LTTE’s US chief arrested
FBI continues action against Tigers:
US: The leader of the US arm of the LTTE was arrested by the
Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in Queens, New York on Wednesday.
Karunakaran Kandasamy also known as Karuna was identified as the
Director of the American branch of the LTTE, operating through a front
called the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC), located in Queens.
The arrest is the latest in an ongoing Investigation of the LTTE’s
reliance on individuals in the United States as a major source for
funds, weapons, and military technology, the US Embassy stated in a
press release yesterday.
If convicted Kandasamy faces a 15 year jail term.
“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,” US. Attorney
Roslynn R.Mauskopf was quoted as saying. “We refuse to allow this to
Assistant Director In Charge of the FBI’s New York field office Mark
Mershon was quoted as saying “Kandasamy hasn’t merely supported the
Tigers’ cause. He orchestrated US support. We can no sooner allow
terrorists to raise funds here than we would allow them to carry out
acts of terrorism here.”
The investigation was conducted by the New York and Newark divisions
of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), assisted by more than 20
field officers from New Haven, Buffalo, Seattle, Baltimore, Chicago, San
Jose and Los Angeles.
The US Attorney’s office for the Connecticut US Immigration and
Customs Enforcement, US Department of State and several foreign
Governments have also been involved in the investigation.
The complaint was unsealed in the US district country in Brooklyn on
According to the complaint the LTTE relies on sympathetic Tamil
expatriates in US, Canada, UK, Australia, France and several other
countries to raise and launder money, smuggle arms, explosives,
equipment and technology into LTTE controlled areas, obtain intelligence
and spread propaganda. To coordinate these activities the LTTE has
established branches in at least 12 countries including the US.
It has been alleged that Kandasamy organised fund raising events in
November and December 2004 at a church and a public high school in
Queens, New York, and a school in South Brunswick, New Jersey attended
This was in support of a worldwide fundraising campaign initiated by
the LTTE in summer and fall of 2004 for a major offensive planned in
He was also responsible for arranging meetings in LTTE-controlled
territory in Sri Lanka between LTTE leaders and prominent LTTE
supporters from the United States.
These supporters typically have backgrounds in engineering,
technology, weaponry, medicine, and other scientific fields. Kandasamy
and his subordinates also assisted LTTE intelligence agents in
researching military technology.
Eleven defendants were previously indicted in New York for attempting
to buy several dozen surface-to-air missiles and other military arms,
bribe purported U.S. State Department officials to remove the LTTE from
its foreign terrorist groups list and the LTTE’s covert payment of a
U.S. Congressman’s trip to LTTE-controlled territory.
The US proscribed the LTTE as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in