Posts Tagged ‘bank robbery’

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Low on donations, AQAP goes on robbery spree

November 21, 2014

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is robbing whatever they can—banks, post offices, and exchange houses in a desperate bid to keep the money flowing for their arms and operations, according to Yemeni sources.

Traditionally, robberies are a hallmark of poorly funded terrorist groups that are unable to obtain financial support from more legitimate channels such as contributions from sponsors. It is possible that as Iraq and Syria have become the target for wealthy Gulf donors, other fronts of the global jihad aren’t receiving the same level of sponsorship that they received a few years ago.

From Al-Shorfa on Nov. 6 (h/t El Grillo):

AQAP loots Yemeni citizens’ livelihood to fund its crimes

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has resorted to robbing banks and government facilities to finance its activities, researchers told Al-Shorfa.

In mid-October, AQAP stormed al-Udayn Post Office in Ibb province, stealing 30 million riyals ($140,000), the official news agency Saba reported.

In August, AQAP gunmen stormed the town of al-Qatn in Wadi Hadramaut and robbed a number of local banks and exchange companies, including the Agricultural Credit Bank and a branch of the National Bank, according to news reports.

AQAP is currently suffering from a shortage of funding, which it needs to cover the cost of its crimes and for weapons and explosives, said Saeed al-Jamhi, a researcher specialising in Islamist groups.

This is why the group has resorted to burglary, looting, bank robbery and plundering, despite the fact that Islam forbids such practices, he told Al-Shorfa.

“Extremism has many facets, including unlawfully shedding the blood of others — the most grievous crime,” al-Jamhi said. “Deeming the money of Muslims as permissible [to steal] is another aspect of extremism.”

AQAP resorts to misinterpreting and misrepresenting religious and jurisprudential texts, distorting their words or not interpreting their true meaning, he said, adding, “The sanctity of human life is greater than the sanctity of money, and whoever deems it permissible to take a human life has no qualms about seizing the money of others”.

“Al-Qaeda’s practices, including the heinous killings of innocent civilians, and its bank robberies and looting of state funds by plundering post offices, are unacceptable under Islamic sharia law,” al-Jamhi said.

“These acts have given the world a distorted picture of Islam and brought harm to Muslims,” he added.

Al-Qaeda ‘sheds innocent blood’

Fares al-Saqqaf, strategy advisor to the Yemeni president, told Al-Shorfa that AQAP’s bloodshed and looting indicates it is “in a state of great weakness and disarray”.

The group “is in an obvious state of weakness due to the war waged against it and the siege laid on it both domestically and abroad in the context of the war on terrorism, as represented by the military campaign battling it locally, the army’s pursuit of its gunmen and the blocking of its funding sources”, he said…

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ISIS steals $429 million in Mosul; IB Times cites Money Jihad in comparison of richest terror groups

June 12, 2014

Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken control of Mosul in a major setback for Iraqi and regional security.  Mosul’s central bank was seized in the process, and the International Business Times is reporting that ISIS gained control of the $429 million stored in the bank.  IB Times cited Money Jihad‘s research into the richest terrorist organizations in the world as evidence that the seizure catapults ISIS to the top of the list.

Mosul Seized: Jihadis Loot $429m from City’s Central Bank to Make Isis World’s Richest Terror Force

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (Isis) has become the richest terror group ever after looting 500 billion Iraqi dinars – the equivalent of $429m (£256m) – from Mosul’s central bank, according to the regional governor.

Nineveh governor Atheel al-Nujaifi confirmed Kurdish televison reports that Isis militants had stolen millions from numerous banks across Mosul. A large quantity of gold bullion is also believed to have been stolen.

Following the siege of the country’s second city, the bounty collected by the group has left it richer than al-Qaeda itself and as wealthy as small nations such as Tonga, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Falkland Islands.

ISIS soars to upper echelon of well-funded jihadist groupsThe financial assets that Isis now possess are likely to worsen the Iraqi governement’s struggle to defeat the insurgency, which is aimed at creating an Islamic state across the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The Islamist militants took control of Mosul after hundreds of its fighters overwhelmed government  military forces in a lightening attack on Monday, forcing up to 500,000 people to flee the city and Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki to call a national state of emergency.

