Posts Tagged ‘France’
We’ve seen a several cases over the past year or two of individual Muslims living in the West who each raise anywhere from one to 15 thousands dollars a pop to fund jihad overseas. The fact that French authorities have referred to this suspect as a “formidable financier” suggests that this individual may have acquired $15K or much more, but time will tell.
This news development is also an indication that Al Qaeda in North Africa (AQIM) isn’t just receiving money through abductions for ransom. We have already seen indications that AQIM has enough money to send some of it to Al Qaeda itself. Could French Muslim money be passed through AQIM to Al Qaeda as well?
From the Associated Press, July 3:
French police arrest website administrator suspected of financing Al QaedaPARIS – French authorities have arrested the administrator of an extremist French website who is suspected of playing a key role in financing and recruiting for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups from Pakistan to Spain, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Tuesday.
The man — whom prosecutors call an “operational vector and formidable financier of the bloodiest terrorist groups” — is being questioned Tuesday. He faces preliminary charges of planning terrorist acts and financing a terrorist enterprise, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The man, a Tunisian born in 1977 based in the southern French city of Toulon, was arrested Friday after a yearlong investigation, the prosecutor’s statement said. It did not give the man’s name.
The prosecutor cited “serious and concordant evidence” that the suspect sent material from his computer to terrorist groups. It says he played a “centralizing role” in collecting funds for terrorist groups to buy weapons, but did not elaborate on how much money was involved.
Prosecutors say he is suspected of acting as a financier and recruiter for groups including Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (North Africa), Fatah al Islam, and the Islamic State of Iraq.
Investigators studied thousands of email messages and analyzed a “considerable mass” of data, prosecutors said.
They called it an exceptionally advanced example of “the use of the Internet for terrorist ends in the domain of radical Islam.”
The arrest comes three months after a gunman who police said claimed allegiance to Al Qaeda killed Jewish schoolchildren and paratroopers in a rampage in southern France, in France’s worst terrorist attacks since the 1990s.
Also earlier this year, a French court sentenced an Algerian-born nuclear physicist to five years in prison for his role in plotting terrorism with Al Qaeda’s north African wing via online contacts. Adlene Hicheur, a former researcher at Switzerland’s CERN laboratory, was convicted of “criminal association with a view to plotting terrorist attacks.”
From Vlad Tepes on a Moroccan-funded mosque in Blois, France:
Translation by Hermes from:
According to article 220 of the moroccan criminal code, christians who engage in proselytism in the moroccan kingdom have to face penalties of up to 6 years behind bars, churches are closed and foreigner christians are expelled if they dare to publicly display their faith. Moroccans have no right to convert to another religion, and according to the constitution, a christian is not allowed to get moroccan citizenship.
Meanwhile the building of mosques in France and its control by Morocco (and other muslim countries) increases. This is about a territorial conquest of the zones under muslim colonization which are multiplying mainly in France, but also in other european cities.
After the building of the great mosques in Clermont-Ferrand and Saint-Etienne, which were financed by Morocco, now it is the turn of the town of Blois. A mosque and a madrassa in being built on a 1500 square meter plot of land. The king of Morocco donated 787.000 euros to help finishing the building of the complex.
The building of the “Bilal cultural and religious centre”, begun 2 years ago, was at a standstill. The first 600.000 euros collected by the regional muslim community were entirely spent. On the occasion of a private visit of the King of Morocco to one of his numerous properties in France, he was handed over a report explaining the details about the project and the difficulties the project was going through. The king’s reaction was positive and he donated the money needed to end the project
More than 30.000 muslims live in that region: Moroccans, Argelians [Algerians], Turks and Africans of different nationalities. The founding stone was laid down in december 11, 2009. The mosque will have an area of 1500 square meters,including a prayer hall of 450 square meters and a 9.20 meters high minaret.
And from Al Arabiya on the Saint-Étienne mosque:
A new mosque bearing the name of Moroccan King Mohamed VI is now open in France amid praise of the cooperation of the French authorities.
President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (Conseil Français du Culte Musulman- CFCM) Mohammed Moussaoui inaugurated the Mohamed VI Mosque in the southwestern French city of Saint-Étienne.
The mosque, built on an area of 10,000 square meters, boosts a 14-meter high minaret and accommodates more than 1,000 worshippers.The mosque bears the name of Moroccan king Mohamed VI who donated five million Euros of the total eight million of the construction cost.
Now it may be Syria, where the discriminatory jizya tax is reportedly being imposed on Christians in Homs by the “Free” Syrian Army. Qatar and Saudi Arabia have armed jihadist rebels against the Assad regime, and the West has helped fund them.
