Posts Tagged ‘PKK’

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Turkey conducts zero probes of terror finance in 30 years

October 22, 2013

If Turkey hasn’t even investigated the financing of the PKK terrorist group, which Turkey regards as a real threat, then Turkey certainly hasn’t investigated the financing of the Turkish charity IHH—a Hamas-linked charity that operates as a proxy of the government.  Nor is Turkey scrutinizing the weapons that are being transshipped through its territory across the border to jihadist rebels in Syria.

Is it too much to ask a NATO ally to conduct at least one investigation into the financing of terrorism within its own borders?

From Today’s Zaman via Antalya Central:

‘Turkey hasn’t launched any probe on terror financing’

11 October 2013

Turkey has been fighting against terrorism for almost 30 years and this has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people while billions of liras have also been spent.

However, previous efforts have all failed to produce the expected results in this fight. Recent research conducted by experts from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Finance has revealed that no judicial investigation into the financing of terrorism has ever been launched nor has any complaint on the issue ever been filed in Turkey.

Stressing that Turkey has been missing out key points in its fight against terrorism, the country’s most urgent problem, experts underlined that most of the criminal cases filed on the issue of terrorism are on propaganda crimes which resulted in Turkey being convicted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Security units in the country have recently taken some steps to eliminate the financial sources of terrorist organizations including the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella terrorist organization that includes the PKK. But while the necessary legal infrastructure have been established, the sources of financing of the terrorist organizations were also discussed in further detail by the experts. Opium fields have been raided to eliminate drug incomes, the most important financial source of the PKK and the KCK. But it was found that money transfers to these organizations have never been fully monitored…

…PKK demands share from tenders

The experts also reported on sources of income for the PKK/KCK in detail. The organization reportedly earned around TL 100 million in 2012 from public tenders originally valued at TL 1 million. In 2013, this figure increased to TL 150 million. In addition, the PKK conducts customs control in various cities, primarily in Hakkari, Van, Şırnak, Mardin, Ağrı and Iğdır. The smugglers who use these customs points have to pay a tax to the terrorist organization, with the amount ranging between 2 and 5 percent of the value of the smuggled items, which amounted to TL 250-300 million in total.

Cash flow through borders

The amount of ilegal money flowing through Turkey’s borders on an annual basis exceeds $2.5 billion, which is described in the country’s financial system as money with unidentifiable sources.

“There is no information on where the huge amount of illegal cash goes or what purposes it serves. Officials need to identify the amount of money used by terrorist organizations,” said a senior official to Today’s Zaman speaking on the condition of anonymity, underlining Turkey’s inefficiency in keeping track of money flowing through its borders.

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PKK terror financier taken into custody

March 1, 2013

A Kurdish-Swede has been arrested by Spaniards along with 21 other PKK terrorists in Spain and France.  The operatives reportedly imposed a common Marxist guerrilla fundraising technique—a revolutionary tax—on their fellow Kurds to buy weapons for terrorism against Turkey.  From Sweden’s The Local on Feb. 16:

Madrid court remands Swede on terror charges

A 65-year-old Swedish man was on Friday remanded into custody by a Madrid court on suspicion of terror crimes connected to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PPK).

“According to information from the Spanish police, he is suspected of extortion for terrorist purposes,” said Catarina Axelsson at the Foreign Ministry’s press service.

The Swede and five others were arrested in Spain on Tuesday in a series of coordinated raids which also saw 16 arrested in France.

Those detained are all suspected of belonging to the terrorist-classified Kurdish separatist movement PKK. They are suspected of having coerced other Kurds into paying a so-called “revolution tax”.

According to the charges, the collections are intended to have been used to finance the purchase of explosives and weapons for terrorist activities in Turkey.

In the course of the raids, police seized weapons and cash.

According to news agency Europa Press the Madrid court released three of the six arrested in Spain, although they remain under suspicion and are not permitted to leave the country.

The 65-year-old Swede, who is reported to be resident in the south of Sweden, is receiving assistance from the embassy and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The PPK is a Kurdish organization founded in 1984 that fights against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan, as well as for the rights of Kurds in Turkey.

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Illicit finance news: suggested reading

February 21, 2013

Shariah Finance Watch writes that the latest sanctions by Treasury against the leader of Al Qaeda in North Africa are “purely political theater”… more>>

• World traveler Richard Chichakli, the Syrian-American who helped Viktor Bout run guns to Hezbollah, seeks bail. Australian judge: “Bit of a flight risk, aren’t you?” more>>

• Need to get a supply shipment to Afghanistan?  On your way, be sure to dock in Bandar Abbas, Iran, just like the Americans.  Starr asks, “Why is the United States Subsidizing Iran?”  more (or here)>>

• If Mazaheri thought he could smuggle a 70 million dollar check, what else has Iran’s former central bank chief gotten away with?  Ken Rijock investigates… more>>

• One man’s search for Noah’s ark could help bankrupt terrorism… more>>

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Supreme Court to judge “material support” of terrorism

February 23, 2010

The Supreme Court will hear arguments today in Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder, a case that assesses the constitutionality of banning material support to foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs).

Counterterrorism Blog has linked to a helpful and detailed report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) on the case.  As they point out, in enacting 18 U.S.C. § 2339B against material support, Congress intended to make FTO’s “radioactive” by allowing no support—whether that support comes in the form of money, safe houses, weapons, or personnel.

But some people just can’t take “no” for an answer, including supporters of the Marxist Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.  The PKK is the group that likes using IEDs to kill Turkish civilians periodically.

“Material support” is a major category of successful legal prosecutions of terrorist acts.  IPT found that 23 percent of all terrorism cases involve material support.

Chart by The Investigative Project for Terrorism

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