Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

h1

ISIS fundraisers afoot in Ceuta

September 15, 2014

A cell of Islamic State of Iraq agents have been arrested after operating in Morocco. Several of the operatives are said to have raised funds for their cause in Ceuta, a Spanish city adjoining Morocco. The Local, which subsequently reported that there are as many as 95 Spaniards fighting with ISIS in Syria, has the story:

Spain helps Morocco break up ISIS terror cell

Nine jihadists belonging to a recruitment cell for the terrorist group ISIS were arrested on Thursday in the north of Morocco with the help of Spanish security forces.

The arrests took place in Fez, Tétouan and Fnideq (Castillejos), not far from North African Spanish enclave of Ceuta, after extensive investigations involving Spanish security agents.

Some of those detained had ‘strong ties’ to Spain, Spain’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The cell is believed to have been dedicated to the recruitment, financial support and deployment of jihadists. Moroccans and others recruited to the cause by the group would be sent to training camps in Siria and Iraq run by the terrorist organization ISIS.

Once there, they would learn how to use firearms, build and defuse bombs, steal cars and other skills needed to carry out terrorist attacks or suicide missions.

Some of those recruited by the men arrested are believed to have participated in acts of violence in Syria and Iraq, including decapitations which were filmed and shared on social media…

h1

Catalan rangers catch falcon smugglers

March 31, 2014

Arab falconry - http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/257/cache/abu-dhabi-desert-falcon_25765_600x450.jpg

British and Spanish authorities have unraveled an international falcon smuggling ring in Catalonia. The news report doesn’t mention it, but the demand for falcons is almost exclusively from the Middle East. The main market is the Persian Gulf, and Dubai is a key port of entry and transit (as it also is for smuggled ivory, big cats, and other wildlife contraband). From Wildlife Extra on Mar. 20:

Bird crime ring busted by Spanish and UK wildlife crime units

The UK National Wildlife Crime Unit have helped COS AGENTS RURALS DE CATALUNYA (Catalonia Rural Ranger Corps) uncover an international bird laundering ring.

Agents in Spain investigating individuals keeping Peregrine falcons, became suspicious of documentation that they had seized, which indicated that falcons in their possession had been captive bred in the UK.

Enquiries by the NWCU revealed that leg rings being worn by some of the falcons in Spain were not the original rings referred to on the documentation.

Evidence gleaned by the NWCU suggests that fake rings are being manufactured to match genuine permits…

What is the connection between hunting with falcons and financing terrorism, apart from the fact that both involve wealthy Arabs? The filmmakers of “Feathered Cocaine,” the 2010 documentary about falcons and Osama Bin Laden, revealed the following:

Feathered Cocaine interviews Robert Baer, a former CIA agent, about the Royal Falconry Camps and how they are used to funnel huge amounts of cash to Terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. The money transfers are cash only and are flown between countries in large military Government airplanes that are not checked by customs upon arrival. The CIA believes these planes are used to deliver cars, cash, weapons and supplies to militant terrorists. The Persian Gulf rulers have refused to shut down these camps when asked to do so…

h1

Two imams arrested in bust of organized counterfeit clothing ring

January 3, 2014

Counterfeiting isn’t just about fake currency, but a host of knockoff products either sold on the black market or fraudulently passed off as legitimate brands to unsuspecting customers.

Imams at mosques in Xinzo de Limia and Ourense in Spain have been detained in connection with a multi-million dollar counterfeit clothing operation involving 10 illegal factories, 99 people, and 235 tons of phony clothes.

As Bloomberg’s Hitha Prabhakar warned us, retail crime represents “a $38 billion black market business that funds not only organized crime, but also terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Al Qaeda as well as drug lords in Central America.”

Thanks to Gisele for sending this in:

Two imams held as Spain police smash counterfeit clothing ring

Madrid (AFP) – Police have smashed Spain’s largest counterfeit clothing ring, arresting 99 people, including two imams, over the sale of 235 tonnes of fake designer clothes and shoes, the government said Saturday.

The ring made the counterfeit items in illegal factories in northern Portugal and then shipped them across the border by van to Xinzo de Limia, a city of around 100,000 people in northwestern Spain, the interior ministry said in a statement.

“The network, of Moroccan origin, had ‘regional delegates’ across Spain who distributed over the past two years 235 tonnes of fake garments and footwear, generating revenues of 5.5 million euros ($7.5 million),” it said.

“Part of this black money was hidden along with bank cards and other financial documents belonging to the organisation in the mosques of Ourense and Xinzo de Limia,” it added.

Among those arrested was the imam of the mosque of Xinzo de Limia, whom police said was one of the leaders of the ring. The mosque received nearly 100,000 euros in donations from the ring.

The imam at the mosque in the nearby city of Ourense was also detained as part of the operation. His name appears on bank accounts used by the group and police suspect him of helping to launder money earned by the ring.

Police searched over 117 locations across the country, including the two mosques, as part of their investigation, which was launched in September 2012 and carried out in cooperation with Portuguese authorities.

Police seized just over one million items of counterfeit clothing, as well as bank cards, several weapons and software containing the logos of over 200 registered brands.

Police also closed 10 illegal factories in northern Portugal where the fake goods were made.

The operation “dismantled the main network which manufactured and distributed counterfeit clothes in the Iberian Peninsula”, the statement said.

The authorities detained 65 people in Spain and 34 in Portugal. The arrested include 37 Senegalese nationals, 34 Portuguese citizens, 19 Moroccans and nine Spaniards.

One commenter on the original article made the observation that this story “helps explain why so many in the ME [Middle East] wear designer clothes.”

Previous reports have indicated that Hezbollah operates clothing manufacturing businesses in Europe.

h1

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.

h1

Wednesday word: revolutionary tax

February 27, 2013

The “revolutionary tax” is a fundraising method normally associated with Marxist movements and ideology-based terrorism.  One dictionary defines a revolutionary tax, or impuesto revolucionario, as an amount of money “a terrorist group demands from a business or wealthy person under threat of death.”*

W. A. Tupman has noted that revolutionary taxes are most often imposed by urban guerrillas to finance terrorist operations.

The inspiration for the revolutionary tax seems to trace back to Karl Marx and Friederich Engels, who once wrote that “In a revolution, taxation, swollen to colossal proportions, can be used as a form of attack against private property,” in a review of Emile de Girardin’s book Le socialisme et l’impôt (“Socialism and Taxes”).

Money Jihad doesn’t normally link to Wikipedia, but this particular entry describes the phenomenon of revolutionary taxation so succinctly and clearly that it’s a must read:

Revolutionary tax

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Revolutionary tax is a major form of funding for violent non-state actors such as guerrilla and terrorist organizations. Those outside the organization may consider it to be a euphemism for “protection money.”[1] Proponents of such groups maintain however that there is no difference between the revolutionary taxes “extorted” by given groups and corporate taxes raised by governments.

Revolutionary taxes are typically extorted from businesses, and they also “play a secondary role as one other means of intimidating the target population.”[1]

Examples

The Irish Provisional IRA and Corsican FLNC have extorted revolutionary taxes[2] as well as the following organizations.

ETA

The Basque nationalist organization ETA depended on revolutionary taxes.[3][4][5] Small to medium-sized businesses were extorted between the amounts of 35,000 to 400,000 euros each, which comprised most of ETA’s 10 million euro budget in 2001.[6]

The Philippines

In the Philippines most local and foreign companies pay revolutionary taxes to the Maoist New People’s Army. According to the army, the tax is a major obstacle for the country’s development while the New People’s Army justified it as a tax to be paid upon entering territories controlled by the rebels being a belligerent force.[7][8]

Colombia

The revolutionary taxes of Colombian guerrilla movements have become more common in the 1980s and 1990s.[9]

Nepal

The maoist guerillas of Nepal have also widely extorted revolutionary taxes.[10]

Argentina

The national socialist Argentine Movimiento Nacionalista Tacuara (MNT) demanded a “revolutionary tax” from many Jewish shops in Buenos Aires.[citation needed]

Soviet Russia

In the Soviet Russia, the Bolshevik government decreed a revolutionary tax on November 2, 1918.[11] Although the Bolshevik government already controlled the country, its opponents were still internationally recognized as the lawful rulers.

References

  1. ^ a b Detection of Terrorist Financing, U.S. National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), 2002
  2. ^ MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORISM FINANCING: AN OVERVIEW, Jean-François Thony, IMF.org, Seminar on Current Developments in Monetary and Financial Law Washington, D.C., May 7–17, 2002. “Money laundering and the financing of terrorism may be seen as distinct activities. … sometimes discreetly called a “revolutionary tax” (ETA, FLNC, IRA)”
  3. ^ Terrorism versus democracy: the liberal state response, Paul Wilkinson, Frank Cass Publishers, 2001, p. 70
  4. ^ Suspected ETA supporters arrested in cross-border swoop Euronews 20/06/06
  5. ^ Terror, Fires, Hail: Holiday Time in Europe, ABC News
  6. ^ Counterterrorism: An Example of Co-operation, Juan Miguel Lian Macias, Ministry of Defence of Spain, 2002-2-22: “ETA is funded mainly from one source: the money it collects through extortion of small and medium businessmen, charging them the so-called “revolutionary tax”. At present the amounts required are between 35,000 and 400,000 euros. The annual budget the terrorist organisation needs for the maintenance of its structures is estimated at around 10 million euros. Beyond the Spanish borders, ETA seeks links with similar groups and causes. Hence, it intends to gain the support of ideologically akin groups. It has or has had contacts with the Breton Revolutionary Army, with Corsican and Irish terrorist groups, with revolutionary groups from Latin America, etc.”
  7. ^ Rebels’ ‘revolutionary tax’ adds to cost of business in Philippines, N.Y.Times, October 20, 2004
  8. ^ Chapter 6 — Terrorist Organizations, Country Reports on Terrorism 2007, U.S. Department of State
  9. ^ Negotiating with Terrorists – A Reassessment of Colombia’s Peace Policy, NICOLAS URRUTIA, Stanford Journal of International Relations, vol. 3, issue 2, 2002
  10. ^ Trekking in the time of terrorism – The east is red with rhododendron and revolution, DAMBAR KRISHNA SHRESTHA, GUPHA POKHARI #243, 15.4.2005
  11. ^ Socialism: Still Impossible After All These Years, Peter J. Boettke & Peter T. Leeson, George Mason University, s. 13; Critical Review, Vol. 17, Autumn 2005

The un-cited imposition of the revolutionary tax against Jews in Buenos Aires mentioned above is documented in The War of All the People by Jon B. Perdue.

Having explained the term, the academic concept of a revolutionary tax really needs to be broadened to include religious-based revolutionary movements, especially Islamist movements.  The Islamic fundamentalist imposition of the twin sharia taxes—zakat on Muslims and jizya on non-Muslims—is an attempt to revive aspects of Caliphate-era tax law and combine them with contemporary terrorist financing tactics.  This has been most clearly illustrated in the 1990s and 2000s in Afghanistan by the Taliban, but also by jihadist groups in Pakistan and Somalia.  And such extortion has not been limited to urban centers; it has been carried out in the countryside too.

Finally, it is important to note that ETA’s longstanding and profitable revolutionary tax mentioned above has reportedly been abandoned.  If the tax on Basque and Navarran businessmen that ETA benefited from for so many years has come to an end, perhaps there is hope that one day, the Islamic terrorists can be forced to abandon their jihad tax.

VOX Media, Diccionario Escolar, 2nd Edition (London:  McGraw Hill Professional, 2011).

h1

Export violation: business evades sanctions by creating a Turkish shell company to sell machines to Iran for nuclear program

December 4, 2012

Spanish tax authorities raid Basque company, seize documents

A Durango manufacturer, Ona Electroerosión, has violated Spanish customs laws by smuggling dual-use technology to Iran, according to official reports.

Ona has denied the charges, saying that it sought two permits for sales of machinery to Iran in 2009.  One permit was approved; one, denied.  Ona says it cancelled the sale to Iran for the permit that was denied, and maintains that the machinery it sold to another client in Turkey was among the simplest pieces of equipment in their catalog.

This version of events described by Ona not seem plausible.  Why continue trying to sell the same equipment that Spanish officials prohibited for Iran to to a firm in Turkey—-Iran’s next door neighbor and one of Iran’s closest trade partners?

European companies have long been active in Iran, but we’re not talking about selling a Peugeot.  This is machinery used to make fans that Spanish authorities believe will be used in Iran’s nuclear operations.

The results of the raid have not been made public yet.  Presumably, the company will face a multi-million dollar fine at a minimum.  If the allegation is true that Ona Electroerosión was determined to deliver the goods to Iran to the point of using a front company to facilitate the sale, then it is not just guilty of gross negligence in its export compliance program.  Under that circumstance, arrests and criminal prosecution of Ona’s senior management is justified.

Here’s one of the more precise news reports on the scandal.  From Reuters via CNBC on Nov. 26:

Spanish company embroiled in nuclear smuggling scheme with Iran

BILBAO (Reuters) – A company from Spain’s Basque country smuggled machinery to Iran for likely use in the country’s nuclear program through an elaborate scheme involving a shell company in Turkey, Spanish tax authorities said on Monday.

Spain’s tax agency said the company had managed to send over seven machines designed to make parts for turbines used in energy plants, in a scheme that violated United Nations security council sanctions against Iran.

A source close to the operation named the company involved as ONA Electroerosion.

The machines, sold for nearly 1 million euros ($1.30 million), were destined for use in Iran’s nuclear development program, according to the agency’s investigations to date.

The U.N., the United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt nuclear enrichment, which Western powers fear is part of a plan to amass the capability to produce nuclear weapons.

Iran argues its atomic work is for use in medicine and generating electricity.

The company, based in the Basque municipality of Durango, had been denied a license to export seven fan-manufacturing machines to Iran in September 2009, precisely because of fears they could be used in the nuclear program.

But it later duped Spanish customs by using an intermediary company set up in Turkey by its Iranian business partner, and shipped the machinery to Istanbul before dispatching it to Tehran.

Spain’s tax agency said it had raided the company’s premises on November 13, removing documents and other information it was still analyzing.

Its operation, dubbed “Kakum”, began earlier this year, when it became suspicious of the company’s activities.

No one has yet been arrested or charged in relation to the scheme, the agency said, though added those responsible could face prison sentences and a fine of close to 6 million euros.

h1

Spain gives €8-9 million for jihad

May 8, 2012

The author cited in this article makes the identical statement that Money Jihad has been making for a couple years about ransom payments from European governments serving to finance terrorists.  From the figures provided, Spain tops the list at having given eight to nine million Euros to the jihadists (see here for a $5 million ransom the Spaniards paid to Al Qaeda in 2010).

But the analyst left out France, which paid an all-time record ransom of $15 to $20 million to the Taliban according to published reports last year.

Keep in mind that ransoms are justified by Islamic law, but violate international secular law.  By agreeing to pay the jihadi kidnappers, we are putting their law above our own.

From ANSAMed, h/t The Religion of Peace:

Terrorism: Ransom money finance AQIM

Analyst, Western states paid millions of Euros

(ANSAmed) – TUNIS, 26 APRIL – Several Western countries are to blame if Al Qaida in Islamic Maghreb not only extended its activities all over the Sahel, but also cast its sinister shadow on several other countries in Western Africa; indeed, Western countries decided to pay the ransom for their fellow countrymen and women who had been either directly kidnapped by Al Qaida or given to the Jihadist group by other groups. This is what Serge Daniel maintains in the book he wrote on this characteristic of Al Qaida in Islamic Maghreb, whose title is “AQIM, the kidnapping industry”, a sort of Bible for those who try to clear out the mystery surrounding this blood-thirsty and very determined group and its activities of.

In an interview on the site Maliweb, Serge Daniel talked about some elements which, in his own opinion, are objective and cannot be questioned. Western countries are ready to pay several millions of dollars or Euros for the release of their fellow countrymen and women whose kidnapping is managed by AQIM. The analyst provides a long and detailed list of paid ransoms, there are also some “voids” which may raise suspicions. According to Daniel, in recent years money from Spain (between EUR 8 and 9 mln), Canada (“some millions”), Austria (between EUR 2.5 and 3.5 mln), Germany (five millions) has flowed in AQIM’s cash. Italy is included in the list too: according to the expert, Italy paid EUR 3 mln for the release of its hostages. Switzerland’s position is quite peculiar: although it was the only country which did not provide exact figures, Daniel labels Switzerland as “very generous with kidnappers”.

A huge amount of money has circulated for all these years, although individual States have officially denied allegations and suspicions of having paid the ransom, they have actually created a way to negotiate with dangerous individuals, departing from the international principle which says “do not negotiate with terrorists”. But what has Al Qaida in Maghreb done and continues to do with the money? It funds its complex organisation structure, it buys weapons and equips the men it chooses to populate its ranks. We are talking about actual hiring, because it is hard to think that all militiamen are driven by a religious motivation; it is far more likely that they are “mainly and simply” attracted by money. Daniel does not write about this in his book, he just mentions an episode: among Jihadists entering Timbuktu there were some young men from his own Mali city who had moved to Libya to work. It was just found out that the money they used to send home were directly taken form the cash of one of Al Qaida’s Katibats (brigades) in Maghreb.(ANSAmed).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,474 other followers