Archive for June, 2011

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OFAC clears way for illusory “food and medicine” donations to Iran

June 22, 2011

Open the flood gates.  Fundamentalist Shia charities and leftists can send materials to Iran to their hearts’ content, as long as they claim that they’re sending “food and medicine.”  This creates all kinds of blurry lines whereby individual donors will give zakat or khums to organizations whose leadership or imams will claim is going toward food shipments to Iran.

Senders of aid will not be required to go through any time of licensing or registration process in order to send these supplies.

This will probably lead to direct money transfers to Iran from Muslim Americans who will claim that they have worked out relationships with Iranian food and drug distributors to disperse the items.  Or the guidance could be interpreted as freedom to work with Iran’s bonyads, the quasi-charitable Iranian institutions which are firmly in control of the theocratic elites.

Yet another exemption to the Iranian sanctions policies (like these) could also help relieve pressure on the Iranian regime to reform.  As Iranian expatriates in American begin sending food relief back home, it could reduce the will of Iranian citizens to demand reforms from their government.

The policy could also create a new black market of food and relief supplies similar to what Iraq experienced in the 1990s, where the wrong people invariably end up benefiting.

Normally, new regulations are published in the Federal Register.  This was apparently published only as a PDF flyer.  Moreover, the announcement does not appear to be the result of any formal rule-making process.  No public comment was considered to our knowledge.

From Treasury’s OFAC on June 17:

Donations of food and medicine to Iran and the non-Specified Areas of Sudan, when intended to be used to relieve human suffering, are exempt from the prohibitions of the Iranian Transaction Regulations (“ITR”) and the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (“SSR”); thus, such donations by U.S. persons do not require an ITR or SSR license issued pursuant to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (“TSRA”). However, the commercial exportation or reexportation of food and medicine to Iran and the non-Specified Areas of Sudan is subject to the licensing requirements of TSRA. OFAC generally regards the exportation or reexportation of medical devices, donated or commercial, to be subject to the TSRA and therefore to require a TSRA license. In addition, the donation of funds to a non-US person for the purchase of food, medicine, or medical devices to be exported to Iran or the non-Specified Areas of Sudan would require a license.

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You grow it, we tax it

June 21, 2011

Jaish Muhammad terrorists from South Punjab, Pakistan, have been collecting the ushr (the Islamic tax on harvests) from farmers for many years according to a recent news blurb.

We have written about the oppressive nature of Islamic tax law with respect to Muslim farmers before here, here, and here.  Ushr has also been imposed by jihadist groups Lashkar-e Islam in Pakistan, by Amn Tehreek in Pakistan,  and by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Recall that the Pakistani government also has an ushr tax on top of whatever the local militants can bleed out of the farms.  From The Friday Times, “Nuggets from the Urdu Press,”  (h/t Rantburg) on June 11:

Pak farmer pays forced tax to jihadist

Hand it over, dirt farmer!

Jaish collecting “ushr”

Reported in the illicit publication with an ABC Certificate Al Qalam outlawed terrorist organisation Jaish Muhammad was collecting ushr in South Punjab under the auspices of Al Rehmat Trust also said to be banned. The newspaper informed that ‘ushr’ – a tax on farms legally only collectible by the state – was being collected for past ‘many years’ and its campaign was at its peak in April.

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Muslim charity asks us for money to help “to fight Christians”

June 20, 2011

As we’ve noted before, Money Jihad blog receives demands for zakat from Muslims all over the world from direct emails or from comments submitted on Money Jihad posts.  (See this old post for for a dozen examples of “zakat spam” we’ve intentionally left un-deleted.) 

These requests are laughable to anybody who is actually familiar with the content of this blog.  As an anti-poverty program, zakat has an abysmal record.  As a terrorist financing method, zakat has been wildly successful.  This blog donating a single penny in zakat would be as absurd as saying that Islam is a religion of peace.

This message we received through “Contact us” from an entity purporting to be “Islamic Relief Aid Uganda” is also absurd, laughable, and disturbing.  Their IP address corresponds to Kampala, Uganda.