The militants freed up to 1,000 inmates from Mosul’s central prison, according to senior police officials. They are also in control of Mosul airport and local television stations…

An organized counter-offensive will be necessary to take back control of northern Iraq out of ISIS’s blood-soaked hands.  If more commitment had been made by the Obama administration on perfecting a status of forces agreement with Iraq prior to the departure of American troops, this may have been prevented.

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India: 5 bank robberies funded 2 mass casualty terrorist attacks

June 8, 2014

Two terrorist bomb attacks in India in 2013—the October bombing in Patna which killed 6 and injured 85, and July bombings at Bodh Gaya that injured 6—were funded by five bank robberies by jihadists in Madhya Pradesh.

This revelation comes from Indian Mujahideen operative Haider Ali, also known as “Black Beauty,” who participated in the Patna and Bodh Gaya bombings. Black Beauty received money for the attacks from Abu Faizal, also known as “Doctor,” who is in charge of the terrorist group Student Islamic Movement of India’s (SIMI) chapter in Madhya Pradesh. Doctor allegedly masterminded the bank robberies in the region to finance the bombings.

This case illustrates a new and menacing level of collaboration between the Indian Mujahideen and SIMI. From the Telegraph (hat tip to Jai) on May 29:

Bank loot finger at Simi for attacks

RAMASHANKAR

Students’ Islamic Movement of India (Simi) members have looted nationalised banks to fund their terror activities in the country, according to the confession of an alleged Indian Mujahideen operative.

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team took Haider Ali, alias Black Beauty, an alleged Indian Mujahideen operative, in remand on Friday.

Ali, along with three other key suspects in the 2013 serial bomb blasts in Patna and Bodhgaya, were arrested from Jharkhand last week. He is in remand till June 6. Ali (26), originally from Aurangabad, told the interrogators that he used to receive money from Abu Faizal, alias Doctor, the self-styled chief of the Madhya Pradesh Simi unit, to carry out terror attacks. He claimed that Faizal also provided funds for the Patna and the Bodhgaya blasts.

He purportedly revealed that Faizal was the brain behind five bank robberies in Madhya Pradesh, including a Mallapuram heist in Khandwa in which Rs 1.25 crore was looted in October last year. Ali had gone to Khandwa to meet Faizal before the terror attacks in Bihar last year.

A senior official of a central intelligence agency said Ali’s confession has helped the intelligence and security agencies to establish a link between the IM and Simi, declared a banned outfit in 2001…

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Indonesia becomes den of thieves for jihad

August 19, 2013

Eurasia Review has a very good article by V. Arianti laying out the dwindling funds available from international Muslim donors to Indonesian jihadists, and the replacement of those revenues with theft and bank robberies–a trend we’ve been following for a while.

Arianti correctly points out that terrorists in Indonesia have justified these robberies on the basis of Islamic law.  Reliance on theft is also a possible indicator of a weak financial status of the terrorist organizations involved.  Historically, terrorist groups turn to crime when they lack enough external or political support.

Thanks to El Grillo for sending this over:

Indonesian Terrorism Financing: Resorting To Robberies – Analysis

July 30, 2013

A record number of robberies have been perpetrated by terrorists in Indonesia over the past three years. This could be a sign of their inability to secure donations and international funding, the result of counter operations against terrorist and extremist groups.

By V. Arianti

SINCE 2010, there have been dozens of bank heists conducted by numerous terrorist cells, some of them linked to Mujahidin Indonesia Timur (Mujahidin of Eastern Indonesia or MIT). Led by Santoso, MIT is currently the most dangerous terrorist group in Indonesia and is responsible for a string of deadly attacks against police. Besides banks, the terrorists have also robbed gold shops, mobile phone shops, post offices, money changers, internet cafes, grocery stores, and construction material shops.

In the first half of 2013 alone, MIT’s funding arm, Mujahidin Indonesia Barat (Mujahidin of Western Indonesia or MIB) led by Abu Roban, reaped a total of Rp 1.8 billion (US$180,000) from a series of bank heists. While in the past, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and its splinter cells had conducted robberies to supplement their funding for terrorist attacks, two factors may explain the significant increase in the number of heists since 2010.

