Ten biggest terror finance news stories of 2012December 31, 2012
- Taliban funding remains intact despite international sanctions
Reports in 2012 revealed that the Taliban’s funding remains intact, that none of the Taliban’s assets have been blocked by U.S. sanctions, that the Taliban retains its taxing authority over Afghans, and that the UN sanctions only 18 percent of the Taliban’s provincial shadow governors in Afghanistan.
- Islamic charities remain top terror financiers
It’s questionable to even call this “news,” but understanding the role of Muslim charities in funding jihad, of which we saw multiple examples throughout 2012, is the Rosetta stone to bankrupting terrorism. Instances of Muslim charities behaving badly cropped up, and in some cases have worsened, in both in the Middle East and in the West this year.In the Islamic world, the Saudi charitable foundation IIRO, whose branches in Indonesia and the Philippines were previously blacklisted by the U.S. for funding terrorism, is opening seven new branch offices. In Bangladesh, the chief of the terrorist organization Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) revealed that Muslim Aid, WAMY, the Muslim World League, the Qatari Charitable Society, and the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, are among the primary donors to his jihad. In Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba’s charitable front group used Ramadan this year as an opportunity to raise funds in public for its terrorist enterprises. We have also learned that Muslim Lebanese charities don’t just fund Hezbollah, but Hamas too.
Meanwhile in the West, we found that the British-based Islamic charity, Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association, has publicly supported terror operatives. Also in the U.K., the Islamic charity Al Muntada Trust is under investigation for funding jihad by Boko Haram in Nigeria. The British-based Islamic Relief ran into trouble when UBS became fed up with the group and closed the Islamic charity’s Swiss bank account over fears that its money was funding terrorism.
In the U.S., some leaders of Islamic charities who funded terrorism are acting with impunity. The co-founder of an Al Qaeda front charity, the Global Relief Foundation, remains at large and still runs a mosque, and the chief of the jihadist entity Care International will not face any additional jail time. The good news is that the founder of the charity known as American Islamic Group was convicted for helping dirty bomber Jose Padilla, and that conviction was upheld earlier this year. An appeal to the Supreme Court from the Hamas-funding leadership of Holy Land Foundation was rejected. There have been several successful prosecutions of individual terror financiers this year, but unfortunately there have been no significant legal actions taken against suspicious Muslim-American charities in 2012.
In Australia, the Muslim NGO World Vision used government funds to aid Palestinian groups, allegedly including the terrorist group PFLP. Further information revealed in November showed that the Union of Good charity Human Appeal International remains a conduit from Australia for Hamas funding.
- HSBC’s work with Iran and sharia banks that support terrorism
A blockbuster U.S. Senate inquiry found that the British-based bank HSBC maintained a program for concealing illegal transactions with Iran; that HSBC illegally processed transactions through the genocidal, Arab supremacist, state sponsor of terrorism that is Sudan; that HSBC worked with Al Rajhi Bank and disregarded the Saudi financial institution’s terrorist links; and that HSBC partnered with Bangladeshi terror-funding sharia banks IBBL and Social Islami Bank, among other awful findings.
- Iran sanctions backfire and strengthen IRGC as nuclear programs near finish line
While contributing to the devaluation of the Iranian rial, international sanctions against Iran have not significantly deterred Iran from building its nuclear program. The sanctions may have even resulted in strengthening the Iranian regime and its state sponsorship of terrorism by reinforcing the central role played by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iranian society.
- Funding the Syrian rebels helps the Muslim Brotherhood
Bankrolling the Islamist Syrian rebels has been a major undertaking by regional neighbors of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but the U.S. and EU have been major sponsors of the rebellion as well. This has served to strengthen Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda elements that fight among the rebel ranks. For a lesson in why such funding and arming of jihadists is a bad idea, look at Benghazi, Libya.
Rounding out the top 10 terror finance news stories are 6) the failure of the U.S. hold Saudi Arabia accountable for funding the 9/11 terror attacks; 7) an encouraging series of financial setbacks for al-Shabaab in Somalia including Kenya’s military successes against al-Shabaab, the fall of Kismayo (one of Shabaab’s key revenue bases), and the successful prosecution of individual Somalis in the U.S. and U.K. who had supported al-Shabaab; 8) increasing signs that the halal food industry is financing terrorism (such as the IRFAN case in Canada illustrated); 9) the numerous public statements of the impending jizya that will be imposed on Coptic Christians by the Muslim Brotherhood’s government in Egypt; and 10) the maintenance of American foreign aid to Pakistan despite the U.S. knowing for at least two years that the Pak government aids and abets the Taliban.