Name: Islamic Relief Aid Uganda
Email: uganda@islamicreliefaiduganda.tk
Website: 
Message: Assalamu alaikum Brothers
 
This is an Email from Islamic Relief Aid Uganda.we need to fight Christians who want to take over our land in Northern Uganda,we are requesting for Money Jihad Brothers to help us fight the Christians get out of our land and this will require publication of materials to be distributed to all Mosques.
 
We Officially submit this application as United 220 Mosques Leaders for request of Support USD 8,000 to buy a Printing Holy Quran Machine and Printing Papers.
 
We appeal to Money Jihad Administration and the Director for support.We look forward for response in Names of Allah.
 
The Bank Account is available on request
 
> Time: Sunday June 12, 2011 at 3:38 am
> IP Address: 41.210.173.26

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Terror topdog convicted

June 18, 2011

The creepy, skeletal, grinning Muslim cleric and jihadist terror kingpin Abu Bakar Bashir has been convicted to 15 years in the slammer by an Indonesian court for terror-related charges.

The trial of Abu Bakar Bashir, an Islamist cleric who is the spiritual father of Southeast Asian jihadists and the mastermind behind the 2002 Bali bombing, has proved instructive about jihad funding strategies.  Bashir planned, persuaded, and pushed fellow true-believers to raise money for a jihad camp in Aceh.  Their techniques included bank robbery on the grounds that Islam permits theft against infidels and heathen banks

Historically, Bashir has sought and received funding from Saudi donors, Saudi charities, and Yemeni/Saudi expat Osama bin Laden.

Terror financier Bashir convicted to 15 year sentence

Laughing off his crimes

Read all about it:

RADICAL Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has been found guilty of raising funds for a terrorist organisation.

Bashir -widely regarded as a spiritual leader of Southeast Asian jihadists – was accused of providing funding for a paramilitary training camp in western Aceh province.

He was arrested last August after anti-terror police raided the Aceh camp, which police said was a training centre for militants targeting government officials and buildings.

The 72-year-old was convicted of conspiring in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, but acquitted on appeal.

Hundreds of supporters of the 72-year-old preacher packed the courtroom and stood vigil outside, where they held prayers and vowed to avenge their leader if he was convicted.

Draped in his customary white robes and skull-cap, Bashir told reporters in his holding cell before the trial resumed that the democratically-elected leaders of Indonesia were “at war with Islam.”

The man who allegedly inspired young radicals to launch the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, also repeated claims today that he was being framed by Australia and the United States.

He was convicted of conspiring in the Bali bombings but acquitted on appeal.”They want me to disappear from Indonesia. And they want a verdict so that I will no longer be with the community – if possible for me to be killed,” he said.”The benefit to them? To kill Islam, to kill defenders of Islam, arrested and killed without reason.”

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10 years after 9/11, Treasury looks at hawala

June 17, 2011

The failed Times Square bombing has prompted FinCEN to consider tightening the screws on hawala.  The shocking thing about this article from MoneyLaundering.com on June 14 is that it has taken so long for FinCEN to become concerned about hawala.  The 9/11 Commission found that hawala played a significant role in Al Qaeda’s financing, particular after the East Africa embassy bombings, but also including 9/11 itself.  We also already knew that Italian hawaladars played a role in financing the 26/11 terror attacks against Mumbai.

The sad thing is that, even though FinCEN has become more worried, the only apparent “solution” offered in this article is closer cooperation with law enforcement.  Here’s a suggestion:  outlaw hawala in the U.S., and as soon as any hawala operator is discovered, get a warrant, seize his records, cuff him, jail him, put him on trial, and bulldoze his office after his conviction.

Failed Bombing Prompted Treasury to Scrutinize Unregistered MSBs, Hawala Networks: Sources

By Brian Monroe

Last year’s failed Times Square car bombing has been the chief impetus behind a recent U.S. Treasury Department’s initiative to identify unregistered money services businesses and hawala networks, according to sources.

The department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) began more closely screening the suspicious activity reports (SARs) it receives after it was disclosed that Pakistan-born Faisal Shahzad, who attempted in May 2010 to blow up an explosive-packed Nissan in the heart of Manhattan, had received funding for the operation through hawala brokers, said an individual familiar with the matter.

