Archive for May, 2010

h1

Pakistanization of Indonesian zakat?

May 31, 2010

Pakistan has a fully Islamized tax system including government mandated zakat collections against Sunni Muslims.  This nationalized zakat has led to widespread corruption, uneven collection rates, and funds channeled to terrorism (intentionally in accordance with the Koran or unintentionally in other cases).

Even more ominously, the Pakistani tax system also revived the Islamic interest in traditional revenue collection methods laid out the Koran and Hadith.  The Taliban learned these lessons well from their Pakistani teachers and reintroduced them in Afghanistan where they’ve collected zakat, sadaqa, ushr, jizya, and fida’ (ransom) both when they were ruling Afghanistan up to the present.

The diverse revenue base inspired by Islam and the Pakistani tax system has enabled massive wealth accumulation by the Taliban.  The Taliban continues to be a difficult foe for NATO because of its financial resources.

Now Indonesia is considering the adoption of Pakistan’s awful model.  Although I disagree with their reasoning entirely, I find myself in rare alignment with the local Indonesian zakat activists who are opposed to the national plan…  From the Jakarta Post on May 25:

Activists rejected a government’s plan to centralize the collection and management of alms or zakat, arguing the move would end privately run alms institutions and disadvantage low-income people as recipients.

Juperta Panji Utama, secretary-general of the Zakat Movement for Indonesia, an alliance of alms institutions from across the country, said privately run alms institutions have so far been working effectively in collecting and managing alms from the community.

“The government cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that more people trust privately run zakat institutions, not state-run ones, to distribute and manage their alms,” Juperta said.

In terms of collection, he said privately run zakat management institutions or LAZ could collect higher fund amounts, while in terms of distribution creativity, many could provide facilities for the poor, from free hospital care and schooling to economic empowerment programs.

“We have been helping the government in dealing with poverty. Please don’t end private zakat institutions just because there’s an opportunity to collect huge amounts of money from the community.”

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

God’s wheat

May 30, 2010
Charsadda farmers enjoy bumber crop

Smile while you can, farmers. The jihadi taxman cometh.

You didn’t just think that Islam’s 10 percent ushr tax on harvests was being collected from opium yields, did you?  Bring the dues thereof on the day of harvest.  That’s what the Koran says (6:142).  And jihadists say it, too.  Remarkable similarity, wouldn’t you say?

This news from the Daily Times on May 16 about ushr collections on wheat harvests by jihadists (separate from Pakistan’s government imposed ushr) against Charsadda farmers is par for the course.

PESHAWAR: The Amn Tehreek (Peace Movement) on Saturday demanded Rs 3 million in compensation for the martyrs of Swat Qaumi Amn Jirga and the Amn Lashkar.

The Amn Tehreek made the demand in a Steering Committee meeting held in Peshawar, which was presided over by Steering Committee member Shamim Shahid. The Peshawar Press Club president, Amn Tehreek Convener Idrees Kamal, Dr Said Alam Mahsud, Mukhtar Bacha, Shahab Khattak advocate, Hameedullah Zahid, Ijaz Durrani and others participated in the meeting.

In a press statement, the Amn Tehreek said, the security situation of Malakand division, Swat, Buner and Dir was discussed in detail. Participants at the meeting expressed concern for the life and property of the locals in the aforementioned areas. In Buner, the participants observed, the security situation was anything but satisfactory, as the entire population of the district continued to live in tense circumstances.

The situation in Charsadda was also discussed in detail. The participants said that militants belonging to different jihadi organisations were forcibly collecting ‘wheat’ from the locals in the name of “zakat and ushr’. The wheat could be used by militants to buy arms and ammunition, they added. The meeting also condemned certain parts of the media for favouring extremism.

h1

Jihad, sharia, and Islamic charity

May 28, 2010

There’s been a spate of great blog posts over the last week at some of our favorite blogs, all illustrating how the jihadists continue tapping into zakat and other Koranic tax revenues streams to wage their money jihad against the West.

