Posts Tagged ‘foreign aid’

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News roundup: recommended reading

July 24, 2014
  • Congressman appearing on Al Jazeera declares “The owners of this TV network help fund Hamas,” and the interviewer doesn’t dispute him… more>>
  • World Net Daily interviews Money Jihad blogger A.D. Kendall on the funding of al-Shabaab and other jihadist groups in Africa… more>>
  • ISIS is looting antiquities, liquidating the history of mankind, and funding its own operations from the profits… more>>
  • The Washington Post declares, “U.S. should aid those who fight terror, not abet human rights abuses.” Are you listening, Saudi Arabia?  More>>
  • You find what you think is a great new international partner for your growing business. Before signing that contract with a foreign firm, hire a professional investigator with a physical presence in that country to conduct due diligencemore>>

 

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Donor nations appear clueless about Palestinian Authority stipends to terrorists

January 5, 2014

In November, The Guardian’s Edwin Black wrote about the phenomenon of Palestinian Authority providing stipends to terrorists imprisoned in Israel.  Money Jihad did not blog about his piece at the time, because this phenomenon is already familiar to our readers (see here, here, and here), and it didn’t seem to break any news or provide any new information.

But upon rereading his write-up, Black’s explanation is so clear and striking that this is definitely worth a second look.  He makes the observation that many officials in the U.K. and U.S. are still stunningly unaware of how much of their donor aid to the PA is skimmed off for the purposes of these stipends.

Hat tip to Dr. Mia Bloom, professor of security studies at UMass Lowell, for sending this over:

How British and American aid subsidises Palestinian terrorism

US and UK taxpayers fund the Palestinian Authority, which in turn funds prisoners in Israeli jails. It’s dangerously dysfunctional

On both sides of the pond, in London and Washington, policymakers are struggling to weather their budget crises. Therefore, it may astound American and British taxpayers that the precious dollars and pounds they deploy in Israel and the Occupied Territories fungibly funds terrorism.

The instrument of this funding is US and UK programs of aid paid to the Palestinian Authority. This astonishing financial dynamic is known to most Israeli leaders and western journalists in Israel. But it is still a shock to most in Congress and many in Britain’s Parliament, who are unaware that money going to the Palestinian Authority is regularly diverted to a program that systematically rewards convicted prisoners with generous salaries. These transactions in fact violate American and British laws that prohibit US funding from benefiting terrorists. More than that, they could be seen as incentivizing murder and terror against innocent civilians.

Here’s how the system works. When a Palestinian is convicted of an act of terror against the Israeli government or innocent civilians, such as a bombing or a murder, that convicted terrorist automatically receives a generous salary from the Palestinian Authority. The salary is specified by the Palestinian “law of the prisoner” and administered by the PA’s Ministry of Prisoner Affairs. A Palestinian watchdog group, the Prisoners Club, ensures the PA’s compliance with the law and pushes for payments as a prioritized expenditure. This means that even during frequent budget shortfalls and financial crisis, the PA PA pays the prisoners’ salaries first and foremost – before other fiscal obligations.

The law of the prisoner narrowly delineates just who is entitled to receive an official salary. In a recent interview, Ministry of Prisoners spokesman Amr Nasser read aloud that definition:

A detainee is each and every person who is in an Occupation prison based on his or her participation in the resistance to Occupation.

This means crimes against Israel or Israelis. Nasser was careful to explain:

It does not include common-law thieves and burglars. They are not included and are not part of the mandate of the ministry.

Under a sliding scale, carefully articulated in the law of the prisoner, the more serious the act of terrorism, the longer the prison sentence, and consequently, the higher the salary. Incarceration for up to three years fetches a salary of almost $400 per month. Prisoners behind bars for between three and five years will be paid about $560 monthly – a compensation level already higher than that for many ordinary West Bank jobs. Sentences of ten to 15 years fetch salaries of about $1,690 per month. Still worse acts of terrorism against civilians, punished with sentences between 15 and 20 years, earn almost $2,000 per month.

These are the best salaries in the Palestinian territories. The Arabic word ratib, meaning “salary”, is the official term for this compensation. The law ensures the greatest financial reward for the most egregious acts of terrorism.

