Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How Much Terrorism Did You Finance This Christmas?

If you bought a pirate DVD of a Hollywood movie to stick in your kid's stocking for Christmas, you're probably responsible for funding a beheading, a political assassination, or maybe even a suicide bombing, in India, or Pakistan, or maybe even Kashmir, the disputed territory that lies between them.

This is especially true if you live in Scotland.

I bet you never knew that before.

Neither did I, but then I caught a pair of articles by Richard Elias in The Scotsman, and I think he might be trying to tell us something.

The Glasgow connection
STRUGGLING for that last-minute Christmas present this year, many Scots will have succumbed to the tempting offer in the pub or work canteen of a cheap DVD of the latest Hollywood blockbuster. A useful stocking filler, thank you very much. It might be an illegal knock-off, but really, what's the harm?

That question has a chilling answer. Anyone who handed over their fiver may inadvertently have been funding a organisation responsible for dozens of killings, bombings and political assassinations, thousands of miles away in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Another piece from the same author explains things better:

Counterfeit DVD gang funds Kashmiri terrorists
A SCOTTISH gang is bankrolling murderous terrorist attacks in Kashmir, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds each year through counterfeiting and mortgage fraud...

MI5 sources say around 50 Scots Asians – most of them in Glasgow – are raising funds for Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Kashmiri separatist group responsible for hundreds of deaths and reportedly involved in the kidnap and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

Much of the cash raised in Scotland is sent first to Dubai, where it is laundered, and then passed to JeM terrorists operating in the Kashmir region, say security sources.

It is estimated that up to £50,000 a month is raised in Scotland. As well as money from mortgage fraud, around £15,000 of this total is raised by selling counterfeit DVDs, CDs and clothing at market stalls and in pubs and clubs across Scotland.
These reports may be chilling, but they don't make much sense if you think about them from the point of view of the "security services": They know the money being sent to JeM is coming through Dubai and being laundered there; they know who's sending the money, and they even know how the bad guys are getting it!

So why are they telling us about it? Why don't they just arrest the bad guys? Call them terrorist suspects, and hold them (for up to 28 days) while searching their homes for incriminating evidence.

What's the problem? Have they no stock? What would it take? A stack of DVDs -- all of the same movie? What are they gonna say? "Hey! I was gonna watch those!"

Or if they can't arrest the DVD pirates, why don't they choke off the funds in Dubai? Dubai is our ally in the War On Terror, right? That's why we still do business there, isn't it?

But instead the "security services" get some chump from The Scotsman to write about it!

Why? Just to scare us?

You don't have to answer that if you don't want to.

But think about it: Bombings! Political assassinations! Beheadings!! All because you bought a pirate DVD ...

Elias doesn't mention it, and nobody else ever does either, but fortunately, if you buy your Christmas presents (and everything else) from legitimate (i.e. established corporate) sources, if you pay your taxes and obey the law of the land, you're only responsible for stuff like this: