Posts Tagged ‘debt’

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10 biggest terror finance news stories of 2015

January 4, 2016
  1. Funding of Paris attacks

The November 2015 attackers paid for $32,000 worth of pre-attack operations including hotel lodging and car rentals through anonymous prepaid cards purchased in Belgium. Payments were loaded in small increments; rules for prepaid cards allow for reloading up to $2,500 without identity verification. Although the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is responsible for the attacks and the training of several attackers, the precise source of the $32,000 is less clear. Money for travel appears to have become available after a stopover in Greece.

  1. Nuclear deal will release billions to Iran

The nuclear agreement that President Obama signed will release $100 billion to $150 billion of frozen assets to Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism. Hopefully the asset thaw will get gummed up in court while attorneys seek to collect the compensation that is owed to the victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism first.

  1. Wahhabi funding monarch takes power

Saudi Arabia has crowned a new king, Salman bin Abdulaziz, who started his career in public service by bankrolling the exportation of radical Wahhabism throughout the Islamic world. We will be contending with well-funded terrorist groups for as long as men such as Salman rule Arabia.

  1. Coalition bombs ISIS oil fields

According to news reports, the U.S. is increasing pressure against ISIS’s financial assets by bombing oil fields in their territory. If true, the bombing means that the Obama administration has begun to recognize that it is worth destroying oil infrastructure to deprive ISIS of funding even if it means it will be harder to rebuild the infrastructure when and if ISIS retreats.

  1. Son of terror victim sues wire transfer company

The son of a slain Somali politician and singing star is suing the money transfer company Dahabshiil for its alleged involvement in issuing a bounty for the singer’s murder. Saado Ali Warsame had sung a song denouncing Dahabshiil as a financier of terror and a profiteer from inter-tribal conflict.

  1. Jihadists in Yemen fund Charlie Hebdo assassins

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) gave $20,000 to future Charlie Hebdo attacker Said Kouachi before he and his brother left Yemen in August 2011. The foreign funding helps explain how a group of underemployed ex-cons were able to buy AK-47s for their January 2015 attacks and pay for Said Kouachi’s international travels.

  1. PA and PLO owe damages for terror attacks

A jury found the Palestinian Authority and the PLO liable for terrorist attacks with American victims in the early 2000s, with damages set at $656 million in Sokolow v. PLO. A federal judge set $10 million bond while the PA and PLO appeal.

  1. Taliban takes control of more turf

The Washington Post reports that the Taliban has taken control or maintains a significant presence in 30 percent of Afghanistan—the most territory it has occupied since 2001. The problem with this from a financial standpoint is that the Taliban lives off the land. One of their primary sources of income is taxation on commercial activity in the areas they control. More turf means more money.

  1. Arab Bank settles with terror victims

Arab Bank PLC provided client services to Hamas affiliates which funded terrorist attacks against Israel. After years of lawsuits, the settlement was reached between the bank and American victims of these terrorist attacks, possibly for $1 billion. Together with the Sokolow, these cases show that legal tactics can be used effectively to hit terrorists where it hurts: their wallets.

  1. Debt-financing of San Bernadino attack

Syed Rizwan Farook took out a $28,000 debt consolidation loan weeks before waging an assault against his victims. This method of financing attacks is particularly popular among jihadists living in Western countries where easy credit is, well, easy.

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Loans by text pay jihadists’ way to Syria

July 13, 2015

Swedish Islamists are taking out loans through text message services to join the battle in Syria.  They use the borrowed funds to buy plane tickets, cars and, presumably, other equipment when they arrive.  Sweden’s security agency says that a majority of fighters’ travels are debt-financed.  Thus the lenders are violating the first rule of lending:  character.  What kind of screening are these small lenders performing on their borrowers?  So much for knowing your customer.

From The Local on June 22 (h/t Moscow Ghost):

SMS loans fund Syria terror trips from Sweden

Sweden’s Security Service (Säpo) has warned that growing numbers of muslims are funding trips to Syria with money secured via text message loans secured in Sweden.

Investigators working for the security service told Sveriges Radio that there had been a rise in people taking trips to the Middle East to fight alongside terror organisations such as Isis (also known as IS) over the last year, with growing numbers of visits funded by loans taken out in Sweden.

Martin Frimansson, an expert on terrorist funding at Säpo, explained that while some Swedes had borrowed money from banks or using Swedish credit cards, others had paid for their travel using SMS loans (money borrowed via text message from private companies) or made their way to Syria and Iraq using cars rented in Sweden.

According to Frimansson, a “clear majority” of trips were made possible due to loans, although he did not give any specific figures.

