Archive for the ‘Image’ Category

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Ex-MI6 chief cites ISIS’s Saudi, Qatari donors

August 5, 2014

Iranian cartoon about Saudi funding of jihad

Richard Dearlove, the former head of the British spy agency MI6, made these comments last month about support for the Islamic State of Iraq by Saudi and Qatari donors:

They [Sunnis in the Middle East] are deeply attracted towards any militancy that can effectively challenge Shia-dom. How much Saudi and Qatari money – now I’m not suggesting direct government funding, but I am suggesting maybe a blind eye being turned – is being channeled towards ISIS, and reaching it? For ISIS to be able to surge into the Sunni areas of Iraq in the way that it’s done recently has to be the consequence of substantial and sustained funding. Such things simply do not happen spontaneously.

Indeed. As Money Jihad has previously observed, ISIS didn’t wake up one day and luck their way into seizing Mosul.  Video clips of Mr. Dearlove’s remarks are available on the Media Research Center’s website here.

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Al Qaeda debuts new currency

March 2, 2014

Osama Bin Laden bill

Reportedly, Al Qaeda in Iraq (ISIL) is circulating its own one hundred “Islamic” pound note in western Iraq with a picture of the Twin Towers burning on 9/11 and a portrait of Osama bin Laden.

The new bills are quite a curious development considering that Islamists normally regard paper currencies as unclean “infidel” currencies invented by non-Muslim imperialists.  Islamists prefer gold dinars and silver dirhams such as those used by Muhammad according to traditional Islamic texts.

ISIL may have chosen a denomination of 100 because of the popularity of U.S. $100 bills in Iraq, where they are nicknamed “ghosts” because of Iraqi perceptions of Benjamin Franklin’s sprectral appearance.

Presumably, the new currency is more of a publicity stunt than an actual, working currency that could be used to pay the wages of their fighters.  The money would seem to have limited usefulness to ISIL’s men and their families, because it cannot be exchanged or used to purchase goods beyond ISIL’s territorial control.

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Al-Shabaab touts its Ramadan social services

August 6, 2013

Aiming to build its credentials as a charity, the terrorist group al-Shabaab has posted staged photos online of food and money that it claims to have distributed to Somali villagers during Ramadan.

Youngsters look doubtful after guerrillas give them money

Notice that only the smallest child looks happy

Do you really think al-Shabaab’s gunmen are going to hand out wads of cash to Somali children and allow them to walk back to their huts to give it to their parents?

Somalia Newsroom explains:

…Amid the likely competition between al-Shabaab factions over support from local communities, forces loyal to top leader Ahmed Abdi Godane continue efforts to “win hearts and minds.” In photos published online, al-Shabaab can be seen giving cash handouts to poor families in Galhareeri (Galgaduud region)–with children serving as the recipient to optimize perceptions of the group’s charity.

In the Lower Shabelle town of Qoryooley, al-Shabaab’s dawa activities involved handing out sacks of food to the community.

Other photos of Qoryooley showed ongoing construction, social services, and steady life. The intent perhaps is to highlight the apparent normalcy of the town in contrast with the alternating pivot of recovery and instability in Mogadishu (of which al-Shabaab is a major but not sole contributor)…

These efforts are similar to those of Hamas, IHH, Qatar Charity, RIHS, JuD, and a dozen Saudi-backed Islamic relief agencies that spread radical Islamist medicine with a spoonful of charitable sugar worldwide.

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Hacker who financed church bombing sentenced

February 13, 2013

http://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20110925&t=2&i=506488479&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=460&pl=300&r=2011-09-25T121332Z_01_BTRE78O0XYN00_RTROPTP_0_INDONESIA-EXPLOSION

“IT protégé” Cahya Fitrianta conspired to steal billions of rupiah with Rizki Gunawan to fund terrorism in Indonesia.  They were somewhat successful by their own standards:  bankrolling a bomb strike on a church in Solo, Indonesia, left two dead and fourteen parishioners injured.

Cahya has been sentenced to eight years for terrorism and money laundering activities.  From the Jakarta Globe on Feb. 6:

Computer Hacker Sentenced to 8 Years for Role in Terror Group

A computer hacker who accessed money from a website and then laundered it to fund terrorist activity in the Central Sulawesi city of Poso was convicted by the West Jakarta District Court on Tuesday.

Cahya Fitrianta was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay a Rp 500 million ($51,000) fine. Prosecutors had sought a 12-year sentence.

