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Shin Bet busts Hamas cell’s gold scheme

July 7, 2015

Forty members of a Hamas cell in Nablus, Israel, have been arrested by Israel’s domestic security service.  Shin Bet found the equivalent of $1 million in cash and gold during their raid on the cell.  Hamas operatives intended to buy night vision goggles and other equipment to terrorize Jews.  From The Times of Israel on Jul. 1 (hat tip to El Grillo):

Large, gold-funded Hamas cell uncovered in West Bank, Shin Bet says
Israel’s security agency breaks a 40-strong cell in the Nablus region, foiling a terror attack in the making

Israel’s domestic security service said Wednesday it had revealed and arrested members of a 40-person Hamas cell in the Nablus region of the West Bank, foiling an attack still in the planning stage and breaking apart a community-wide infrastructure.

The arrests, conducted over the past months, were made public amid a rise in terror attacks against Israelis in the West Bank and corresponding calls from settlers to increase the Israeli army’s preventative actions in the region.

Over the past 10 days there have been four shootings and two stabbings, claiming the lives of Israelis Danny Gonen and Malachi Rosenfeld and wounding several more.

The Shin Bet said the Nablus cells were run from Qatar, by Hussam Badran, a Hamas spokesperson and a native of Nablus.

Budran, operating under Saleh al-Arouri, the Turkey-based head of Hamas operations in the West Bank, sent messages to the operatives in Nablus via “email channels,” the Shin Bet said, apparently referring to non-direct messages, and laundered the money into gold jewelry transported into the West Bank from Jordan.

Anan Fatuah and Samih Aliwi, West Bank shop-owners, allegedly received cash from a Nablus couple that had traveled to Jordan for medical care but were, in fact, a forward unit of Hamas. The couple, Bassam and Mona Sayih, allegedly transferred the funds to Fatuah, who bought gold in Jordan and sold it along with Aliwi in their shop, funneling the money to Hamas operatives.

The Shin Bet and police said they found NIS four million (roughly one million dollars) in cash and gold during the arrests.

The 40-person infrastructure engaged in a wide range of activity, from education to media to charity, and was in the process of planning a terror attack.

Two of the arrested, Anas Abbas and Taufiq Sualmeh, admitted under questioning to planning a terror attack and buying night vision goggles to further the execution of that plan. They allegedly were in contact with operatives from Ahmad Jibril’s PFLP-GC terror organization in Syria…

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Report: Clinton OK’d gunrunning through Qatar

July 6, 2015

A former superior court judge says that Hillary Clinton approved an arms deal to send weapons to rebels in Libya and Syria through Qatari middlemen when she was secretary of state.  Those weapons often ended up in the hands of Islamic radicals and even groups designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations according to documents reviewed by the judge.  From Fox News Insider on Jul. 2 (with a hat tip to Zadok Forgeron):

Judge Andrew Napolitano revealed this morning what he has concluded after reviewing hundreds of pages of documents and emails related to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

The judge wrote today in a Washington Times column that the documents “persuaded me beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty that Mrs. Clinton provided material assistance to terrorists and lied to Congress.”

Napolitano said he looked at transcripts from a Fox News interview with an American arms dealer named Marc Turi, in addition to reviewing emails between Turi, State Department officials and lawmakers.

On Fox Business Network this morning, the judge told Charles Payne that he believes a “conspiracy existed” among President Obama, Mrs. Clinton, congressional leaders and other officials to “get arms shipped to rebels in Syria and Libya.”

Napolitano said some of the rebel groups were on the United States’ list of terrorist organizations, so providing “material assistance” to them would be a felony.

Napolitano said arms dealers received permission lawfully from the State Department to sell the weapons to the government of Qatar.

“Qatar then sold, delivered, bartered or gave these arms to the terrorist organizations with the consent of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” he said, adding that it is “crystal clear” from the documents that U.S. officials knew where the weapons would end up…

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On summer break

June 7, 2015

Money Jihad is on extended vacation.  Please check back after July 4.

