Posts Tagged ‘U.N.’

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Brits push UN to ban ransom payments (again)

December 17, 2013

This time we really mean it!

Not sure what this proposed resolution will accomplish since paying ransoms to terrorists already violates U.N. Resolution 1904.  Maybe the proposal would actually give teeth to 1904, but the text of the proposed resolution does not appear to be available online from either the British foreign office or the U.N.

But at least they’re drawing attention to the phenomenon which enriches terrorist groups and puts upward pressure on the size of ransoms demanded globally.  From the Associated Press on Dec. 4:

UN urged to end paying ransom to terrorists

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Britain is urging the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution calling on all countries not to pay ransom to kidnappers who use the money to finance terrorist groups.

Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said Wednesday his government estimates that over the last three years more than $70 million has been provided to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups from ransom paid to kidnappers.

Lyall Grant said he circulated a draft resolution to council members Tuesday calling on the 193 U.N. member states “to prevent terrorists from benefiting directly or indirectly from ransom payments.”

A U.N. resolution adopted weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States already bans all countries from financing terrorism.

But Lyall Grant said the proposed new resolution highlights “the increasing threat” from kidnapping for ransom to benefit terrorists.

“We want to make it much more difficult for terrorists to benefit from this sort of financing,” he said.

Lyall Grant said he hopes the Security Council will approve the resolution this month, with support from all 15 members…

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Muslim Brotherhood offshoot pushes zakat at UN

December 14, 2012

The International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood that was once under federal investigation in connection with terrorist financing, has sponsored a recent forum at the United Nations to accelerate the use of zakat globally.

Zakat, an Islamic tax on wealth, has funded terrorist attacks including 9/11 and the Iraq insurgency.  The Koran mandates that a portion of zakat be allocated to the mujahideen—the holy warriors of Islam.

Modern advocates of zakat rationalize their support for the tax as a means of poverty amelioration and social justice.  However, countries that impose mandatory zakat, such as Pakistan and Sudan, suffer from the worst economic inequalities in the world.  Zakat creates dependence, and after decades of Pakistani zakat, officials acknowledge that nobody who has received zakat benefits has ever stopped receiving those benefits.  Even when given solely to the poor and not to terrorists, zakat is not a social ladder—it is a dungeon.  As the auditor general of Malaysia has noted, more zakat equals more poverty.

For a creature of the Muslim Brotherhood to endorse such a system to United Nations is of little comfort to the world’s poor.  At best, expanded reliance on zakat will create a new generation of impoverished leaches.  At worst, it will fund the current and next generation of jihadists in carrying out terrorist attacks against the West and continued assaults on non-Muslims in the Middle East.

Here’s the background on IIIT from TGMBDR:

IIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by important members of the Global Muslim Brotherhood who wished to promote the “Islamization of Knowledge.” IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in 2003 in connection with the financing of terrorism. The organization appeared to withdrawn from public view following the 2003 raids, but seems to be enjoying a renaissance of late. IIIT has a network of affiliates located in Europe, Africa, the MIddle East, and Asia. Although little is known about the activities of these IIIT affiliates, recent posts have discussed plans by IIIT to construct colleges in Bosnia and Lebanon.

A report in the Washington Post from June 2007 indicated that IIIT and the SAAR Foundation were still under investigation by the Justice Department.

And here’s what they’re up to now (h/t to EWI Blog for unearthing the story from IIIT’s website):

IIIT Sponsored Forum at the United Nations on Zakat’s Potential Role in Accelerating Global Development

On November 16th, The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) sponsored a forum at the United Nations brining [sic] together international development leaders and experts to look at  the importance of Zakat in advancing the global UN development agenda at a forum titled “Linking Muslim Giving to the MDGs”. The forum was co-hosted at the United Nations by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), The World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, and the UN Millennium Campaign.

“While some countries have made impressive gains in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), others are falling behind. The Muslim world is no exception. Faith emphasizes building communities, sharing wealth and upholding the rights of the poor and marginalized. Faith-based giving such as Zakat which amounts to billions of dollars needs to be spent in more strategic and effective ways to accelerate development in OIC member countries” stated Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, the permanent observer of OIC at the United Nations, in his address.

