Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

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Nefarious finance: recommended reading

April 3, 2014
  • Back in each other’s arms:  Iran’s financial relationship with Hamas “has returned to what it was,” says Iran’s shura council… more>>
  • The pro-Hamas Islamic charity IHH  is hinting that it will launch another Turkish-based, Mavi Marmara-style “peace flotilla”… more>>
  • Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria has its own revenue sources and doesn’t feel the need to answer to Ayman al-Zawahiri… more>>
  • Smuggling gold to keep Iran in the black?  Prosecutors uncover a sanctions evasion crime ring in Turkey that may go all the way to Prime Minister Erdogan’s office… more>>
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Front charity news: recommended reading

March 27, 2014
  • The Shakhsiyah Foundation receives £70,000 a year in taxpayer money even though Prime Minister Cameron called it a front charity for extremism… more>>
  • Two would-be jihadists from North Carolina intended to use charity as a cover story for their mission overseas… more>>
  • The Turkish “charity” IHH funds and supports Hamas, but has yet to be designated as a terrorist organization by the Obama administration… more>>
  • İMKANDER, another Turkish charity, has taken to the streets in a massive rally to eulogize Doku Umarov, the terror chief of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate (h/t Ayre)… more>>
  • A Dutch money launderer has signed his own death warrant by stealing $35,000 from a Hamas front charity… more>>

 

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Terror funding news: recommended reading

March 6, 2014

Thanks to Gisele, Sal, El Grillo and all those who sent in tips.

  • Turkey has become a principal financial hub for terrorists under the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” writes Adam Kredo… more>>
  • Cultural property like art and antiquities are susceptible to exploitation in money laundering and terror finance schemes, but federal law doesn’t quite make the connection. Rick St. Hilaire explains… more>>
  • British sanctions target Pakistani jihad financiers and millionaire terrorist Dawood Ibrahimmore>>
  • Ten thousand dollars in farm subsidies have gone to a terror funding co-conspirator that grows no crops… more>>
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Money Jihad’s recommended reading

February 27, 2014
  • Despite budgetary hard times, the Palestinian Authority is able to cough up $46 million to terrorist ex-convicts—from your tax payments… more>>
  • Is a financial-cyber war against America already underway?  More>>
  • Sharia law dictates that gambling is haram (unclean), and Sheldon Adelson is Jewish and pro-Israel. Perhaps those are two of the reasons why Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands has been the target of a major cyber attack… more>>
  • New legislation in Turkey threatens to prevent meaningful due diligence by bank compliance officers by suppressing negative information on the Internet… more>>
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The money jihad: recommended reading

February 13, 2014
  • A senior Al Qaeda facilitator/financier in Iran is “more active than ever”… more>>
  • Sharia-compliant finance was concocted by the Muslim Brotherhood to undermine the Western financial system and establish the banking backbone of a neo-Caliphate, says the American Center for Democracy… more>>
  • Al Qaeda affiliates have more money than Al Qaeda Central. Time to rethink who’s calling the shots… more>>
  • Sen. Warner says that he knows from the intelligence community that what happened to Target shoppers in its credit card breach “happens daily to financial institutions”… more>>
  • Banks and businessmen should keep an eye on Turkey because it’s still helping Iran evade sanctionsmore>>
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Tracking terror finance and government follies: recommended reading

January 16, 2014
  • The recent designation by the Treasury Department of an Al Qaeda financier neglects to mention that he and his organizations have consorted with Yusuf Qaradawi, spiritual father of the Muslim Brotherhood… more>>
  • New details on the sanctioned Saudi billionaire in Turkey and the cover-up by Recep Erdoğan… more>>
  • Government forces the financial sector to do the lion’s share of work in screening for laundered or terrorist funds, but government doesn’t really want to hear financial institutions’ ideas on how the process could be improved, says industry analyst Tom Keatinge… more>>
  • Monitoring compliance with government financial regulations in a war zone in another continent is easy, right?  One expert explains why it isn’t, and how a UK court got it wrong on Dahabshiil… more>>
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Covert finance news: suggested reading

January 2, 2014
  • Considering that Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. fund al-Nusra Front, which other chapters of Al Qaeda are they financing?more>>
  • The U.S. and British pause in arming the rebels hasn’t deterred Turkey’s gunrunning program to Syria. They’ve just dropped off almost 50 tons of weapons across the border… more>>
  • How an Al Qaeda acolyte used a stun gun on the streets of London to mug and fund his personal jihad to Syria… more>>
  • The risks of banking and doing business deals in Turkey has grown too great… more>>

 

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Hamas financing news: recommended reading

