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Financial jihadists sink to 1-3 record

August 3, 2011

Hezbollah, Hamas, and al Qaeda in Iraq are all facing a financial pinch.  (Desperate financial appeals are nothing new from Gaza.  Al Qaeda in Iraq has been broke since the U.S. surge.  But these are still nice stories to read…)

Hezbollah

In recent months, Hezbollah has become involved in disastrous investments, losing almost €1 billion ($1.4 billion). The Iranians, who are now feeling the brunt of the UN sanctions imposed as a result of their nuclear activities, have made it clear that they cannot provide Hezbollah with additional funding at this time. This is embarrassing for Hezbollah, whose image in Lebanon depends in large part on its generous social services. It is now falling behind in the rebuilding of homes it had promised to Hezbollah’s Shiite followers after the destructive 2006 bomb attacks… (Der Spiegel, Jul. 12, h/t EoZ)

Hamas

Hamas also seems to be facing a financial crisis and, like the Palestinian Authority, has not been able to pay full salaries to its civil servants in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas legislator Yahya Musa called on the Hamas government to “be frank with the people and tell them the truth about the financial situation.”

Musa expressed concern over the Hamas government’s failure to pay full salaries to its employees for the last few months.

“If there’s a financial crisis, then the government should say so,” Musa said. “And if there isn’t a crisis, the government should quickly pay full salaries to all its workers.”

Sources in the Gaza Strip said that because of the financial crisis, the Hamas government has in recent months paid only half salaries to its employees.

Ismail Mahfouz, a senior official with the Hamas-run Ministry of Finance, denied that his government was facing a financial crisis. He said that the delay in paying the salaries was due to lack of cash in the hands of the government.”  (Jerusalem Post, Jul. 26, h/t Israel Matzav)

Al Qaeda

Al-Qaida in Iraq  has made an online appeal for new fundraising ideas, saying it is in dire need of money to help thousands of widows and children of dead fighters.

Insurgents of the Islamic State of Iraq – an umbrella organisation for Sunni militants in the country – have funded their operations in the past by robbing jewellery stores, banks and offices where the government pays out monthly salaries. But the group has seen its main source of money – funding from abroad – dry up, leaving the group strapped for cash.  (Guardian, Jul. 26, h/t Rantburg)

But the jihadists still have one organization in an enviable financial position.  The Taliban are swimming in a sea of euros from their French benefactors, the U.N. is busy lifting sanctions on individual Taliban members, and the U.S. inadvertently let $600 million of a $2 billion contract slip into a mixture of criminal and Taliban hands.

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