Of Masters and Their Slaves

"It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master." ―Ayn Rand

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rafic Labboun Exposes Growing Hezbollah Presence in Mexico

By Kelly Holt

Logo of Hezbollah, an international terror and crime organization based in Lebanon
Logo of Hezbollah, an international
terror and crime organization based
in Lebanon
North Carolina Representative Sue Myrick (R) has been very vocal in warning of a Hezbollah presence in Mexico, and in urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to step up surveillance of terrorists there. She joins a host of concerned Americans who are worried about the porosity of the nation’s southern border — and continually cautions that border issues aren’t just about immigrants seeking a better life, but about easy access that terrorists have to America.

In June, 2010, she penned a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting the establishment of a task force to “engage US and Mexican law enforcement and border patrol officials about Hezbollah’s presence, activities and connection to gangs and drug cartels."

Indeed, a year later, the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, in October, 2011, released a report concluding that Hezbollah “is using the Western Hemisphere as a staging ground, fundraising center, and operation base to wage asymmetric warfare against the United States.” Entitled The Mounting Hezbollah Threat in Latin America, the report also pointed out that “evidence indicates Hezbollah is sharing its terrorist experiences and techniques with Mexican drug cartels along the US border.”

And just two weeks ago, Mansour Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen holding both Iranian and U.S. passports, pled guilty in New York for plotting to pay a Los Zetas cartel (also a DEA informant) hitman to assassinate a Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States. Fox News reported, "'A little more than a year after his arrest, Mansour Arbabsiar has admitted to his role in a deadly plot approved by members of the Iranian military to assassinate a sitting foreign ambassador on U.S. soil,' Attorney General Eric Holder said in a press release."

Fox News also reported that in the fall of 2010 the Tucson Police Department cited the arrest of Jameel Nasar, who attempted to establish a Hezbollah network in Mexico and in South America. And during the previous year — after Jamal Yousef was arrested in New York City — it was learned that weapons stolen from Iran by Yousef’s cousin, an alleged Hezbollah member, were stored in Mexico.

But even after Myrick’s letter to Napolitano, the Secretary said there was no need for a task force, as current intelligence resources were adequate. Napolitano also claimed in 2011 that, “The border is better now than it has ever been.”

The Hezbollah operative, Saba Islamic Center imam, and convicted felon Rafic Labboun (a.k.a. Rafic Labboun Allaboun; a.k.a. Wilhelm Dyck)
The Hezbollah operative, Saba Islamic Center
imam, and convicted felon Rafic Labboun (a.k.a.
Rafic Labboun Allaboun; a.k.a. Wilhelm Dyck)
However, Borderland Beat reported on September 10, 2012 of the arrest of a suspected American Hezbollah supporter in Merida, in the Yucatan peninsula. Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun is an imam from the Shia Association of Bay Area (Saba Islamic Center of San Jose, California), and was arrested with two others, from Belize, suspected of being part of an Islamic terror cell operating in central America and the Yucatan. The report added that Merida has a large Lebanese and Syrian population.

Fox added a remark from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s office — “'The Arizona Department of Homeland Security has indicated there are elements of Middle Eastern Islamic extremist groups operating in Mexico,' said Matthew Benson, Director of Communications for Brewer. 'From the governor's standpoint, it is critical to have a secure border for criminal elements who would take advantage of a porous border, especially like the one we have in Arizona.' "

North Carolina Representative Sue Myrick (R)
North Carolina Representative
Sue Myrick (R)
Myrick has repeatedly warned of a Hezbollah presence in Mexico and said she’s concerned about discussion of terrorism in the Middle East while ignoring potential threats in Mexico. “Given the evidence available, it only makes sense that DHS should, at the very least, investigate the presence of Hezbollah along our Southern border, regardless of who is in office.”

Remarkably, Texas Governor Rick Perry, whose state has the largest segment of the nation’s southern border, maintains a contradictory position on the issues. While he mentioned in last year’s presidential debate that, “We’re seeing countries start to come in and infiltrate. We know that Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico as well as Iran with their ploy to come into the United States,” he continues to take a less-than-tough stance on illegal immigration. From signing into law a tuition break for illegal immigrants to his abysmal sacrifice of Texas’ sovereignty to his goal of building the Trans Texas Corridor “connecting the Texas cities and towns along the proposed I-69 route to the industrial heartland of Mexico, and the industrial base of Middle America,” his actions belie his words. No other project could lay out the welcome mat to terrorists as prominently as Perry’s Corridor project.

