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[] Somali ISPs in Big Trouble,
Diverse ISPs und Telekommunikationsfirmen -- darunter auch der erste
somalische ISP -- wurden als Mittäter in Bin Ladens Netzwerk
identifiziert. RB

U.S. Anti-Terrorism Sweep Nails Net, Phone Companies

By Robert MacMillan, Newsbytes
07 Nov 2001, 2:52 PM CST

President Bush and his top cabinet members today announced that several
small Internet and telephone companies operating in the U.S. have been
implicated as participants in the global terrorist network operated by
Osama bin Laden and suspected of carrying out the terrorist attacks on
Sept. 11.

The investigation into global terrorism has resulted in evidence seizures
and raids at several businesses across the country and throughout the
world. Bush said that companies operating inside several loose financial
networks have provided secure Internet and satellite phone services, among
other communications facilities.

The crackdown on bin Laden's network so far has resulted in $24 million in
blocked assets of suspected terrorist organizations and their helpers.

Attorney General John Ashcroft said that law enforcement has made a
variety of arrests across the country, including individuals and
businesses connected with "Al-Barakat" (spelled variously as Barakaat,
Barako, Baraka, etc.), and "Al-Taqwa."

"(In) locations across the country, the Department of Justice, the FBI and
other federal law enforcement agencies are interviewing individuals and
taking other investigative steps in ongoing criminal investigations,"
Ashcroft said, noting that law enforcement agencies have identified and
raided businesses in Massachusetts, Ohio, Washington, Minnesota and
Virginia, as well as other locations.

Ashcroft added that the Justice Department plans to use administrative,
civil and criminal prosecutions to nail the networks' participants.

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said that the gradual emergence of the
shadowy network of individuals and businesses financing and abetting the
international terrorist efforts of bin Laden's Al Qaeda network shows that
its members operate largely as "undocumented, unregulated financial

"Their system isn't perfect," he said. "Somewhere it must always interface
with modern banking and finance. When that connection is made, we have the
wherewithal to intervene ... "

Among the businesses named in a Treasury Department release are Al-Barakat
Global Telecommunications (also known as Barakaat Globetelcompany),
Al-Barakaat Wiring Service, Barakaat Red Sea Telecommunications, Barakaat
Telecommunications Co. Somalia Ltd., Barakat Telecommunications Company
ltd. (BTELCO), Barakat Computer Consulting, Barakat Global Telephone
Company, Somali Internet Company, Somali Network AB (SOM NET).

While some of the companies are located in the U.S., the sweep was
international in scope, with investigations being conducted in
Liechtenstein, Sweden and other locations.

The Somali Internet Company was established as the troubled east African
nation's first Internet service provider, and began operations in August
2000. Al-Barakat Global Telecommunications is one of the telecom companies
that established the Somali ISP.

The Barakaat Group of Companies, which operates several companies
including Barakaat Red Sea Telecommunications, said it was planning to sue
the U.K.-based Daily Telegraph for reporting that it had ties to terrorist

Treasury Department officials were not immediately available for comment.

Reported by, .

14:52 CST
Reposted 15:55 CST

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