  • Global MB Daily Report:  Kuwait’s the International Islamic Charitable Organization, IICO, observes its 25th anniversary.  IICO appears to have the full support of Kuwait’s royal family and government.  IICO also has ties to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Virginia…
  • Shariah Finance Watch:  The ruler of Dubai has mandated that waqf projects be fully sharia compliant.  Waqf religious endowment projects are common.  But explicitly mandating their sharia compliance is an extra layer of detail they don’t normally publicize.  Remember that sharia=subjugation (of women, non-Muslims, etc.).
  • JihadWatch:  Five members of a Muslim “humanitarian” group have been arrested in Kosovo.  With all the arrests, criminal investigations, and convictions of Muslim charities, is anybody else catching on that there is something inherently criminal about Islamic charity?
  • Shariah Finance Watch:  Anwar al-Awlaki has come out championing the money jihad.  Yes, the Yemen-based cleric who inspired some of the 9/11 hijackers, the Ft. Hood’s Maj. Hasan, and other lowlife murderers has joined Osama Bin Laden and Yusuf al-Qaradawi in his public support for the Al Jihad bi al-Mal.
  • RantburgBig bounties are being paid to Taliban for each NATO casualty they cause.  Money for the bounties comes from protection payments (zakat), opium harvests (ushr), and the Gulf (sadaqa & hawala).  NATO deaths are the fruits of the money jihad.
h1

Congressional probe of hawala upcoming?

May 27, 2010

It’s encouraging that politicians (even a Democrat in this case!) are sounding the alarm about Islamic hawala.  But if Congress just issues another boilerplate government study about how “the majority” of hawala transfers are for “good purposes” and are more “efficient” than our Western banking system, the report won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.

From the Boston Herald on May 22:

U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, (D-South Boston) wants a congressional probe of informal Islamic banking networks as authorities investigate whether three New England detainees were inadvertantly involved in financing the botched Times Square bombing.

Lynch’s push comes as law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that terror suspect Faisal Shahzad confessed to interrogators he received financing from the Pakistani Taliban through the informal “halawa” system used by Muslim to transfer funds globally.

But, one official told The Associated Press, “there’s a belief that no one in the U.S. who got him the funds was aware of what they were for.” Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, was the only person in the United States who was “operational” in the clumsy May 1 Times Square plot, the official said.

Lynch said, “The recent attempted bombing in Times Square only underscores the need to redouble our efforts to combat international terrorist financing. Informal financing networks can be insidious and difficult to track.”

Lynch and U.S. Rep. Mike Castle (D-Delaware) wrote to Financial Services Committee Chair Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton) this week urging hearings.

Meanwhile, Pakistan General Consul Barry Hoffman, who yesterday visited one of three Pakistani New England detainees, Mohammad Rahman of South Portland, at an immigration facility in Maine, described him as a mild-mannered techie who didn’t espouse radical Islamic views.

“He comes from a good family in Karachi . . . he does not seem like a radical,” Hoffman said. “He’s being treated well. I spoke to a reverend and he’s arranging to get him a Koran and prayer rug”…

h1

Wednesday word: FIU

May 26, 2010

FIU stands for financial intelligence unit.  The Egmont Group, an informal association of FIUs from around the world, defines an FIU as follows:

A central, national agency responsible for receiving (and as permitted, requesting), analyzing and disseminating to competent authorities, disclosures of financial information:

i.  concerning suspected proceeds of crime and potential financing of terrorism, or

ii.  required by national legislation or regulation, in order to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.*

The FIU for the United States is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an office within the Treasury Department which is also responsible for administering and enforcing the Bank Secrecy Act.

The director of FinCEN is James H. Freis, Jr., a Bush-era holdover.

Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

FinCEN Director James H. Freis, Jr.

At least 115 other countries have financial intelligence units according to the membership rolls of the Egmont Group.

*  Schott, Paul Allan, Reference Guide to Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism, second edition (The World Bank:  2006).

h1

Petraeus joins amen chorus for Saudi Arabia

May 25, 2010
Warm relations between U.S. military and Saudi Arabia

Gen. Petraeus with Saudi officials in 2008

Positive reinforcement is an effective training technique for dolphins, dogs, and horses.  When an animal does something good, reward it; bad, punish it.  Maybe Gen. Petraeus is hoping that positive reinforcement can do the same thing for Saudi Arabia.

But are we really doing the reinforcement training, or are we the ones getting trained?  When we say nice things about Saudi cooperation on terrorist financing, they “reward” us by finally condemning terrorist financing 8½ years after 9/11.  Then we say more nice things about them because we love more “rewards.”

But at the end of all the nice talking and mutual backstroking, Saudi zakat is still flowing to the Taliban to fight our soldiers in Afghanistan.  Let’s call a spade a spade.