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MILF denies killing terrorist for reward money

May 29, 2015

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) purportedly whacked a fellow terrorist to collect the $1 million bounty offered on his head. The MILF denies it, but whoever said there’s honor among thieves? Not a bad idea actually. If you can get rid of a rival terror kingpin and enrich yourself in the process, it’s easy to understand why some terrorist groups would consider doing something like this. If I were one of the terrorists listed in the U.S. Rewards for Justice program, I’d be keeping one eye open for any “colleagues” who might want to capitalize on my death.

From ABS-CBN News on May 12:

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Stashes and sanctions: suggested news reading

May 28, 2015
  • ISIS financier killed in raid; documents seized… more>>
  • Danish jihadists receive 400,000 crowns in welfare benefits, and counting… more>>
  • Iraq faced sanctions for years thanks to Saddam. Now it faces sanctions again thanks to an Iraqi airline helping Iran evade its sanctions… more>>
  • Spain busts up a Chinese money laundering operation that helps illustrate how “smurfing” works… more>>
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Caucasus jihadists seek off-grid donations

May 26, 2015

Islamic State supporters from the North Caucasus are using Russian-language social media and a digital wallet service called QIWI to raise money to “fight against the disbelievers.” Use of the relatively anonymous QIWI service helps avoid monitoring and reporting of suspicious activity.

Thanks to El Cid, El Grillo, and Moscow Ghost for sending in this May 17 report from Radio Free Europe:

IS Militants Use Popular Russian Web Payment System To Raise Cash

A group of Islamic State (IS) militants from Russia’s North Caucasus region are using the popular Russian QIWI wallet electronic payment system to raise money online.

The group’s use of the QIWI wallet sheds light on how individual factions within IS carry out their own fundraising and outreach, and shows that this particular group has managed to raise cash openly using mainstream resources in Russia even though Moscow has banned IS and donating money to it illegal.

The militants involved in the fundraising are doing so through an unofficial Russian-language IS media activist group, ShamToday, which mostly comprises people from the North Caucasus who are with IS in Syria and Iraq…

Read the rest of RFE’s detailed report here.

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Britain bans ransom payments by insurance companies to terrorist groups

May 25, 2015

Earlier this year, Parliament passed a measure that prohibits insurance companies from paying ransoms to terrorists and provides for penalties if they do. The bill was debated in January, but it was not clear to Money Jihad at the time that the bill actually passed. The reliable Tom Keatinge has let us know that, yes, the bill has been enacted.

For more background on the law, check out Foreign Policy’s report on the subject from Jan. 8.

British legislators are considering a new bill that takes aim at a small, secretive niche in the insurance industry that deals with kidnapping and ransom, the latest money spinner for terrorists.

The new counterterrorism bill, proposed in November and being debated this week in the House of Commons, gives the British government broad powers to address new terrorist threats posed by the rise of the Islamic State.

One of the most controversial provisions would give ministers the ability to block British citizens suspected of fighting for terrorists from returning to the United Kingdom. Another section would require universities to limit the number of “extremist” speakers they host on campus.

But one part of the proposed bill that has gotten less attention would also make it a crime for British insurance companies to reimburse families or companies that pay a ransom to a terrorist in order to secure the release of a hostage. Critics argue that the provision is misguided, that it will do little to stem the flow of money to terrorists, and that it could disrupt the thriving industry of “kidnap and ransom” insurers and negotiators who successfully get people out of hostage situations.

Companies buy this insurance for employees working overseas who are in danger of being taken captive by terrorists, militants, or criminals. If that happens, the insurer connects the company to negotiators to help executives or families make a deal with kidnappers, send payment, and get the hostage back.

Kidnapping and ransom policies have come under scrutiny recently as British and U.S. counterterrorism officials have taken a stronger stance against paying ransoms to terrorists in order to starve Islamist militants of an important new source of funding. The Islamic State has used kidnapping for ransom to underwrite its gory campaigns in Syria and Iraq. A United Nations report in October estimated that the Islamic State had received $35 million to $45 million in ransom payments in the past year.

U.S. officials have long argued that making ransom payments encourages more kidnapping (though that hasn’t stopped Washington from acquiescing to ransom payments). The U.N. passed a resolution in January 2014 to discourage countries from meeting ransom demands, but a New York Times investigation published in July revealed that many European countries have been covertly making payments…

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