Dearth of international funding

Firstly, terrorist groups are finding it increasingly difficult to procure funding from international sources since the killing and arrests of key figures in the international fundraising network in 2009 and the growing decentralised nature of their network. Each cell is at present mostly manned by youths lacking international connections which the terrorist operatives of the past had.

The terrorism landscape in Indonesia prior to 2010 was characterised by the ability of key figures such as Hambali and Noordin Mohammed Top to attract international donors willing to fund high-profile attacks in Indonesia. Al-Qaeda allegedly funded the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings, the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing and 2004 Australian Embassy bombing in Jakarta.

The 2009 J.W. Marriot and Ritz Carlton Bombing was allegedly funded through a Saudi national, Ali Khelaiw Ali Abdullah who reportedly had a list of potential global donors. Another person with international connections for terrorism fundraising was Muhammad Jibril who allegedly flew with Ali in 2008 to Pakistan to establish contact with Al-Qaeda operatives and to Saudi Arabia to solicit funds to carry out attacks in Indonesia.

However, Jibril was in prison from August 2009 to November 2012. Abdullah Sunata, another key figure who had supplied funds from the Middle East for the insurgents in Southern Philippines, was arrested in June 2010 and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Secondly, terrorists are not able to secure enough money through “legitimate” means, such as donations from sympathisers. The extremist community has set up a few charities to provide financial assistance to the families of terrorists such as Gashibu Nusantara. However, if indeed a portion of the funds did go to terrorist cells, the sum would not only be insufficient, but also might not reach all cells equally.

Religious justification for robbery

In addition, the fact that some fugitive terrorists complained online of the reluctance among the extremist community to give them substantial financial assistance for fear of being arrested is likely another factor for resorting to robberies.

Although terrorists were able to gain sufficient proceeds from criminal activities, only a small portion actually went to funding activities, including for weapons procurement or training. Indonesia’s Counter Terrorism Agency (BNPT) Chairman Ansyaad Mbai in June 2013 noted that the terrorists used the rest of the money for personal gain. It is in line with terrorists’ arguments that it is religiously justified if they use funds for personal expenditure. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Armed robbery for jihad comes to America

June 2, 2013

Robbing banks to fund terrorism has been a technique used by radicals for decades in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.  Except for isolated incidents in the U.S., such heists haven’t normally been used by to finance domestic terrorism.

But if Erwin Antonio Rios had his way, outright theft for jihad would have come to American shores.  The 19-year-old Muslim convert wanted to commit violent robberies and use the loot to buy weapons and travel overseas.

From WNCN via Creeping Sharia:

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – A 19-year-old from Fayetteville pled guilty to charges related to his plans for terrorist activities, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Erwin Antonio Rios, 19, of Fayetteville, pled guilty Tuesday to a charge of possession of a stolen firearm. He was arrested in February.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said that Rios wanted to take the gun overseas to carry out what he called “jihad” on non-believers in Islam, U.S. forces included. The DOJ said Rios explained jihad as various forms of violence against those he determined to be non-believers. The DOJ characterized the intentions as terrorist activities.

In a press release, the DOJ wrote that Rios planned to fund his trip by committing violent robberies in North Carolina, leaving no witnesses alive.

“Erwin Rios intended to commit violent acts against innocent people in furtherance of his extremist doctrine of hate,” said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the FBI.

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Suspects robbed banks to fund terror

May 19, 2013
Indonesian law enforcement detain a hooded jihadist

Indonesian police hauling off one of the suspects

Indonesian police have carried out raids against 20 terrorists who were involved with raising money for jihad.  The men were involved with bank robberies in at least three different cities, and at least one jewel heist in Jakarta.  Four of the detainees had immediate plans for a new bank robbery in central Java.

Indonesian jihadists have previously asserted that robbing banks to finance terrorism is compliant with Islamic law.

From the Jakarta Post on May 10:

Terror suspects linked to Poso

The National Police’s counterterrorism unit, Densus 88, conducted a series of successful overnight operations against terrorists with links to the Abu Omar and Autad Rawa groups, the police say.

The 20 terror suspects — seven killed and 13 arrested — in the raids across Java are linked to the groups that collect money to support the activities of mujahidin (those engaged in jihad) in Poso, Central Sulawesi.

Early investigations indicated that the men had been involved in armed robberies at Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) offices in three cities.