Presiding judge Erlita S. Ginting said the defendant had violated multiple articles under the anti-terrorism and money laundering laws.

“Aside from engaging in a vicious conspiracy, the defendant was also found guilty of laundering money, which he obtained from hacking the http://www.speedline.com website and used the proceeds to fund military training in Poso,” said Erlita.

Cahya’s lawyer said he will consider whether to appeal.

“We will think about it. If the public prosecutor plans to appeal, we’re ready for it. But our camp cannot accept the accusation about violating an article on money laundering because there were no facts [to support it] or [data] regarding the source of the money,” Cahya’s attorney, Farid Ghozali, said after the trial.

The public prosecutor said it would appeal the sentence because it was lower than the jail term sought.

Cahya was arrested in May last year in a Bandung hotel. The defendant, along with another man, Rizki Gunawan, have been linked by police to a group known to fund terrorist activities.

Police in May arrested Rizki, accusing him of hacking a marketing firm’s website to steal money in order to fund militant training.

The duo stole billions of rupiah over two years by hacking websites, and used some of the money to fund the bombing of a church in Solo on Sept, 25, 2011.

Cahya was also previously accused of channeling money to terrorism suspect Umar Patek, who was sentenced this year to 20 years for his role in the 2002 Bali bombing.

Central Sulawesi has become a hot-bed of extremism in recent years, as terror groups seek to fund and prepare activities.

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Cyber-terrorists target bank software next

February 11, 2013

After attacking banks’ websites last fall, hackers “may graduate from crude DDoS attacks to more sophisticated ones that secretly penetrate banks’ systems and then steal or delete data,” reports The Economist.

Furthermore, “If 20,000 machines started hammering British payment gateways on the last weekend before Christmas, people wouldn’t be able to shop except with cash,” warns an information technology security professor quoted in the article.  This is the second prediction or warning we have heard about potential cyber-attacks on financial targets during 2013 holiday season.

Read the full article—“War on terabytes”—here.

Banks have spent centuries perfecting physical security through alarm systems, tamper-proof vaults, armed guards, armored trucks, but they have a lot of catching up to do to guard their networks against the economic warfare being waged by overseas hackers.

Many experts and government officials blame last fall’s digital attacks (depicted in the excellent RivalHost infographic below) on Iran.  That hasn’t been proved yet, but longtime readers may recall that Iranian leaders declared 2011 as “The Year of Economic Jihad,” and that Ahmadinejad said “that economic jihad should be realized in every aspect of all Iranian’s lives.”

http://blog.rivalhost.com/izz-ad-din-al-qassam-cyber-fighters-ddos-attacks/

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TCF goofs on golden gopher terror transactions

January 31, 2013
http://oncampus.mpr.org/2010/07/gopher-tix-not-so-hot-with-students/olympus-digital-camera/

TCF Bank Stadium at Univ. of Minn.

Iranian students at the University of Minnesota engaging in possible terrorist financing activities have been allowed to maintain accounts with TCF Financial Corp. until now, as lapses in the bank’s compliance program have come to light during a federal probe.

Several of accounts will be closed despite “concerns that innocent people were being profiled.”  It is unclear why individual account holders should be concerned or who is raising the concerns, since the bank (not depositors) is the party receiving the penalty.

TCF will pay a $10 million fine as part of a consent order with the federal government for its compliance shortcomings, which included filing slipshod suspicious transaction reports (STRs) of “poor quality.”

Hat tip to Sal Imburgia for sending this in.  From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

TCF to pay $10 million for lapses in monitoring suspicious transactions

By Jennifer Bjorhus

Jan. 26–TCF Financial Corp. will pay $10 million for lapses in monitoring suspicious bank transactions, including potential terrorist financing.

The fine, announced Friday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, caps a long-running probe of the Wayzata bank’s compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act. TCF mishandled mandatory reports regarding questionable dealings, a key tool for law enforcement to prevent money laundering and other illegal activity, federal officials said.

At issue were cash transactions that appeared to be manipulated, and wire transfers where the source and purpose of the funds were unknown, the OCC said.

The Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to make sure illegal money doesn’t flow through their organization, and regulators have stepped up enforcement in the past few years.

Last month, British banking giant HSBC agreed to pay $1.9 billion to settle an investigation focused on laundering money from drug traffickers in Mexico and conducting transactions with sanctioned countries, such as Iran and Cuba. More recently, the Federal Reserve hit JPMorgan Chase & Co. with a cease-and-desist order requiring it to beef up compliance.

