Archive for the ‘Investigative’ Category

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3 Islamic Relief affiliates reliant on Turkey’s IHH

September 5, 2014

The Turkish front charity IHH partnered with either Islamic Relief UK or its parent organization, Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), during earthquake recovery operations in early 2013. IHH said its work was carried out, “in cooperation with Islamic Relief from Britain,” where IRW is headquartered.

The Australian affiliate of IRW has also partnered with IHH to conduct activities in Syria in 2013 according to a report on Syrian aid issued by IR-Australia. IHH was responsible for the procurement and delivery of supplies into Syria on behalf of IR-Australia.

In addition to previous evidence of cooperation between IR-Deutschland and IHH, these finding indicate consistent international collaboration between Islamic Relief affiliates and IHH. IHH was behind the violent, blockade-running flotilla against Israel in 2010, and has also worked with terrorist groups including al-Shabaab in Somalia.

All developed countries and their charitable regulators advise their charities against working with IHH overseas, particularly in jurisdictions such as Syria where the risks of aid falling into the wrong hands are so high. Islamic Relief USA would do well to note the red flags raised by IHH. According to U.S. Treasury publications, charities should exercise due diligence over the charities with which they partner, and should refrain from working with any charities suspected of financing terrorism.

IRW is currently investigating its own activities after being banned from the West Bank by Israel for funding Hamas.  The Charities Aid Foundation, which provides services to charities, and Islamic Relief UK have ceased working together in the wake of Israel’s ban.

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Campaign renewed to declassify Saudi Arabia’s financing of 9/11

September 2, 2014

The intelligence committees of the U.S. House and Senate released an 800-page report in 2002 entitled, “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.” The inquiry identified failures by the U.S. intelligence community to connect dots of relevant information available to them before 9/11.

The original report was classified top secret; the declassified version includes some redactions of names and methods scattered throughout the report.

The report is divided into four main parts: 1) overall findings and conclusions, 2) a narrative about the 9/11 attacks, 3) special topics about the attacks, and 4) “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.” It is Part Four that was redacted for the declassified version—that section constitutes the now infamous “28 pages” which has never been revealed to the public (corresponding to pages 416 to 443 in the original, top secret report; pages 396 to 422 in the declassified print version; and pages 428 to 454 in the PDF versions available online).

The first page of Part Four is un-redacted, and states, “Through its investigation, the Joint Inquiry developed information suggesting specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers while they were in the United States.”

In 2003, the New York Times reported that people who read the 28-page section of the top secret version said it indicated that two probable Saudi spies had links with 9/11 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. One of the likely spies, Omar al-Bayoumi, may have received money as a “ghost employee” of a Saudi civil aviation contractor from an unnamed Saudi official to disperse to al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi in San Diego in 2000.

Providing further details, KPBS San Diego’s investigative reporter Amita Sharma reported on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 that, “Before al-Bayoumi helped the hijackers, he received $465 per month from the Saudi contractor. After he helped them, he received $3,700 a month. I spoke with [former] Florida senator Bob Graham who co-chaired the congressional inquiry into 9/11, and here’s what he thought about the jump in pay to al-Bayoumi:  ‘The interpretation that we gave to it was that Bayoumi was a conduit of financing for the two hijackers while they were in San Diego.'”

Characterizing the 28 pages publicly, Graham later said, “that was the chapter that largely dealt with the financing of 9/11. Who paid for these very complex and in many instances expensive activities that were the predicate for 9/11?”

The formatting of the published report, which uses strike-throughs in place of the original classified text, indicates that Part Four includes bullet point findings, narrative paragraphs, and block quotes from FBI and CIA reports and testimony before the joint committee.

The final paragraph of Part Four is also un-redacted. There we learn that FBI director Robert Mueller testified before the joint committee that findings about foreign support for the hijackers while in the U.S. “would not have come to light had the [Congress’s] staff not probed” into the subject.

In 2003, 46 senators (including Democrats Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Republican Sam Brownback) supported declassification of the 28 pages in a letter to Pres. Bush. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Pres. Obama told 9/11 victims’ families in 2009 and 2011 that he would declassify the section. Currently, 10 members of Congress (seven Republicans and three Democrats) are co-sponsoring House Resolution 428, which would call upon the President to declassify the redacted pages.

A renewed effort is being supported by former presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul (hat tip @TheNewSpy) to pass HR 428. The website 28pages.org is pushing a social media campaign to declassify the details about Saudi Arabia’s role in the 9/11 attacks. The conservative website Redstate.com and the editorial board of the liberal Miami Herald have also recently endorsed declassification.

Money Jihad predicted in January that declassification could take place this year.

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Claim: al-Shabaab financiers tend to come from one clan

August 19, 2014

Money Jihad cannot confirm the accuracy of a recent claim that financiers of the al-Shabaab terrorist organization tend to come from the Hawiye—the dominant clan in Mogadishu.