After the disclosure, the bureau began more closely working with regional law enforcement officials and regulators to determine how to better identify similar brokers, known as hawaladars, said the person, who asked not to be named. In May, FinCEN asked money services businesses (MSBs) to report the names and tax identification numbers of their agents, among other data.

After the attempted bombing, FinCEN officials were “very worried” because, along with the Internal Revenue Service, the bureau is responsible for oversight and enforcement of MSBs, said the person. FinCEN officials wanted to find a way to thwart transfers similar to those received by Shahzad, who accepted $12,000 in funding via a hawaladar from co-conspirators in Pakistan.

Following Shahzad’s arrest, there is a “greater realization in law enforcement that these hawalas can be tied to some pretty serious stuff,” including terrorist financing, said Martin Ficke, a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent. “These agencies have to do something to close that gap.”

The number of hawala brokers in the country remains a guess at best. While FinCEN lists more than 42,000 registered MSBs on its Web site, the number of unregistered MSBs, including hawala operations, is close to 160,000, according to a 1997 estimate by a third-party consultant commissioned by FinCEN…

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Muslims stealing from Jews raised few eyebrows

June 16, 2011

The Islamists and international Left have long protested the “theft” of land by Israel from the Arabs of the Palestinian territories.  However, they have been utterly silent on the property that Arab nations stole from the Jews that they kicked out of Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, etc., during the 20th Century.  Here’s the rundown from YNet back on May 15 (h/t EoZ):

‘A Jew shouldn’t control Muslims’

The Jews’ situation began deteriorating with the Arab national awakening, before the State of Israel’s establishment. “From a British mandate, Iraq turned into an autonomic state in 1932 and immediately began disinheriting the Jews,” says Yehuda.

“They weren’t accepted to schools and universities and were dismissed from jobs with all sorts of claims.”

Who led the restrictions?

“The Arab nationalists and the militant Muslims. Read the rest of this entry ?

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PA payments to terrorists is old news

June 15, 2011

This post a couple weeks ago looked at a new Palestinian Authority measure to pay salaries to terrorists in Israeli jails.  But not to worry!  The PA has announced that it’s actually nothing new; they’ve been doing it since 1994.  It just wasn’t codified in the law books until now.  Now you can rest easy, Israel!

From The Jerusalem Post and PalWatch (h/t Elder of Ziyon):

PA Ministry of Prisoners confirms PMW report on salaries to terrorists
 
PA to Jerusalem Post: PA “policy had always been to pay salaries to prisoners and their families ‘regardless of their political affiliations.'”
 
The following is the Jerusalem Post front page story on PMW’s report about the new Palestinian Authority law that all terrorists in Israeli jails are to be paid salaries by the PA. The PA Ministry of Prisoners confirmed to the Jerusalem Post the PMW report that they indeed pay these salaries, and added that they recently raised the salaries. They stated however that they have always paid salaries to prisoners. PMW notes that since it was their own official daily that reported on the new legislation, it seems that the PA practice of paying salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons has now been formalized through new the PA law.
‘New PA law to grant all convicted terrorists monthly pay’
By Jerusalem Post Staff (Page 1 story) 

A new Palestinian Authority law grants a monthly salary to all Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terrorism, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) says in a report being released on Friday.

While Palestinian car thieves in Israeli prisons will not receive a salary, Hamas and Fatah terrorist killers will, the report says. Those serving sentences of more than 20 years will receive higher salaries, according to the new PA law. Salaries are to be paid from the day of arrest until release.

The PMW report points out that more than 6,000 Palestinians are currently serving time in Israeli prisons for terror- related offenses. Among those now eligible for salaries are Abdullah Barghouti, serving 67 life sentences for acts that include planning the Sbarro restaurant (2001) and Moment cafe (2002) suicide bombings in Jerusalem; Hassan Salameh, serving 38 life sentences for offenses that include planning a series of 1996 bus bombings; and Jamal Abu al-Hijja, serving nine life sentences for planning 2005 bombings in Hadera and Netanya.

The new PA law stipulates that payment “will be implemented…on the basis of available sources of funding.” Accordingly, when the PA is short of cash, salaries to the prisoners will be cut, said PMW. Direct foreign aid to the PA could be part of the “available sources” for terrorist salaries or could free money elsewhere in the PA budget that could be used for these salaries, the report says…