From American Forces Press Service:

Petraeus Lauds Saudi Fatwa Condemning Terrorism Financing

By Donna Miles

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2010 – Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, praised Saudi Arabia’s religious leaders for taking a major step toward promoting broader counterterrorism cooperation  by their recent rejection of financing terrorism as un-Islamic.

Petraeus lauded the Council of Senior Scholars in Saudi Arabia’s recent issuance of a fatwa that, for the first time, specifically condemns and outlaws the financing of terrorism as a violation of Islamic law.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Debt-financed terror

May 24, 2010

From the Fox affiliate in Kansas City on May 21:

How Did Khalid Ouazzani Raise Cash for Al-Qaida?

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Kansas City auto parts dealer who admitted funneling cash to the Al-Qaida terrorist organization used many of the same fraud techniques that others used to get cash that caused the nation’s housing crisis, an expert in white-collar crime says.

Khalid Ouazzani, 32, is accused of defaulting on home loans totaling $415,000. Prosecutors say that he bought about a dozen Kansas City properties at auction for as little as a couple of hundred dollars each, and then obtained home equity loans on the properties for much more.

It sounds very much like the typical mortgage fraud scheme that had made the news so often over the last few years, but the difference in Ouazzani’s case is that he has admitted funneling $24,000 of the cash to support the Al-Qaida terror network.

“Banks all too often are really awful at underwriting,” said William Black, an associate professor of Economics and Law at the UMKC School of Law. “When they are, they can be exploited for all kinds of evil purposes. This is one of the evil purposes.”

Black, a former financial regulator and a former director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention, calls Ouazzani one of the dumb ones. He says that the $24,000 could pay for two ” Times Square”-type attacks that terrorists tried in New York City recently.

“It’s extremely difficult to follow small amounts of money,” said Black. “Unfortunately what we’ve seen, for example in the recent attempted attack in New York, car bombing, estimates are that may have cost as little as $13,000.”

Black says that the federal government should hire more FBI agents to follow the terrorist money trail, especially as dollar amounts get smaller. He also says that cracking down on tax havens would also help, as he says that the really big bucks for terror groups like Al-Qaida come through the drug trade.

Black also says Ouazzani’s used auto parts business helped him fraudulently obtain a $175,000 loan because it’s hard to easily verify the market value of the business’ assets.

Notice that the report didn’t address why Ouazzani wanted raise money for Al Qaeda.  Could it be that he heard the words of Muhammad who said, “The warrior gets his reward, and the one who equips him gets his own reward and that of the warrior”?  Swelling the ranks of the federal workforce and cracking down on tax havens don’t address the central problem which is the Islamic-based money jihad against the West.

h1

Great Scot! RBS fined half a billion dollars

May 23, 2010

ABN Amro, a Dutch bank that was bought out by the Royal Bank of Scotland, has settled with the U.S. for violating American law.  Customers and banks affiliated with Cuba, the Sudan, Libya, and Iran channeled money illegally through the U.S. financial system with the assistance of ABN Amro.

Although no Western bank should do what ABN Amro (or Lloyds) has done, it’s unfortunate that only ABN Amro will pay.  Ultimately, it is the sanctioned countries themselves—especially Iran—that must be held to account for their persistent campaign to infiltrate our banks and circumvent U.S. sanctions.  ABN and RBS will be out of cash while Iran gets off “Scot” free.

From Reuters via ABC News:

LONDON – U.S. prosecutors have accused ABN Amro, now largely part of Royal Bank of Scotland , of turning a “blind eye” to U.S. laws, using special procedures to bypass U.S. sanctions against Cuba, Iran and other countries.

RBS, part of a trio of banks that bought ABN in 2007, said on Monday the consortium had agreed to a $500 million fine as part of a final settlement with U.S. authorities. The payment was covered by the provision made before ABN was bought.

In the latest of a series of fines levied by the United States on banks in connection with money laundering offences, ABN was charged with one count of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and a second of conspiracy to defraud the United States, violating laws including the Trading with the Enemy Act.

It involved transactions on behalf of customers from Iran, Libya, Sudan, Cuba and other sanctioned countries.

“ABN Amro facilitated the movement of illegal money through the U.S. financial system by stripping information from transactions and turning a blind eye to its compliance obligations,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said.

According to court documents, for a decade until 2005 and, in a limited way, through to 2007, offices, branches, affiliates and subsidiaries of ABN removed or altered names and references to sanctioned countries from payment messages.

