Posts Tagged ‘Australia’


Indonesia says terror financing “kingpin” is native Australian

September 15, 2015

Indonesia’s financial intelligence unit has traced the source of half a million dollars for jihad in Syria:  an Australian man married to a Javanese woman.  An Indonesian official says, “That man collected money from many people in Australia” (emphasis mine).  Hopefully this intelligence is being shared with Australian intelligence and law enforcement.  From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (h/t @skinroller) on Sept. 13:

Australian man linked to cash supporting terrorism, sending fighters to Syria: Indonesia

Indonesian authorities have revealed they have linked an Australian man to $500,000 they suspect has been used to support terrorism and send Indonesian nationals to Syria to fight with Islamic State.

The Australian man is married to an Indonesian woman who the ABC understands is from Java but is now living in Australia.

In an exclusive interview with the ABC, Agus Santoso, the deputy chair of Indonesia’s financial intelligence body Intrac, said they had tracked 5 billion rupiah from bank accounts in Australia that has been transferred to at least 10 accounts in Indonesia.

“That man collected money from many people in Australia. Then he sent it to his wife’s account in Indonesia,” Mr Santoso said.

“So this Indonesian woman was used to open some bank accounts which we suspect have links with terrorism suspects.

“What is surprising is that the kingpin is not an immigrant. In my opinion he is native Australian, not an immigrant. I mean, he is white.”

Intrac, also known as the Financial Transactions and Analysis Centre (PPATK), has tracked the money since 2012 and said some of the funds were still active in Indonesian accounts.

Mr Santoso said he strongly suspected the money was being used to send Indonesians to Syria, while also funding IS recruitment to strengthen the terrorist network in Indonesia.

He said $500,000 goes a long way in Indonesia.

“It only costs $250 to make a bomb,” he said…


“Fact check” on halal-terror links ignores facts

April 21, 2015

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Fact Check” department recently examined politician Pauline Hanson’s comment that the halal certification business “is a profit money-making racket. The money goes into Islamic organisations and has been connected to the Muslim Brotherhood in France and actually also in Canada.” ABC claims that “Ms Hanson’s claim doesn’t check out.”

Yet Hanson’s quotation is 100 percent accurate. Muslim Brotherhood affiliates have indeed profited from their dual roles as halal certification boards in France and Canada. ABC ignored the evidence in those cases. The Union of the Islamic Organizations in France and the Muslim Association of Canada—both strongly associated with the Muslim Brotherhood—have made significant profits from certifying food as halal. In the case of MAC, the money it made was subsequently given to IRFAN, a front charity for Hamas.

Instead of examining the French and Canadian evidence, the ABC focused exclusively on whether halal fees have ever been shown to fund terrorism in Australia. ABC reports that Australia’s financial regulatory agency said that “it had no information” and that other Australian officials are not aware of “direct links” between halal certification and terror finance.

Besides, at least in what ABC quoted Hanson as saying, she didn’t even mention terrorism.

It should be clear to fair minded readers that ABC’s article unfairly discredited a politician and disappointingly failed to investigate the facts of the UIOF and MAC cases.


Business executive charged with bribery is jihadist’s father & terrorist’s brother

March 29, 2015

Mamdouh Elomar, who is the father of a most-wanted terrorist who posed with the decapitated heads of his victims in Syria and the brother of a man convicted for one of Australia’s biggest terror plots, has been charged with foreign bribery offenses.

Elomar is one of the directors of Lifese, a Sydney-based construction company. The bribes were alleged to have been offered to Iraqi officials to win multi-million dollar contracts.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation offers this 3-minute report. Take a listen:

Charming family.


Senator calls for halal financial transparency

February 13, 2015

Questioning whether the halal industry in Australia may be financing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Sen. Jacqui Lambie is introducing a bill mandating disclosure of halal certification fees and creating a formal reporting mechanism for misuse of halal certification money. Given the documented intersections between halal certification boards and the financing of Muslim Brotherhood affiliates, this bill would be an important step in the right direction for all Western democracies, including individual American state legislatures, to consider adopting.

From the Australian Associated Press (AAP) on Feb. 10 (h/t El Grillo):

‘Halal money’ funds terrorism: Lambie

Independent Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie has questioned whether halal certification funds militants in Syria and Iraq.

Jacqui Lambie is threatening to introduce a private senator’s bill to stop what she believes is “halal money” funding terrorist group Islamic State.