“They stole Rp 790 million [US$81,192] from BRI in Batang and Rp 630 million from BRI Grobogan [both in Central Java]; and Rp 460 million from BRI Lampung. They also attempted to burn down Glodok Market in West Jakarta,” said National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar on Thursday as quoted by Antara news agency.

The suspects carried out various initiatives to collect money, including robbery.

“Four alleged terrorists were planning a robbery in Kebumen [Central Java], when they were arrested in an overnight raid in the regency,” said Boy.

It is alleged that one suspect, Abu Roban alias Untung, had been involved in some robbery cases — a jewelry store in Tambora, West Jakarta; as well as the three BRI offices — before Densus 88 officers killed him in Batang.

Police linked the suspects with Santoso, who is believed to be behind a series of attacks in Poso over the past few years.

Santoso himself is a former member of a terror group led by Basri, a member of the Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) group. Basri surrendered to police after a gunfight on Feb. 1, 2007, in Poso where a Muslim-Christian conflict killed at least 1,000 people over the course of 1998 to 2002.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Densus 88 personnel raided areas in Batang, Kebumen and Kendal in Central Java; Bandung in West Java; and Banten. During the raids, the officers shot dead seven suspects and 3 others were captured alive.

“The terror suspects killed during the raids were identified as Abu Roban, Bastari, Toni, Bayu alias Ucup, Budi alias Angga, Junet alias Encek and Sarame,” Boy announced.

The suspects captured alive in Jakarta were Agus Widharto, Agung, Endang, Faisal alias Boim and Iman.

Iwan and Puryanto were arrested in Kendal. While four others — Budi, Farel, Slamet and Wagiono — were apprehended in Kebumen.

The two suspects arrested in Bandung were Haris Fauzi alias Jablud and William Maksum, alias Acum alias Dadan.

The bodies of the three dead men were flown to Dr. Sukamto Police Hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta, on Thursday after being examined at Bhayangkara Hospital in Semarang.

During the raid in Ciputat, Densus 88 officers confiscated Rp 25.48 million, while in the Bandung raid, the police found two revolvers, an FN Browning pistol, hundreds of bullets and Rp 6 million in cash…

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Mumbai: bank robberies and bitcoin fund terror

April 16, 2013

The Indian Mujahideen have been using bank robberies to finance their activities according to a former high-ranking law enforcement official.  D. Sivanandhan is also concerned about bitcoin’s role in funding militants, but it should be noted that no evidence or data are included in this news report:

Banks looted to finance terrorism: Security expert

Mumbai, April 11 (IANS) Bit coin and crypto currencies are becoming major avenues for money laundering and terror groups often rob banks for funding terrorist acts, a top security expert said.

“Investigations have revealed that the hijackers of the Indian Airlines IC-814 had looted a bank three months before the (Kandahar) hijack, which helped them finance the entire terror operations,” said former Maharashtra director general of police and security expert D. Sivanandhan.

Similarly, the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen has also been allegedly involved in several bank robberies to finance its operations, Sivanandhan said at a conference — ‘Leveraging Innovative Security Solutions for Banks and Financial Institutions’ — that concluded here late Wednesday…

See related Money Jihad coverage of bank robberies for jihad here, here, and here, and background on the Indian Mujahideen’s financial activities, which include hawala and extortion, here.

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The top 5 terror finance films of all time

February 24, 2013

Thrillers about terrorism focus on adventure, explosions, and tension; while they may depict specific terrorist attacks and the logistics behind them, such movies rarely address the financing.  Meanwhile, movies about bank robberies, jewel heists, and corporate malfeasance show how bad guys finance themselves, but these financial crime films tend to boil down to greed, or the acquisition of money for personal use, rather than raising money for broader social objectives.

We are left with a handful of movies dealing with the actual financing of terrorism or rebel insurgencies, and those that do often address the subject briefly.  Although it’s tough to find movies that incorporate both elements, it’s worth the investment.  These five movies help illuminate important concepts in terrorist financing in ways that news articles and scholarly research cannot, and in ways that simple bank heist movies can’t either.  They’re also sure to entertain you along the way.

By the way, it took a long time to compile this short list, so please acknowledge Money Jihad if this ranking is reproduced elsewhere.

