Posts Tagged ‘Jaish Muhammad’

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Taliban doles out Rs 150 million in funding

February 18, 2013

Freelance journalist Syed Shoaib Hasan reports that the Muraqaba shura, a council of regional Taliban and Al Qaeda faction leaders, routinely distributes millions of rupees to affiliated terrorist tribal organizations at two to six week intervals.  In an example from May of 2012, the shura disbursed 70 million to the Pakistani Taliban, Rs 50 million to another Taliban faction, between RS 30 and 40 to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and smaller amounts to Harkat ul-Mujahideen and Jaish Mohammad.

In his piece, Hasan also analyzes the history of financing militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11.  He argues that forcing front charities to register with the government actually worsened matters by giving terrorists the patina of legitimacy and access to the international financial system.

Complicating the fight against terrorist financing is the militants’ new tendency to steer donations to small trusts affiliated with mosques rather than madrassas, which is more difficult to track.  Hasan reveals that one in three mosques in Karachi admits to funding militants.

Hat tip to Sal and Colby Adams for sending this over via Twitter.  From Money Matters magazine:

The militant economy

The slush funds accumulated by the militants were fed into the global financial system and were fed into the global financial system and were used to buy legimate businesses involved in construction, shipping and transport. Revenues from these concerns are now fuelling the insurgency

By Syed Shoaib Hasan

On a bright May afternoon in 2012, five men with assault rifles strode into a two-storeyed building near the bazaar in Miramshah. All wore their hair long and oiled under their Chitrali hats but the rangy frame, the narrow, aquiline nose and deep-set eyes instantly betrayed Zulfiqar alias Hakimullah Mehsud, ameer of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. An hour later the coterie emerged, with a staggering Rs70 million in cash.

The money was Mehsud’s share from a fund administered by the Taliban’s Shura-e-Muraqibat (Council of Common Interest), ostensibly an oversight committee that handles matters related to various militant groups headquartered in the tribal areas. (While some western news agencies have described it as an Al Qaeda-formed and managed entity, the shura is clearly of Taliban origin and character.) But managing and distributing funds from the Afghan Taliban structure – ‘the emirate’, as it is referred to in militant circles – is one of its primary functions.

Disbursed at two- to six-week intervals, these funds comprise the largest chunk of revenues for all militant groups in the tribal region – barring the Arab Al Qaeda – and, for some, are the only source. That May, other than the TTP, the Taliban factions headed by Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Mullah Nazir got Rs50 million each while the former Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, now known as the Islamic Movement of Turkestan, got between Rs30 million and Rs40 million. Other recipients of these stipends from the emirate include the Taliban faction of Omar Khalid as well as splinter factions of the Harkatul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Takfeeri Group of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. (Some analysts believe that the TTP also funnels money from its share to the Punjabi Taliban.)

The money is to cover the operational costs of militancy. The bulk of it is, of course, spent on arms and ammo. The rest is distributed over transport costs; communications equipment (including satellite and cellular phones as well as walkie talkies) and – in an interesting sign of the times – media cells. (The Afghan Taliban themselves, for example, have a 100-plus dedicated media cell staff that operates a website available in five languages and manages high-tech studios with editing facilities.) Besides this, small amounts are also made available for the ‘shuhuda fund’, which enables payments between Rs5,000 to Rs10,000 for the families of the successful suicide bombers.

The 9/11 shift

The role of the emirate in funding is relatively new. Before 9/11, most militant groups operating in the Af-Pak region drew funds from two main sources: the Pakistani and Middle Eastern Islamic states and large and small private donors. From the times of the Afghan war till about the nineties, say militants, the size of this pie was around $6 billion. Historically, as much as two-thirds came from the states, with Saudi Arabia leading with contributions that went up to 50 percent of total funding. Close on the kingdom’s heels were Iraq and the Gulf Arab states.

Post 9/11, the situation changed. The US-led crackdown on militant groups began with the now-famous ‘follow the money’ directive and the US Patriot Act of 2001. As a result, funds from state sources all but dried up. As the world and Pakistan woke up to the abuse of hundi and hawala – the traditional trust-based system of money transfer in vogue for money transfer to militant organisations as well as conventional Islamic charities – private donations also disappeared.

