Organized Crime, Terrorists Turning to Counterfeit Goods to Raise, Launder Money, Say Consultants

By Brian Orsak

When World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and his co-conspirators orchestrated their 1993 terrorist attack, they obtained financing for the plot from an unexpected quarter: the sale of counterfeit T-shirts and sweatshirts in the New York region. Counterfeiters, operating from midtown Manhattan, distributed bogus designer clothes to stores in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. "At least some" of those profits were funneled to mosques and charities later tied to the 1993 attack, which resulted in six deaths and the injury of more than 1,000, according to Harley Lewin, a lawyer with Miami-based law firm Greenberg Traurig. That fundraising method...