As for TCF — the third-largest bank in Minnesota with $19 billion in assets — regulators said the lender botched its required reports.

Between November 2008 and July 2010, TCF was late filing 2,357 reports of suspicious transactions, according to the consent order from the OCC. The filing goes on to say that in 13 cases, involving about $7.2 million, the bank failed to properly file reports “related to transactions indicative of possible terrorist financing.”

The reports to law enforcement were of “poor quality,” it said. In some cases the bank didn’t check the “terrorist financing” box on reports when the narrative section referenced possible terrorist activity, and in other cases the narrative didn’t make clear what sort of suspicious activity had taken place.

In addition to paying the fine, TCF agreed to refile the 13 reports and do employee training, according to the consent order.

TCF issued a statement Friday saying it overhauled its program for complying with the Bank Secrecy Act. It called the settlement a “significant step” toward resolving the consent order that regulators issued against the bank in 2010.

Banks simply haven’t taken suspicious activity reports seriously enough, and the tougher enforcement is overdue, said bank analyst Nancy Bush, a contributing editor of SNL Financial in Charlottesville, Va.

“Banks have every way in the world to track this stuff,” Bush said. “They certainly know what comes in and what goes out of their banks on a daily basis.”

Bush said she thought TCF’s $10 million fine was relatively small: “It seems to be more symbolic than anything else.”

TCF CEO William Cooper was traveling late Friday and couldn’t be reached for comment. In an interview, spokesman Jason Korstange said the bank did a “very, very thorough examination of all our accounts.”

“Ultimately we did not find any terrorist activities,” Korstange said.

The settlement sheds some light on the mysterious letters the bank sent last month to about a dozen students at the University of Minnesota who are from Iran. The letters, in which TCF warned it might close their accounts, triggered concerns that innocent people were being profiled.

Korstange said the bank is still working through that matter. TCF has an exclusive agreement with the university to offer checking accounts linked to school photo ID cards.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Police: Lebanese expat transferred $50K-$200K per deposit to fund terrorist training

January 29, 2013

http://infosurhoy.com/cocoon/saii/xhtml/en_GB/features/saii/features/main/2013/01/24/feature-01

Hezbollah banks in Syria and Turkey received proceeds from Wassim el Abd Fadel’s CD and DVD pirating scheme along with cocaine trafficking profits according to Interpol and Paraguayan police.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Energy security: the chokepoint risk factor

January 14, 2013

5 of 7 critical oil transit corridors are in Islamic world

Looking for another reason to support domestic energy production rather than heavily relying on the fragile political and security situation in the Middle East?  Energy independence from Arab oil isn’t just about reducing the flow of petrodollars to jihad—it’s about ensuring our energy needs are met regardless of the latest turmoil, attack, or unrest in the Islamic world.

This map and background from the U.S. Energy Information Administration should be enough to persuade most citizens that depending on stability in these regions of the world is an untenable proposition:

Shipping lanes for oil

World oil chokepoints for maritime transit of oil are a critical part of global energy security. About half of the world’s oil production moves on maritime routes.

Chokepoints are narrow channels along widely used global sea routes, some so narrow that restrictions are placed on the size of the vessel that can navigate through them. They are a critical part of global energy security due to the high volume of oil traded through their narrow straits.

In 2011, total world oil production amounted to approximately 87 million barrels per day (bbl/d), and over one-half was moved by tankers on fixed maritime routes. By volume of oil transit, the Strait of Hormuz, leading out of the Persian Gulf, and the Strait of Malacca, linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans, are two of the world’s most strategic chokepoints.

The international energy market is dependent upon reliable transport. The blockage of a chokepoint, even temporarily, can lead to substantial increases in total energy costs. In addition, chokepoints leave oil tankers vulnerable to theft from pirates, terrorist attacks, and political unrest in the form of wars or hostilities as well as shipping accidents that can lead to disastrous oil spills. The seven straits highlighted in this brief serve as major trade routes for global oil transportation, and disruptions to shipments would affect oil prices and add thousands of miles of transit in an alternative direction, if even available…

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Terrorists offer gold in murder-for-hire scheme

January 10, 2013

Financial reward for killer of American official

Instead of cash, Al Qaeda promises gold bounty for contract killing

The latest jihadist death threat isn’t just about killing the U.S. ambassador to Yemen because 1) he’s American and 2) he’s Jewish.  The reward itself is indicative with Islamist hatred for “infidel” paper currency and their fixation with gold rooted in the days of Muhammad.  How long before Muslim fanatics who abduct Westerners begin demanding ransom payments in gold as well?