Over the next 18 months, the flow of money to militant groups ebbed to an all-time low. The period coincided with the time militant operations were at decade-long nadir and many in Pakistan were quick to call it the ‘end of jihad’ in the region. That could well have happened – without funding, the militants could not have continued undermining the US-dubbed ‘War on Terror’. But a loophole emerged – inadvertently provided by the Pakistani authorities themselves, as they looked to close down all non-formal avenues for money transfer.

A better mousetrap

In their bid to screen all ‘suspicious’ transactions, the authorities hit many Islamic charities and some individuals suspected of transferring funds for militant operations. While a few were involved – the Al Akhtar Trust, for example – most were simply what they said they were: welfare organizations and people working primarily among the urban and rural poor. Accordingly, after a thorough examination of their sources of funding, these groups and individuals were allowed to continue their activities.

However, in order to distinguish them from the militant groups, the charities were required to register themselves and maintain bank accounts for financial transactions. This ensured that only those who had valid ID cards issued by the then newly instituted National Database Authority (Nadra) could open bank accounts. Further, the move also ensured that even where occasional hawala transactions were used, the monies did eventually cross banking lanes and were thus documented. The final salvo was the provision of a list of proscribed organizations – the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi and Tehreek-e-Jafria Pakistan, among others – to the State Bank of Pakistan, which was to make sure their accounts were frozen.

At the time, this may have seemed a leak-proof system, especially to western observers. But in a corrupt third world bureaucracy, there were more holes in this ‘fool-proof’ mechanism than Swiss cheese.

Step up and identify yourself

For starters, the basis of the system – the newly introduced CNIC – could easily be subverted. Read the rest of this entry ?

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ISI offers rewards to fund terror attacks on India

February 8, 2013

NewsX, a 24-hour Indian news channel, reports that Pakistan’s ISI spy service has established a terrorist “rate card”—a document describing different terrorist acts and the rates of payment offered to those carrying out such attacks.

NewsX further reports that the beheading of Indian soldier Jawan Hemraj in early January was carried out in coordination with the ISI by Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish Muhammad operatives for 5 lakh (ie, 500,000) rupees. In Pakistani rupees, that’s about 5,000 USD per beheading.

Note to Western viewers:  the flashy style of news delivery on Indian television may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but the information itself is extremely valuable:

The reward scheme also includes 5,000 rupees for placing land mines on Indian soil and 10,000 rupees to kill an Indian soldier in a firefight.

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Punjab animal skin trade finances terrorists

February 7, 2013

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/09/libyan-rebels-attack-final-qaddafi-strongholds/100157/

Pakistani jihadists are using money from leather sales to sponsor plots against India, according to the Hindustan Times on Jan. 26:

‘Pak terror group sold animal skin to fund anti-India ops’

The interrogation of alleged Hizbul Mujahideen spy Faroquee Ahmed Gulam Hasan Naiku, 37, has brought to the light the fund raising methods adopted by the Pakistan-based terror group for its anti-India operations.

Naiku claimed that a substantial portion of Hizbul’s fund is generated from the sale of skin of livestock, collected by volunteers at village fairs.

Sources in the criminal intelligence unit of the police, which arrested Naiku on Tuesday, said the Jammu and Kashmir resident had made over six trips to Pakistan prior to 2008. “He had even travelled by the Samjhauta Express on one occasion,” a source said.

Naiku said his Hizbul handler took him to training camps for ‘mujahids’  (terrorists), which are allegedly run across Pakistan with full knowledge of the government…

…Naiku, sources said, was taken to the stalls put up by the terror group in village fairs in the Punjab province.

“The Hizbul volunteers would collect donations from people in general. They would collect the skin of goats, sheeps and cows, which were then sold to leather industries and the proceeds would be used in funding terror in India,” the source said…

No estimates of Hizbul Mujahideen’s revenues from the sales are provided in the article, but a separate report in December revealed that Jamaat-ud-Dawa (a front charity for Lashkar-e-Taiba) and Jaish Muhammad made roughly $800,000 from animal skin sales during the festival of Eid al-Adha in 2012.  (To put that amount in perspective, the 9/11 terror attacks cost $400,000 to $500,000 to carry out.)  During the festival, “Muslims sacrifice animals to please God and donate the hides to charity,” and jihadist front charities and their sympathizers join in the mix.

