Taming the Tamil Tigers: From Here in the U.S (says FBI)
Appearing on the 1st October 2008 website of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation is a request by the US to Tame the Tigers from the US. The brief describes LTTE’s resume as perfecting the use of suicide bombers, inventing suicide belts, pioneering the use of women for suicide attacks and FBI says that the LTTE has been the only terrorist organization to assassinate two world leaders. The FBI describes the LTTE as ‘the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world’ and affirms that its ultimate goal is to seize control of the country from the Sinhalese ethnic majority and create an independent Tamil state. The FBI asks an important question ‘WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?’ and the FBI says that the US should care because LTTE’s ‘ruthless tactics’ have inspired terrorist networks worldwide including the Al Qaeda in Iraq but the most reason the FBI says is because the LTTE has ‘placed operatives right here in our own backyard’ who are ‘discreetly raising money to fund its bloody terrorist campaign overseas including purchases of weapons and explosives’. What an admission from the FBI ! The US, it has to be acknowledged has clamped down on LTTE operatives in the US and Canada but the key brains holding US citizenship now declared banned by the GOSL remains to be held accountable for material support towards an internationally banned terrorist group. This is a perfect opportunity to at diplomatic level to push for further action against all the 16 organizations declared banned under the USSC Resolution 1373 and the over 400 individuals banned under the same resolution.
The FBI also states that the US has designated LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization since 1997 and if that means LTTE activities in US are illegal, it should also mean that the US needs to investigate all the 16 organizations and individuals that Sri Lanka has now banned and take action against these entities under US laws as these entities are operating from the US and the members of these entities are holding US passports.
Karunakaran Kandasamy (Karuna) was arrested in Queens, New York in 2004.
US Attorney Ms Roslyn R Mauskof said “As alleged in the complaint, for years the LTTE has covertly operated within the United States drawing on America’s financial resources and technological advances to further its war of terror in Sri Lanka and elsewhere,” ….”We refuse to allow this to continue.”
Mark J. Mershon, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, stated, “Financial backing, assistance with logistics, and other forms of material support have a direct bearing on the viability of a terrorist organization’s lethal objectives. Karuna hasn’t merely supported the Tamil Tigers’ cause, he orchestrated U.S. support. We can no sooner allow terrorists to raise funds here than we would allow them to carry out acts of terrorism here.”
What is also interesting is the allegations attributed to the LTTE in the complaint
- LTTE founded in 1976
- LTTE relies on terrorism including suicide bombings and political assassinations to achieve its objective of establishing an independent Tamil state in northern Sri Lanka
- LTTE’s elite Black Tiger squad has conducted hundreds of suicide attacks and several assassinations including the May 1991 assassination of former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi and the 1993 assassination of President of Sri Lanka Ranasinghe Premadasa
- LTTE has since 2002 operated under a ‘tenuous cease-fire agreement’ …’that agreement has essentially ended, and more than 4000 people have been killed in the past 15 months in the escalating conflict’.
The complaint highlighted Karunakaran Kandasamy (Karuna) material support
- ‘LTTE relies on sympathetic Tamil expatriates residing in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France and several other countries to raise and launder money, smuggle arms, explosives, equipment and technology into LTTE controlled territory’
- LTTE obtained ‘intelligence about the Sri Lankan Government; and spread propaganda. To coordinate these activities, the LTTE has established “branches” in at least 12 countries, including the United States (the 16 organizations proscribed by the GOSL are some of these “branches”)
- Karuna is the Director of the American branch of the LTTE – located in Queens, New York and operates through a LTTE front – World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC). Karuna directs overseas activities of the LTTE in the US including fundraising. Karuna was accused of fundraising events in Nov/Dec 2004 at a Church and a public high school in Queens, New York and a school in South Brunswick New Jersey for an LTTE offensive in late 2005. Note: GOSL banned WTCC under UNSC Resolution 1373 in April 2014
- Karuna was also accused of arranging meetings in LTTE controlled areas in Sri Lanka between LTTE and prominent LTTE supporters (with backgrounds in engineering, technology, weaponry, medicine and other scientific fields) from the US
Note: Karuna was freed in 2012 after serving 5 years in prison
US has also indicted 11 other defendants.
- One indictment was US v Sathajhan Sarachandran and 5 others for attempting to purchase several dozen surface-to-air missiles and other military arms/equipment from an undercover FBI agent in Queens, New York. (Note Sarachandran was the former president of the Tamil Youth Organisation’s Toronto chapter. TYO is also banned under UNSC Resolution 1373 by Sri Lanka)
- The other indictment was US v Thayarajah Pratheepan charging defendants with participating in conspiracy to provide material support to LTTE through procurement of military arms/technology and attempting to bribe US State Dept officials to remove LTTE from the list of foreign terrorist organizations as well as LTTE’s covert payment of a US Congressman’s trip to LTTE controlled territory. (note the Congressman was Danny Davis (D-IL) http://archives.dailynews.lk/2006/11/06/fea03.asp whose trip in 2005 to the Wanni jungles was sponsored by LTTE front in US. Davis said he was unaware that LTTE were the source for the trip but surely when discussing matters he would have noticed the Eelam Flag and realized it was not the flag of Sri Lanka!
