Archive for the ‘News commentary’ Category


UN suspects Mali terrorists are poaching wildlife

October 27, 2015

Slaughtering elephants and selling their ivory?  Using the profits to buy weapons?  The worrisome thing about this report is that it comes from Mali, not from East Africa where such reports are more commonplace.  It suggests that the tactic of poaching to fund jihad is spreading to northwestern Africa.  From Vice News on Oct. 20 (h/t El Grillo):

Terrorist Groups Are Poaching Elephants In Northern Mali, Warns UN

Terrorist groups in northern Mali are among those poaching the region’s shrinking herd of desert elephants, according to the United Nations, part of a global wildlife trafficking trade that helps fund armed groups and fuel conflict.

“We strongly suspect there is a link between the poachers and the armed terrorists, who could be relying on the illegal ivory trade to finance some of their activities,” said Sophie Raviers, the UN’s environment representative in Mali…


Muslim gang looted German churches for ISIS

October 26, 2015

Muslim terrorists in India have been looting Hindu temples there for years.  The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has been stealing from religious minorities to fund their caliphate.  Now the same approach of robbing non-Muslims and their holy places to fund jihad has been adopted by some Muslims living in Europe, namely a group of gangsters led by a Moroccan.  From The Local on Oct. 20:

Cologne gang ‘stole from churches to fund Isis’

Eight young men appeared in court in Cologne on Tuesday charged with robbing churches and schools to finance Isis’ religious war in Syria.

When they broke into churches they stole collection boxes, crosses and other objects “dedicated to church services and religious veneration” prosecutors allege.

From the schools, the men stole laptops, money and a cash card, which they used to finance jihadist fighters in the Syrian civil war, alleged chief prosecutor Nadja Gudermann.

Security measures were heightened around the Cologne city court as the men were brought from police detention.

During the burglaries, which took place between 2011-14, the men are alleged to have stolen €19,000 worth of goods and often seriously damaged the premises before they left.


Worst terror rewarded with biggest stipends

October 20, 2015

This money doesn’t come from wealthy Saudi bankers or construction moguls making secret transfers.  It doesn’t come Iranian agents paying terrorist chiefs under the table.  It’s not black money from a multi-millionaire underworld boss hiding out in Pakistan.  It’s money that comes in plain sight through official budget outlays from the Palestinian Authority to convicted terrorists.

Please explain why one cent of Western aid money should go to the Palestinian Authority while this practice is ongoing.

From Algemeiner on Oct. 16:

…Every month, according to the bylaws of the PA, the organization transfers 17 million shekels to jailed terrorists who have been convicted of first degree murder or attempted murder of Israeli civilians.

The PA also allocates funds to the families of killers, with special grants for families of killers who die while committing an act of murder.

According to the PA distribution formula, the more severe the attack conducted by the terrorist and the longer the prison sentence, the larger the stipend.

Maher al-Hashlamon Hamdi, who was convicted to two life sentences for the murder of Dalia Lemkus in a car-ramming and stabbing attack last year, started receiving monthly stipends from the PA as soon as he was arrested.

Hamdi now receives 1,400 NIS a month. These payments will increase over time, and in the future, his monthly stipend will reach no less than 10,000 shekels.

Zaid Awad, who murdered Baruch Mizrachi on Passover Eve 2014, has received stipends from the PA totaling about 30,000 shekels. These stipends followed those he received for his previous imprisonment, before he was released in the Gilad Shalita prisoner exchange.

Amad Awad and Hakim Awad, who brutally murdered five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, have so far received almost 75,000 shekels each. According to the PA’s distribution formula for murderers, they’ll continue to receive stipends that will reach 12,000 shekels a month. When calculating the total sum throughout their lives, they will each possibly receive 2.4 million shekels for the multiple murders they committed.

This PA funding is an incentive to murder…


Britain cites Turkish transit of Syrian terror cash

October 19, 2015

British authorities have drawn attention to Turkey’s role as a transit point for the illegal flow of money from the U.K. into the hands of terrorists in Syria.  From the new report, “UK national risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing,” published by HM Treasury and the Home Office:

…Most recently, police investigations have shown that MSBs [money services businesses] are being used to send funds to Turkey and Egypt, eventually reaching foreign fighters in Syria. Funds are typically broken down in to smaller amounts to avoid the need to provide identification and to avoid detection. Intelligence also indicates that employees have been known to facilitate funds to terrorists through their position within MSBs…

… Amal El-Wahabi was convicted in 2014 for coercing a friend to carry 20,000 Euros (£15,800) to Turkey in an attempt to fund her husband’s jihad for ISIL in Syria…