In a late-night address to the upper house on Tuesday, the outspoken independent senator questioned whether halal certification funds militants in Syria and Iraq.

She said she was prompted to look into the issue after receiving hundreds of emails from concerned residents.

A study the Tasmanian senator commissioned the parliamentary library to examine exposed some “surprising facts” that alarmed her.

Certifiers are not legally required to disclose their fees, nor is there a formal reporting or auditing system to ascertain whether funds are being misused, she says.

“Given that our enemies in Islamic State are receiving a steady cashflow to control their caliphate in Syria and Iraq, why isn’t there a legal requirement in Australia for halal certification fees to be disclosed?” Senator Lambie said.

“And given that our nation is on high terrorism alert, while hundreds of Australian Islamic State sympathisers are fighting our ADF forces in Iraq, why is there is no formal reporting or auditing mechanism in Australia to ascertain whether monies paid for halal certification are misused?”…


Terror finance in Australia: suggested reading

January 2, 2015
  • Authorities are watching young men who have raised money for militant groups and for travel to Syria… more>>
  • Police have conducted five raids in Melbourne involving the financing of terrorism (h/t Talha)… more>>
  • A money service business in Sydney has been suspended over terror finance concerns (h/t El Grillo)… more>>
  • A Muslim young adult who plotted a “public killing” in Sydney and sent $6,000 to Syria has been arrested for funding jihadmore>>

Financial war on terror news: suggested reading

November 27, 2014
  • “No doubt” that halal certifiers fund extremism, says member of parliamentmore>>
  • ISIS wants to mint its own coins—not for practical, economic reasons—but to impose sharia lawmore>>
  • How to defend against piracymore>>
  • Fresh analysis puts cold water on claims that looted antiquities are ISIS‘s 2nd biggest revenue source… more>>
  • The fine line between paying informants for intelligence and paying ransoms to terrorists just got fuzzier… more>>
  • Yusuf Qaradawi, the world’s most prominent sharia finance advocate, calls on Muslims to take arms against Israel… more>>

Jihadist’s family out of business after secret $9 million transfer to Lebanon

September 29, 2014

Australian financial authorities have foiled an ongoing attempt to keep millions of dollars in transactions off the books by a remittance company owned by a terrorist’s sister and her husband. The case illustrates the possibilities for financial system abuse by small, non-bank financial companies based in the West with significant business operations in high-risk countries like Lebanon. The case also provides justification for probing the money trails and the sympathies of the families of convicted terrorists.

Hat tip to El Grillo for sending in related news. From The Sydney Morning Herald on Sept. 17:

Sharrouf family firm shut over terror funding fears

A Lakemba money transfer business owned by the sister and brother-in-law of convicted Sydney terrorist Khaled Sharrouf has been suspended amid concerns it was sending millions of dollars to the Middle East to finance terrorism.

Damour Sharrouf and her husband Ahmed Alwash have had their Lakemba firm Bisotel Rieh Pty Ltd suspended after the financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC became concerned about millions of dollars sent to Turkey and Lebanon that the firm has failed to account for. It is the first such suspension over suspected terrorism financing.

Ms Sharrouf, 37, is the older sister of Khaled Sharrouf, the 31-year-old who is wanted for terrorism offences and who escaped to the Middle East on his brother’s passport.

Local business owners told Fairfax Media they had seen Khaled Sharrouf inside the Lakemba business, which also operates a travel firm, before he went overseas.

“Yes, I’ve met him before,” barber Mohamad Machlouche, who owns the business next door to the money transfer firm, said. “He seemed different before [he went overseas]. He seemed normal, looking for work, was a normal person.

“No one on earth was expecting anything like this.”

According to the money transfer firm’s website, it has an office in the northern Lebanon city of Tripoli, seen as an epicentre for Sunni extremism in the country and a gateway to funding militant groups in neighbouring Syria – raising the possibility that money could even have gone to the brutal Islamic State group.

AUSTRAC’s acting head John Schmidt told Fairfax Media the agency’s concerns were based on the fact that Bisotel Rieh was failing to report all of the money it sent overseas and often refused to reveal who was ultimately receiving the funds. Also, it was sending money to “high terrorism financing risk jurisdictions”.

“We’ve had some concerns about the quality of their reporting. For example, for the period from January to August this year, they reported international funds transfers of $12.3 million. We believe from other sources that it was in fact closer to $21.3 million,” Mr Schmidt said.

“So in that eight-month period, there’s already a $9 million discrepancy. That causes concerns.”…


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