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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Sep 22nd
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Analysis arrow New Yorker Pleads Guilty to Supporting Terrorist Media
New Yorker Pleads Guilty to Supporting Terrorist Media PDF Print E-mail
Written by W. Thomas Smith Jr.   
Thursday, 25 December 2008

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Pakistani-born New Yorker Javed Iqbal has today pled guilty to providing material support to Hizballah’s Al Manar television network.

According to a statement just issued by the Coalition Against Terrorist Media (CATM), a project of the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD): “Iqbal, who was due to stand trial on January 5, 2009 in New York’s Southern District Court, … admitted to providing satellite transmission services through his Brooklyn-based company HDTV Ltd to Al Manar in exchange for payment, according to several reports.”

The CATM statement adds the Iqbal case “is believed to be” the first such case in the U.S. involving Al Manar.

“[Iqbal’s] guilty plea is significant and a sobering reminder of the threat Iranian-backed Hizballah continues to pose to Americans,” says FDD President Clifford D. May. “Al Manar was correctly designated as a terrorist entity by the U.S. government and many satellite companies around the world have made the right choice in stopping Al Manar broadcasts.”

May continues: “Free speech is no defense when a so-called ‘media outlet’ is working with a terrorist organization, and providing it with support for fundraising, recruitment and pre-attack surveillance. In providing this support, Al Manar does more than yell fire in a crowded movie theater. It provides the match, the gasoline and the arsonist.”

Lebanon-based Hizballah –- perhaps the most-dangerous foreign terrorist organization on the U.S. State Department’s designated terrorist list — is trained, equipped, and heavily financed by Iran, and the organization is operationally supported by both Iran and Syria. Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff has warned, Hizballah “makes Al Qaeda look like a minor league team.” And earlier this month, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin S. Indyk referred to Hizballah as “a premier terrorist organization … Beyond that, it has built up an independent military capability that is greater than the military capabilities of the Lebanese armed forces.”

Al Manar, Hizballah’s satellite TV network, was at one time being broadcast over much of Europe, Africa, and the Far East until the U.S. government and others shut down much of its overseas operations. And when it was discovered that some American companies were continuing to advertise on al Manar in Lebanon, they too were pressed to pull out … and did.

The U.S. government listed Al Manar a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity” in March 2006. Iqbal was arrested and charged five months later.

Iqbal’s alleged “partner in crime,” Saleh Elahwal of New Jersey, is slated to be tried next month.

— Visit W. Thomas Smith Jr. online at uswriter.com.


NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and do not represent the opinions of World Defense Review and its affiliates. WDR accepts no responsibility whatsoever for the accuracy or inaccuracy of the content of this or any other story published on this website. Copyright and all rights for this story (and all other stories by the author) are held by the author.



 
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