Archive for December, 2012

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Ten biggest terror finance news stories of 2012

December 31, 2012
  1. Taliban funding remains intact despite international sanctions
    Reports in 2012 revealed that the Taliban’s funding remains intact, that none of the Taliban’s assets have been blocked by U.S. sanctions, that the Taliban retains its taxing authority over Afghans, and that the UN sanctions only 18 percent of the Taliban’s provincial shadow governors in Afghanistan.
  2. Islamic charities remain top terror financiers
    It’s questionable to even call this “news,” but understanding the role of Muslim charities in funding jihad, of which we saw multiple examples throughout 2012, is the Rosetta stone to bankrupting terrorism.  Instances of Muslim charities behaving badly cropped up, and in some cases have worsened, in both in the Middle East and in the West this year.In the Islamic world, the Saudi charitable foundation IIRO, whose branches in Indonesia and the Philippines were previously blacklisted by the U.S. for funding terrorism, is opening seven new branch offices.  In Bangladesh, the chief of the terrorist organization Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) revealed that Muslim Aid, WAMY, the Muslim World League, the Qatari Charitable Society, and the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, are among the primary donors to his jihad.  Read the rest of this entry ?
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Drones better than CFT at bankrupting Taliban

December 30, 2012

How do you freeze assets of a terrorist organization that never relied heavily on the formal banking system?  That’s quite a challenge, and conventional methods of combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) have proved to be poorly suited to the primitive, low-tech nature of the Taliban’s treasury.

This article from the Hindustan Times (h/t to Jeff at Counter Jihad Knights) illustrates the difficulty of slowing down the Pakistani Taliban, a.k.a. Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), by intercepting its financial systems.  It appears as though good old-fashioned bomb dropping is working better at keeping the TTP leaderless and listless, although we still have an awfully long way to go:

Pakistan Taliban’s new jihad

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), sometimes called the Pakistan Taliban, is gaining new ground or is on its last legs, depending on who you talk to. Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik insists that the TTP is “on the verge of collapse” given that its channel of funding is effectively being choked by the government.

“They earned most of their money from bank robberies and kidnappings, and we have contained those,” maintains Malik. He says that funding from abroad has also been checked. Some prominent and not so prominent money changers who facilitated these transfers are now behind bars.

Most observers think otherwise. Recent attacks by the Taliban have become more brazen, like the attack on the Peshawar airport over the weekend and also the attack on schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai earlier this year.

This suggests that the TTP are becoming more active and diversifying their targets. The closure of their traditional funding channels has not meant the organisation is running on empty, say analysts. What has instead happened is that the organisation seems to be branching out —  pushing its allied outfits to enter the political mainstream on the one hand and looking for new sources of funding on the other.

At a superficial level, the change in tactics as well as the military reverses the TTP has suffered may suggest the outfit is weakening. “Their leadership is being consistently and accurately eliminated by drone attacks,” says Khadim Hussain, who heads a local think tank in Islamabad. Hussain says that the deaths of its key members have meant the TTP is gradually becoming directionless.

With this, the cutting of regular supplies of funds has also been cited as a factor weakening the TTP. The government has also set up local committees to counter the might of the militants in the tribal areas and this has had mixed results.

But the evidence is more suggestive of a TTP that is moving into new areas of operations rather than one that is weakening.  Analysts say that not only has the TTP proliferated but also come into the cities. “The TTP is very much present in Karachi where it is now taking protection money from areas which it controls,” alleges Shahi Syed, the Karachi president of the Awami National Party (ANP). The ANP and the TTP seem now to be at loggerheads in Pakistan’s largest city — the ANP says that over 70 of its activists have been assassinated this year as a result of turf wars with the TTP…

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Pakistani “charity” funds terror training camps

December 28, 2012

Pakistan-occupied Kashmir hosts rallies to enlist support for Lashkar-e-Taiba training camps.  Current and former government officials from Pakistan are involved.  Money for the camps is passed through Jamaat-ud-Dawa, an Islamic charity.  Local residents say the jihadist militants now live in luxury from the proceeds.  From HalalPorkShop via Patria Judía:

See prior Money Jihad coverage of Jamaat-ud-Dawa here.  This is another illustration of how zakat funds terrorism against “infidel” nations like India.  The 26/11 terrorist attacks against Mumbai were financed through these Kashmir jihadist activities.

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Bin Laden family on top 10 Arab rich list

December 27, 2012

Osama Bin Laden’s family places #7 among the fifty wealthiest businessmen and families of the Arab world for 2012 according to Arabian Business.  The Bin Ladens continue to be awarded lucrative public contracts by the government of Saudi Arabia—our “ally” in the global war against terror.

Unlike the Saudi oilmen who made their wealth directly from petrodollars, the Bin Ladens have always benefited from Saudi Arabia’s second largest business—the hajj—and the construction and logistical support the massive annual pilgrimage requires.  (Of course, the money for the public contracts wouldn’t be there without the kingdom’s oil wealth.)

