Posts Tagged ‘Anjem Choudary’

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Time for due diligence on welfare recipients?

March 19, 2014

This piece also appears at Terror Finance Blog:

The family of Boston marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received over $100,000 in public benefits from 2002 to 2012 according to documents compiled a year ago from state agencies by the Massachusetts House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight.

The aid included food stamps and welfare benefits to the Tsarnaevs’ parents and to Katherine Russell, Tamerlan’s wife.  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also received student financial aid and forbearance (although he probably omitted income from drug sales and auto repair referral kickbacks on his student aid application).

Public benefits, being somewhat fungible, free up money for the recipient to put toward purposes separate from what was intended.  During the period of time that Katherine Russell received food stamps and welfare payments (2011 through 2012), Tamerlan was able to fly to Russia in early 2012 to seek out radical connections.  In effect, the benefits that Tamerlan and Katherine received through her name may have enabled the purchase of Tamerlan’s plane ticket to the jihadi rat’s nest of the North Caucasus.

The question of public benefits funding terrorists in Boston comes after years of ongoing scandals documented in Great Britain, where dangerous Islamists like Abu Yahya, Anjem Choudary, Emdadur Choudhury, and Abu Qatada have had their homes, welfare benefits, and legal expenses paid from taxpayer money.  “Twentieth” 9/11 hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui also received welfare benefits in England, along with the family of Abu Hamza.  Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia have also dealt with the same exploitation of their generous public benefit programs by Islamists.

Several of these abuses probably occurred because of guidance that individual benefit recipients received from radical imams in their communities. Deceased terrorist imam Anwar al-Awlaki once wrote in Inspire magazine that, “All of our [Islamic] scholars agree on the permissibility of taking away the wealth of the disbelievers in dār al-ĥarb [the non-Muslim world] whether by means of force or by means of theft or deception,” for the purposes of carrying out jihad.  And the same Anjem Choudary mentioned above once encouraged Muslims living in the U.K. to collect public benefits as “jihad seeker’s allowance” instead of getting a job.

In light of this problem, it may be time to contemplate whether government agencies that issue public benefits should be required to adhere to the same know-your-customer provisions and due diligence requirements under which private sector financial institutions already operate.

Banks are required to conduct due diligence on account holders by carrying out activities like cross-checking their names against databases of sanctioned individuals or politically-exposed persons to help ensure that the bank is not assisting the customer in carrying out financial crimes such as money laundering, sanctions evasion, terrorist financing, graft, or other offenses.  Bank employees also have mechanisms and the responsibility to file reports when suspicious activity is observed.

However, there appears to be no equivalent legal requirement for government agencies that provide public benefits such as welfare payments, food stamps, or tuition assistance to undertake these due diligence and reporting functions.  Agencies screen applicant eligibility for a variety of public benefits (such as proof of financial need for student aid, and proof that you are actively seeking employment to obtain jobless benefits, etc.), but this screening tends to focus on the applicant’s legal eligibility for the benefit rather than on the risk that the benefit may be diverted by the recipient toward criminal or terrorist enterprises.

Neither is there a uniform standard for government agencies to report criminal misuse of public benefits to a central authority.  Rather, suspicions of fraudulent claims are handled differently by every agency awarding benefits, with different mechanisms for investigating and denying claims.  And again, the benefit fraud cases are focused on false claims by recipients who never should have received the benefit, and rarely target individuals who receive a benefit lawfully but misappropriate that benefit toward unauthorized purposes.

Should an assessment of high risk or an OFAC database name match be grounds for the denial of the benefit?  Perhaps not, but at least the filing of a suspicious activity report by a government compliance officer would provide additional data points for regulators to review and share with law enforcement as needed.

If due diligence requirements are worthwhile enough for the federal government to impose on the private sector, the private sector financial institutions have a right to ask the government to eat its own cooking.  This expansion of know-your-customer provisions to the government sector would seem especially important considering statements by radical imams and actions by terrorists like the Tsarnaev brothers to use public benefits to finance their planning and terrorist operations.

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Stealing for Islam is an accurate viewpoint

February 2, 2011

Islamic bank heist by veiled female

Islamic cleric and terrorist mentor Anwar al-Awlaki recently made headlines for advocating theft and other financial crimes against “hostile” powers like the United States.  The position al-Awlaki has adopted, however, is not held by him alone.

In an interview with World Net Daily (h/t RoP), British Islamist rabble-rouser Anjem Choudary said of al-Awlaki’s statement that, “That is an Islamic viewpoint, and that is based on the Quran and the traditions of the messenger Muhammad, that originally there is no sanctity for the life and the wealth of non-Muslims unless they embrace Islam or unless they covenant with them in a covenant of security.”  Choudary says that Islam permits killing and stealing against non-Muslims whose countries are at war with Muslim countries.  There is no “sanctity of life” or of wealth possessed by infidels. 

But don’t take Choudary’s word for it either.  Let’s go straight to the source.

Sura 8 of the Koran is entitled “The Spoils,” which refers to the booty that shall be taken from the infidels.  Al-Awlaki says that taking money by force from disbelievers as booty is the “best and purest form of income.”  The basis for his statement comes from the Hadith Sahih Bukhari, when Muhammad said, “the spoils of war are made halal for me” (see Volume 1, Book 7, Number 331). 

Al-Awlaki also cites a Hanafi scholar who says stealing from people in the dar al-harb “is considered mubah (permitted) just like hunting or wood gathering.”  Al-Awlaki references other traditional Muslim sources who say that theft and embezzlement are different from booty because they are taken by deception or trickery rather than by force, but that such theft and embezzlement is still legal.  Al-Awlaki’s full “ruling” is available at Jihadology.

How mainstream the view is within Islam is unclear, but it is clearly a commonly held view among jihadists.  It is noteworthy that Muhammad himself, the greatest example for Muslim men to follow, abandoned business and trade after declaring himself to be a prophet and lived off of looting and the spoils of war for the rest of his life.

See additional coverage on robbery for Islam here.