UN quietly lifts sanctions on Bin Laden accompliceJune 24, 2013
The UN’s sanctions committee removed Adel Batterjee’s name from its Al Qaeda blacklist earlier this year. News coverage of the removal appears to have been limited to Saudi media outlets. The U.K. followed suit shortly thereafter by lifting sanctions on Batterjee as well.
The shocking development casts further doubt on the cryptic de-listing process spearheaded by Canadian lawyer and UN ombudswoman Kimberly Prost that also led to white-listing of Muhammad Atta associate Abdelghani Mzoudi, jihadist financier Yasin Al-Qadi, and Al Qaeda check smuggler Soliman al-Buthe. Prost’s reports and recommendations to the UN committee are secret, and the decisions are made with no explanations, transparency, or opportunities for public comment.
Meanwhile, author J. Millard Burr has published a new book, The Terrorists’ Internationale, through the American Center for Democracy. Burr’s book documents the growth of Islamist terror groups in the 1980s and 1990s and the role of Sudanese intriguer Hassan al-Turabi in their development. In it, Burr describes Adel Batterjee as a “close friend” of Osama bin Laden who “‘had become an important figure in the jihad movement’ by the mid-nineteen eighties.” Batterjee moved back and forth between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to obtain financing for Lajnat Al-Birr Al-Islamiya (The Islamic Benevolence Committee), a bin Laden front charity.
Contradicting Batterjee’s claims that he had no contact with Bin Laden after 1991, Burr writes:
…Bin Laden and Batterjee had re-created their [Lajnat] charity in the Sudan and in 1992 registered it under a new name, the Al-Birr al-Duwaliya–known in the West as the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF). Its official headquarters was listed as Saudi Arabia, and Batterjee was named its director. Although centered in Khartoum, the “charity” continued to operate in Pakistan; Batterjee reduced the Al-Birr operation at Peshawar, but the small staff located there was likely called on to support Bin Laden’s interests in the Dawa Al Irshad at Murdike, and with two mujahideen training camps located in the Afghanistan-Pakistan borderlands…
The CEO of the Benevolence International Foundation served 10 years in federal prison on racketeering charges stemming from the foundation’s “charitable” work. In 2004, Treasury undersecretary Stuart Levy said that Batterjee “ranked as one of the world’s foremost terrorist financiers, and employed his private wealth and a network of charitable fronts to bankroll the murderous agenda of al-Qaeda.”