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Libyan arms issued to regional terrorists

April 21, 2014

Weapons are pouring into Libya from around the Mediterranean, for both domestic use among rival factions and for follow-on trafficking to neighboring African hotspots and to Syria, according to a recent UN report.

The unraveling of Libya indicates that the Obama strategy of “leading from behind” during the intervention was unwise, and included little if any plan for the long-term stabilization of Libya or for an orderly resolution to Libya’s political problems. Libya has turned into a more chaotic state that is destabilizing its neighbors than Iraq became under Bush.

The UN report includes evidence from 2013 that blackmarket merchants near the Libyan-Tunisian border are working with Al Qaeda: “Two main caches were discovered in urban areas in Medenine and Mnilah. According to the authorities, the materiel came from Libya in transfers financed by groups linked to Al-Qaida through commercial smugglers.”

Reason blog has helpful piece highlighting some of the other main points from the UN report:

UN Report: Security Situation in Libya ‘Considerably Deteriorated,’ Arms Exported Throughout Region

Ed Krayewski|Mar. 13, 2014

Arms largely in control of non-government groups in a deteriorating Libya are making their way by air, land, and sea to countries from Nigeria to Syria, according to a United Nations report by a panel of experts on the situation in Libya. That panel was tasked with reviewing the effectiveness of arms embargos, travel bans, and asset freezes implemented by various Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1973, which authorized a no-fly zone over Libya and was used to justify NATO intervention.

On the arms embargo, the panel complains of “limited resources with which to cover a two-way embargo that is breached on a regular basis and covers the entirety of Libya’s territory” and that the “geographical area covered by the Panel’s investigations expands every year and includes a large part of Africa, Europe and the Middle East.” One of the panel’s recommendations is for more experts to analyze the situations on the ground. According to the report, weapons from Libya have reached Tunisia, Algeria, Mali, Niger, Chad, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Egypt, and the Gaza Strip, almost a who’s who of deteriorating security situations in the wider region. The U.N. reports weapons are also trafficked via Turkey, Lebanon, and Qatar.

The panel is concerned, too, that some companies doing business with gun stores in Libya don’t even know about the U.N. embargo. Handguns, in particular, are in high demand, according to the report, which suggests members of security forces could be selling their handguns to civilians. Government agencies in Libya anyway rely on local armed groups for some public security, which the U.N. panel points to as an implication weapons are likely being shared.

The demand for guns among civilians shouldn’t be as a surprise. The U.N. panel describes a security situation that’s “considerably deteriorated” and reports continued significant increases in “carjacking, robbery, kidnappings, tribal disputes, political assassinations, armed attacks and clashes, explosions from improvised explosive devices and demonstrations.”

It’s likely not regular Libyans worried about their personal and family security that’s a primary contributing factor to the overall security situation in Libya. Instead, it’s what the U.N. panel identifies as a “complicated mix of Al-Qaida affiliated and inspired groups” that have set up across Libya in the chaos that followed the 2011 intervention. The panel describes a firefight between Special Forces from the Libyan government and Ansal al-Shariah in Benghazi in November that killed nine. A campaign of assassinations and suicide bombings has followed in the city. The U.N. report also relays a raid on a Libyan military base identified as “camp 27,” where the United States may have been training and supplying Libyan forces. The U.S. government responded to the panel’s questions that “some items that had been transferred to Libyan control were unaccounted for and presumed stolen”…

Thanks to Genug for the news tip.

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Bogus orphans charity banned, raided for financing Hezbollah

April 20, 2014

On April 8, German authorities announced a ban of the Hezbollah-funding Islamic “charity” known as Orphans Project Lebanon and raided their offices across the country.

Orphans Project Lebanon had been under scrutiny for several years. It lost its preferential tax treatment a few years ago, but was allowed to continue operating, as Money Jihad highlighted last year, partly because the EU did not consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization at the time. Since then, the EU has changed its policy, and German authorities have presumably been building their case against Orphans Project Lebanon behind the scenes.

Thanks to Puneet, Sal, and El Grillo for sending in links about this. From AFP/The Local:

Germany outlaws ‘Hezbollah fundraisers’

German authorities banned a group on Tuesday accused of raising millions of euros for Lebanese militant organization Hezbollah and helping the families of suicide bombers. Police staged raids across the country.

The interior ministry said it had outlawed the “Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon” (Orphan Children Project Lebanon) with immediate effect, although on Wednesday morning the group’s website was still up and running.

“The name of the group masks its actual purpose,” ministry state secretary Emily Haber said in a statement.

She said the organization, based in the western city of Essen, had raised €3.3 million in donations between 2007 and 2013 for the Lebanese Shahid Foundation, an “integral” part of Hezbollah.

