Posts Tagged ‘Eid’

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Lashkar-e-Taiba raises money in plain sight

October 29, 2013

McClatchy reports that Pakistan has stopped enforcing the international ban against the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba.  (We must have missed when the government actually did enforce the ban.)  The prediction that LeT and its charitable front group, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, would use the recent Eid holiday to raise money from selling animals and trading hides has been borne out.

The fundraising activities seem strong in residential areas near Islamabad which are populated by government employees.  Fancy that.

Pakistani group banned after Mumbai attack found operating openly

Published: October 17, 2013

By Tom Hussain — McClatchy Foreign Staff

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s government appears to have relaxed its enforcement of a 5-year-old United Nations ban on the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist organization, which incurred the sanctions because of its militants’ alleged involvement in the November 2008 rampage in Mumbai, India, that killed 166 people.

Two of Lashkar’s front organizations openly raised money this week as the Muslim festival of Eid al Adha got underway. No authorities made any effort to stop them – not a surprise, perhaps, because the groups have been known to work with the government when natural disaster strikes.

But the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate has kept a tight leash on Lashkar-e-Taiba, which the U.S. has labeled a terrorist organization, since Pakistan told the United Nations it would enforce a ban on the group and its affiliates after the Mumbai assault. The attack destroyed the significant progress the two countries had made in settling the feud that had led to two wars and four localized conflicts since the nations were created when Britain ended its colonial rule in 1947.

Lashkar’s public resurgence follows the end in August of a decade-long cease-fire between Pakistani and Indian forces along the disputed border of the mountainous Kashmir state. Since then, Lashkar and other Pakistani militant groups with a history of terrorist activity in India have made a rapid comeback.

It wasn’t difficult for McClatchy to find them in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, on Wednesday, the first day of Eid al Adha, which commemorates the biblical tale of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son upon God’s command. Abraham’s hand was stayed by the angel Gabriel at the last moment and he was instructed to sacrifice a ram instead. Muslims who can afford to now mark the celebration with the slaughter of a ram or sheep.

Lashkar’s black-and-white striped flag was clearly displayed on banners flying just 200 yards outside the residential suburb of Korang Town. Emblazoned across the banners were the addresses and phone numbers of mosques affiliated with Lashkar’s Jama’at-ud-Da’wah proselytizing sister organization. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Terror charity poised to net $5m this Eid

October 16, 2013

A hundred thousand hides sold at fifty dollars a head should yield $5 million for Jamaat ud-Dawa, a front charity for the Pakistani jihadist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba.  Pakistan’s authorities have long known that militants profit from illegal leather sales (see here and here), but the government still lacks effective mechanisms (or perhaps genuine willingness) to curtail it.

From The Guardian yesterday, with a hat tip to Shreekant:

Eid animal slaughter funds Pakistan terror groups

Hides from 6m animals sacrificed during Eid sold by front organisations for militant groups

Jon Boone in Islamabad

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Huge numbers of goats, cows and even camels will be slaughtered in Pakistani on Wednesday homes to mark the Islamic holy day of Eid al-Adha.

The sacrificial offering of around 6m animals will allow families to fulfil a religious duty, guarantee some much appreciated meat handouts to the poor and provide nearly half of the annual requirement of the country’s leather industry.

It will also generate an extraordinary cash windfall for some of Pakistan’s most dangerous militant groups.

Thinly disguised front organisations have been gearing up to compete against each other and legitimate charities to collect as many animal skins as possible, which can then be sold on for cash.

“For us it is second only to Ramadan for our income,” says an official from the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).

FIF is the charitable wing of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), itself the reincarnation of one of south Asia’s most dangerous militant groups, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a banned organisation dedicated to fighting jihad against India.

JuD has successfully fought off legal bans although many believe it remains deeply involved in militancy.

The US government has offered $10m (£6m) for information leading to the arrest of Hafiz Saeed, the group’s leader accused by some US officials of masterminding and overseeing the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Saeed moves around the country freely. On Monday, he held a press conference outside a mosque in an affluent district of Islamabad.