From AllVoices.com:

Al-Qaida offers gold reward for killing US ambassador in Yemen

In order to promote jihad in the Muslim world, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula announced in recend days that it would offer a reward of three kilograms of gold for anyone who kills US Ambassador to Yemen, Gerald M. Feierstein, and an additional five million Yemeni riyals for killing US soldiers, according to post on the Al Malhem website.

According to al-Qaida sources, the rewards video, entitled “Jihad Omah,” was penetrated by US intelligence, which deleted part of the announcement concerning the reward. Al-Qaida, however, stated that it still has the original copy and will continue to publish it from time to time.

Al-Qaida concluded their announcement with the famous words of Osama bin Laden, “Do not consult anyone in killing Americans“…

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Offshore oil production fell 14% under Obama

October 22, 2012

U.S. energy independence has improved in recent years due to boosted output through hydraulic fracturing and higher production on privately owned land.

The U.S. would be even less reliant on Saudi oil, and could have moved faster on adopting sanctions against Iranian oil, if it weren’t for the Obama administration’s obstructionism on drilling offshore.

Check out this Romney campaign graphic which lays out Pres. Obama’s lousy record on energy:

Offshore crackdown by Obama

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Blistered by the Arab oil embargo

October 16, 2012
Price controls caused run on service stations

Gas station line during the Arab oil embargo

Thirty-nine years ago today, OPEC announced the price hikes that would result in the oil crisis of 1973.  U.S. attempts to limit the price of gasoline resulted in supply shortages and long lines at American gas stations.  The instigators of the Arab oil embargo were rewarded for their mischief-making by obtaining concessions on Israeli troop withdrawals negotiated by the U.S.

Here’s the official history from the State Department:

The OPEC Oil Embargo, which lasted from October 1973 to March 1974, posed a major threat to the U.S. economy. Moreover, the Nixon Administration’s efforts to address the effects of the embargo ultimately presented the United States with many foreign policy challenges.

During the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced an embargo against the United States in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military during the war. OPEC members also extended the embargo to other countries that supported Israel. The embargo both banned petroleum exports to the targeted nations and introduced cuts in oil production. Several years of negotiations between oil producing nations and oil companies had already destabilized a decades-old system of oil pricing, and thus the OPEC embargo was particularly effective.

Implementation of the embargo, and the changing nature of oil contracts, set off an upward spiral in oil prices that had global implications. The price of oil per barrel doubled, then quadrupled, leading to increased costs for consumers world-wide and to the potential for budgetary collapse in less stable economies. Since the embargo coincided with a devaluation of the dollar, a global recession appeared imminent. U.S. allies in Europe and Japan had stockpiled oil supplies and thus had a short term cushion, but the longer term possibility of high oil prices and recession created a strong rift within the Atlantic alliance. European nations and Japan sought to disassociate themselves from the U.S. Middle East policy. The United States, which faced growing oil consumption and dwindling domestic reserves and was more reliant on imported oil than ever before, had to negotiate an end to the embargo from a weaker international position. To complicate the situation, OPEC had linked an end to the embargo to successful U.S. efforts to create peace in the Middle East.

To address these developments the United States announced Project Independence to promote domestic energy independence. It also engaged in intensive diplomatic efforts among its allies, promoting a consumers’ union that would provide strategic depth and a consumers’ cartel to control oil pricing. Both of these efforts were only partially successful.

The Nixon Administration also began a parallel set of negotiations with OPEC members to end the embargo, and with Egypt, Syria, and Israel to arrange an Israeli pull back from the Sinai and the Golan Heights. By January 18, 1974 Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had negotiated an Israeli troop withdrawal from parts of the Sinai. The promise of a negotiated settlement between Israel and Syria was sufficient to convince OPEC members to lift the embargo in March 1974. By May, Israel agreed to withdraw from the Golan Heights.

Rather than supporting energy independence that would prevent American foreign policy from being held hostage by the Arab world again, Democrats and environmentalists have continued limiting energy production at every turn over the years by prohibiting ANWAR drilling, blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, imposing a moratorium on Gulf of Mexico drilling, pushing for heavy taxes on oil companies and gasoline, keeping excessively long permitting processes for building new oil refineries or authorizing hydraulic fracturing, and by fabricating doomsday scenarios about peak oil.

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