He suggested that some Swedes were also taking out loans in order to raise their status within Isis or other terror groups.

“It could be that if you have a car and money…you automatically become a team leader. If you have no money when you arrive, no car or anything – then maybe you’ll be the ambulance driver,” he said.

By law, credit companies and banks are required to adhere to a range of measures designed to prevent the financing of terror activities, but according to Säpo the trend for Swedes borrowing money for suspect trips to the Middle East suggests that much more needs to be done.

The security service is calling on lenders to file reports on people who are failing to repay their loans more quickly and to be stricter about who they lend money to in the first place.

“They are the first hurdle to stopping terrorist financing. It is a big responsibility,” said Frimansson.

In April, Säpo told The Local there was “very little” it could do to stop people travelling to Syria to join al-Qaeda inspired groups, as EU officials estimated up to 6,000 people from across Europe have now fought in the war-torn nation.

It confirmed that at least 150 Swedish residents were known to have been to Syria or Iraq to fight for Isis or other extremist groups, with intelligence suggesting that at least 35 had died in the process.

Earlier this year, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad also told Sweden’s tabloid newspaper Expressen that he believed some of “the most dangerous leaders of Daesh and Isis in our region are Scandinavian”…

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High-risk men max out credit cards before Middle East travel

April 20, 2015

Over one hundred “very high-risk” account holders have borrowed the maximum amount of money they could from their bank before traveling to countries neighboring Iraq and Syria.  Presumably this means Turkey and perhaps Lebanon or Jordan.  Typically those are the places ISIS recruits from the West fly into before crossing the border by ground into Syria or Iraq.  The credit card accounts have gone dormant and the debts will never be paid back.

Thanks to Gisele for sending this news in about debt-financed travel for jihad from QMI via the Toronto Sun:

114 ‘high-risk’ Canadians bilked RBC before leaving for areas near conflict zones

The Royal Bank of Canada has identified 114 clients as “very high-risk” for maxing out their credit cards before travelling to countries near Syria and Iraq, QMI Agency has learned.

Before leaving Canada, the clients borrowed the maximum amount of money allowed on their credit cards or lines of credit, a senior RBC vice president, Karim Rajwani, told participants during a webinar earlier this year.

QMI Agency obtained the audio recording.

The webinar was organized for anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing professionals in the banking industry.

Rajwani, a world expert in the fight against terrorist financing, says he discreetly shared his information with the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service.

None of the 114 clients paid off their debts and their accounts have been inactive since they left the country, he added.

“We aren’t saying that these people are terrorists, just very high-risk individuals,” Rajwani noted.

“They get a line of credit and they leave. We see a few transactions in overseas ATMs in countries neighbouring areas controlled by the Islamic State, and after that they disappear”…

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IMF weighs debt relief for genocidal Sudan

October 23, 2013

The genocidal and Arab supremacist regime of Omar al-Bashir is demanding that the International Monetary Fund bailout Sudan by cancelling billions of dollars of external debt.

The Sudan has long been under international and U.S. sanctions for its bloody repression by Arab Sudanese Islamists against black Sudanese Muslims and Christians, and for historically playing host to terrorists from Carlos the Jackal to Osama Bin Laden.  Cancelling the Bashir regime’s debts would amount to aiding and abetting a state sponsor of terrorism.

The Save Darfur Coalition has rightly condemned the possible debt forgiveness in even starker terms, declaring:  “No Bailout for Sudan’s $34 Billion Debt.”  Read it all:

Save Darfur Coalition says No Bailout for Sudan’s $34 Billion Debt

Group Offers Recommendations for Dealing with Odious Debt

ISTANBUL- The Save Darfur Coalition is at the IMF and World Bank Meetings asking officials not to forgive Sudan’s debt.  Save Darfur considers Sudan’s debt to be odious, meaning it was borrowed and used against the interests of its own people, in this case, used to finance civil war in the south and genocide against the people of Darfur.

Sudan currently holds USD$34 billion in debt, owed mostly to the IMF/World Bank, western Chinese and Arab creditors. And according to a recent policy report published by the IMF, of all countries, Sudan has the most overdue arrears to the Fund – owing 75% of the USD$2.09 billion in total backpayments.  Now, with the global economic recession bringing down oil prices, Sudan’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz is in Istanbul asking for a debt-relief package from the IMF and the World Bank.

At the height of meetings in Istanbul, Save Darfur is offering recommendations to the World Bank, the IMF and international leaders on how to deal with odious debt and on what conditions Sudan’s debt can and should be relieved.