  1. “Casino Royale”—Le Chiffre is a bankroller to the world’s terrorists.  But he is being pursued by terrorists who want access to their funds immediately.  Le Chiffre sets up a high stakes poker game in Montenegro to get more money and restore his credibility with his terrorist clients.  His rival?  None other than James Bond, 007, who enters the match with money fronted by the British government.  If Bond wins, the international financing of terrorism will be setback; if he looses, the government will have directly funded terrorists.  While the men play their game, is Bond’s love interest being forced to work for an unnamed terrorist group in Algeria?This film shows how skill, charm, and a little bit of luck by Britain’s best spy can triumph over shadowy but well-connected forces behind the international financing of terrorism.
  2. “The Path to 9/11”—The television miniseries (especially Part I) that aired on ABC in 2006 includes an ensemble cast and multiple story lines, one of which focuses on the money trail that led U.S. intelligence to recognize the threat posed by Osama Bin Laden in the 1990s.  The trail begins with the cunning bomb maker, Ramzi Yousef, who bombs the World Trade Center and becomes and international fugitive.  From the Philippines to Pakistan, Yousef works on his explosives, causing mayhem wherever he goes.  He’s planning a massive attack–bombs detonating aboard flights, but to do it he needs money—real money—for materials, equipment, electronics, and men.  His comrade tells him about a Saudi millionaire who can help. Meanwhile, tired of going after “small fish,” the FBI’s John O’Neill and other senior members of the U.S. counter-terrorism community try to find out who’s funding Yousef.  The U.S. gets a nervous informant who is about to depart with Yousef on a trip to Afghanistan, where Yousef says they can meet his financier, whom he calls “the tall one.” The money chase story line earns this miniseries its place on the list, but even without it, the movie is a devastating portrayal of bureaucracy and politics getting in the way of mid and lower level agents who are trying to stop Bin Laden 9/11.  This important film is unfairly maligned by liberals who have flooded the Internet with an endless stream of angry, overly politicized criticism.
  3. “The Long Good Friday”—Unbeknownst to an English mafia boss, one of his lieutenants delivers cash to the Irish Republican Army, but skims a little for himself along the way.  The lieutenant ends up dead, and the boss, played by Ed Hoskins, and his loved ones wind up the target of a seemingly inexplicable bombing campaign. It turns that out another of his key gang members, a real estate developer who employs Irish workers, was the one responsible for the ongoing payments to the IRA.  While the bombs are exploding, Hoskins is trying to complete a major business deal with an American investor played by Eddie Constantine (who also appears in another noteworthy terrorist financing movie, “The Third Generation,” as a West German businessman who funds terrorism in order to sell equipment to security forces fighting it.)  His best advisers tell him to back down, but Hoskins thinks he can go toe-to-toe against one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world.  It’s a tense, exciting film, and it’s somewhat unique among movies for providing a glimpse into how front companies can be used to fund terrorism. Hoskins was widely praised for his performance, and Helen Miren who plays his wife is absolutely superlative.
  4. “Baader Meinhof Complex”—The movie portrays the terrorist acts committed by the Red Army Faction, or Baader-Meinhof group, in West Germany in the late 1960s and ’70s.  The group also carried out bank robberies which they regarded as legitimate “expropriation” to finance the revolution—a common Marxist terrorist fundraising technique.  Ultimately the first generation of the Red Army Faction fell apart.  It’s a well-done film that illustrates how the terrorists’ search for bigger and better attacks ultimately destroys and shatters not just the lives of their victims, but their own lives too.
  5. “Nighthawks”—Wulfgar, an international terrorist mercenary—sets off a bomb in England, striking “a blow against British colonialism” in Northern Ireland.  But children are killed in the attack, and the IRA refuses to pay him.  Struggling to overcome a shortage of pay and his damaged reputation, Wulfgar gets plastic surgery and sets off for New York.  There he hopes he can launch a major terrorist attack that will be covered by the news media capital of the world, and prove his worth again to international terrorist organizations that would hire him again if he succeeds.  He is aided by “Shakka Kappour,” a ruthless Moroccan terrorist in her own right.  Only cop-on-the-beat Sylvester Stallone can stop them, with assistance from his partner Billy Dee Williams and counter-terrorist expert LeGard, who does as good a job as anybody since Col. Mathieu from “The Battle of Algiers” in getting inside the mind of terrorists to defeat them at their own game.  Explosions, dramatic tension, and great pacing earn this overlooked thriller a place in the top five.

