Archive for the ‘News commentary’ Category

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Hezbollah expects payday from Iran deal

April 14, 2015

Excerpts follow from an IPT report regarding the effect of a nuclear deal with Iran that would lift sanctions against them.  Iranian catspaw terror groups stand to benefit from the money that will flow their way.  Hat tip to El Grillo:

The framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is set to refill Iran’s coffers and enable the Islamic Republic to invest considerable treasure in its regional network of terrorist and guerilla proxies…

They include the Shi’ite Lebanese organization Hizballah – the most highly armed terrorist entity in the world, active in the Syrian civil war – the Shi’ite Houthi forces currently seizing and destabilizing Yemen, a plethora of militant Shi’ite militias in Iraq, the Islamic Jihad terror group in Gaza and the West Bank, and Hamas, with which Iran has recently mended relations. Iran has begun sending Hamas, which rules over Gaza, tens of millions of dollars for its combat tunnel reconstruction and rocket manufacturing programs. The Iranian investment in Gaza’s Islamist war capabilities will only rise after sanctions are lifted.

Iran will also be able to use the money to boost its partners, who are increasingly reliant on its aid, and which are subject to Iranian directives. Iranian regional partners include the Assad regime in Syria, which has killed enormous numbers of innocent civilians in the country’s civil war, and the Shi’ite Iraqi government, dependent on Iranian support in the war against the Islamic State.

Once international sanctions are lifted, Iran stands to secure over $100 billion in unfrozen funds in foreign exchange assets around the world. Soon afterwards, international companies are expected to rush into Iran to invest, and oil sales will resume, generating huge new revenue sources.

The Islamic Republic will, without question, siphon off a part of that money to its various tentacles abroad, providing them with cash, training, and array of weapons, such as guided rockets and missiles for Hizballah, firearms and projectile capabilities to militias in Iraq and Yemen, and missiles for the Assad regime in Syria…

Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah has acknowledged the impact of lifting the sanctions on Iran, telling a Syrian television channel on Monday that the deal will “strengthen Tehran’s role in the region.”

“Iran will become richer and wealthier and will also become more influential,” Nasrallah told Syria’s Al-Ekhbariya TV. “This will also reinforce the position of its allies.”

“A stronger and wealthier Iran, in the coming phase, will be able to stand by its allies, and especially the Palestinian resistance, more than at any other time in history,” Nasrallah stated…

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Pakistan arrests 75 clerics for financial crimes

March 31, 2015

Pakistan claims to have frozen bank accounts that were used to funnel the equivalent of 100 million USD to terrorists and money launderers. Pakistan has also “recovered” $1 million from “clerics” and banned organizations. One hundred and fifty people, half of whom are Muslim clerics, have been arrested for hawala, money laundering, or other suspicious transactions during an unspecified timeframe.  From The Express Tribune:

National Action Plan: Over Rs 10 billion in foreign terror and AML funds frozen

By Zahid Gishkori

Published: March 25, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Authorities in Pakistan have frozen a number of accounts used to funnel Rs 10.2 billion in cash to terror and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) suspects, officials overseeing the National Action Plan (NAP) told The Express Tribune.

Law enforcement agencies also recovered Rs 101.7 million either from clerics or workers of banned organisations, they said.

These actions — taken with the assistance of the State Bank of Pakistan — are part of the overall efforts to throttle the flow of foreign funding to terrorists and proscribed organisations in the country.

Nine days after militants mounted a bloody attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, the government formulated the action plan in a bid to purge the country of all kinds of terrorism.

“To choke terror funding [in all shapes] is our top priority, this is our strategy to weaken foreign-funded militants,” said Hamid Ali Khan, national coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta). Under UN Security Council resolutions 1,267 and 1,373, he explained, Pakistan is bound to stop terror funding.

Another senior official of the interior ministry said both the UN resolutions bound member states not only to take measures against terrorists but also establish a global sanctions regime against designated individuals and entities associated with notorious global terror networks.

The official, who did not want to be named, revealed that civilian and intelligence agencies have arrested 150 people, half of them clerics, in violation of laws dealing with hawala, hundi, suspicious transactions and anti-money laundering by registering cases against 130 individuals who were getting money from foreign countries including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Australia, the US, the UK, Hong Kong, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait…

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UN adds JI’s “humanitarian” wing to Al Qaeda sanctions list

March 27, 2015

The UN, Australia, and Canada have added the Hilal Ahmar Society Indonesia (HASI) to their list of sanctioned Al Qaeda entities according to Mr. Watchlist. HASI is also known as Yayasan Hilal Ahmar or the Indonesia Hilal Ahmar Society for Syria. It “operates in Lampung, Jakarta, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Solo, Surabaya and Makassar, Indonesia,” according to the sanctions announcement, which describes HASI as “recruiting, funding and facilitating travel of foreign terrorist fighters to Syria.”

The U.S. sanctioned HASI, which calls itself the “humanitarian wing” of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, in September of last year.

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Indonesia nabs 6 ISIS fundraisers

March 24, 2015

Counter-terror police in Indonesia have arrested six people on charges of recruiting and funding jihadists to join the fight in Iraq and Syria. Young Muslim men the world over are answering the call of ISIS. They all need money for airfare. They’re getting that money from (usually) older men like those who were just arrested in Indonesia.  Many of the recruits are flying into Turkey.