Meeting LTTE leaders in the Wanni with an Eelam Flag
The FBI reinstates that LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization makes its activities in the US illegal. If the FBI says that it is ‘determined to stop them, using the full range of our investigative and intelligence capabilities’ with the USSC Resolution 1373 used to ban the 16 organizations and over 400 individuals it is a good time to locate the names listed as those living in the US and investigate them for their material support for the LTTE starting with the TGTE leader V Rudrakumaran.
The best part of the appeal by the FBI were the words ‘You can help by being careful with your donations’. The FBI says that ‘like other terrorists, the Tigers have raised funds under a variety of cover organizations, often by posing as charities – we know what those charities are and US has even banned TRO (Tamil Rehabilitation Organization).
The FBI also asks that the American public ‘report any suspicious activities’ to the local field office or anonymously through the FBI website.
The FBI request was made in 2008. It is a good start for the Sri Lankan authorities now that the GOSL has proscribed LTTE fronts and named individuals supporting terrorism. Virtually all those named are foreign passport holders living in Western shores or those claiming asylum with solicitors now charging fees for an innovative way to secure asylum – charge to be tortured in the countries where asylum is sought and medically support it by endorsing it as ‘recent’ and immediately equating it to claim the Sri Lankan security forces did it!
What needs to be now said is that the LTTE Tamil Diaspora Organizations masquerading as charities and human rights advocates need to be now held accountable for financing the brutal terror that LTTE unleashed upon the people of Sri Lanka.
Every member of these LTTE fronts need to be held accountable. They have been living luxurious lives overseas, educating their children, raising funds through false propaganda and sending money to purchase arms/ammunition from which LTTE killed. The lies lasted 30 years. Now justice needs to be seen to be done and not only said. The foreign governments have a major role to play if they are sincere about ‘war on terror’.
The full article in the FBI Website of January 2008
A woman fighter of the Tamil Tigers takes a shooting position in Sri Lanka in July 2007. AP Photo. 01/10/08
As terrorist groups go, it has quite a résumé:
- Perfected the use of suicide bombers;
- Invented the suicide belt;
- Pioneered the use of women in suicide attacks;
- Murdered some 4,000 people in the past two years alone; and
- Assassinated two world leaders—the only terrorist organization to do so.
No, it’s not al Qaeda or Hezbollah or even HAMAS. The group is called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or the Tamil Tigers for short.
Needless to say, the Tamil Tigers are among the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world. For more than three decades, the group has launched a campaign of violence and bloodshed in Sri Lanka, the island republic off the southern coast of India.
Its ultimate goal: to seize control of the country from the Sinhalese ethnic majority and create an independent Tamil state. Along the way, it has launched suicide attacks, assassinated politicians (including a government minister this week and even the Sri Lankan President), taken hostages, and committed all of kinds of crimes to finance its operations. The resulting civil war has taken the lives of nearly 70,000 Sri Lankans on both sides of the conflict since 1983 alone.
Why should you care? Certainly because of the suffering and bloodshed that the Tamil Tigers have caused. And because its ruthless tactics have inspired terrorist networks worldwide, including al Qaeda in Iraq. But also because the group has placed operatives right here in our own backyard, discreetly raising money to fund its bloody terrorist campaign overseas, including purchases of weapons and explosives.
The U.S. government has designated the Tigers a foreign terrorist organization, so their activities here are illegal. And we’re determined to stop them, using the full range of our investigative and intelligence capabilities.
In April, for example, we struck an important blow when our Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York arrested the alleged U.S. director of the Tigers. The man supposedly held several fundraising events at a church and various public schools in Queens and in northern New Jersey in 2004. He is also accused of arranging high-level meetings between the group’s leaders and U.S. supporters.
We’ve also arrested another 11 Tamil Tiger-related suspects in the New York City region. And in Baltimore, following a multi-agency investigation, a pair of Indonesian men pled guilty and were sentenced recently for working with others to export surface to air missiles, state-of-the-art firearms, machine guns, and night vision goggles to the Tigers in Sri Lanka.
You can help by being careful with your donations. Like other terrorists, the Tigers have raised funds under a variety of cover organizations, often by posing as charities. A great deal of money, for example, was raised for the Tigers following the 2004 tsunami that devastated Sri Lanka and many other countries.
– by Shenali D Waduge
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