Sue Myrick will be retiring at the end of the 112th Congress, in January 2013.

This article was first published by The New American.

Rafic Labboun is an imam with the Northern California-based Shia Association of Bay Area (Saba Center of San Jose) and Fatimiyya Islamic Center of Hayward.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Belize Passport Scandal Triggered by Rafic Labboun Could Be Resolved With Legitimate Economic Citizenship Program

By Mark Nestmann

Over the last few weeks, local news sources in Belize have reported that officials in the country’s immigration and passport offices issued identity documents to an individual linked to an Islamic jihadist organization.

Rafic Labboun (a.k.a. Rafik Mohammed Labboun Allaboun; a.k.a. Wilhelm Dyck) of Hezbollah and Shia Association of Bay Area (a.k.a. Saba Islamic Center of San Jose, CA)
Rafic Labboun (a.k.a. Rafik Mohammed Labboun
Allaboun; a.k.a. Wilhelm Dyck) of Hezbollah and
Shia Association of Bay Area (a.k.a. Saba Islamic
Center of San Jose, CA)
Police in Merida, Mexico detained Rafic Labboun (a.k.a. Rafik Mohammed Labboun Allaboun), a U.S. citizen, in early September. At the time of his arrest, Allaboun had in his possession a Belize birth certificate, driver’s license, and passport in the name of Wilhelm Dyck, a Belizean infant who died two months after his birth in 1976. Apparently Allaboun, who has been linked to the Islamist group Hezbollah, was able to obtain all of these documents in a single three-day visit to Belize in August. A criminal investigation is now underway.

This is not the first allegation of fraud in Belize immigration matters. In 2010, a total of 33 Chinese nationals bearing Japanese passports landed at the Belize International Airport on a chartered flight after it had closed operations for the evening. All of them obtained entry documents to Belize. After arrival, all of the migrants disappeared. The Japanese passports on which they traveled were later determined to be fakes. In 2011, prosecutors brought charges against six low-level officials, but the case was so weak that the Chief Magistrate dismissed the case. No charges were brought against higher-level officials who could have known and possibly facilitated the fraud.

Belize isn’t a wealthy country. Most of its public officials receive low salaries. At the same time, the country’s finances are in such dire straits that in August, it failed to make a $23 million interest payment on $547 million of bonds issued by international lenders. It avoided formal default only after making a partial payment in September.

Given the precarious state of the economy on the one hand, and the enormous value of a passport from a peaceful, neutral country such as Belize on the other, it’s not surprising that some degree of corruption exists in immigration matters. The question is, how to best deal with it?

The Belize government has already announced reforms in the process to acquire a Belize passport or other national identity documents. Officials who sign off on applications will be held accountable for their actions.

This is a good start. However, I think another way to address both issues would be with a well-regulated economic citizenship program. During the 1990s, an economic citizenship program existed in Belize, but it was plagued by allegations of corruption. Eventually, it was shut down.

Belize would enjoy substantial benefits if the program were revived and properly regulated. For instance, if the government authorized issuance of 10,000 Belize passports in exchange for a contribution of $75,000, the plan would raise $750 million. Not only would this amount more than retire Belize’s external debt, it would also pay for higher salaries to government officials administering the program. This would greatly reduce incentives for corruption.

To assure all applicants are properly vetted, the government could appoint an external due diligence agency to review all applications for citizenship. It could also make the disposition of the monies raised a matter of public record via an Internet page accessible to any interested party. This step would help to assure funds are disbursed in the manner authorized by law.

Of course, economic citizenship is a controversial topic. Many well-meaning Belize citizens are dead-set against reviving the program. They point not only to the corruption that surrounded it, but express outrage over the sale of their birthright to well-heeled outsiders.

I certainly understand the political sensitivity of this matter. But, would it not be preferable to permit a few thousand wealthy, but law-abiding, foreigners carry Belize passports than to grovel before international donors year after year? From this perspective, a well regulated program that ends automatically after a specific number of passports are issued, with the funds dedicated to a specific public purpose benefiting all citizens, just might find political support.

This article was first published by Mark Nestmann. Copyright © 2012 by Mark Nestmann.