Honorable mention:  “A Bullet for the General”–Chuncho (or sometimes Chucho) and his bandits traffic arms for General Elías, a rebel leader during the Mexican Revolution.  Chuncho is joined by “El Niño,” an American man with mysterious motives.  They conduct a good, old-fashioned train robbery, seize rifles from a military garrison after assassinating its commandant, and dispossess the richest man in San Miguel of his wealth.  The film may not be the best of the Italian produced “Zapata westerns” set during the Mexican Revolution which all touched on similar themes, but it is one is quite germane to how an insurgent movement is armed and financed.

A problem worth noting about terror finance movies is that about half of them are designed convince audiences that terrorism is an artificial phenomenon created and funded by capitalists to increase profits circuitously.  While movies in this mold such as “The Third Generation,” “Burn!” and “The International” are relevant to the subject of financing terrorism or a revolution, and are entertaining, they are based on fundamentally flawed premises about the nature of the threat and cannot be wholly recommended.

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Greece arrests 4 left-wing terrorist bank robbers

February 12, 2013

Anarchist cell sought to finance terrorism

Four Greek radicals from the group Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire have been arrested after two simultaneous robberies on Feb. 1.

The guerrilla group’s 2011 essay, “The Sun Still Rises,” calls for “the rejection of work via holdups and robberies directed at the belly of the capitalist beast — the banks — with the goal being individual liberation from the eight-hour blackmail of wage-slavery on the one hand, and collective appropriation of and direct access to money for infrastructural needs and revolutionary projects on the other.”

Leftist radicals in Europe have often used bank robberies to finance terrorist activities—a tactic known as “expropriation of the private banks” endorsed long ago by Leon Trotsky.

From Kathimerini, a daily newspaper out of Athens:

Police probe terror link to bank heists

Two of four suspects detained in connection with a double bank heist near Kozani in northern Greece on Friday, are believed to be behind a series of bank robberies carried out to finance the creation of a new urban guerrilla group, Kathimerini understands.

Police had in 2011 issued arrest warrants against the two for membership of the terrorist organization Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire after physical evidence was found at suspected hideouts in Volos, central Greece, and Kallithea in Athens.

The two allegedly maintained contact with Christos Tsakalos, Giorgos Nikolopoulos and Damiano Bolano, who were convicted last year over a series of bloodless bomb attacks in 2009 and 2010.

One of the two suspects, a 24-year-old identified only as G.M., had been previously detained during a protest rally in Syntagma in February 2011 after he tried to shoot at police with a bow-and-arrow. He has since been dubbed the “Syntagma archer.”

The same person is also believed to have taken part in a fatal bank robbery on Paros last year, after which 29-year old Tasos Theofilou was charged with the murder of taxi driver Dimitris Michas, who was shot dead while trying to stop the gang from escaping after the heist. Theofilou was also charged for membership of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire.

Investigators have said that the island raid – like others being planned – was aimed at raising funds for terrorist activity. In a letter posted on the Internet after the Paros robbery, G.M. had allegedly expressed solidarity with the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the police has linked the same two suspects with the Agricultural Bank robbery in Florina, northern Greece, last November…

The Associated Press reports that four more suspects from the group are still being sought.  In all, the eight anarchist robbers “took €175,000 ($240,000) from the bank and €4,000 ($5,500) from the post office.”

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Theft by jihadists increasingly popular

October 4, 2012

Most funds raised by terrorists are collected on the basis of Islamic tax law.  For example, Al Qaeda has historically obtained its money from wealthy Arab donors’ zakat and sadaqa called for by the Koran and Hadith.  The Taliban has amassed a fortune from farmers’ ushr, Islam’s 10 percent tax on harvests.  Hezbollah has been heavily financed through khums, the Shia tax on profits based in the Koran.  Abu Sayyaf and AQIM have been enriched by ransoms which are permitted by the Koran.  Hawala, a means of transferring money established by Muhammad, has been a vital method of accessing cash for Kashmiri jihadists.