In the Palestinian community, the salaries are no secret; they are publicly hailed in public speeches and special TV reports. The New York Times and the Times of Israel have both mentioned the mechanism in passing. Only British and American legislators seem to be uninformed about the payments…

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Terror finance news: recommended reading

December 19, 2013
  • Jihad Watch:  Australia: Muslim radicals tried robbing an ATM to fund jihad in Syria
  • Kenneth Rijock:  “How extensive was Hezbollah’s Canadian shopping spree?
  • Israel Matzav:  “Your taxes at work: ‘Cash strapped’ Palestinian Authority gives freed terrorist murderers $50,000 each”

 

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Dutch parliament urges Palestinian Authority to stop rewarding terrorists

December 15, 2013

About 40 percent of European Union aid to the Palestinian Authority is diverted as stipends to convicted Palestinian terrorists and their families.  Countries including Norway and the Netherlands are getting a bit tired of this state of affairs.  The Dutch have been irritated enough to pass a motion urging Holland’s government to compel the Palestinian Authority to cease payments to terrorist convicts.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) endorses the parliamentary measure, and offers this report:

AJC Welcomes Dutch Parliament Call to End Financial Rewarding of Palestinian Terrorists

4 December 2013 – Brussels – The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomed the passing of a motion in the Dutch Parliament calling on the government to pressure the Palestinian Authority (PA) to end its use of aid to reward terrorism.

“The Dutch Parliament’s motion is an important recognition of an utterly shameful practice,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute in Brussels. “Aid from EU member states must be used for constructive, peace-building purposes, not to help fuel the conflict.”

The motion, passed by an overwhelming majority, notes that PA payments to convicted terrorists increase based on the length of sentence, thus encouraging future crimes. It references how monthly payments to Palestinians in prison can range from €282 for someone jailed for less than three years to €2,419 for a sentence of 30 years or more.

The EU is the single largest donor to the Palestinians. The Sunday Times (UK) cited in October an unpublished report by the European Court of Auditors detailing how EU aid to the Palestinians has been “misspent, squandered or lost to corruption,” to the tune of £1.95bn between 2008 and 2012.

“The time has come for a full inquiry into the how and when the PA has been using EU aid to encourage terrorism,” said Schwammenthal…

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Money jihad news: recommended reading

October 10, 2013
  • Al-Awlaki paid him $9,000 to do English-language outreach for Al Qaeda. Now that his paymaster is dead and he’s been indicted, Lawal Babafemi may be having second thoughts… more>>
  • Norway is cutting its aid to Afghanistan by 7 percent over concerns about corruption, while Norwegian aid to the equally corrupt Palestinian Authority remains undiminished… more>>
  • Pakistan’s ISI and Frontier Corps commit extortion through a “kill and dump” mafia operation, reports Sarjau… more>>
  • Al-Madinah received £1.4 million in taxpayer funds to open an interfaith school. Somewhere along the way it became 100 percent Muslim, sent girls to the back of the classroom, and banned haram cooking from the cafeteria… more>>
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Al-Shabaab steals British foreign aid

September 25, 2013

As if we needed another reason to discontinue aid to such countries, al-Shabaab has given us another demonstration.  It is almost impossible to ensure that aid such as this gets to the right people who actually need it.

There are enough supply chain risks in war-torn countries like Somalia that most private sector companies wouldn’t invest in them or touch them with a ten-foot pole.  But Western governments swoop in without regard to the regulatory risks. The standards of compliance that apply to banks and multinational corporations, who are routinely excoriated for the slightest export control or anti-money laundering program deficiencies, don’t seem to apply to our governmental aid agencies.

From Channel 4 last month:

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Pakistan scrambles to get off FATF’s gray list

September 16, 2013

The world’s leading financial standards body, FATF, alerted the international community earlier this summer that Pakistan and 11 other countries have failed to make sufficient progress in preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.

The newspaper Pakistan Today notes that if Pakistan fails in “coming up with proper and combating the financing of terrorism and anti-money laundering legislations the country may face severe financial sanctions that may affect its financial deals with the World bank, the Asian Development Bank and other top financial institutions” (h/t Zia Ur Rehman).  Pakistan should make reforms prior to FATF’s next meeting in October to avoid such sanctions.

Not so coincidentally, Pakistan’s central bank has rolled out a new requirement for Pakistani financial institutions to adopt nationwide software by Sept. 30 that will facilitate the filing of suspicious activity reports by bank employees.  When a certain customer or transaction is regarded as suspicious, the financial institutions would use this software to report their observations back to the central bank.

Anybody familiar with new software deployments, even under the best circumstances in well-developed high-tech nations, will recognize that this is an overly ambitious timetable to for implementation.  Widespread training and adoption of the software is unlikely to be complete by FATF’s deadline, but the stated goal may be enough to persuade FATF that Pakistan is moving in the right direction.

Pakistan has been cited before by the Financial Action Task Force for its financial regulatory deficiencies.  Despite the history of shortcomings, Western nations have continued to saturate Pakistan with foreign aid.  Without adequate money laundering an CFT controls in place, there is a high risk of any such military and development aid being abused by malicious actors without fear of detection or prosecution.

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