November 14, 2013
  • Viva Palestina, the British “charity” that raised funds for Hamas, has been removed from the UK Charity Commission’s registry charities due to apparent inactivity… more>>
  • Auditors says billions of euros sent to the West Bank and Gaza have been wasted, stolen, or cannot be accounted for—so why not send even more?  Oy vey!
  • Talk is cheap.  The UK Charity Commission thunders in public about cracking down on terrorist front charities, but behind the scenes they’re letting groups like Interpal fund Hamas with impunity… more>>
  • Hamas’s Khaled Meshaal experiments with speed dating—after a first a surprise tête-à-tête to seek financial aid from Erdogan in Turkey, Meshaal plans on a visit with the mullahs in Tehran to discuss the same.  Who will win the rose?  More>>
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Syrian gangs profit from human pipeline

November 6, 2013

The Mirror is reporting that Syrian refugees are paying high dollar to crime syndicates to gain entry to Europe.  The British daily says that this phenomenon raises the specter that groups fighting in Syria such as Al Qaeda could use the same tactics to send jihadists into the EU.

Criminal gangs smuggling Syria refugees into Britain for £11,000 a time exposed

27 Oct 2013

The gang’s activities raise serious concerns that terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda could use similar tactics to sneak jihadists into Europe

A people-trafficking gang raking in millions of pounds by bringing hundreds of Syrian refugees into the UK is today exposed by the Sunday Mirror.

The gang in Istanbul, Turkey, told our undercover investigators that for £34,000 they would smuggle three men here from Syria using false ­passports and minders.

We had earlier met a Syrian woman who used her life savings to pay the gang to help her flee after being tortured in her home country.

The teacher, who we are calling Ishtar to protect her identity, is now living in southern England.

She told how traffickers got her from Turkey to Britain after handing her a false ­passport.

She was flown to Austrian capital Vienna, driven to Sweden, then caught a BA flight to the UK.

The gang’s activities raise serious concerns that terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda could use similar tactics to sneak jihadists into Europe.

We were alerted to the criminal ­organisation by an anonymous phone call to our London offices.

Our investigator was warned: “This trade is making millions for Turkish gangs.

“They have fixers around Europe and in the UK flying people across Europe. They have people working in airports who look the other way.

“They are taking Syrians to Italy, Holland and the Scandinavian countries, but Britain is the most expensive. On landing, the Syrian asks for asylum.

“They are often out of the airport within three hours because nobody is going to send them back to a country where people are being killed by chemical weapons.”

Ishtar told us how she escaped and why she turned to the traffickers.

She said: “Hundreds of Syrians pay gangs in Turkey to get them into Britain so they can apply for asylum.

“I used my life savings and my family’s gold to pay a gang €13,000 (£11,000) to help me start a new life in safety…

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Gulf “allies” ignore us and pay Al Qaeda

October 24, 2013

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait refuse to listen to U.S. diplomatic entreaties to stop funding Al Qaeda affiliated rebels in Syria, according to reporting from the Washington Times.

Frequently since 9/11, officials from the Treasury Department’s Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) office have shuttled back and forth from the U.S. to the Persian Gulf to try to convince countries there to cooperate in blocking funds or making arrests of specific terrorist financiers.  TFI has usually trumpeted its own successes in the past, even to the point of exaggerating Gulf cooperativeness, but this time even TFI is admitting that no cooperation is to be found when it comes to financing Al Qaeda in Syria.

Officials quoted seem to be shrugging their shoulders and saying that all they can do is tell Gulf officials, “Look at what this person is doing.”  They claim interdicting the flow of money to jihadists is out of American control because the funds aren’t channeled through U.S. banks.

Forgive me, ladies and gentlemen, but the claim that we can’t do anything is a crock.  We could name the Saudi, Qatari, and Kuwaiti banks that serve as conduits between the fundraisers and the fighters as entities that support terrorism, just as we have done with Iranian banks that support Hezbollah or Iran’s nuclear program.

This is not a narrowly legalistic problem of the applicability of U.S. sanctioning authority.  This is a political and diplomatic failure of willingness to confront our so-called allies, and name them and shame them for spreading terrorism.

U.S. allies let funds flow to al Qaeda in Syria

By Guy Taylor

The Washington Times

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The United States has had limited success cutting off funding to the al Qaeda-linked fighters and foreign jihadists flowing into Syria — in part because of a lack of cooperation on the part of Middle Eastern allies, Intelligence and national security community sources say.

Officials say they are tracking the movements of funds from various wealthy individuals in the Persian Gulf, but the governments of key Gulf countries are reluctant to crack down.