Speakers from UNDP, International Institute of Islamic Thought, Islamic Relief USA, and Kimse Yok Mu shed light on the role of faith based giving in improving lives and shared real examples from around the world of successful partnerships between faith based organizations and development agencies…

Oh, Islamic Relief is involved too?  Not surprised.

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UN removes Saudi businessman from Al Qaeda list

October 21, 2012

From the Associated Press:

UN removes suspected al-Qaeda financer from blacklist

Saudi businessman Yasin al-Qadi de-listed by sanctions monitoring committee, following recommendation by ombudsman

October 6, 2012

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The UN Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against al-Qaeda removed a Saudi businessman from its blacklist Friday.

The committee chairman, Germany’s UN Ambassador Peter Wittig, said that Yasin al-Qadi had been de-listed, following a recommendation by the blacklist’s ombudsman to remove him.

Al-Qadi filed a lawsuit in 2009 in Washington, DC to be removed from a US list of people accused of financing al-Qaeda.

Al-Qadi’s charitable Muwafaq foundation was identified by the US Treasury department as an al-Qaeda front and placed on a terror list in October 2001. Al-Qadi, 57, has denied the accusations and has said that the foundation was closed even before the hijackings.

The US, European Union, Switzerland and Turkey all took action against al-Qadi. Over the past several years, a team of lawyers has worked successfully to overturn the decisions against al-Qadi in Turkey and Europe.

In 2009, the Security Council established an independent ombudsman to deal with requests to get off the UN blacklist.

Last year, the council strengthened the role of the ombudsman, presently Canadian lawyer Kimberly Prost. If the ombudsman recommends delisting, the person or entity will be taken off the sanctions list in 60 days unless the sanctions committee agrees by consensus to maintain sanctions.

No clear reasons are provided for this de-listing—just a statement that the removal was based on the recommendation of an independent ombudsman.

The ombudsman’s recommendation is especially jarring because, just three years ago, the U.N. defended its listing of Yasin al-Qadi for the following reasons:

  • “Al-Qadi’s acknowledgement of his role as founding trustee and director of the actions of the Muwafaq Foundation, a foundation which historically operated under the umbrella of the Makhtab al-Khidamat, an organization which was the predecessor of Al-Qaida and which was founded by Usama bin Ladin.
  • “Al-Qadi’s decision in 1992 to hire Shafiq ben Mohamed ben Mohamed al-Ayadi as head the European offices of the Muwafaq Foundation.
  • “The 1995 testimony of Talad Fuad Kassem, who said that the Muwafaq Foundation had provided logistical and financial support for a fighters’ battalion in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that the Muwafaq Foundation was involved in providing financial support for terrorist activities of the fighters, as well as arms trafficking from Albania to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • “Al-Qadi’s role as a major shareholder in the now closed Sarajevo-based Depositna Banka, where planning sessions for an attack against a United States facility in Saudi Arabia may have taken place.
  • “Al-Qadi’s ownership of several firms in Albania which funneled money to extremists or employed extremists in positions where they controlled the firm’s funds.
  • “Evidence that Bin Laden provided the working capital for up to five of al-Qadi’s companies in Albania.

“Based on these reasons, the U.N. Security Council resolved to continue listing Yasin al-Qadi as a suspected supporter of al-Qaeda terrorists…”

But no more.  Yasin’s expensive lobbying effort to convince authorities to white-list him seems to have paid off.  One supposes he is now free to travel around, do business with Europeans and Americans, and raise funds for whatever “charitable” foundation he decides to establish next.

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UN charcoal purchases enrich Al-Shabaab

October 8, 2012

Money Jihad has been reporting for a year on how charcoal sales in Somalia help fill the coffers of the terrorist group al-Shabaab (see prior coverage here and here).  The United Nations was one of the first entities to publicize this phenomenon.  Ironically, it is the U.N. that has turned out to be one of the larger institutional buyers of Somali charcoal.

How can you beat the jihadists if you’re funding both sides of the conflict?  This is an outrage.  Please read this important article that hasn’t received nearly so much attention as it should.  From the Telegraph on Sept. 24:

Somalia’s Islamist war chest being boosted by UN funds

The war-chest of Somalia’s al-Qaeda-allied Islamists is likely being boosted with United Nations funds used to buy charcoal from areas the terror group controls, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

By Mike Pflanz, Nairobi

Al-Shabaab pays for weapons and fighters with the £800,000 a month it earns from charcoal sales and exports, now banned under a British-sponsored UN Security Council resolution adopted at the London Conference on Somalia in February.