Remember this story from February? The U.K. is giving £2 million to help FSA rebels who appear to be simultaneously profiting from the Christians under their boots.
David Cameron announces £2m fund to help Syrian civilians
The UK will provide funding for medical supplies and food for 20,000 people affected by fighting in the Syrian city of Homs, David Cameron has said.
The prime minister said the situation in Syria was “appalling” and described what was happening as “butchery”.
Speaking alongside French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Cameron said the international community could do more to “get rid of this brutal dictator”.
Syrian government troops are trying to dislodge rebels rebels from Homs.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s authorities have responded to anti-government protests – which they blame on “extremists and terrorists” – with overwhelming military force since they began in March 2011.
As Mr Cameron spoke, Syrian troops resumed heavy shelling of the city, activists say, a day after the UN General Assembly called for an end to violence.
Parts of Homs have been battered by mortars and rockets fired by Syrian government troops for nearly two weeks, as they try to dislodge hundreds of rebels from the Free Syrian Army.
The BBC’s Jim Muir, in neighbouring Lebanon, says the passing of the resolution at the UN General Assembly clearly is not affecting events on the ground, but it gave all parties a chance to air their views.
The motion, which was voted for by 137 member states, called on the Syrian authorities “to stop all violence or reprisals immediately, in accordance with the League of Arab States initiative”.
Russia and China were among the 12 states who voted against the non-binding resolution. There were also 17 abstentions.
On Friday, France and the UK urged the Syrian opposition to unite and said it needed more international support to resist suppression.
Um, you mean to at least not engage in suppression themselves?
“We cannot bring about a Syrian revolution… if the Syrian revolution does not make an effort to rally together and organise so that we can better help them,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters after the bilateral talks.
Mr Cameron said: “We need to take all the action we can to put the maximum pressure on Assad to go, and to stop the butchery that is taking place…
Butchery and highway robbery that appears to be a two-way street. That’s your tax euros at work.
From Shariah Finance Watch yesterday:
Before he was killed by crack French security forces, the Jihadist terrorist Mohammed Merah claimed that he received funding for weaponry from inside and outside France.
This makes sense since he was known to have multiple Colt 1911 .45 automatic pistols, an Uzi, a Sten gun and a riot shotgun in his possession. The Uzi and the Sten are both submachine guns that would not be easy to come by at all. Even in civilian semi-automatic versions, those two weapons, combined with the others mentioned would likely have required over $3,000 to purchase in the USA. Such weapons are not believed to be readily available in France.
Someone was financing and supplying Merah…
“Someone” indeed. Merah had visited Afghanistan or Pakistan three times. It stands to reason, therefore, if Merah said he received funding from both “inside and outside France” that he was referring to Afghanistan or Pakistan. And, if he fits the pattern of many other terrorists who received training or formed contacts in Afghanistan or Pakistan, then he possibly received the money from Pakistan’s ISI spy service or any number of Pakistani militant Islamic groups which are themselves funded by the ISI. In this respect, the money trail looks similar to that of David Headley, the U.S. resident from Pakistan who scouted out the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
On the other hand, his Algerian roots suggest that he could have received money from Algeria, where Al Qaeda’s North African branch has been raking in cash by charging ransoms for European captives. The fact that France itself has paid massive ransoms for the release of captives in Afghanistan and Africa looks especially counterproductive in the light of jihadist-funded weapon smuggling into Toulouse.
In any case, Merah got the money from jihadists to help wage jihad in France. This shouldn’t be too surprising when one of Bin Laden’s last video messages was directed with particular scorn against France.
More on Qatar’s money being used to support Wahhabi Islam abroad. This excellent piece from Soeren Kern describes the Qatari infiltration of Muslim populations of France, Spain, and other countries of Europe:
Qatar Financing Wahhabi Islam in France, Italy, Ireland and Spain
Qatar, the most fraudulent “moderate,” is “sparing no effort” to spread Wahhabi Islam across “the whole world,” discouraging integration, encouraging jihad.
The Persian Gulf Emirate of Qatar says it plans to invest €50 million ($65 million) in French suburbs that are home to hundreds of thousands of disgruntled Muslim immigrants.
Qatar says its investment is intended to support small businesses in disadvantaged Muslim neighborhoods. But Qatar, like Saudi Arabia, subscribes to the ultra-conservative Wahhabi sect of Islam, and critics say the emirate’s real objective is to peddle its religious ideology among Muslims in France and other parts of Europe.
Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who has long cultivated an image as a pro-Western reformist and modernizer, recently vowed to “spare no effort” to spread the fundamentalist teachings of Wahhabi Islam across “the whole world.”
