairman of the House International Relations Committee Ben Gilman,
R-New York, in 1998 accused Magdy Elamir of having “had financial ties with Osama bin Laden for years,” according to an Aug. 2, 2002 Dateline NBC broadcast.

In 1999, Magdy Elamir and brother Mohamed were named suspects in Operation Diamondback, an FBI/ATF undercover infiltration of Pakistani arms merchants who sought to arm Osama bin Laden with conventional and nuclear weapons, according to independent researcher and former New Jersey police officer Allan Duncan and taped transcripts with FBI informant Randy Glass.

Mohamed Elamir tried to purchase “small arms and ammunition” in a recorded telephone conversation with Glass, according to Dateline.

Dateline confirmed that Elamir and his corporations had paid at least $5,000 to Egyptian arms dealer Diaa Mohsen, who Elamir referred to on camera as a family friend. Moshen was sentenced to 30 months for his involvement in Operation Diamondback. However, Elamir was never convicted.

Duncan, who was hired by family members of the Sept. 11 victims to research government ties to the attacks, said the reason Magdy Elamir was never convicted was because he was never charged with a crime.

“By the time Operation Diamondback culminated in arrests in the summer of 2001, Michael Chertoff was the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the criminal division and Operation Diamondback would have fallen under his prevue since it was a criminal case and not a counterterrorism case,” Duncan said.

From 1990 to 1994, Chertoff was U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, during the period when the first attack on the World Trade Center took place.

Omar Abdel-Rahman preached at the Al Salam mosque and was later arrested for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to Dateline. Magdy Elamir was one of the Al Salam mosque’s financial supporters.

“The Jersey City area and particularly the Al Salam mosque were allowed to continue to be one of the major hubs of terrorist activity in the United States,” Duncan said.

In October 2001, Chertoff was appointed head of Operation Green Quest, a multi-agency initiative to target sources of funding for terrorist organizations, according to a U.S. Customs Service press release. Chertoff told the Associated Press on Oct. 25, 2001 that, “The lifeblood of terrorism is money, and if we cut the money we cut the blood supply.”

Chertoff served in the capacity of Assistant Attorney General of the criminal division at the Department of Justice from 2001 to 2003.

While acting in this position, Chertoff played a central role in formulating U.S. anti-terrorism policy “” from increasing the FBI’s authority to conduct domestic surveillance at religious gatherings to the effort to secretly detain hundreds of Middle Easterners in the United States.

Chertoff was one of the chief architects of the Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act, also known as the International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001.

Chertoff was then nominated to the Third Circuit U.S Court of Appeals in June 2003. Though there is no formal career path for federal judges, it is common for appellate judges to have served as district judges prior to appointments, according to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

Despite having never served in the judiciary, Chertoff was made a federal judge whose jurisdiction includes Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands.

After 19 months, President Bush nominated Chertoff to the position of Secretary of Homeland Security.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a government advocacy watchdog agency, has noticed Chertoff’s advancement from Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice to Secretary of Homeland Security nominee over the past four years.

“It’s an exceptional rise to power,” said Fitton.

Whether or not Chertoff had prior knowledge of Elamir’s alleged connections to Diaa Mohsen and bin Laden is unknown. Calls to Chertoff’s office were not returned.

Senate confirmations hearings for Chertoff have yet to be scheduled, according to the office of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

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5 Comments

  1. Wny don’t they just charge ElAmir with insurance fraud, criminal and civil, for inappropriate self-referals to facilities which he has a financial interest in?

  2. 1) Google led me here on a whim.

    2) Site doesn’t display well at all on Safari’s latest browser. Please fix (the web log). Text in column spills over into right rail, so you can’t see it to read it.

    3) And Chertoff, it seems, did get confirmed to head up unsere Staatssicherheitabteilung-ness-ness.

  3. […] might be Michael Chertoff’s. Chertoff served as counsel to Magdy El-Amir, a man identified as a leading Al Qaeda fundraiser in North America. Chertoff went on to head the criminal division at Justice and then to become […]

  4. […] might be Michael Chertoff’s. Chertoff served as counsel to Magdy El-Amir, a man identified as a leading Al Qaeda fundraiser in North America. Chertoff went on to head the criminal division at Justice and then to become […]

  5. really useful Here’s some thing to make you smile: Thought for the day? : I’d buy you a drink, but I’d be jealous of the straw.


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