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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The arrest of Ali Khalil Mehri

The arrest of Ali Khalil Mehri demonstrates another source of terrorist funding, which is the sale of counterfeit products. Shelley argues that terrorists use such sales due to the “low risks” and “high profits” of the counterfeit trade (2012, abstract). In the case of Mehri, Paraguayan authorities arrested him in the course of investigating two terror attacks, and found Hezbollah propaganda and evidence of foreign money transfers (Arena, 2006, pp. 459-460). Levitt states that Mehri was arrested for “selling millions of dollars in pirated software and funding Hezbollah” (2005, p.9). Hudson notes that Mehri was arrested in the same building in which Paraguayan authorities later found over 4,000 counterfeit CD's and 80 machines capable of creating such counterfeits (2010, p. 30). Hudson also suggests that Mehri was able to escape from Paraguay to Syria based on his contributions to Paraguayan Deputy Angel Ramón Barchini (2002, p. 37).
The arrest of Mehri brings to attention how American authorities may detain a terror suspect within the United States. Should such suspects be held under criminal law, or should these cases be approached as a matter of national security? It must be noted that Mehri was a” a newly naturalized Paraguayan citizen” (2002, p. 37). In a hypothetical question of “how would this be handled in America, had this situation be handled here?”, we note that as an American citizen, Mehri would have had the full range of Constitutional rights had he been arrested in the United States. Of course, USCIS would have fallen short of it's mission if a person like Mehri was allowed to become a citizen. Of course, the younger Tsarnaev brother ( one of the Boston Bombers) had become a citizen (Ng,2013, factoid), so we do see that sometimes USCIS does fail in it's mission.
So why is it important that American citizens be given full protection under due process? Etter says:
It is through a constitutional prism that American courts view all legal actions in the United States. Thus when those that have attempted to achieve their political and personal ambitions by means of force plotted against the government and their plots failed they were put before the American civil justice system to face trial for their actions” (2008, p.99).
Once we have abandoned our legal system, we are no longer Americans. However, that does not mean we can not set different legal standards for non-citizens , or take better care of who we extend citizenship to.

Arena, M. P. (2006). Hizballah’s global criminal operations. Global Crime, 7(3/4), 454–470. http://doi.org/10.1080/17440570601073186

Etter, G. W. (2008). Prosecuting Domestic Terrorists in the American Court System: A Study of Three Cases. Journal of the Institute of Justice and International Studies, (8), 99–119. Retrieved May 11, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/213962107?pq-origsite=summon

Hudson, R. A. (2002). A global overview of narcotics-funded terrorist and other extremist groups. Federal Research Division Library of Congress. Retrieved May 11, 2015

Hudson, R. A. (2010). Terrorist and organized crime groups in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America. Federal Research Division Library of Congress. Retrieved May 11, 2015 from http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/pdf-files/TerrOrgCrime_TBA.pdf

Levitt, M. (2005). Hezbollah: Financing terror through criminal enterprise. Testimony given to Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Washington, DC, 25. Retrieved April 13, 2015 from http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/testimony/313.pdf

Ng, Christina. (2013, April 19). Boston bomb suspect became a U.S. citizen on 9/11 last year. ABC News. Retrieved May 11, 2015 from http://abcnews.go.com/US/boston-marathon-bombing-suspected-tsarnaev-brothers/story?id=19000426

Shelley, L. I. (2012). The diverse facilitators of counterfeiting: A regional perspective. Journal of International Affairs, 66(1), 19–XV. Retrieved May 11, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/1243043417?pq-origsite=summon


Considering that Islam is both a political and religious  system, in which community laws (sharia) are the direct word of g*d, it is trickier to make a decision that would be "politically correct"...

and what about Muslims fleeing Islamic tyrannies?  I recognize that not all Muslims are 100% religiously faithful.

It is a hard question.  But I think I would err on the side of caution when it comes to America's safety


Let' suppose you have 3 people; A, B, and C.

A is a known terrorist, B & C are not.
If A communicates with B; I think we should be able to spy on that communication because A is a terrorist.  But if B then communicates with C, we should not be able to spy on that communication.

...unless the communication between A and B establishes that B is a terrorist as well.

Good point re: Mehri's escape through corruption.  Angel Ramón Barchini was denied entry to the United States due to his ties with Islamist terrorists.

It was Barchini all along  (sorry, couldn't help myself lol)

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