The ministry said the funds were used to recruit fighters “to combat Israel, also with terrorist measures” and compensate the families of suicide bombers.

“Organizations that directly or indirectly from German soil oppose the state of Israel’s right to exist may not seek freedom of association protection,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said in the statement.

He said the group’s goals violated Germany’s constitution.

Around 160 police officers searched premises across six states and confiscated cash, computers and 120 boxes of files. The raids took place in Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Bremen, Lower Saxony and Rhineland Palatinate.

Two bank accounts with a total of around €104,000 were frozen but no arrests were made.

The ministry said it had kept Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon, which has about 80 members, under surveillance since 2009…

As Money Jihad has pointed out several times, orphans are often exploited by jihadist groups as a cover for transferring money toward their own purposes.

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Philippine jihad relies on Saudi zakat

April 18, 2014

The terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf Group relies mostly on kidnapping for ransom for its revenues. ASG also collects money from extortion and from the collection of zakat according to a March 2014 report from Thomson Reuters. The key point of origin of the zakat for the jihadist group is Saudi Arabia. An excerpt from the report follows:

…The ASG has also maintained the collection of Zakat, one of its traditional sources of funding, though not as profitable as its criminal activities. Zakat, which prescribes Muslims to donate 2.5% of their net revenue to charity, is legitimate under Shariah law. The ASG which claims to struggle for the establishment of an independent Islamic state in Mindanao, benefits from Zakat collected locally and abroad. Locals and those abroad who believe that militant groups are in pursuit of jihad donate substantially to support their operations and upkeep. Some donors however, are not aware that their donations end up in the treasury of militant groups.

Crucial to the collection of Zakat in the Middle East are a small number of sympathetic Filipino workers who help source donors and channel funds to the militant groups through the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) remittance system. The Philippines is one of the major exporters of labor to Saudi Arabia with more than a million Filipino workers in that country. Annual remittances amounting to more than a billion pesos have literally kept the Philippine economy afloat. Lack of regulations or monitoring of these remittances allows the flow of funds from supporters abroad to militant groups like the ASG. The ASG has not established a stable support group in any other country except for Saudi Arabia. They depend only on a few core supporters, mostly relatives and friends, both locally and abroad. In the past they collected donations during Friday congregational prayers and used the proceeds for the procurement of ammunition, medicines, and military supplies. It is estimated that from 1992 to 2007, the ASG collected almost ₱20 million from Zakat.

Propaganda is critical for the continuity of Zakat. There is no recent evidence that the ASG is publicly engaged in propaganda which suggests less reliance in Zakat. Previously, the ASG organized lectures and seminars to encourage people to take part in jihad by sharing their wealth through Zakat. The ASG is also known to compile video footages of militant training and actual combat operations. In October 2007, the ASG had appealed for funds and recruits on You Tube by featuring a video of two slain ASG leaders…

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Armed, funded jihad: recommended reading

April 17, 2014
  • “Although funding terrorism was criminalised in Finland 12 years ago, no-one has yet been convicted”… more>>
  • Anti-tank missiles are being shipped through Turkey and Saudi Arabia to Syrian rebels… more>>
  • Pakistani front charities like JKART are funding the Indian Mujahideen… more>>
  • A love for his friend or a love for jihad? Prosecutors say Khurram Syed Sher knew exactly who he was funding… more>>
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British Hamas donors active now in Syria

April 15, 2014

Three Islamic charities based in the U.K. who have funded projects administered by a Hamas “charitable” have also become involved with a radical Syrian aid convoy, according to a new report. The UK Charity Commission is proving itself, as usual, to be asleep at the switch with respect to such charities that are exploiting Britain as a financial base to fund jihad around the world.

Special thanks to Ayre for sending in this report from Stand for Peace:

Three UK charities fund Hamas charitable front

Three UK charities involved with Syrian ‘aid convoy’ efforts – Children in Deen, the Abu Faisal Trust and One Nation – are funding projects in Gaza run by the Al-Falah Benevolent Society (a.k.a. Al-Falah Society or Al-Falah Charitable Society). The Al-Falah Society is  one of “Hamas’s charitable societies”, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

The OPEC Fund for International Development notes that it is funded by “institutions in the Arab, Islamic and international world who believe in the right of the Palestinian people to liberate their land”. It is run by Ramadan Tamboura (aka Ramadan Tanbura), who Ha’aretz newspaper reports is “a well-known Hamas figure”.

One Nation is part of the Aid for Syria convoy, which, as Stand for Peace has previously uncovered, is involved with a number of key extremist preachers in the UK. Aid for Syria convoys include trucks named after the convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui…

Read the rest at Stand for Peace here.