A Somali news site says it investigated al-Shabaab’s funding for six months and identified 10 entrepreneurs from various Hawiye sub-clans working in Somalia, Kenya, and Dubai who allegedly fund al-Shabaab. Money from the businessmen is said to be routed through Sheikh Yusuf Sheikh Issa, a.k.a. “Kabkutukade,” but separate media accounts appear to contradict that statement by reporting that Kabkutukade was jailed a year ago.

There is some corroboration that one of the men named in the article, referred to as “Muse Mohammed Ganjab,” does indeed have militant connections. The Times recently reported that “Musa Haji Mohamed Ganjab,” an adviser to Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, sent an arms shipment to al-Shabaab weeks after the terror siege of the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya, and that he personally delayed an attack against an al-Shabaab base in Barawe.

There is also some indication of Hawiye roots and connections to al-Shabaab: the Jamestown Foundation says that the Islamic Union of Courts and its al-Shabaab offshoot were initially criticized as a Hawiye clan militia, the website Terror Free Somalia has previously noted that al-Shabaab’s sanctioned leaders are “mostly Hawiye,” and the Somalia Report says that al-Shabaab used to be referred to as a Hawiye clan based group. But it is also possible that some claims originate from rival clans, and al-Shabaab has members and supporters from non-Hawiye clans as well.

Nevertheless, the tribal connections are mostly immaterial, since al-Shabaab is, at its core, a jihadist group aligned primarily around its belief in fundamentalist Islam, and not along clan lineage.

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How 2 controversial terror group conspirators profit from halal food corporate sponsorships

April 28, 2014

Crescent Foods, a major U.S. halal foods manufacturer, has partnerships with two major Islamic groups that were named as co-conspirators during the terror finance trial against the Holy Land Foundation.

Crescent Foods has sponsored an events conducted by the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and has “teamed up” with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) to create a national halal certification board. ISNA itself describes Crescent Foods president Ahmad Adam, a Palestinian Arab American, as a “founding member” of ISNA.

Court documents showed that CAIR and ISNA conspired with HLF in sending $12 million to Hamas in the early 2000s. The HLF was shut down and its former leaders are in prison. Federal prosecutors under attorney general Eric Holder have declined to prosecute CAIR and ISNA.

In addition to its HLF links, Crescent Foods has somewhat murky relationships with undocumented charitable groups. Crescent Foods’s philanthropic activities include sponsorship of a Chicago-based entity known as “Refugee Assistance Programs” (RAP-US) on Victoria Lane in Glendale Heights. Although it solicits donations on its website, RAP-US is not a registered charity with the Illinois attorney general’s office, nor has it filed for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service. RAP-US describes itself as a member of the “Golden Door Coalition,” a similarly un-registered entity.

Crescent Foods has also supplied food at a variety of events coordinated by Islamic organizations, including “proud” sponsorship of conferences hosted by the radical American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) group.

The relationships between Crescent Foods and the HLF associates are not unique in the shadowy and lucrative world of halal certification. IFANCA, probably the most significant halal certifying entity in the U.S., is also tied to HLF co-conspirators and Muslim Brotherhood front groups. Both IFANCA and Crescent Foods have participated in ISNA’s Halal Food Forum.

The Muslim Association of Canada, a primary halal certifying entity, has given money to IRFAN, a charity which was stripped of its tax-exempt status by Canada Revenue Agency for its financial contributions to Hamas. Halal certification in France has been documented to redound primarily to the benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Backroom deal suspected as Turkish agent buys foreclosed Gulen school property

April 6, 2013

In 2012, the Atlanta-area Fulton Science Academy (FSA) borrowed $19 million to buy land to expand their campus.  FSA quickly defaulted, and Wells Fargo sued them.  On Feb. 5, the land was sold at a foreclosure auction for $3.2 million according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Foreclosure auction of Fulton Science Academy property

The winning bidder?  A recently incorporated company called “TruGlobe,” with three Turkish officers, who were somehow able to come up with over $3 million on the day of the foreclosure sale, at which cash or cashier’s checks are normally required as immediate payment.

Both the Fulton Science Academy and TruGlobe have addresses in Alpharetta, Georgia.  The similarities between the entities indicate probable collusion between the Gulen charter school and the winning bidder prior to the sale.  It is worth noting that bid rigging at foreclosure auctions is a growth area for criminal activity.

The website Roots in Alpharetta was the first to expose the “amazing coincidence” of the buyer’s Turkish identity:

Did a Fulton Science Academy benefactor purchase their land?

February 6, 2013

Has a Fulton Science Academy benefactor swooped in to save the embattled school’s construction project? Perhaps.

FSA’s stalled construction project off Westside Parkway was sold in a foreclosure auction this past Tuesday. WSBtv reported this week via twitter that a firm by the name of TruGlobe Inc purchased the land on the courthouse steps for $3.2 million.

TruGlobe is based here in Alpharetta, according to records at the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. Principals with the company appear to be of Turkish descent and have ties to the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce.

Or it could all be an amazing coincidence. This blogger bets that the FSA will pursue a new state charter and attempt to revive their plans for new campus.