Rafic Labboun is an imam with the Northern California-based Shia Association of Bay Area (Saba Center of San Jose) and Fatimiyya Islamic Center of Hayward.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Visas, Visas, Visas! Hezbollah, Nepal and China

The convicted felon, Hezbollah operative, and imam at Saba Islamic Center Rafic Labboun (a.k.a. Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun; a.k.a. Wilhelm Dyck)
The convicted felon, Hezbollah operative, and
imam at Saba Islamic Center Rafic Labboun
(a.k.a. Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun;
a.k.a. Wilhelm Dyck)

Following the alleged Hezbollah associate Rafic Labboun’s receipt of a Belizean passport in the name of Wilhelm Dyck, the Ministry of Immigration had temporarily closed the Passport Office in Belize City.

After the Hezbollah passport scandal became an international media event, other incidences have come to light. Human trafficking involving natives of Nepal has been uncovered to be simultaneously occurring before and after the Hezbollah incident. According to official documents, the Nepalese nationals have all claimed their trips to Belize were sponsored by the owner of the Bismillah Store in Cayo. But the Bismillah guests have not returned to their country of origin. All that is known is that the man who picked them up at the airport has been identified as Kashif Raza Ali Jaffery, a naturalized Belizean from Pakistan who acted as an agent of his uncle, Khalid Mahmood of Bismillah Store.

But there is another group that is also following a similar pattern. A resident of Santa Elena identified as Zebo Liang makes regular pickups of Chinese nationals at the airport. On September twenty-third, twenty-six year old Shu Bin Zhao, twenty-five year old Huan Wang, twenty-eight year old Xiao Mo Zheng and twenty-seven year old Lun Qin Lin, all arrived on TACA flight 414 and left with the Santa Elena resident. Five days later, on Friday September twenty-eighth, Ziang picked up thirty year old Zhou Qin Ni, twenty-one year old Bin Bin Liu, twenty-one year old Jin Qing Zhao, and thirty-seven year old Yiain Chen, who also came on a TACA flight.

They all had single entry visas that were issued in Belmopan. The policies of the Immigration Department dictate that in the absence of a Belize Embassy, a visitor to Belize would then go to a British Embassy which would facilitate the process of receiving a visa. No one has ever explained how foreigners who have never stepped a foot into the country can travel from as far away as Guang Zhou, China with Belmopan visas already stamped in their passports. A larger group of thirteen Chinese nationals arrived this week using the Havana, Cuba route, that was closed down during a previous immigration scandal when plane loads of Asians trying to reach the U.S. were intercepted. The group arrived on October third on AeroCaribe flight 848. The tourist visas, of course, were all issued from the Immigration Department in Belmopan. Most of the visas were issued in September this year.

This article was first published by News 5 in Belize.

Rafic Labboun is an imam with the Northern California-based Shia Association of Bay Area (Saba Center of San Jose) and Fatimiyya Islamic Center of Hayward.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Identity theft by Hezbollah's Rafic Labboun causes closure of passport office in Belize City

Hold Up Hezbollah: An Immigration Intermission!

Rafic Labboun (a.k.a. Wilhelm Dyck) preaching at Fatimiyya Islamic Center of Hayward, California
Rafic Labboun (a.k.a. Wilhelm Dyck) preaching
at Fatimiyya Islamic Center of Hayward, California
If you've been following the news, you may know that there was a recent immigration fiasco in which Rafic Labboun (a.k.a. Rafic Allaboun), an alleged Hezbollah operative managed to get an official Belizean passport issued under a false identity in two days.

Since then, Minister of Immigration, Hon. Godwin Hulse, and other government officials have been hard at work to implement new procedures which will hopefully curb the corruption that has plagued the department and shut off those loopholes.

And in that vein, the government today issued a press release to announce the temporary closing of the passport offices in Belize City. According to the release, anyone who wishes to apply for a passport must go to the Belmopan and other district offices.

Rafic Labboun is Wilhelm Dyck on a forged Belizean passport
Rafic Labboun is Wilhelm Dyck on a forged Belizean passport

There is no indication about how long the Belize City office will remain close, only that it was necessary for improvement on processing and service delivery.

This article was first published by 7 News Belize.

Rafic Labboun is an imam with the Northern California-based Shia Association of Bay Area (Saba Center of San Jose) and Fatimiyya Islamic Center of Hayward.