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Thousands of NGOs get foreign money but don’t report it

April 14, 2014

MHA warns of terror fundings in NGOs

India’s home ministry has found that the number of non-governmental organizations receiving funds from outside India is on the rise, and that most of the groups receiving the foreign funds aren’t reporting it as they are required to do under the law, highlighting the vulnerability that such funding goes toward terrorist purposes.

Some of the external funding involved comes from Western nonprofits that send money to Islamic front charities or alleged Kashmiri relief groups that are actually turning over the cash to jihadi militants.

India isn’t alone in the struggle to get nonprofit organizations to disclose foreign sources of funding. Compliance in the U.S. with the Foreign Agents Registration Act is a joke. Penalties for noncompliance with 501(c)(3) filing requirements are miniscule. The tendency for regulators globally is to be tougher on existing groups that have gone through the registration process rather than on discovery of groups that have failed to register.

These noncompliant groups need a site visit from the police. The policemen can wait while a manager at the NGO completes the required paperwork.

From the Daily Mail‘s India edition:

Government warns of NGOs’ vulnerability to terror funding and money laundering

By Abhishek Bhalla

PUBLISHED: 21 March 2014

Thousands of NGOs which receive foreign aid, many of whom do not file returns on such contributions, are vulnerable to terror funding and money laundering, the home ministry has warned.

Though there are more than 22,000 NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), intelligence inputs indicate that there are many others that work secretly and are not registered.

On the other hand, 19,000 of the registered organisations do not file returns on foreign contributions.

Foreign funding for NGOs has risen by almost 12 per cent in 2011-12, with Rs 11,549 crore being pumped into these organisations from abroad every year, according to the home ministry’s latest report on the FCRA.

According to the report, foreign contributions worth Rs 2,253 crore come for activities other than the most common causes listed by the Ministry of Home Affairs for foreign contributions.

The common sectors for foreign funding are rural development, welfare of children, health, awareness camps and religious purposes.

“We need to know where this money is being used. We need to coordinate with the authorities of the donor countries and crack down on some of these NGOs,” said an official in the home ministry.

The five major donor countries are the US, Britain, Germany, Italy and Netherlands. Countries like the UAE, Mauritius, Austria, Sweden and Spain are also among the top 15 donor nations…

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Neighbors say Kosovo smuggles drugs and organs

April 13, 2014

The president of the Czech Republic says that Kosovo, a self-declared independent state that is 95 percent Muslim, is funding terrorism from drug smuggling. President Zeman’s comments dovetail with longstanding accusations from Serbia that Kosovo profits from harvesting human organs.

Funding jihad from such activities wouldn’t be unprecedented. Elsewhere in the world, Hamas makes money from the illicit organ trade, and terrorist groups including the Taliban and Hezbollah make hundreds of millions of dollars annually from drug trafficking. Profiting from drugs is often justified by Islamists on the basis of ushr, the classical Islamic tax on crop harvests.

Thanks to Twitter user El Grillo for sending in this report from CTK, the Czech news agency, via the Prague Post:

Czech president is critical of Kosovo during his trip to Serbia

Belgrade, April 1 (ČTK) — Terrorism should not be underestimated, mainly because it is comfortably financed from drug sales, Czech President Miloš Zeman said at the beginning of his two-day official visit to Serbia today, and he indirectly mentioned Kosovo in connection with terrorism.

At the opening of an exhibition on Czech-Serbian military cooperation in Belgrade, Zeman said Islamic fundamentalism is the most visible form of terrorism.

“The Taliban enjoys strong economic support in the areas it controls because the production of opium in these areas has risen 10 times. Let alone the fact of some regimes are being financed via dealings with human organs,” Zeman said.

Serbia accuses Kosovo leaders of dealings with human bodies in the late 1990s.

In 2011, Belgrade submitted a draft resolution demanding an independent international enquiry into the suspicious cases to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

Accusations of human organ trafficking in Kosovo appeared in 2008 for the first time.

In 2010, investigator Dick Marty mentioned them in his report for the Council of Europe. He accused the Kosovo rebels’ army (UCK) of having taken organs away from Serbian war prisoners and from Kosovo Albanians who disagreed with UCK’s practices.

The present Kosovo prime pinister, Hashim Thaci, was allegedly involved in the dealings.

Kosovo, former Serbian province, unilaterally declared its independence, which Belgrade has never recognized.

Zeman, too, is against the recognition of independent Kosovo, though the Czech Republic recognized it under the then right-wing Cabinet and president Václav Klaus in 2008.

Zeman previously labeled the Kosovo regime “a terrorist dictatorship financed by drug mafias.”

In Belgrade today, Zeman said the biggest enemy of the Euro-Atlantic civilization is international terrorism.

“Let’s not underestimate the danger, if for the fact alone that it is comfortably financed from drug sales,” Zeman said…

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