The promotion of Islamic extremist ideologies — particularly Wahhabism, which not only discourages Muslim integration in the West, but actively encourages jihad against non-Muslims — threatens to further radicalize Muslim immigrants in France, analysts say.
The Qatari investments are being targeted in blighted French suburban slums known in France as banlieues, where up to one million or more mostly unemployed Muslim immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East eke out an impoverished existence.
The banlieues are already being exploited by Islamist preachers from countries such as Morocco and Turkey, which are leveraging the social marginalization of Muslim immigrants in France to create “separate Islamic societies” ruled by Islamic Sharia law, according to a recent study which examines the rise of Islam in France.
The 2,200-page report, “Banlieue de la République” (Suburbs of the Republic) — commissioned by the influential French think tank L’Institut Montaigne, and directed by Gilles Kepel, a well-known specialist on the Muslim world — describes how Muslim immigrants are increasingly rejecting French values and identity in favor of Islam.
The report shows how Sharia law is rapidly displacing French civil law in many parts of suburban Paris and warns that France is on the brink of a major social explosion because of the failure of Muslims to integrate into French society.
Financially speaking, 2011 was another banner year for the Taliban.
France paid perhaps the largest ransom in world history when it handed $15 to $20 million over to the Taliban to release two abducted journalists in June.
Meanwhile, American leaders like Gen. David Petraeus and Sec. Hillary Clinton continued endorsing a program to pay members of the Taliban if they would “reintegrate” with… somebody… other than the Taliban… we hope.
And we learned more than we cared to know about U.S., UN, and British aid and reconstruction money ending up in the hands of the Taliban through insufficient oversight of subcontracting processes, Afghani corruption, and possibly, local political bet hedging.
The Kajaki Dam, a joint U.S.-Afghan project, became known as a “watershed of waste” for whom the Taliban will become the ultimate beneficiary.
It was reported in June that $1 billion has “disappeared” from Kabul Bank. While the Afghan government itself is responsible for the graft within the bank, one doubts the wisdom of international financing and loans that have flowed to Afghanistan over recent years.
At the same time, the Taliban can continue receiving funding from Islamic taxation of the people in the territories it controls, and can tap into financial resources from Pakistan’s spy service and the Haqqani network.
While the U.S. and international partners have been somewhat successful in limiting the financial pipelines of Al Qaeda, no evidence suggests that the same can be said for the Taliban.
International aid to Gaza that invariably funds Hamas is highly irrational and even suicidal. The only relationship that resembles it is the West’s relationship with the Taliban—an organization that we actually hand money to through subcontracts and ransom payments. Meanwhile, we pat ourselves on the backs for declaring that we have “frozen” the bank accounts of men like Mullah Omar, who literally keep their money in a treasure chest, and for creating some little office of financial analysts in Kabul to watch for “suspicious transactions”.
If we were serious about bankrupting the Taliban, we would hunt them down and kill them one by one rather than paying them to pretend to tolerate our presence for a brief period of time.
Al Qaeda in Yemen (AQAP) is demanding $12 million in fida’ (Koran-based Islamic ransom) for three French aid workers that they abducted in May. Their abductors had been quiet about their asking price until now. Perhaps they’ve discovered in the meantime what the French market will bear? From Agence France Presse via France 24 on July 27:
Abducted French aid workers in al Qaeda hands
Three French aid workers abducted in Yemen are being held by men linked to the country’s al-Qaida offshoot who are demanding $12 million in ransom, security officials and local tribesmen said Wednesday.
The two women and one man were abducted three months ago while working for the aid group Triangle Generation Humanitaire, which is based in Lyon, France. They were seized in eastern Yemen’s Hadramawt province, which is home to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Intelligence chief Ghaleb al-Qamish and other senior government officials have asked prominent figures in the town of Sayoun to try to mediate their release, the security officials and tribesmen said.
They said the three were being held by al-Qaida members or by people affiliated with the militants. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
After the aid workers’ disappearance on May 28, Yemeni officials initially said they feared the group had been taken by tribesmen, who frequently use abductions – including of foreigners – to press the government for concessions, such as the release of fellow tribesmen in prison.
In most of those cases, the captives are freed unharmed. In the past few years, however, al-Qaida has begun kidnapping foreigners as well, sometimes with lethal results.
The director of the French aid group, Patrick Verbruggen, said it has had no contact with the kidnappers since the abduction in May.
He said he had no information on whether the aid workers were being held by al-Qaida or if a ransom had been demanded.
