Posts Tagged ‘Djibouti’

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UN lifts sanctions on al-Shabaab entrepreneur

March 24, 2014

UN sanctions against al-Shabaab financier Ali Ahmed Nur Jim’ale have been lifted.  The UN did not offer any explanation for the removal from their sanctions list.  Last year the government of Somalia itself requested the removal, saying that Jim’ale “is innocent.”

The UN delisting notice lays out the grounds for the original sanctions.  It is difficult to read their dossier and come away with an impression of innocence…

Ali Ahmed Nur Jim’ale (Jim’ale) has served in leadership roles with the former Somali Council of Islamic Courts, also known as the Somali Islamic Courts Union, which was a radical-Islamist element.  The most radical elements of the Somali Islamic Courts Union eventually formed the group known as al-Shabaab.  Al-Shabaab was listed for targeted sanctions in April 2010 by the United Nations Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 concerning Somalia and Eritrea (the “Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee”).  The Committee listed al-Shabaab for being an entity engaged in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security, or stability of Somalia, including but not limited to acts that pose a threat to Somali Transitional Federal Government.

According to the July 18, 2011 report of the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee’s Monitoring Group (S/2011/433), Jim’ale is identified as a prominent businessman and figure in the al-Shabaab charcoal-sugar trading cycle and benefitting from privileged relationships with al-Shabaab.

Jim’ale is identified as one of al-Shabaab’s chief financiers and is ideologically aligned with al-Shabaab.  Jim’ale has provided key funding and political support for Hassan Dahir Aweys (“Aweys”), who was also listed by the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee.  Former al-Shabaab Deputy Emir Muktar Robow reportedly continued to engage in political posturing within the al-Shabaab organization during the mid-2011.  Robow engaged Aweys and Jim’ale in an effort to advance their shared objectives and consolidate their overall stance within the context of the al-Shabaab leadership rift.

As of fall 2007, Jim’ale established a front company in Djibouti for extremist activities called the Investors Group.  The short term goal of the group was, through the funding of extremist activities and weapons purchases, to destabilize Somaliland.  The group assisted in smuggling small arms from Eritrea through Djibouti into the 5th region of Ethiopia where extremists received the shipment.  As of mid-2008, Jim’ale continued to operate the Investors Group.

As of late September 2010, Jim’ale established ZAAD, a mobile-to-mobile money transfer business and struck a deal with al-Shabaab to make money transfers more anonymous by eliminating the need to show identification.

As of late 2009, Jim’ale had a known hawala fund where he collected zakat, which was provided to al-Shabaab.

As of December 2011, unidentified donors from the Middle East were transferring money to Jim’ale, who in turn used financial intermediaries to send the money to al-Shabaab.

In 2009, Jim’ale worked with other like minded individuals to undermine the Somali TFG by not participating in Somali reconciliation efforts.  As of late 2011, Jim’ale actively supported al-Shabaab by offering free communications, use of vehicles, food aid and political advisement and set up fundraisers for al-Shabaab through various business groups.

The request by Somalia for the UN to lift sanctions on Jim’ale suggests that the Somali government has been compromised by the very elements which it purports to be at war with.  Just a couple years ago, Jim’ale was considered to be a security threat and an important al-Shabaab money man.  Suddenly he’s free to roam about Africa again.

The lifting of the sanctions, which included an international travel ban, enables Jim’ale to resume his travels back and forth between Somalia and Djibouti.  He holds passports with both countries.

For more on the cryptic UN delisting process, see prior Money Jihad coverage here and here.

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Bank offers $2-3m bounties on singers’ heads

February 22, 2013

UPDATE—FEB. 21, 2015:

In October 2012, Dahabshiil commenced defamation proceedings in The Netherlands against Dahir Alasow (a Somali asylum seeker living in The Netherlands) in respect of various articles written by Mr Alasow and published on his websites including Sunatimes, Waagacusub and ASOJ. These articles alleged that Dahabshiil was, inter alia, involved in the financing of terrorism and other serious crimes, allegations which were categorically denied by Dahabshiil.

On 16 December 2014, the ’s-Hertogenbosch Court of Appeal of The Netherlands, following an extensive examination of the evidence, ruled that the articles were untrue and defamatory of Dahabshiil. Mr Alasow was ordered to remove various articles containing the defamatory allegations from his websites, publish a notice of rectification and pay Dahabshiil’s legal costs. The court’s decision can be found here:
http://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2014:5351


UAE-based money transfer business accused of plotting contract killing of two East African musicians

The Dahabshiil money transfer company is promising a $3 million reward for the murder of Djibouti singer Nimo Djama after singing about Dahabshiil’s role in financing terrorism.  This allegation by Djama herself was nearly impossible to find in English-language print media (or even by the blogosphere) when the story began circulating among Somali sources last fall.