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Pakistani jihadists use Ramadan for revenue

July 24, 2012

No surprises here.  The alphabet soup of Pakistan’s terrorist organizations (LeT, HuM, TTP, JeM, etc.) are using the laws of the Koran and the traditions of Islam to their advantage once again this Ramadan.

The one error in this article is the claim that ordinary Pakistanis don’t know the true nature of the organizations they make their donations to.  The problem is that many of them know exactly who their zakat is going to, and they understand that it supports militancy.  Otherwise, a very helpful article.  From Central Asia Online:

During Ramadan, Pakistani militants collect money for terrorism

Authorities take action, analysts say

By Zia Ur Rehman

2012-07-20

KARACHI – As the holy month of Ramadan begins, charitable fund-raising appeals are getting under way across Pakistan. But security analysts and social activists are concerned about terrorist groups posing as charities seeking to take advantage of zakat donations.

Zakat is an Islamic tradition of donating money during Ramadan to help the needy. Although legitimate charities do remarkable work, militant groups rake in billions of rupees to fund terrorism instead of helping the poor, charity activists say.

However, law enforcement made it much harder for jihadists and fraudulent welfare organisations to raise money in 2011, they agree.

Zakat collection a lucrative business

Because Ramadan emphasizes helping the poor, activists of political and religious parties, including outlawed militant organisations, do whatever they can to maximise the amount they raise, said Faizan Jalil, a Karachi-based journalist who covers terrorism.

They take advantage of the generosity of Pakistani Muslims, who annually contribute billions of rupees as part of zakat and fitrana, donations of food at the end of Ramadan, Jalil told Central Asia Online, citing various reports.

Naive Pakistanis unwittingly donate to terrorist fronts in the name of Islam and humanity, Shah Wali, an aid worker helping flood victims in Badin District, said, stressing the need to raise public awareness.

Every citizen should demand the credentials of the person seeking a donation before giving him or her money, Wali told Central Asia Online. Doing so will thwart phony organisations from receiving money and defaming Islam, he said.

Banned jihadi charities working with new names

Banned militant organisations linked with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al-Qaeda pose as charities, said Raees Ahmed, a security analyst who closely monitors jihadi organisations. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Zakat, ushr putting JeM back on map

October 18, 2011
Jihadist organization revives

Jaish-e-Muhammad (and Al Rehmat's coordinator, left) sets eyes on Punjab

The jihadist organization Jaish Muhammad, also known as Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), and its “charitable” cohort, Al Rehmat Trust, are off to the fundraising races again.  We first covered the illegal ushr tax collections by JeM in June.  Then this pair of excellent Express Tribune articles further explaining JeM’s fundraising efforts were published in August, but other posts kept getting in the way of covering them here.  So the stories are a little dated, but still far too important to overlook.

JeM may have sent the younger brother of the group’s deceased founder to raise zakat from rich Arab donors in Gulf states like Saudi Arabia.  Worse still, the coordinator of Al Rehmat tells the Tribune that he is able to operate on the ground and raise funds quite openly with the knowledge of provincial authorities.  Pakistani law enforcement shows zero signs of acting against JeM.  Read it all:

Militant group’s resurgence: Dreaded Jaish looks to rise again

ISLAMABAD:

After remaining underground for a decade since being banned in 2001, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), the second largest jihadi group based in Punjab, has resumed full-scale public activity including fundraising while security agencies appear to be overlooking its ‘resurgence’.

Jaish activists and intelligence officials told The Express Tribune the group is in the process of regaining its traditional physical and financial strength which had dissipated during the ten-year ban imposed by former president Pervez Musharraf. The JeM, they added, is working on a plan to reach out to its activists who had abandoned the organisation after it came on the radar following an attack on the Indian parliament blamed on the group.

