1. According to reliable information, IHH had links to global jihad and Islamic terrorist networks in the past and assisted jihadist terrorist cells in many countries, including Bosnia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya. IHH provided mainly logistic support for transporting weapons and funding.
2. One of the time IHH’s name was mentioned was in connection with the planned Millennium Attack in the United States, a global jihad terrorist operation. Global jihad operators headed by Ahmed Ressam planned to set off a bomb in the Los Angeles International Airport on the night of December 31, 1999 (See Appendix for details about the Millennium Attack).
Ahmed Ressam, the Millennium Bomber, head of the cell which plotted
to carry out the Millennium Attack in Los Angeles (FBI History, June 3, 2010).
IHH Involvement in the Millennium Attack
The indictment against Ahmed Ressam
3. IHH was mentioned a number of times during the trial of Ahmed Ressam in Los Angeles as helping to obtain forged documents for the members of the terrorist cell to which he belonged. The terrorists also made many phone calls to IHH. Jean-Louis Bruguière, head of the French anti-terrorist unit, mentioned the organization during the legal proceedings concerning the Millennium Attack (a terrorist attack on Los Angeles International Airport planned by an Al-Qaeda cell in Montreal. See Appendix).
4. Bruguière was asked what role, if any, the IHH played in the operation of the Montreal cell. He answered2 that it played an important one. He said it was an NGO but a type of cover-up to thwart [sic. He may have said "support” and the court stenographer may not have understood him.] the Mujahidin [jihad fighters]. At the same time, he said, it facilitated different forms of infiltration for Mujahidin into combat and for recruiting Mujahidin. Finally, he said, it was implicated or involved in weapons trafficking.
5. When asked how, if at all, IHH was related to the Montreal cell, [See Appendix] he said it was closely related. It was determined, he said, that an operative named Khabu had left for Canada in order to find forged passports, and that he carried the forged documents to the IHH for another member as well, and that there were also other calls that crossed between Canada and Turkey, and Istanbul where IHH is located. (pp. 11-12).
6. When asked why he considered Adel Boumezbeur’s address to be a conspiratorial flat, he said that there were a lot of phone calls to many different countries, particularly, Turkey and Istanbul, and that he meant primarily calls to IHH (pp 25-26).
Page 11 of the original document, where some of Jean-Louis Bruguière’s testimony
appears (some of the information is quoted by Evan Kohlman, page 12).
Overview of the Millennium Attack
1. Ahmed Ressam, the Millennium Bomber, aka Benni Morris, was captured on the American-Canadian border in December 1999 with a large amount of explosives and bomb components in the trunk of his car. Interrogation revealed that he had been sent by Al-Qaeda to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport on the night of December 31, 1999.
2. Ahmed Ressam, a Muslim, was born on May 9, 1967 in Bou Ismail in western Algeria. In September 1992 he moved to France using a forged Moroccan passport issued in the name of Nasser Ressam. He was arrested in Corsica, deported to Morocco and banned from entering France for three years. When the authorities in Morocco discovered he was not in fact Moroccan, they planned to send him back to France. Instead, in February 1994 he flew to Canada using a forged French passport. When the Canadians authorities arrested him he revealed his true identity and asked for political asylum. To obtain asylum as a political refugee he told the Canadians that he had been tortured in Algeria. He was released, but his request for political asylum was rejected on June 6, 1995.
3. In 1998 a warrant was issued for his arrest by the Canadians immigration authorities. At the time he was in a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. When he returned to Canada he lived in Montreal and supported himself through criminal activities. While he was neither arrested nor tried, he was placed under surveillance by Canadian intelligence. He became friendly with an Algerian Al-Qaeda operative named Rauf Hanakhi, who had returned from Afghanistan where he had undergone [military] training. He encouraged Ressam to undergo the same training and arranged for him and his roommate to go to Afghanistan. In March 1997 Ressam went to Pakistan where he contacted Al-Qaeda senior leader Abu Zubeida, and from there went to an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. A six-member cell was formed at the camp of Canadian-based operatives, one of whom was Ressam. His mission was to bomb an American airport or an embassy before the end of 1999.
4. Ahmed Ressam returned to Montreal in February 1999, bringing $12,000 which he had received in Afghanistan to fund the attack. He also received chemicals for manufacturing explosives. In April 1999 French investigators asked the Canadian authorities to locate him for questioning. The Canadians authorities were unable to find him because he using the alias Benni Norris. In the summer of 1999 he was informed that the other members of the cell could not go to Canada and he decided to carry out the attack without them.
5. In August 1999 he chose the Los Angeles International Airport as his target. In September he purchased electronic equipment and components for making a bomb, and also enlisted an old friend to help him. In November the left Montreal and went to Vancouver. In December he contacted "Abu Ja’ffar” in Pakistan and asked if Al-Qaeda wanted to take responsibility for the attack, but did not receive an answer. He also contacted "Abu Doha” in London and told him he wanted to return to Algeria after the attack.
6. On December 14, 1999, he and his friend left Vancouver in a rented car en route to the United States. The bomb and other components were hidden in the wheel well of the trunk. He was detained at the border for suspicious behavior. At first he did not cooperate. The car was searched and the bomb was found. He was arrested and tried.
Los Angeles International Airport (Pure green.com, June 3, 2010)
1 Follow-up to the May 27, 2010 bulletin "IHH, which plays a central role in organizing the flotilla to the Gaza Strip, is a Turkish humanitarian relief fund with a radical Islamic anti-Western orientation. Besides its legitimate philanthropic activities, it supports radical Islamic networks, including Hamas, and at least in the past, even global jihad elements”.
2 From United States of America VS. Ahmed Ressam AKA Benni Norris, reporter's Transcript of Proceedings, LA California, 2nd April 2001 . http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/art/news/nation_world/terroristwithin/testimony16.pdf.