From Sunday’s Jakarta Globe (h/t: El Grillo):

Densus 88 Arrests Six People Over Islamic State Recruitment

By Jakarta Globe on Mar 22, 2015

Jakarta. The National Police’s anti-terror squad Densus 88 on Saturday arrested six people for allegedly helping recruit and fund Indonesians to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight with the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

“We arrested six people, but it seems that only four people were actively involved [in recruiting],” said Comr. Gen. Badrodin Haiti, deputy chief of the National Police.

The arrests were made in Kebayoran Baru in South Jakarta, Bekasi and South Tangerang. Badrodin said the four allegedly funded and recruited Indonesians, and prepared IS propaganda.

On Sunday Densus 88 officers raided the Bogor home of Muhammad Amin Mude, who was one of the six detained on Saturday.

“We suspect him to have been involved in facilitating and helping fund local citizens who are going to Iraq and Syria,” Densus 88 spokesperson Sr. Comr. Faisal Tayeb said on Sunday.

He added police confiscated a number of IS related documents.

Amin’s wife, Wirda Lukman, has vehemently denied the allegations…

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Terror for hire: son of El Presidente busted for aiding Hezbollah

March 23, 2015

The son of Desi Bouterse, Suriname’s former president, has pleaded guilty to offering a base for Hezbollah to operate. Dino Bouterse also admitted that he trafficked drugs. This story brings together a lot of the common themes we see with a Hezbollah in South America: a mix of corruption, drugs, secret terror encampments, and politically connected palm greasers:

From Reuters earlier this month:

Suriname leader’s son gets 16 years U.S. prison for Hezbollah aid

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – The son of Suriname’s president was sentenced on Tuesday to 16-1/4 years in prison, after pleading guilty last August to U.S. charges that he tried to offer a home base to the Lebanese paramilitary group Hezbollah.

Dino Bouterse, 42, who worked in a Suriname counter terrorist unit, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan. Bouterse had also admitted to drug trafficking and firearms charges.

U.S. prosecutors accused Bouterse of inviting people he thought were from Hezbollah to establish a base in his home country, located north of Brazil, in exchange for $2 million that was ultimately not paid.

Bouterse was arrested by Panamanian authorities after a sting in which he allegedly talked about his activities with confidential informants from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Hezbollah has since 1997 been designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization…

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Dawood targets the poor for money mule scheme

March 17, 2015

Dawood Ibrahim, the international fugitive, terrorist financier, and underworld kingpin, is reportedly opening bank accounts in India through unsuspecting depositors. Dawood and his “D-Gang” agents are offering money to poor people in rural areas to open new bank accounts under their own names, then turn their ATM cards back over to Dawood’s operatives. Compliance standards at rural banks are considered to be less stringent than big city bank standards. This suggests that the rural banks are not as likely to file suspicious activity reports with India’s financial regulatory authority. D-Gang has managed to launder 59,000 crore Indian rupees (940 million USD) through such schemes.

From OneIndia News on Mar. 16 (h/t Arun):

…How is the money deposited in banks:

The Enforcement Directorate which has been probing a series of such cases has found that most of the money is parked in the nationalized banks.

Out of the 1600 branches in which the money has been parked, 900 branches belong to the nationalized banks, an ED official informed Oneindia.

The money which is earned through various illegal means such as drug and arms trade and even lottery scams are parked directly into the nationalized banks by agents of the underworld.

These agents never open accounts in their own name. They target people who are in need of money and ask them to deposit the money into their accounts.

It has been found during the investigation that persons in need of money are asked to first open accounts and they are paid a sum for the same.

They are then given money and asked to deposit the same. For every transaction of Rs 100,000, the original account holder is paid a sum of Rs 5,000.

The ATM cards are handed over to the agents who use it to draw the money when ever they like…

“Whenever they like” meaning for whatever purpose or plot Dawood intends.

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“Brooklyn man” funds travel for ISIS

March 16, 2015

As if “Brooklyn” is the best adjective that could have been selected to help explain Abror Habibov’s motive and background.

Habibov is actually an Uzbek with an expired visa who operates mall kiosks in Georgia, Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Habibov told one of his employees, a younger man from Kazakhstan named Akhror Saidakhmetov, that he would help arrange and pay air travel for him to join up with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Saidakhmetov was being monitored by authorities. Around Jan. 30, Saidakhmetov called Habibov to ask for extra money related to his planned flight to Turkey. Habibov told him, “Don’t worry about the fare and the expenses needed for going there. Dear Akhror, as you might recall, I promised you that we’ll do it. If you say you need to buy your ticket, then I’ll deposit cash… cash into your account.” They intended to keep in touch by Skype. Habibov said he could send more money if he needed it.

By the way, regarding the phrase, “I promised you that we’ll do it,” who is “we”?

One might think that a U.S. resident and unnamed associates using a front company to finance a youngster’s travel and enlistment with ISIS might make national news. But The New York Times saw fit to relegate this story to their “regional” news section.

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