Save Darfur is calling on the international community to make clear that Sudan’s debt can only be forgiven if there is concrete and lasting progress toward:

  • Peace in Darfur
  • The full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and
  • Significant structural reforms that fundamentally change the repressive systems in Sudan.

“The international community should deal simultaneously with Sudan’s economic challenges and human rights abuses. Providing debt relief to Sudan before its leaders demonstrate a commitment to peace will not serve the interests of the Sudanese people, it will only give more political legitimacy and further financial resources to the repressive regime in Khartoum,” says Save Darfur’s Senior Policy Advisor Sean Brooks.

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Muslim Brotherhood-linked mosque hit with lien

July 19, 2011

Among his many leadership positions among North American Muslim Brotherhood front groups, Dr. Jamal Badawi also serves on the board of directors for the Maritime Muslim Academy of Halifax, Canada.

The Maritime Muslim Academy hired Kassner/Goodspeed Architects for a project at Ummah Mosque and Community Centre.  The Maritime Academy has since stiffed the architects for over $35,000.

The bill has gone unpaid for at least several months, so  Kassner/Goodspeed has fearlessly upped the ante by filing a mechanic’s lien against the mosque.  If Maritime doesn’t cough up the payment, a judge could force the sale of the mosque to satisfy the lien.  Alas, Maritime will probably reach some sort of half-hearted payment plan or settlement with the firm.

But wouldn’t a forced sale be lovely?  A prediction, by the way:  we will see more and more unpaid debts by Islamic institutions to “infidel” professional service firms and lenders in the coming months and years.

From TGMBDR (with paragraph breaks added) on June 28:

Canadian Mosque Associated With U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Leader Has Financial Trouble

Canadian media is reporting that a new Halifax mosque associated with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader Jamal Badawi appears to be experiencing financial difficulties. Acording to the report:

A Halifax architecture firm has put a lien on the city’s new mosque. Kassner/Goodspeed Architects Ltd. has launched a lawsuit against the Maritime Muslim Academy over an unpaid $36,194 bill for its work on the Ummah Mosque and Community Centre. The architecture firm registered a lien against lands at 2510 St. Matthias St. and 6225 Chebucto Rd.

The last work the architecture firm did on the project was on April 1, according to the statement of claim made public Wednesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. ”Any applicable period of credit for payment has expired,” said the lawsuit.

Kassner/Goodspeed is looking for the Maritime Muslim Academy to make good on the unpaid bill, plus the cost of the legal action.  ”In the event of a default of payment,” the architecture firm wants a judge to order the property sold to cover the academy’s bill, according to the lawsuit.

Andrew Wolfson, a Dartmouth lawyer who represents the architecture firm, admitted it was odd to place a lien on a mosque. ”Yeah, it’s different,” Wolfson said. “I’ve never had to do that before.” Dan Goodspeed, who designed the project, refused to comment Wednesday.

Hadi Salah, principal of the Maritime Muslim Academy, said Wednesday he couldn’t speak about the matter. ”I really don’t have the time now,” Salah said. Last year, he told The Chronicle Herald that the $6-million project would be completed without borrowing a penny. Salah said in an April 2010 interview that the mosque was being constructed without the traditional sort of North American mortgage obtained by most businesses, institutions and individuals undertaking big construction jobs. ”In Islamic tradition, it is prohibited to deal with interest,” Salah said at the time. “This project is built mostly by fundraising and the community has been quite generous.”

But Imam Jamal Badawi, professor emeritus of religious studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, said Wednesday that the unpaid architect’s bill has nothing to do with that tradition. ”It’s something much more complex than that,” said Badawi, who refused to elaborate.  ”It has nothing to do with the question of interest. It is a matter before the court of law and it would not be appropriate ethically or legally to make any comment at this point.”

The mosque is slated to take up about one-third of the 25,000-square-foot complex, which includes a gymnasium, library and cafeteria. The province contributed $767,000 toward the construction cost of the gym. Donations for the construction project are still being solicited on the mosque’s website. ”The envelope is completed and we are getting closer to the final stage,” according to http://www.ummahmasjid.ca. “To date, approximately 70 per cent of the needed work toward the project completion has been done.”

An overview updated this month indicates that $5,263,640 in donations have been promised for the project, with $4,238,858 collected.

Dr. Badawi is a leader in many of the most important organizations of the global Muslim Brotherhood including the Islamic Society of North America, the Council on American Islamic Relations (Canada), the Fiqh Council of North America, the Muslim American Society, and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. He recently retired from an academic position at St. Mary’s University in Halifax and continues to be one of the most widely traveled North American Muslim Brotherhood leaders. An earlier post discussed his role in the top leadership structures of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.