Since they seem to be so immune from investigation... http://www.nationalreview.com/comme...devon052703.asp "For those who do not fear that the FBI will be handling future terrorist financing investigations, let's look at the agency's track record when it comes to protecting the United States from terrorist financing: Even after the September 11 attacks, the FBI failed to pursue obvious terrorist financing leads. In a hugely embarrassing moment, the FBI failed to do anything about Ptech, Inc., a company whose prime investor was a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity, Saudi Yassin al-Qadi. In desperation, the vice president of sales at Ptech contacted the FBI and pleaded with them to look into the organization, as he saw in the news that Qadi was allegedly connected to funding al Qaeda. After repeated meetings with increasingly higher-ranking FBI officials where the employees beseeched the agency to look into the company, the bureau did nothing, despite knowing that Qadi was a primary financier of Ptech. Furthermore, the FBI was aware that Ptech provided computer software for several government agencies, including the FBI itself, the FAA, the U.S. Treasury, the Department of Defense, the IRS, and the White House, proving a visible and viable threat to national security. The FBI ignored the repeated requests of concerned employees. Frighteningly, when an employee told the President of Ptech he felt he had to contact the FBI regarding Qadi's involvement in the company, the president allegedly told him not to worry because Yaqub Mirza, who was on the board of directors of the company and was himself a target of a terrorist financing raid in March 2002, had contacts high within the FBI. After months of the FBI refusing to do anything substantive, it took the efforts of U.S. Customs, now a part of Homeland Security, to raid the business in December 2002 and jumpstart the investigation into the alleged terrorist financial network. Perhaps the FBI's biggest blunder was in ignoring the enormous alleged terrorist financial network of companies and nonprofit organizations mostly in Herndon, Virginia, named by investigators as the "SAAR Network." The FBI had been aware of the SAAR Network since the early 1990s, when the Bureau investigated alleged terrorist Sami Al-Arian, as the investigation revealed that the SAAR Network was funneling money to al-Arian. The FBI chose to ignore the case for unknown reasons, though some have speculated it was due to the SAAR Network's close association to wealthy Saudis who funded the network. It was not until Operation GreenQuest, a joint task force headed by U.S. Customs which sought to disrupt terrorist financing, picked up the scent of the SAAR Network that a raid occurred. In March 2002, GreenQuest, in a victory for Americans everywhere, raided the SAAR Network in 15 locations in the largest terrorist financial bust in U.S. history. In a well-publicized scandal, FBI Agent Gamal Abdel-Hafiz refused to tape record secretly the Muslim president of an organization suspected of funneling money that may have helped finance the 1998 U.S.-embassy bombings in East Africa. Abdel-Hafiz, a Muslim, defended his actions by stating, according to FBI Agent Robert Wright, "A Muslim does not record another Muslim." When offered protection by the FBI to wear a wire, Abdel-Hafiz, himself an FBI agent, stated, "The FBI can't protect me. The FBI, I don't trust them," according to an affidavit written by FBI Agent Robert Wright. Furthermore, another FBI agent, Barry Carmody, maintained that Abdel Hafiz refused to tape record a conversation with alleged Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian, who has since been indicted. How did the FBI respond to this outrage? They promoted Abdel-Hafiz to assistant legal attachÃ© to the U.S. embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and banned Agent Wright from giving interviews. Now, the FBI is attempting to wrest the SAAR Network investigation from GreenQuest and take all the credit for GreenQuest's dedication and hard work. The agreement between Ashcroft and Ridge is a crushing blow to GreenQuest, as it effectively dissolves the outstanding task force. According to the memorandum, "The Secretary [of Homeland Security] agrees that no later than June 30, 2003, Operation GreenQuest (OGQ) will no longer exist as a program name." GreenQuest, the most successful antiterrorist-financing task squad in the history of the United States, is being disbanded because of the FBI's lust for power and glory. At a time when al Qaeda is resurging, the more agencies we have sharing information and investigating terrorism, the better off this nation will be. Given the FBI's track record, the bureau should be punished, not rewarded for unjustifiably bullying a new department into giving it more power, especially after FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted the bureau does not have the analytical capability to provide effective counterterrorism. Secretary Ridge must fight for the Department of Homeland Security's right to investigate terrorism, as the law enables him to do. The FBI has stymied and fumbled terrorism investigations for far too long. Secretary Ridge has the right and the duty to provide this country with a safe environment that the FBI has hitherto been unable to provide. For the safety and benefit of the American people, this agreement must be destroyed. "