Al Qaeda extorts businessmen in IraqFebruary 4, 2014
Al Qaeda shakes down businessmen as a form of zakat, the traditional Islamic tax on wealth. Other jihadist groups, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, have taken the same tack. Years ago, Osama Bin Laden admonished businessmen to give their money to jihad, and Ayman al-Zawahiri has continued making similar statements since he took over Al Qaeda. They use the money to pay salaries and to buy explosive devices.
Under classical sharia jurisprudence, zakat is not optional or voluntary in the sense of Western charity or alms. Zakat is enforceable by the caliph under penalty of death, and Abu Bakr waged Islam’s first war against Muslims who refused to pay zakat.
It is little wonder then that Al Qaeda and the Taliban feel justified in taking money by force from Muslims for the furtherance of Islam.
Al-Qaeda financiers arrested in Ninawa
Police have arrested four members of an armed group involved in collecting money for al-Qaeda by way of threats and extortion, Iraqi police in Ninawa province said Monday (January 27th).
“The police arrested four al-Qaeda-affiliated gunmen involved in collecting money for al-Qaeda by threatening citizens, so they could use it to finance terrorist operations,” Ninawa police spokesman Col. Khalid al-Hamdani told Al-Shorfa.
“The police arrested the group in an ambush set up in al-Sahel al-Aysar, southern Mosul, as they tried to extort a businessman, threatening him with death in order to take money from him,” he said.
“The gunmen admitted to belonging to al-Qaeda during the investigation, after being confronted with evidence collected by police,” al-Hamdani said. “They confirmed that the money was collected for al-Qaeda to buy cars and rig them with explosives.”