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SITE In The News
By Lou Dobbs
Published in: CNN
December 6, 2002

Federal agents investigating terrorist activities today raided a software company in Boston. The agents were looking for evidence that the firm, Ptech, has ties with the al Qaeda terrorist network. Investigators are focusing on the company's connection with a Saudi businessman.

Allan Dodds Frank reports.


ALLAN DODDS FRANK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The small Massachusetts software company raided by U.S. terrorism investigators late last night has a long list of government clients, including the FBI and the IRS. But the government was quick to say that the investigation has determined that government computers have not been compromised.

TOM RIDGE, HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: It has been scrutinized by the best, and it poses no strategic threat or operational threat to this country.

FRANK: Sources say investigators are focusing on the company's finances. They are looking for Ptech's connections to Islamic charities and this man, a wealthy Saudi businessman named Yasin al- Qadi.

Shortly after the September 11 attacks, the U.S. government blocked Qadi's assets on the ground that charities he was connected to were funding al Qaeda.

On October 12, 2001 the U.S. government designated Qadi as a global terrorist. Soon thereafter, sources tell CNN, a Ptech employee called the FBI.

Qadi, the FBI was told, had been introduced earlier in Saudi Arabia to Ptech employees as an owner.

Rita Katz, an investigator for families of September 11 victims who aresuing Qadi and other alleged terrorists, began looking at Ptech five months ago.

RITA KATZ,TERRORISM EXPERT: Yasin Qadi established a worldwide network.His companies are not only in United States. His companies are based in Turkey,in England, in -- all over Europe, and in Saudi Arabia.

FRANK: The government began investigating Qadi in the late 1990s in Chicago, where he sent $820,000 to the Koranic literacy institute. Prosecutors say about $100,000 of that money ended up being used to buy arms in the Middle East.

MARK FLESSNER, FMR. FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: He came on our radar screen with respect to being involved in monies that was laundered and ultimately went to assist in support of Hamas in the late '90s.


FRANK: Ptech says it is cooperating with government investigators and has no connections to terrorism. The privately held company has had no immediate comment about whether Qadi is an investor or whether the company made charitable contribution that might have been diverted to terrorists. Yasin al-Qadi also denies any connections to terrorism -- Lou.

DOBBS: Allan, thank you very much.

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