“Unless the money is actually in the U.S. financial system, you have to point out to these governments where the money is going and try to work with them to make sure it goes to legitimate groups,” said one U.S. official who spoke with The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of intelligence related to tracking such money.

“The U.S. can’t shut down bank accounts in Kuwait or Qatar,” the official said. “We can tell them, ‘Look at what this person is doing.’”

The approach has worked with variable success over the past decade, during which U.S. authorities have worked closely with counterparts in such nations as Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to choke off streams of cash to al Qaeda’s core leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

But when it comes to stemming the flow of aid to Salafist and al Qaeda-linked groups inside Syria, the strategy has been less successful — suggesting authorities in the Gulf now may see American pressure for such action as less worthy than previous calls to block cash to al Qaeda.

“In some nations where they have had success in clamping down on terrorist funding for al Qaeda’s core, this is a source of funding that has not really been clamped down on,” the official said.

The extent to which that money is aiding the rise of extremists in Syria seemed to burst open last month when 11 Syrian rebel groups, including the Nusra Front — an organization U.S. officials link to al Qaeda — banded together in a public rejection of the more secular political opposition groups outside the country that are receiving aid from Washington.

By calling for a new government in Syria to be ruled by Islamic law, the newly formed coalition dealt a major blow to U.S.-led efforts to support a democratic alternative to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Although the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) — another rebel group with al Qaeda ties in Syria — was left out of the coalition, analysts say, it, too, is growing dangerously in the war zone. As the extremist foothold has deepened, so have reports of abuses and war crimes carried out by opposition fighters.

A report released last week by Human Rights Watch said members of the Nusra Front and ISIS were among rebel fighters who killed some 190 unarmed civilians during an August offensive on villages perceived to be supporting the Assad government. The report said 67 of the civilians were slain at close range while trying to flee.

The bottom line is that the landscape of extremist groups among the opposition has grown increasingly complex over the past year, said Mouaz Moustafa, executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, an advocacy arm of Syria’s more secular political opposition that lobbies in Washington for a greater U.S. role in the conflict.

“The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has increasing power and influence in places like Aleppo and Raqqa Province,” said Mr. Mustafa. “But at the same time, other Islamist battalions have coalesced and improved their organizational structures while rejecting both the ISIS and the more secular outside political coalition.”

He said that “all of these groups are getting assistance” and that the task of pinning down the precise source of the money is difficult. “That’s the million-dollar question,” he said.

When it comes to ISIS, said Mr. Moustafa, “you’re talking about al Qaeda’s network, and I would assume most of the aid and resources they’re getting comes directly from Iraq, where the system was already in place to raise money going back to the rise of al Qaeda in Iraq several years ago.”

Kuwait-Turkey connection

U.S. officials say that system has relied heavily on the activities of an Iran-based al Qaeda “facilitator” named Muhsin al-Fadhli.

A little-reported press release circulated by the U.S. Treasury Department last October described al-Fadhli as “a veteran al Qaeda operative” who provided “financial and material support” to al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab Zarqawi.

Zarqawi was known for orchestrating a series of gruesome bombings and beheadings in Iraq before U.S. forces killed him in 2006. But the activities of al-Fadhli’s network supposedly have carried forth — and have evolved toward tapping a reserve of Kuwait-based sympathizers to fund extremist groups fighting in Syria.

“In addition to providing funding for al Qaeda activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, this network is working to move fighters and money through Turkey to support al Qaeda-affiliated elements in Syria,” according to the Treasury Department press release. “Al-Fadhli also is leveraging his extensive network of Kuwaiti jihadist donors to send money to Syria via Turkey.”

That extremist elements of Syria’s opposition are gaining strength appears to expose the limitations of the U.S. government to block the flow of such money — or at least to persuade partners in Kuwait and other Persian Gulf nations to do so.

Officials at the Kuwaiti Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request by The Times to comment for this article.

But an article published last month by Foreign Policy shed some light on the situation. In the article, William McCants, a former senior adviser in the State Department’s office of the coordinator for counterterrorism, wrote that “the Gulf monarchies have not been able or willing to stem the tide of private money their citizens are sending to the Salafi charities and popular committees.”

“Kuwait in particular has done little to stop it because it lacks an effective terror financing law and because it cannot afford politically to infuriate its already angry Salafi members of parliament,” wrote Mr. McCants. “Qatar and Saudi Arabia have tried to crack down on fundraising for the Salafi militias but their citizens just send their money to Kuwait.”

Political storm in Turkey

The rise of extremists among Syria’s rebels, meanwhile, has set off a political storm in Turkey, where the leadership of the nation’s main opposition party is accusing the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of supporting al Qaeda-linked groups in the nearby war zone.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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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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