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Obama’s 10 biggest terror finance blunders

November 5, 2012

  1. Promising to make it easier for Muslims to give zakat.  Pres. Obama has tried to remove the so-called “chilling effect” that George W. Bush, the Patriot Act, the Treasury Department, and law enforcement “created” by closing down Islamic charities that funded terrorism.  Rather than building on the Bush administration’s successful prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for sponsoring Hamas, Obama won’t prosecute Islamic Relief, he won’t prosecute CAIR, he won’t investigate ISNA or NAIT, and the IRS has been derelict in stripping suspicious Islamic organizations of their tax-exempt status.
  2. Funding the Arab Spring that has led to the rise of Muslim Brotherhood dominated governments in the Middle East who behave against U.S. national security interests.
  3. Minimizing our energy independence from Middle East oil by reducing oil production on federal lands and waters, rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, impeding hydraulic fracturing permitting, etc.
  4. Making little to no progress on bankrupting the Taliban.
  5. Dragging his feet in adopting sanctions against Al Qaeda and Taliban affiliates such as the Pakistani Taliban and the Haqqani network.
  6. Allowing a two year pause in U.S. sanctions against Iran, which appeared to have allowed Iran extra time to develop nuclear capabilities, and for the overall sanctions strategy which seems to have strengthened the IRGC.  Reportedly, sanctions have helped make the Iranian rial fall in value relative to the U.S. dollar, but the general problem of Iranian inflation does not directly impede Iran’s nuclear pursuit.
  7. Utterly failing to do anything to restrict hawala—a central financial technique used by terrorists to transfer funds to each other.  When a golden opportunity presented itself to seek a full 10-year sentence against the hawala dealer who funded the Times Square bomber, Eric Holder’s prosecutors pushed for a weak six month sentence instead.  Without a forceful prosecution, the judge let the Long Island hawaladar off the hook with three months of probation and no time served!
  8. Replacing the widely respected sanctions chief Stuart Levey with a pro-Saudi lightweight former Clinton lawyer named David Cohen just as Iran entered the homestretch in its nuclear development program.
  9. Maintaining close ties with Saudi Arabia despite their central role in funding global terrorism.  Bush was intimate with the Saudis too, but at least he was willing to sanction two of the worst chapters of the Saudi-backed International Islamic Relief Organization for its role in terror finance in Indonesia and the Philippines.
  10. Proposing billions more in foreign aid to Pakistan.  Even after finding out that Pakistan hosted Osama Bin Laden for years!
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