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How entangled is the terror economy is with our own?

March 20, 2015

France 24 recently interviewed Professor Louise Shelley, author of the book Dirty Entanglements. Shelley discusses the variety of revenue sources available to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). She also points to trade-based money laundering as one of the techniques that ISIS uses to finance their activities. The interview also includes a discussion of Boko Haram and its reliance on human smuggling for money. Finally, Shelley addresses how low-level, petty crimes can culminate into larger threats; for example, the Charlie Hebdo attackers sold counterfeit Nikes to help cover their expenses.

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Islamic terror money: recommended reading

March 19, 2015
  • The U.K. has only frozen the bank accounts of 1 percent of British jihadists fighting for ISISmore>>
  • In response to the $655 million judgment against it, the PLO said “We will appeal.” Then the PLO blamed American victims of terrorism for having traveled to the Middle East in the first place… more>>
  • It was excluded from one list of threats to the U.S., but sanctions against Hezbollah remain in effect, 100 percent… more>>
  • International financial watchdog:  ISIS‘s “primary source of income comes from the territory it occupies”… more>>
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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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Negligence arms ISIS

March 13, 2015

CNN has video of U.S. weapons stolen by ISIS from the Iraqi army a couple weeks ago:

This kind of activity demonstrates the need to safeguard U.S. military equipment in countries where American combat troops withdraw.  Giving surplus equipment to allies isn’t a problem, but leaving dysfunctional, foreign military units in charge of that equipment with no residual U.S. force for accountability is a recipe for theft or worse.

Weigh this information carefully as you ponder whether Americans should make a wholesale withdrawal from Afghanistan, or whether we should pursue a more reasoned approach.

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Money and plots: suggested news reading

March 12, 2015
  • German police raid a mosque before a terror cell could meet with arms dealers in Bremen… more>>
  • Lajnat al Daawa al Islamiyya, a Kuwait-based charity designated by the U.S. and UN as a terrorist entity, was a donor to the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge where the Tsarnaev brothers worshipped… more>>
  • Two terrorist facilitators scam £150,000 from an elderly Englishman to fund jihad in Syriamore>>
  • Authorities have frozen its bank account of CAGE, a Muslim-British advocacy group that defends terrorists, but CAGE is still fundraising… more>>
  • A Yemeni bound for Qatar with £500,000 cash hidden in his luggage tells JFK airport authorities the money was for his “really big family”… more>>
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ISIS oil smuggling routes visualized

March 10, 2015

It’s not easy to depict the movement of terrorists’ money on maps. But the folks at Geopolitical Atlas have taken a good stab at it with respect to black market oil routes operated by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Their map illustrates how ISIS territory, Syrian and Iraqi oil fields, ISIS-controlled highways, and porous borders with neighboring sympathizers overlap:

Islamic State money pipelines

Hat tip to @skinroller for sending this over.

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