2013 January » ADL Blogs
January 31, 2013

App Developer Supplies Iranian Broadcasts Despite International Efforts

A UK-based mobile application developer named Shabbir Hassanally has created a series of apps allowing users to access news from a number of Iranian television stations whose transmissions have been blocked since late last year.

Hassanally is the co-founder Code of Zero, a firm responsible for the development of official apps for several of Iranian news stations, including Iran’s English-language propaganda station Press TV, and its sister station, Spanish-language Hispan TV, both of which promote virulent anti-Semitic and anti-West propaganda.

The apps are available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Marketplace for free and allow Iranian propaganda to reach an even wider audience.

In October 2012, the France-based satellite carrier Eutelsat banned the broadcast of 19 television and radio stations from Iran’s state broadcaster, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). A couple months later, HispanSat, a Spain-based satellite provider that broadcast Hispan TV, followed suit and ended its transmission of IRIB stations. Both satellite carriers have cited EU sanctions against Iran as part of the basis to discontinue the transmission of IRIB stations in the West.

Hassanally has a history of involvement with Iranian-backed programs and organizations. Hassanally was responsible for the management of the official website for the 2012 Global March To Jerusalem (GMJ), a campaign that coordinated efforts by activists to cross Israel’s borders and enter Jerusalem. Additionally, Hassanally hosts the official site for the AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM), a UK-based Shi’a organization that promotes the Iranian regime’s ideology.

In December 2012, the Anti-Defamation League released its report, Iran’s Press TV: Broadcasting Anti-Semitism To The English Speaking World.

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January 30, 2013

New FBI Hate Crime Training Manual Published

The FBI has published an excellent new hate crime training manual – the single best, most inclusive hate crime guide now available.

The enactment of the Matthew Shepard James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA) in 2009 prompted the need to revise and update the Bureau’s previous online FBI hate crime data collection guidance, since the HCPA included the new requirement that the Bureau collect data on hate crimes directed against individuals on the basis of their gender or gender identity – and crimes committed by and against juveniles.

The new 64-page FBI guide, Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual, contains updated definitions and a number of hate crime training scenarios, including ones designed to help law enforcement officials understand gender-based and gender identity-based hate crimes.   

The FBI has been tracking and documenting hate crimes reported from federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, since 1991 under the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 (HCSA). Though clearly incomplete, the Bureau’s annual HCSA reports provide the best single national snapshot of bias-motivated criminal activity in the United States. The Act has also proven to be a powerful mechanism to confront violent bigotry, increasing public awareness of the problem and sparking improvements in the local response of the criminal justice system to hate violence – since in order to effectively report hate crimes, police officials must be trained to identify and respond to them.

The FBI’s 2011 Hate Crime Sta­tis­tics Act report, showed a wel­come decline in the over­all num­ber of hate crimes in the United States, but sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns remain, as highlighted in the ADL analysis of the report.

Since the tragic mur­der of six Sikh wor­ship­pers at their Gur­d­wara in Oak Creek, Wis­con­sin on August 5, the League has been work­ing with a broad coali­tion of civil rights, reli­gious, and law enforce­ment orga­ni­za­tions to expand the HCSA cat­e­gories to include hate crimes directed against Sikhs, Hin­dus, and Arabs.  ADL also sent a let­ter to Attor­ney Gen­eral Eric H. Holder, Jr. urg­ing him to sup­port these addi­tional categories.  Justice Department officials are supporting this new data collection mandate, as well

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January 25, 2013

American Sentenced For Planning Deadly 2008 Mumbai Attacks

David Coleman Headley

A Chicago judge yesterday sentenced David Coleman Headley, a Chicago resident who helped orchestrate the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, in which over 170 people were killed, including six Americans, to 35 years in prison.

Headley pleaded guilty in March 2010 to conducting surveillance on a number of targets in Mumbai between 2006 and 2008 on behalf of the Pakistan-based terrorist organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT). The targets included the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, the Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident hotels, the Leopold Café, and the Nariman House, the Mumbai headquarters of the Chabad Lubavitch movement.

Indian news sources reported that Headley posed as a Jew during a July 2008 visit to the Nariman House, where suspected members of LeT tortured and killed six people during the terrorist attacks four months later. LeT reportedly also tasked Headley with gathering details of Jewish centers across India. In March 2009, four months after the Mumbai attacks, Headley allegedly conducted additional reconnaissance of Chabad Houses in several cities in India, which included other Jewish centers in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Pushkar.

Headley was also charged with planning attacks with LeT targeting the Danish newspaper that had printed cartoons depicting Muhammad.Since 2000 several other American citizens have been linked to LeT, which embraces an anti-Western ideology that demonizes the United States, Israel and India.

Although Headley faced life in prison, the judge listened to prosecutors’ recommendations that he receive a lighter sentence due to his extensive cooperation in other terrorism trials.  His cooperation was most visibly demonstrated in the trial of his former friend, Tahawwur Rana, who was convicted in June 2011 of assisting Headley in planning the attack in Denmark and for providing material support to LeT. Rana was sentenced to 14 years in prison on January 17.

India has expressed disappointment in the lenient sentencing, saying that “all those involved… should receive death,” and pledging to continue to seek Headley’s extradition.

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