Surrounded by piles of food, toys and other goods that he said would be given to victims of last month’s earthquake in Baluchistan, he appealed for people to give their animal hides to JuD.

“Whatever funds we get from hides of animals we will use in Baluchistan to rebuild houses and help the people,” he said to a bank of almost 20 television cameras.

The organisation hopes to collect 100,000 hides from around the country this year. A cow hide can fetch up to $50.

Also available to buy are JuD livestock which the organisation provides and slaughters on behalf of individuals or groups who want to pool resources to share the cost.

Such initiatives have helped the organisation take market share from other charities, including the Edhi Foundation, a much-respected social welfare group.

“It’s hard to complete because they have more manpower from all their religious seminaries,” said Mohammad Rashid from the Edhi Foundation in Islamabad. “They send all their students out to the streets, to volunteer.”

Because JuD is not officially a banned organisation nothing will or can be done to stop it collecting hides.

There are fears that very little will be done to stop illegal groups from collecting hides either, particularly as many of them operate under false names.

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Eid meat used as cover for funding Al Qaeda

December 13, 2012

Attorneys for two of the defendants say that their clients only collected money to buy meat for Eid, but French prosecutors allege that the money went to an offshoot of Al Qaeda.

Eid presents a noteworthy opportunity for Muslims living in the west to transfer money to the Middle East under the guise of charity for meat purchases for poor families.  The radical Turkish flotilla “charity,” IHH, which has been banned by Germany for funding Hamas, has used Qurbani meat distribution as its pretext for operating in 95 countries.

From Radio Free Europe on Dec. 4:

Paris Trial Begins Of 10 Alleged Fundraisers For IMU

Ten defendants have gone on trial in the French capital on charges that they helped finance the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), an extremist group accused of links to Al-Qaeda.

The suspects, who are described as mainly of Turkish origin, are alleged to have collected thousands of dollar from people at mosques in French cities to send to the IMU between 2003 and 2008.

They were arrested in 2008 in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Lawyers for at least two of the defendants have rejected the charges, saying the money was collected for “humanitarian” uses.

The IMU, which was formed to overthrow the Uzbek government and create an Islamic caliphate in Central Asia, is officially considered a terrorist group by the United States.

In October 2001, the UN Security Council formally listed the IMU as being “associated” with Al-Qaeda.

H/t to Twitter user El Grillo for alerting me.

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Zakat causes bloodbath in Pakistan this Ramadan

August 16, 2012

Ramadan "donation" firefight

Our first story on the ongoing zakat street war in Pakistan comes from the Daily Times which reports that “the extortion mafia of Karachi generates billions of rupees in the Ramzan [Ramadan] season.”  The Times further reports rampant grenade attacks this “holy month” by the bhatta extortion mafia on Karachi’s small businesses and chain stores:

Karachi extortion : Trend of grenade attacks on markets terrorises traders

The recent trend of grenade attacks of shops and markets that refuse extortion has terrorised local traders and businessmen, besides totally blackened the chances of further investment in Karachi.

All Pakistan Organization of Small Traders and Cottage Industries (APOSTCI) Karachi chapter president Mehmood Hamid said in past the extortionists backed by the ruling parties used to send bullets wrapped in extortion demand chits to Karachi traders, but embolden by covet backing from the corridors of power, now these mafia men are hurling grenades on shops and markets that refuse or delay Bhatta.

He said a famous chain store at NIPA Chowrangi was attacked with grenade. Last week shops at Yousuf Plaza and Water Pump were attacked with hand grenades and earlier grenades were hurled in bazaars of Hussainabad, Liaquatabad and Quaidabad by extortionists. He said the APOSTCI has record of more than one dozen such grenade attacks in Karachi.

He said extortion mafia is collecting forces Fitra and Zakat at the rate of Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per shop in Karachi, but the police and administration are playing the role of silent spectator. He said small traders are the worst affected segment of society due to Karachi lawlessness and a lot of small trades and cottage industries have closed their doors for good due to lack of business. He demanded of the government to realise the gravity of the situation as the ongoing ‘Bhatta war’ in Karachi is hitting hard the economy of not only Karachi but also the whole country.

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