The business has become the group’s “most lucrative source of income”, according to the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.

But the UN has since April been buying 52 tonnes of charcoal a week for the kitchens of peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu, and one Somalia expert said it was “highly unlikely” that the deal was “not at least indirectly benefiting” the terrorists.

The contract, worth close to $1 million annually, also directly spurs the destruction of southern Somalia’s last remaining tree cover, worsening conditions that cause drought.

A spokesman for UNSOA, the United Nations Support Office for the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (Amisom), said he was “unable to confirm” that supplies did not come from Kismayo, al-Shabaab’s remaining stronghold.

African Union forces this week closed in on the port city ahead of an expected offensive to push the Islamists out. Senior commanders are said to have fled already, and 10,000 civilians have also left, UNHCR reported yesterday [FRI].

The Daily Telegraph has seen an UNSOA Purchase Order for $17,722.50 (£10,950) for 52,125kg of charcoal due for delivery on August 31, among the most recent of the deliveries.

It was to be sent to Ugandan and Burundian peacekeeping troops based at Mogadishu’s airport and its university. The two countries’ soldiers make up the majority of Amisom’s 17,000-strong contingent in Somalia.

“It’s highly unlikely that Shabaab will not at least indirectly benefit,” said Andrews Atta-Asamoah, Horn of Africa analyst for the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa.

“It’s not possible for that much charcoal to come only from areas the government controls. Even if Shabaab is not directly selling the charcoal, once money enters the system in south-central Somalia, Shabaab always takes its share.”

Read the rest of this entry ?

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UN sanctions only 6 of 34 Taliban governors

September 17, 2012

The Taliban has powerful shadow governors overseeing operations in nearly every province in Afghanistan.  But the UN-imposed asset freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo against the Afghan terrorist group excludes dozens of these Taliban governors from international sanctions.

A new report from the UN’s Taliban sanctions monitoring team indicates that at least six, but no more than 11 Taliban provincial governors, are blacklisted under UN Resolution 1988—the 2011 resolution that separated the Taliban and Al Qaeda sanctions lists.  At least 42 individuals are known to be serving or have served as provincial governors in the past year.

The monitoring team recommends that the UN security council consider sanctioning these individuals, saying “it would seem logical to add the missing names.”

The report notes that the provincial governors often move across borders, and applying the travel ban would help increase pressure against them.

Although the UN report received ample media coverage for its analysis of the Taliban’s revenues, the revelation that so few Taliban governors are sanctioned was totally overlooked by the news wire services.  Reuters didn’t mention the recommendation, the Associated Press focused on sanctions as a negotiation tactic, and Agence France Presse focused on Taliban fundraising.

Hat tip to Twitter user El Grillo for sending a link to the text of the UN report.

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Noorzai brothers acquire millions for Taliban

October 20, 2011

The Taliban, the richest jihadist organization in the world, owes some of its recent financial success to Faizullah and Malik Noorzai, two brothers from Afghanistan who have both performed the hajj and who are each approximately 50 years old.  The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against the duo on Sept. 29 for their roles as financiers for the Taliban.  Malik, who according to Reuters is living in Pakistan, has already denied that he’s given money to anybody, but Faizullah is mum.

What’s interesting is the Noorzai brothers funding methods:  Faizullah obtained over a hundred grand from (big surprise here) Arab donors from Gulf nations.  He also collected “tens of thousands” through his Afghan-Pakistan border madrassa.  Malik also received money from Gulf donors under the cover of fake investments and through a sizable hawala account.

Here’s the skinny from Treasury:

Hajji Faizullah Khan Noorzai (Faizullah)
Faizullah has served as a prominent Taliban financier with whom senior Taliban leaders invested funds. He has collected more than $100,000 for the Taliban from donors in the Gulf and in 2009 gave a portion of his own money to the Taliban.

Faizullah also financially supported a Taliban commander in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan and has provided funding to assist with training Taliban and al-Qa’ida fighters who were to conduct attacks against coalition and Afghan military forces.