JeM is trying to consolidate avenues for fundraising, individual charity from within Pakistan and donations from Gulf states, which were partially blocked during the ban by the country’s security agencies. As a first step, an activist said, it had revived its charity, Al-Rehmat Trust, the group’s humanitarian wing once run by Master Allah Baksh, the father of Jaish founding chief Maulana Masood Azhar, till his death last year.

Maulana Ashfaq Ahmed, who is affiliated with the trust as its coordinator, told The Express Tribune from Bahawalpur, the city in southern Punjab where the organisation is based, that the charity’s fundraising was in full swing in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The trust capitalises on Masood Azhar’s name for recreating the goodwill it once enjoyed when it had fought in Afghanistan along with the Taliban before the regime was driven out of power by international forces. Government agencies have never obstructed the trust’s fundraising in either Punjab or KP, Maulana Ashfaq added. When asked why, he remarked: “You can put this question to the government and its agencies. We operate on the ground. We have a visible presence.”

Led by Azhar, Jaish is the second largest jihadi outfit in the Punjab. Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is the biggest both in terms of the number of activists and infrastructure. Maulana Ashfaq said the trust’s offices were being re-established all over Punjab and KP including Jaish’s traditional strongholds in Kohat district and Hazara region. He added that fund-raising had gained momentum with the advent of Ramazan, but declined to give an approximation of the amount the charity might fetch by Eid. A younger brother of [deceased JeM founder] Masood, Amar Azhar (possibly his codename), was in Saudi Arabia to seek donations from rich businessmen and sympathisers in Gulf states.

Illusion

Officials of law enforcement agencies in Punjab said they had never received orders for a crackdown on the trust since it was not banned by the federal interior ministry. “Provincial authorities can only ban organisations proscribed by the federal government. Otherwise, they can take us to court,” said Senator Pervez Rasheed, an adviser to the Punjab government. Additional Inspector General (Investigations) Punjab police Azam Joya said not a single case against banned organisations for raising funds was referred to provincial law enforcers in recent months.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik was not available for  comment on why an organisation using the name of Jaish chief and sharing its headquarters has not been banned. KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain also declined to comment on the trust’s activities in the province.

Looking the other way

According to a report in this newspaper, the banned terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad is trying to make a comeback, collecting funds through ‘ushr’ in south Punjab — where the government has failed to collect agriculture tax — and limbering up to claim its pound of flesh in a troubled and confused Pakistan on behalf of its master, al Qaeda. All its banned publications like Al Qalam and Muslim Ummah, together with the banned Al Rasheed Trust’s Zarb-e-Momin and Islam are allowed to be printed by the state through issuance of ABC certificates by the ministry of information and this enables them to solicit advertisements. (Zarb-e-Momin was once edited jointly by the Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar and jailed terrorist Omar Sheikh.)…

The State Department’s 2010 report on global terrorism stated that, “In addition, JEM collects funds through donation requests in magazines and pamphlets.”  In this way it is silimar to the affiliated Harakat ul-Mujahideen, which has also raised zakat from magazine ads.

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You grow it, we tax it

June 21, 2011

Jaish Muhammad terrorists from South Punjab, Pakistan, have been collecting the ushr (the Islamic tax on harvests) from farmers for many years according to a recent news blurb.

We have written about the oppressive nature of Islamic tax law with respect to Muslim farmers before here, here, and here.  Ushr has also been imposed by jihadist groups Lashkar-e Islam in Pakistan, by Amn Tehreek in Pakistan,  and by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Recall that the Pakistani government also has an ushr tax on top of whatever the local militants can bleed out of the farms.  From The Friday Times, “Nuggets from the Urdu Press,”  (h/t Rantburg) on June 11:

Pak farmer pays forced tax to jihadist

Hand it over, dirt farmer!

Jaish collecting “ushr”

Reported in the illicit publication with an ABC Certificate Al Qalam outlawed terrorist organisation Jaish Muhammad was collecting ushr in South Punjab under the auspices of Al Rehmat Trust also said to be banned. The newspaper informed that ‘ushr’ – a tax on farms legally only collectible by the state – was being collected for past ‘many years’ and its campaign was at its peak in April.

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