Arabian Business explains the family’s rising fortunes:

As Saudi government spending keeps rising, so do the fortunes of the Gulf’s most prominent family construction empire. Last year, the Binladin Group won deals to construct Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Tower and the expansion of the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. Between then the contracts are worth over $20bn. Adding to those deals was a bumper contract to help build the first phase of the Haramain railway link.

The family fortune is based on a construction business that paid immense dividends when decades ago it was awarded contracts for major renovations at Mecca and other religious buildings in Saudi Arabia and abroad. Founded by Mohammed Binladin, the family also built several palaces in Riyadh and Jeddah for the royal family and carried out restoration work following an arson attack on Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque in 1969. Salem, Mohammed’s eldest son, ran the empire left behind by his father upon his death in 1968 until he died when his private plane crashed in Texas in 1988.

Mohammed left 54 sons and daughters from several marriages…

And we’ll always remember the most famous of his sons, for whose victims this wealthy family should be paying restitution.

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Video: oil dependence

December 26, 2012

Do you want OPEC to keep calling the shots in the 21st Century?  Do you enjoy seeing American presidents literally holding hands with or bowing down to the Saudi king?

Regular readers know that this blog supports expanded domestic oil drilling to help North America decrease its dependence on Middle East oil.  Although Eyal Aronoff of the Fuel Freedom Foundation (@fuelfreedomnow on Twitter) offers a different course of action to deal with the problem of oil financing terrorism, this video as a must-watch:

Aronoff lays out compelling ideas for reduced oil dependence, and Money Jihad has as well.  Wouldn’t it be nice if national political leaders embraced just some of these ideas as part of a genuine “all of the above” approach to energy to reduce our reliance on Saudi sharia oil?

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Another global giveaway to subsidize sharia

December 25, 2012

The Asian Development Bank will promote sharia finance with a $750,000 handout to Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan—countries with Islamic bank structures that are already well-entrenched.

Keep in mind that the World Bank also has a program to promote sharia-compliant finance in concert with the Islamic Development Bank, a sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood.  From Reuters on Dec. 11:

Islamic banking expansion aided by ADB grant

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 (Reuters) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided a $750,000 grant to promote Islamic banking in Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The money will be shared between those countries’ governments to help their banking systems to meet regulatory standards set by the Islamic Financial Services Board, the ADB said.

Islamic finance follows religious guidelines such as a ban on the payment of interest and on pure monetary speculation.

Its core markets are in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, with about 57 percent of total global Islamic banking assets held by the 20 largest Islamic banks, concentrated in Malaysia, Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Turkey.

The ADB, which promotes economic and social progress in the Asia-Pacific region, said that the expansion of Islamic finance in other countries in the region will provide large numbers of people with banking services for the first time.

A report by Ernst & Young on Monday said that up to 150 new financial institutions could be established to cater for growing demand from the Muslim-majority populations of countries such as Indonesia, Egypt and Pakistan.

The sharia finance sector in Bangladesh has been documented to fund terrorism.  Giving even more money to their Islamic banking system makes no sense unless the purpose is to bankroll terrorism even further.

ADB is funded by its member countries and international bond sales.  Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Nomura, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Daiwa, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, RBC Capital Markets and UBS were involved with an ADB bond issuance earlier this year.

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Sharia tax law: conversion through payola

December 24, 2012

Supporters of zakat, the Islamic tax on wealth, mislead people into believing that that zakat helps the poor.  The truth is that poor Muslims are one category of eligible recipients of zakat, but believers of other religions are not entitled to such alms.  And the broader truth is that the general purpose of zakat isn’t to help the poor, but to help spread Islam.  One factor of this propagation is the one exception in sharia tax law that allows a non-Muslim to receive zakat:  as an inducement to convert.

Johnmc looks into the zakat-for-conversion phenomenon over at FaithFreedom.org.  Here’s an excerpt from his op-ed entitled “Bribery in Islam”:

…The majority view is clearly that one of the uses of Zakat money is to “reconcile” or “win over” people’s hearts to Islam or to Mohammed. This obviously refers to giving non-Muslims money in order to entice them to become Muslims or to favour Muslims – i.e. bribing them.

Let me also note that this is the only reason for which a non-Muslim can receive anything from Zakat. Put another way, the other categories apply solely to Muslims.

In the view of Ahamed, Rodwell, Sale and Yousaf Ali the Zakat money is given to those who are new converts to Islam to cement their allegiance – i.e. to bribe them to remain “good” Muslims.

I should add that in his footnotes Rodwell writes that this money was given to “petty Arab chiefs with whom Mohammed made terms …in order to secure their followers”. Thus although Mohammed gave the money to bribe new converts according to Rodwell’s translation, part of it at least was used to bribe the rest of the tribe(s) into following Mohammed and Islam according to Rodwell’s footnote. Thus Rodwell confirms that both forms of bribe were used…

See previous Money Jihad analysis on the prohibition of zakat for non-Muslims including video from a prominent Muslim scholar here and on Twitter here.

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