Indeed, the registered agent and chief financial officer of TruGlobe is listed as Ahmed Vehbi Ugur, a young man who describes himself as a board member of the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeast.  Ugur is also registered as the CEO of the Maress Corporation, a Turkish kitchen appliance business with an Atlanta office.

The Fulton Science Academy belongs to a network of troublesome charter schools under the direction of Fethullah Gulen, an activist who seeks to replace the formally secular government in Turkey with a sharia-dominated Islamic caliphate.  Gulen schools have undertaken an influence peddling and crony contract scheme in Texas, improper financial activities in Georgia, were denied a charter in Virginia, and are currently under an FBI investigation for kickbacks.

Fulton County itself has recommended early revocation of FSA’s charter due to educational and financial shortcomings.  The State Board of Education of Georgia may consider such a suspension when it meets this month.

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UPDATE—April 8, 2013:  A colleague has noted that the Turkish parties in this case appear to have acquired a $19 million property for a fire sale price of $3 million, short-changing Wells Fargo and the Development Authority of Alpharetta by $16 million in the process.

Technically, the full $19 million debt owed by Fulton Science Academy has not been extinguished by the foreclosure sale to TruGlobe.  Wells Fargo could have pursued a confirmation of deficiency proceeding against FSA for the $16 million still owed.  However, Read the rest of this entry ?

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Analyst uncovers $38 billion retail jihad

March 2, 2012

Yahoo! Finance’s The Daily Ticker recently conducted an interesting interview with Hitha Prabhakar, who says that profits from stolen and resold goods aren’t just benefiting the criminals, but are funding terrorists like Hezbollah and Al Qaeda too.  Zakat is still the primary funding source for jihad around the world, and we don’t know if Ms. Prbhakar acknowledges that in her book, but nonetheless she adds a helpful perspective to the retail jihad worth looking into.  Here’s an excerpt from the article accompanying the interview:

Every one likes a good deal, but if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

At some level, we all know that. But there are many people around the world who can’t pass up a bargain, which is just what the bad guys are counting on, according to a new book by retail expert Hitha Prabhakar, Black Market Billions: How Organized Retail Crime Funds Global Terrorists.

After doing extensive research and following the money trail first-hand, the Bloomberg TV correspondent uncovered a $38 billion black market business that funds not only organized crime, but also terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Al Qaeda as well as drug lords in Central America. And the business is growing, she says, driven by the rise of the Internet, social media and the accessibility to disposable cell phones…

Watch video of the interview with the author and read the full piece here.

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Turkish charity coordinates with al-Shabaab

December 8, 2011

Last month the the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center revealed photographic evidence of the notorious Turkish Islamist charity IHH conferring with al-Shabaab operatives in Somalia.  IHH’s jihadist sympathies are especially disturbing given IHH’s  unparalleled reach throughout the Muslim and non-Muslim world (operating in 95 countries during Eid al-Adha in November) and its ability to obtain donations.

Here’s just the beginning of the Meir Amit report.  Hat tip to Twitter user @KeHaber:

The Turkish organization IHH provides humanitarian assistance to the famine-stricken regions of Somalia. In September its activists coordinated with Al-Shabaab, an organization affiliated with with the global jihad, without authorization from the Somali government, an example of IHH’s dual nature as both a humanitarian and an extremist Islamist organization.

Turkish charity works with terrorist group

Background

1. Prominent in the the coalition which dispatches flotillas to the Gaza Strip is the Turkish organization IHH, Insani Yardim Vakfi (“foundation for humanitarian assistance”). IHH is a radical Islamist organization, which maintains close connections with other anti-Israeli organizations around the globe to send flotillas and convoys to the Gaza Strip. IHH was the moving spirit behind the Mavi Marmara flotilla in May 2010, and its operatives aboard the ship were the hard core which fought against the IDF soldiers, supported by operatives from other radical Islamist Turkish organizations.

2. IHH is a radical Islamist humanitarian assistance organization, anti-Israeli, anti-West and sometimes anti-Semitic as well, as made clear by statements from its leader, Bülent Yildirim. The organization has a dual nature:

            1) It is a humanitarian organization, undertaking broad humanitarian activities in emergency-stricken areas around the globe, especially in Muslim communities. They include the Gaza Strip, Somalia and Turkey itself (IHH recently sent teams to the area stricken by the earthquake in eastern Turkey). They bring tents, send shipments of food, run aid programs for orphans, provide medical assistance, run programs for vocational education, build mosques, etc.

            2) It is an Islamist organization with a radical Islamist ideology. By participating in the flotillas and convoys sent to the Gaza Strip it supports Hamas, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. In addition, in the past it provided support for global jihad networks and was involved in a proposed terrorist attack in the United States (the “millennium attack,” a mass-casualty planned for Los Angeles International Airport on Christmas Day, 2000).1 It was designated as a terrorist organization by Israel and Germany, and outlawed…

Separately, Turkish Prime Minister Receb Ergodan has announced that his government will provide Gaza’s Hamas government with $300 million in aid.

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