In addition to his financial support, Faizullah has facilitated Taliban training and operations. As of mid-2009, Faizullah supplied weapons, ammunition, explosives, and medical equipment to Taliban fighters from southern Afghanistan. In mid-2008, Faizullah was responsible for housing Taliban suicide bombers and moving them from Pakistan into Afghanistan. Faizullah has also provided anti-aircraft missiles to the Taliban, helped move Taliban fighters around Helmand Province, Afghanistan, facilitated Taliban suicide bombing operations and has given radios and vehicles to Taliban members in Pakistan.

As of mid-2009, Faizullah operated a madrassa near the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, where tens of thousands of dollars were raised for the Taliban. Faizullah’s madrassa grounds were used to provide training to Taliban fighters in the construction and use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and as of late 2007, his madrassa was used to train al-Qa’ida fighters who were later sent to Kandahar Province.

Hajji Malik Noorzai (Malik)
Malik is a Pakistan-based businessman who, with his brother Faizullah, has invested millions of dollars in various businesses for the Taliban.  In late 2008, Taliban representatives approached Malik as a businessman with whom to invest Taliban funds. Since at least 2005, Malik has personally contributed tens of thousands of dollars and distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Taliban, some of which was collected from donors in the Gulf region and Pakistan and some of which was Malik’s own money. Malik also handled a hawala account in Pakistan that received tens of thousands of dollars transferred from the Gulf every few months to support Taliban activities.

Malik has also facilitated Taliban activities in other ways. As of 2009, he had served for 16 years as the chief caretaker of a madrassa near the Afghanistan/Pakistan border that was used by the Taliban to indoctrinate and train recruits. Malik delivered funds that supported the madrassa, among other things.

Malik, along with his brother, has also played a role in storing vehicles to be used in Taliban suicide bombing operations and has helped move Taliban fighters around Helmand Province. As early as 2005, he owned a vehicle import business in Afghanistan that imported vehicles from Dubai and Japan. Malik has also imported auto parts and clothing from Dubai and Japan for his businesses, in which two Taliban commanders have invested. Additionally, in mid- 2010, Malik and his brother secured the release of hundreds of cargo containers, reportedly worth millions of dollars, which Pakistani authorities seized earlier that year because they believed the recipients had a connection to terrorism.

The United Nations Security Council has also sanctioned the Noorzai brothers, calling Faizullah a “prominent Taliban financier. As of mid-2009, supplied weapons, ammunition, explosives and medical equipment to Taliban fighters; and raised funds for the Taliban, and provided training to them, in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region. Has previously organized and funded Taliban operations in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. As of 2010, travelled to and owned businesses in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Japan.”

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Kenyan official gives to mosque, al-Shabaab

September 16, 2011

Kenyan minister of tourism Najib Balala gave a 200,000 shilling check that was wired to an al-Shabaab operative.  A United Nations report published last month (see related coverage here and here) also includes a photograph of Balala giving a cash donation to an al-Shabaab leader.

Balala claims he was simply giving a donation to a mosque, and that he does not support al-Shabaab.  Even if Balala is innocent, this story is further evidence of how Kenya is being sadly exploited by Islamist opportunists as a fertile fund-raising ground for jihad.

This video should also raise a few eyebrows with respect to major mosque building projects around the world, and whether the funds being donated to their construction is being used for the purposes described in public.

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Eritrea embassy in Kenya pays jihadists

September 13, 2011

A follow-up from the U.N.’s monitoring group’s report on the Horn of Africa has crossed our path.  According to this article from the East African on Aug. 7, Eritrea is an active state sponsor of al-Shabaab’s terror, and it uses its embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, to distribute funds to jihadi operatives:

The bad boy of the Horn of Africa: How Eritrea’s strongman uses Kenya as a terror finance hub

In early July, as Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki headed to Addis Ababa to chair a meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad), a six-country partnership formed to address issues of drought, security and development in the Horn of Africa, he sounded a stern warning to Eritrea.

For Kibaki, a president who is not known for his love of dramatic public gesture, to adopt a hostile posture against another country, there must have been more to the issue than the government was revealing to the public.

In March, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi — whose country has a strong security partnership with Kenya — had also warned that his government would use “all possible means” to depose Eritrea’s 67-year old strongman Isaias Afewerki, with whom he had fought a bloody secessionist war that killed 70,000 people between 1998 and 2000.

