From massacres on the streets of Syria to the streets of Boston, 2013 has offered far too many illustrations of how terror-borne bloodshed is financed:
- Sunni and Western powers risk funding Syrian rebels despite their Al Qaeda allegiance
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the U.S., U.K., and France have provided money and supplies to the enemies of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad despite the risk of the materiel falling into the wrong hands. Gulf-based support has gone directly toward Salafist fighters; Western aid has been targeted toward the supposedly moderate Free Syrian Army, but entire brigades of the FSA have pledged allegiance to al-Nusra Front—Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria—during 2013. Reports this month of a “suspension” of U.S. aid have been somewhat exaggerated; as one official conceded, “the suspension of aid only applies to the opposition in northern Syria, adding that supply lines from Jordan in the south would continue.” Foreign support has prolonged the conflict in Syria and increased the chances for Al Qaeda to take over the country.
- Boston marathon bombing made possible by Saudi money
North Caucuses militants have been funded for decades by Saudi Arabia. The Saudis and their wealthy expatriate terrorists like Ibn al-Khattab and Osama Bin Laden and invested millions of dollars into the training and recruitment of fighters, the construction of radical mosques, and the creation of jihadist websites in Slavic languages. Tamerlan Tsarnaev read and engaged with these websites and pursued support from these Saudi-sponsored sources when he traveled to Russia in 2012. Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar also learned from Inspire magazine by deceased terror imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who presided over Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.In effect, Saudi money created the breeding environment both online and on the ground in the North Caucuses in which the Tsarnaevs’ plot was hatched.
Sadly, the media and public officials have been slow to recognize and expose the connections between the Saudis, the North Caucasus militants, and their followers living in North America. Two Democrat-appointed federal judges inexplicably reversed the conviction this year of Pete Seda, a Muslim “peace activist” who sent money through a Saudi-based charity from Oregon to Chechen terrorists in the early 2000s.
- The U.S. became the world’s #1 energy producer in 2013. This development reduces our dependence on Arab oil and the flow of petrodollars that fund terrorism.
- The compensation of victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism was ignored during negotiations in Geneva on Iran’s nuclear program.
- The Somali Islamic terrorist group al-Shabaab’s finances rebounded in 2013 despite their loss of control in 2012 of the key harbor in Kismayo to Kenyan, African Union, and allied forces. The main ingredients in their financial resurgence included an expansion al-Shabaab’s lucrative charcoal smuggling operation, the resumption of payments from the Dahabshiil money service to al-Shabaab, and indirect support from the Gulf. The funding has allowed operations such as killing sprees in Mogadishu and the September terrorist attack on Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Nevertheless, a British court injunction has forced Barclays to continue partnering with Dahabshiil to facilitate remittances to Somalia.
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