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said Wednesday that the ministry also had not heard that the group is being held by al-Qaida and that they are demanding a ransom.
“We have been fully mobilized since the beginning to obtain the release of our compatriots, and in their interest, we should observe the greatest discretion to preserve the effectiveness of our actions,” he told an online briefing.
France brought it on itself. France’s payment of a $15 to $20 million ransom to the Taliban reported earlier this month has emboldened Al Qaeda to demand $90 million in ransom for four French hostages in Africa. La Belle France has turned its French citizens into merchandise over which to haggle at an Arab bazaar. For the West, horrifying; for al Qaeda, jackpot.
From Ansamed (h/t RoP):
TUNIS, JULY 25 – More than 300 days into an imprisonment that risks prolonging even further. The four French nationals who were captured in September of last year have literally disappeared into a “black hole” created by Al Qaeda in the Maghreb. The hostages appear to be an investment for the future of the terrorist organisation, which does not intend to lower the enormous ransom set at 90 million euros, according to the most recent reports. For Delie Larribe, Theirry Dole, Marc Feret and Pierre Legrand, a positive end to the story in a short period of time seems unlikely because they are pawns in a larger game being played by AQMI in the Sahel, which is perhaps the most potentially at risk zone on the global terrorism panorama. The situation has escalated to the point that the countries in the area (with Algeria leading the way) have allied themselves in their anti-terrorism efforts. But this is only true in terms of their military operations, and certainly does not involve searching for hostages swallowed up in the abyss that Al Qaida has succeeded in creating around their prisoners, like Italian national Maria Sandra Mariani, who disappeared in Algeria in February. It is difficult to say where the hostages are being held, even for French intelligence officials who are extremely active in the area and who have built up a solid collaboration with their Algerian counterparts. Recent events in the area have fuelled worries regarding the increasingly “professional” operations conducted by AQMI following their affiliation with the “mother ship”, which has translated into constant military pressure, especially along the border between Mali and Mauritania (with Algeria and Niger ready to collaborate) and into an attempt to manage the flourishing kidnapping industry, which, has raised the stakes with the four French hostages, and therefore, their potential revenue.
Ransom money could be reinvested to acquire weapons, especially after a thriving parallel market opened up with the war in Libya, for the most part regarding the weapons in the Libyan arsenal that have been recently acquired, mainly from Russia.
It might not be as bad as giving $15 to $20 million to the Taliban, but it sure ain’t good. The Libyan rebels are known to include Al Qaeda. It was troublesome enough when Hillary Clinton bowed to fundamentalist appetites by gaving the rebels halal meals with “secular” U.S. taxpayer dollars, but at least you can’t kill anybody with a sack lunch.
The “40 tonnes of weapons” will be a bit more dangerous. From Agence France Press (with the original reporting by Le Figaro) via Expatica on June 29 (h/t GoV). Egh, enough attributions, on with the news!
France has begun parachuting arms shipments to Berber rebels fighting Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s forces in the highlands south of Tripoli, the French daily Le Figaro reported on Wednesday.
According to the paper, which said it had seen a secret intelligence memo and talked to well-placed officials, the air drops are designed to help rebel fighters encircle Tripoli and encourage a popular revolt in the city itself.
“If the rebels can get to the outskirts of Tripoli, the capital will take the chance to rise against Kadhafi,” said an official quoted in the report.
“The regime’s mercenaries are no longer getting paid and are scarcely getting fed. There’s a severe fuel shortage, the population has had enough.”
French officials could not immediately confirm or deny the report, but a well-placed non-government source told AFP that 40 tonnes of weapons including “light armoured cars” had been delivered to rebels in western Libya.
According to Le Figaro the French arms shipments are dropped from planes in the Djebel Nafusa region, where Berber tribes have risen to join the revolt against Kadhafi’s rule and seized several provincial towns.
The crates hold assault rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, it said, and also European-made Milan anti-tank missiles, a powerful addition to the rebel arsenal that can destroy a tank or a bunker.
France has taken a leading role in organising international support for the uprising against Kadhafi’s four-decade old rule, and French and British jets are spearheading a NATO-led air campaign targeting his forces.
Rebel forces are based in Benghazi in the east of the country, and hold a besieged enclave supplied by sea in the western coastal town of Misrata, but have been unable to mount a convincing advance on the capital.
In 1532, the Incas famously paid a room full of gold to Francisco Pizarro to secure the release of their emporer, Atahuallpa. In the end, the Incas would lose Atahuallpa and their civilization.
Four hundred and eighty years later, France has just been reported to have paid $15 to $20 million to the Taliban to release two French journalists.