One outlet that did report on it was the Somali-Dutch news site, the Suna Times, excerpted below with some light editing for readability:

Dahabshiil—Facts, Violations, and Terrorism

The Djiboutian singer Nimo Djama accused Dahabshiil company of putting a three million dollar bounty for her death.

“Dahabshiil Bank, Ottawa branch has been assigned to assassinate me. They have received three million dollars to carry out the assassination. Dahabshil or Dhiigshiil wants to kill me. I’ve informed the Canadian law enforcement agencies. They installed cameras in my home,” said Nimo Djama in an audio interview on Oct 13, 2012.

Nimo Djama, aka the Mother of Djiboutian Singers, is a popular figure, and was part of the independence struggle in her country, but fled from Djibouti after being arrested by the administration of president Guelleh.

The well-known Somali singer Sado Ali Warsame who overthrown [sic] said Barre regime with her songs also accused Dahabshiil of putting a two million dollar bounty for her death, shortly after she released a song called Dahabshiil ha dhigan (“Don’t Deposit with Dahabshiil”).

Concern over Dahabshiil’s threat, which lost around 70% of its customers, resulted [in] reinforcement of Sado’s security…

A written description accompanying a video published on YouTube on Feb. 11 reveals further details about the hit ordered against Ms. Warsame (whose name may also be written as Saado Cali Warsame):

A Somali super star singer sings against Dahabshiil money transfer

A top Somali super star Sado Ali Warsame, had released an album against the Dahabshiil money transfer which she warns the people to send their money to the company because of what the singer called ‘a linkage to tribalism and extremism’.

The nationalist icon of Somalia top ten super stars, Sado Ali Warsame, who is well respected for her role in fighting against the military dictatorship through her cultural-rich music, is now taking the platform to challenge against all the actors against the pan-Somalia.

Her new song “Ha dhigan Dhiigshiil” which means don’t send your money through Dahabshiil, is a great challenge to the company which currently lost a court case against a well-known investigative journalist Dahir Abdulle Alasow in Breda Netherlands after the company accused the reporter of humiliating figures in the company, goodwill defamation and accusation related to Dahabshiil’s attempt to assassinate singer Sado Warsame.

The song relates Dahabshiil to Alshabab [al-Shabaab], a militant group allied to Alqaeda [Al Qaeda] which rules much of Southern Somalia with brutal laws, and a slow genocide going on in the Sool, Sanag and Ceyn (SSC) regions in Somalia by Somaliland forces, which Warsame is originally from.

Dahabshiil rejected the accusation and sued the investigative reporter whose website waagacusub.com published the articles relating Dahabshiil attempt to assassinate the artist Warsame and the linkage to the terror group and the slow genocide in SSC regions.

But the judge in Breda district court ruled out Dahabshiil’s argument and ordered the reporter to keep doing his job freely, and states the accusation as baseless.

The company’s name Dahabshiil means Goldsmith, while the singer calls it in the song as Dhiigshiil, which means Bloodsmith, a previous name of the company in early 2000s, which the company owners refute to be called now for their business goodwill.

The song had attracted a big number of listeners who clicked more than 30,000 times on one link in waagacusub website and the controversial comments on the songs divided the public opinion.

A comment with anonymous person says, “The song is true, Dahabshiil feeds Alshabab, and I agree that we don’t need to send our money to it”…

It’s not just an anonymous person on Youtube, or even an enterprising Somali-Dutch reporter.  A presiding judge at a 2005 hearing in Guantanamo Bay told detainee Mohammed Sulaymon Barre, “I am convinced that your branch of the Dahabshiil company was used to transfer money for terrorism.”

Now, we leave you with a music video by Warsame.  She sings about peace, national unity, satirizes the terrorists, and tells the truth about the financing of extremists.  For this she gets death threats from Dubai?

UPDATE—FEB. 28, 2013:

Money Jihad has again (see comment below) been contacted by legal counsel for Dahabshiil, who makes the following response to this post:

Dahabshiil refutes the allegations made about it in this article in the strongest possible terms. The allegations are absurd and entirely false. For the avoidance of doubt, Dahabshiil has no involvement whatsoever in violence or terrorism of any kind.Dahabshiil considers these allegations to be highly defamatory and has accordingly commenced legal proceedings in The Netherlands to restrain further publication of them by their original author [of the Suna Times].

By way of background, Dahabshiil is a major international financial organisation, founded in 1970. Dahabshiil operates in approximately 150 countries across the world (including the USA and most European territories) with over 5,000 employees. Dahabshiil has a large and loyal customer base and a number of major international organisations rely on Dahabshiil to provide payment services for their staff, contractors, government institutions and partner NGOs. Dahabshiil has its headquarters in the United Kingdom where it is regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

For further general information about Dahabshiil , please visit Dahabshiil’s website at www.Dahabshiil.com

For media enquiries, please e-mail news@dahabshiil.com