The stripping procedures, which also applied to traveler’s checks and letters of credit, allowed the bank to circumvent U.S. controls and pass undetected through filters at U.S. banks.

Prosecutors said the scheme allowed U.S. sanctioned countries to move “hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. financial system”.

ABN’s New York branch saw more than $3.2 billion from shell companies and “high risk transactions” flow through it…

h1

Unoriginal media copycat party line

May 21, 2010

This time it’s CNN.  The remnants of the mainstream media tell you two things about the financing of terrorism today:  1) that the U.S. Treasury Department drained Al Qaeda of its money, and 2) that Saudi Arabia is “cooperating.”  And usually whenever they tell you that, Treasury official David S. Cohen usually features in the story.

For the record once again, it was the U.S. military and Iraqi leaders that sent Al Qaeda howling out of Iraq and into the poorhouse.  And “evidence” of Saudi cooperation is limited to public statements, meager proof, and multiple examples of Saudi duplicity.

From the introductory paragraphs of CNN’s “Security Brief”:

The U.S. Treasury Department may not have drones, but don’t underestimate the power of the pen in the battle with al Qaeda. Persistent pressure on the group’s sources of money over the past few years has left it “in significant financial distress,” says US Assistant Treasury Secretary David Cohen. “And we are urgently working to make it worse.”

The Taliban, funded by the multi-billion dollar heroin trade, are a different proposition, admits Cohen. He says they are not experiencing “much financial stress” and have the funding they need to buy allegiance and hold territory – and challenge American objectives in Afghanistan (more on the Taliban in Part 2 of this series.)

Cohen’s job includes choking off the money supply to an array of terror groups. To that end, he spends plenty of time trying to persuade other governments – especially in the Gulf – to tighten their financial controls. Cohen is pleased with the contribution that Saudi Arabia – once the largest source of funds for al Qaeda – has made. For example, the Saudi central bank now has to approve transactions between accounts of more than $15,000…

With an opening like that, CNN joins UPI, Deutsche Welle, and Forbes for the media’s ongoing terror finance puppet show.  The rest of the story gets marginally better, even acknowledging (very briefly) zakat and hawala.

h1

Amidst global recession, jihadists get pay raise

May 20, 2010

The Times of India reports that wages for Muslim terrorists are on the rise.  Hat tip to Puneet Madaan for sending this in.  It’s important to remember while reading this article that these terrorists are being paid by Lashkar-e-Taiba, which itself receives funding from zakat collections in Kashmir mosques.

Kashmir terrorists get pay hike

Josy Joseph, TNN, May 17

NEW DELHI: Kashmiri terrorists and refugees from Jammu and Kashmir in PoK have both received a pay hike. According to the latest inputs from various agencies, Pakistani authorities are now offering terrorists coming to fight in J&K a monthly salary in the range of Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000. This is a huge jump from the average pay of Rs 5,000 they were getting earlier.

The reason for this benevolence is not hard to imagine. There has been a drastic drop in violence levels in J&K and militancy needs a desperate revival if the separatist agenda has to continue to grab global attention. The number of terrorists operating in J&K is now hovering around 700, an all-time low since militancy erupted in the state in the late 80s.

The desperation among terror groups is also visible in the return of Furqan, one of the seniormost Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives who had been the group’s launch commander based in PoK for some years now. He infiltrated into J&K in April-end with a group but the Army was able to intercept them. Furqan is believed to have successfully evaded the Army and entered the state. His return, after more than four years, is being seen as a sign of LeT’s desperation to carry out a few sensational attacks.

It is not just the Kashmiri militants who got pay hikes in recent days. Those staying back in refugee camps of PoK too have been given increased financial benefits. From Rs 1,800 per month, their financial allowance has gone up to Rs 2,400 a month early this year, sources said.

Thousands of Kashmiri youth have moved across the border to PoK in the past two decades for the explicit purpose of becoming trained militants…

Read the rest of the story here.

h1

Wednesday word: layering

May 19, 2010

Money laundering includes concepts like placement, layering, and integration, all of which are done to disguise the illegal nature of the money’s source.  This definition of layering comes from the Comptroller of the Currency:

Layering: The process of separating the proceeds of criminal activity from their origin through the use of layers of complex financial transactions, such as converting cash into traveler’s checks, money orders, wire transfers, letters of credit, stocks, bonds, or purchasing valuable assets, such as art or jewelry.

And here you thought layering referred to draping that extra hijab over your niqab.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,870 other followers