However, with the release of the UN Monitoring Group report on Somalia and Eritrea last week, it is now becoming clearer why Afewerki has gained the reputation of the bad boy of the Horn of Africa, a pariah state under international sanctions for sponsoring terrorism in the region.

While Eritrea has in the past been repeatedly accused of supporting Somalia’s Islamist militia Al Shabaab, a charge it strenuously denies, the current report catalogues Afewerki’s growing notoriety in the world of terrorism finance, and in particular the global web through which these funds are routed, with Kenya serving as a global transaction distribution hub.

The report details the country’s activities in funding the terror group, following the money trail from its citizens in the diaspora in Europe and North America, through Dubai and the Eritrean embassy in Nairobi, and into the hands of Al Shabaab, all the while concealed in convoluted and opaque informal financial networks.

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Al Shabaab: “economic powerhouse”

August 16, 2011

“Al-Shabaab reportedly generates between $70 million and $100 million per year”

Al-Shabaab has become a top-tier terrorist organization from its extensive revenues.  Their wealth is largely based on Islamic taxes that al-Shabaab imposes in accordance with the Koran.  It is following the same broad-based sharia revenue model that launched the Taliban from being an obscure students’ movement into an multinational financial hegemon.  From CNN (h/t to Un:dhimmi via a RoP newslink) on Aug. 5:

Washington – The once ragtag Somalia-based al Qaeda affiliate group known as Al-Shabaab has grown into an economic powerhouse, raising tens of millions of dollars in cash every year from a variety of schemes involving extortion, illegal taxation and other “fees,” according to a United Nations report.

The United States believes the group is closely coordinating with al Qaeda groups in Yemen and may be plotting attacks in the region and abroad.

The terrorist group now “generates between $70 million and $100 million per year, from duties and fees levied at airports and seaports, taxes on goods and services, taxes in kind on domestic produce, ‘jihad contributions,’ checkpoints and various forms of extortion justified in terms of religious obligation,” according to the July 18 report from the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Kuwait’s al Qaeda charity funds Islamism in Spain

August 7, 2011

With little or no supervision or financial controls in place, six Islamic countries have flooded Spain with money to foster radicalism among its Muslim population, according to a new report from the Spanish spy agency CNI.

And due to its use of an al Qaeda sponsoring charity to build mosques in Spain, Kuwait is the worst of the donors.  A translated excerpt from a Jul. 31 El Pais article follows:

…[Minister of Justice Juan Carlos] Campo did not point a finger at any country, but Kuwait is the worse off in the CNI report. Through the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), it has funded the construction of mosques in Reus and Torredembarra (Catalonia) from which “spread a religious interpretation contrary to integration in Spanish society [and] fomented the separation and hatred of non-Muslim groups.”

In 2008, RIHS was blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department “for providing financial and material support to al Qaida and al Qaida affiliates, including Lashkar e-Tayyiba, Jemaah Islamiyah, and Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya. RIHS has also provided financial support for acts of terrorism.”

Even the United Nations has classified RIHS as:

being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” or “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” Usama bin Laden (QI.B.8.01), Al-Qaida (QE.A.4.01) and the Taliban.

El Pais also reports that RIHS plans to open a “delegation” in Spain.

For a related article in English, check out the frightening and depressing news from Hudson New York.

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Iran to triple uranium output. Meanwhile, Moldova arrests 6 uranium smugglers

July 17, 2011

Head in Sand

Certainly it’s just a coincidence that the arrested uranium traffickers (h/t GoV) intended to sell their uranium to somebody in a “Muslim country” in Africa, and certainly that would be the final point of sale, considering all the threats from African nations to illegally enrich uranium for a nuclear program that violates international law.

Oh, wait, maybe it’s not Africa that has threatened to nuclearize.  And maybe it’s a certain other country that has promised to triple uranium enrichment.  I remember now—it’s Iran!

It is also Iran (as we noted last month) that could be entering a massive uranium buying agreement with Zimbabwe (undoubtedly paid for by the profits of the Iran’s economic jihad and funneled through proxies of Iran’s sharia banks).

But not to worry.  Nothing can go wrong with the United Nations weapons inspectors on the case (h/t Israel Matzav).

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