…Turkey is a key hub for the flow of funds to Syria for terrorist use. Intelligence suggests that cash has been withdrawn from ATMs on the border of Turkey and Syria by foreign fighters engaged in fighting in Syria. Turkey does not control the full length of its land border and there are plentiful routes for smuggling goods and people into Syria. The movement of oil from ISIL controlled areas through a network of middle-men, and the risk of it moving through Turkey, is also of concern…


Italy paid $500K ransom to Somali pirates

October 13, 2015

A separate report from Al-Jazeera claims that Italy has also paid a multi-million dollar ransom to al-Nusra Front in Syria.

Informative reports, but it’s not just Italy that misleads the public about paying ransoms to villains and terrorists.  Many, if not most, European governments facilitate the payment of such ransoms.  We used to call it “funding both sides of the conflict.”  It causes wars to last longer.  European diplomats act like they are contributing to world peace, but their government-backed ransom payments are just prolonging the pain and strife.

From The Guardian on Oct. 8:

Italian intelligence lied about hostage rescue to hide ransom payment

Leaked document shows Italy made up story about 2012 rescue of Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz to hide ransom payment

Italy’s intelligence service helped concoct a false story about a rescue of hostages by security forces to hide a ransom payment, according to a leaked spy agency document.

The payment was made for the release of Bruno Pelizzari, an Italian, and South African Debbie Calitz, who were taken by Somali pirates in 2010 and released in 2012.

The document marked “secret” says the Italian intelligence agency AISE paid a ransom of $525,000 (£346,000). “To conceal the payment of the ransom, AISE, SNSA (Somalia’s national security agency) and the hostages agreed to inform the media and public that the release of the hostages was the result of a successful rescue operation by the Somali security forces.”

The document highlights the contradictions in the international response to kidnapping. Both the US and UK governments refuse to pay ransoms, but other European countries have a more ambiguous approach, routinely making payments while publicly denying it.

The Italian government response to the case of Pelizzari and Calitz reflects the confusion and obfuscation…


Hezbollah agent arrested in Atlanta

October 12, 2015

Hezbollah is brazen, organized, and among us.  They are sponsored directly by Shia fundamentalists in Iran.  They exploit Western free markets to fund Iranian terrorism.

From Reuters.  Hat tip to El Grillo:

Two alleged Hezbollah associates face US arms, money laundering charges

NEW YORK: Two Beirut residents have been arrested on U.S. charges that they took part in an alleged scheme to help Hezbollah launder drug money, and to funnel thousands of weapons and military parts to criminal groups in Lebanon and Iran, prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, said on Friday.

Iman Kobeissi, 50, was arraigned in Brooklyn on Friday and held without bail, following her arrest a day earlier in Atlanta on charges of conspiring to commit money laundering and conspiring to deal in unlicensed firearms.

The other defendant, Joseph Asmar, 42, was arrested in Paris on a U.S. warrant and charged with money laundering conspiracy…


Iranian billionaire sanctions evader on trial

October 8, 2015

Even leaving aside the terrorist financing and sanctions evasion, Iran’s financial system is as clean as a sewer.  Assets unfrozen by the Iranian nuclear deal aren’t only at risk of being used for nefarious purposes, but are also at risk for theft, mismanagement, and to worsen the corruption of endemic to the Iranian regime and its associates abroad.  This trial in Turkey helps illustrate that point.  From Today’s Zaman:

Iran may confiscate Zanjani’s assets in Turkey-linked graft case

All assets belonging to Babak Zanjani — supposedly the richest businessman in Iran who also has alleged ties with the prime figure in Turkey‘s graft scandal — might be confiscated, as sought in the indictment of his trial, known as the biggest corruption case in Iran’s recent history.

The Turkish daily Hürriyet reported on Monday the third session of the first hearing into Zanjani’s trial, which started on Oct. 3, and cited the Tehran deputy chief prosecutor who continued to be the reader of the 237-page indictment following the first and second sessions that were held on Saturday and Sunday.

While referring to the charges against Zanjani — which are mainly charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption both within Iran and in several other countries, including in Turkey — the deputy chief prosecutor said, “I [therefore] demand the confiscation of all of the defendant’s assets in Iran and other countries, including those assets that have been fraudulently transferred to his associates, in the national interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Zanjani, believed to be the richest man in Iran who has reportedly $14 billion in assets, is known for helping the Iranian government evade the Western sanctions that were imposed on the country over its disputed nuclear program.


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