But a few recent stories suggest that robbery and banditry are gaining traction among jihadists as a means of funding themselves and their organizations.  Many Islamists view this as permissible because banks charge interest which is forbidden by Islam, the banks use “infidel” paper currency, and theft is justified if it is used in pursuit of jihad which trumps all other obligations.

What makes this story from Pakistan’s Express Tribune unusual is that we don’t normally hear of robberies by the Taliban (although it’s difficult to determine by reading the article whether all four names in the article are linked to the robberies, or if two suspects are extortionists and two are bank robbers):

KARACHI: Anti-Extremist Cell (AEC) of Crime Investigation Department (CID) has arrested two alleged terrorists belonging to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in two different raids in Karachi.

According to CID, two suspects, Dost Mal and Noran Gul were allegedly involved in various extortion incidents across the metropolis and were also responsible to provide medical treatment to injured TTP terrorists in worn-torn Waziristan.

Dacoits [bandits] arrested

Police said they had arrested two suspected robbers, Irfan and Sadique.

They said that two were wanted in as many as 10 robbery cases, as well as being involved in other heinous crimes as well.

Police claimed to have recovered two TT pistols and a hand grenade from their possession.

The report added that Irfan had recently escaped from custody of the Korangi police station during remand. But was caught after a few days…

And now this from the Times of India:

Take to robbery to fund terror operations, Indian Mujahideen men told

NEW DELHI: Indian Mujahideen (IM) members had been instructed to take to crimes like dacoity and snatching to fund their terror activities in India without depending on hawala money.

The Meet Vihar arms factory was also part of this deal to try and fund activities besides encouraging an illegal arms boom in the country.

The arrest of Mohammad Tariq Anjum Hasan (34) alias Ehsaan – the co-founder of IM and their most important recruiter on Indian soil – by the Special Cell has for the first time helped cops unfurl sinister plots that the IM had hatched to fund their terror activities.

A year after six men from the banned organization SIMI were arrested in Madhya Pradesh,the police claim IM had been orchestrating several big robberies across north and central India to fund their terror activities.

“While a select group of men are involved with the actual planting of the bombs, the other sleeper modules – mostly drawn from the erstwhile SIMI organization – have been instructed to indulge in street crimes to sponsor terrorism.

They have been asked to target jewellery stores and banks for this purpose,” claimed a source adding that these men run into hundreds, many of whom are not aware of the final plot.

Sources claimed that besides Madhya Pradesh, the terror imprint has been found on robberies committed even at Pune, Patna, Jaipur and Ahmedabad.

Earlier, the SIMI and IM terrorists arrested in Bhopal had said that they were also behind the armed robbery that took place at the gold finance company in Manappuram last August.

According to the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad (ATS), the gold loot worth 2.5 crore (13 kg gold) was planned and executed by the same men. They had robbed five banks in Dewas, Itarsi and two other places in the State and are also suspected to be behind the 2008 Ahmedabad blasts.

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Jewel thiefs & bank robbers do it all for jihad

April 1, 2012

Indonesian Islamists continue to illustrate how robbery for jihad is part of the fabric of Islamic law.  From the AP via ABC News on Mar. 19:

Police fatally shot five men who were suspected of planning robberies of money changers, jewelers and other targets on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali so they could fund terrorist attacks, officials said Monday.

Several semiautomatic guns, ammunition magazines and masks also were found during raids on a bungalow and a boarding house late Sunday, said Saud Usman Nasution, a national police spokesman.

“We believe they were trying to get money to finance other (terrorist) activities,” he said, adding the alleged ringleader, Hilman Jayakusuma, had been on a most-wanted list for more than two years.

The elite anti-terror unit opened fire after the suspects tried to escape with guns blazing, said Hariadi, a police spokesman on Bali. It was not immediately disclosed if any officers were wounded.

Nasution said Jayakusuma, 32, was believed to be connected to a militant group uncovered in February 2010 after a jihadi training camp was discovered in westernmost province of Aceh.

According to convicted militants, the cell’s goal had been to raise money through armed robberies and other illegal activities so they could launch a series of gun attacks on Western targets and carry out high-profile assassinations.

There is more, including how police were able to track down the Muslims responsible for a string of robberies in Sumatra.