Posts Tagged ‘FARC’

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Hezbollah fortunes expand in South America

May 24, 2015

Hezbollah’s multimillion dollar business in Latin America isn’t shrinking. According to French intelligence sources who leaked the information to Argentinian media, Hezbollah’s empire makes $60 to $100 million a year. Breitbart covers the coverage (h/t El Grillo):

Report: Hezbollah Rakes in Up to $100 Million Annually from Latin America

A new blockbuster report in Argentine news outlet Infobae claims that Hezbollah generates between $60 to $100 million dollars a year in illegal activities in Latin America, particularly in the Tri-Border area uniting Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. The piece echoes years of reporting warning that the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group has expanded its influence in the region.

Infobae reports that the astronomical sum was revealed to them by “sources within French intelligence,” who calculated this based on the numerous businesses that Hezbollah members are involved in throughout the region, particularly drug and arms trafficking and money laundering. The report describes the Tri-Border region as Hezbollah’s “capital,” from which $10 million annually flow into Lebanon alone. If the capital had a “municipal building,” it would be the Galeria Page mall, which the outlet claims is “under the control of the Shiite militia” and used to launder illicit money through its sales.

In 2006, the United States Department of Treasury identified the Galeria Page’s owner, Muhammad Yusif Abdallah, as “a senior Hizballah leader in the TBA [Tri-Border Area] and an important contributor of funds to Hizballah, notably hosting a fundraiser for the terrorist group in the TBA in 2004.” The same press release described the mall as “serv[ing] as a source of fundraising for Hizballah in the TBA and is locally considered the central headquarters for Hizballah members in the TBA.”

The Infobae report claims this situation has not changed since 2006 but, rather, expanded. “Mosques, Islamic cultural centers, businesses and other organizations without apparent political ties unite hundreds of members, which in many cases are ‘used’ by the terrorist group” to generate funding, Infobae notes.

Infobae concludes by noting that Hezbollah has ties to drug trafficking groups in Mexico and negotiates with the world’s largest non-jihadist terror group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), using their “comparative advantage” to work and profit together…

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Devil’s duo: FARC and Al Qaeda

December 28, 2014

New details have emerged on the long known transactions between South American drug cartels and Al Qaeda’s North African affiliate. Marxist FARC guerrillas have been named specifically again. From Magharebia earlier this month (h/t El Grillo):

AQIM partners with Colombian drug cartel

By Walid Ramzi in Algiers for Magharebia – 05/12/2014

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other Sahel terrorist groups are working with Colombian drug cartels, according to figures released by the United Nations.

Leaders of AQIM have met several times in the Sahel region with representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), International Business Times reported on Sunday (November 30th).

“Narco-jihadists” transport cargo by road through a triangle that includes the west of Libya, Niger, southern Algeria, Mali, and eastern Mauritania, the report said.

The newspaper cited statistics from the United Nations indicating that the Maghreb branch of al-Qaeda had received huge sums of money from such gangs, amounting to 15% of each gramme of cocaine sold by smugglers.

Drug dealing and smuggling, together with ransoms from kidnapping, are key sources of terror financing in the Sahel, an Algerian security source told Tout sur l’Algerie on Sunday.

Smugglers pay terrorist groups to provide secure passage of their drug convoys, from desert to coast, before the contraband is transported to Europe through organised crime networks…

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Update: the world’s 10 richest terror groups

November 28, 2014
Money held by wealthy international terrorists - http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187337#.VHC3_snQq0E

Graphic by Israel National News

A new ranking of the best funded terrorist organizations has been published by Forbes Israel. The Islamic State of Iraq comes in first with a reported net worth of $2 billion, followed by Hamas at $1 billion, FARC in third place at $600 million, Hezbollah fourth, and the Taliban fifth. Money Jihad would have estimated a lower net worth for ISIS, and would have placed the Taliban higher on the list. Forbes Israel rates the Irish Republic Army at 9th place with $50 million, which Money Jihad believes is an overinflated figure, while the Belfast Telegraph reports that Forbes based that figure on information from the U.S. State Department and academics.

U.S. Treasury official David Cohen has said several times recently that ISIS is the best-financed terrorist group that is not funded by a state sponsor—a comment which tends to undermine the Forbes ranking by suggesting that Hamas and Hezbollah, which are funded by Iran, have more money than ISIS.

One common thread across most of the terrorist groups listed is their reliance on revenues from “taxes” that they believe are justified by the foundational texts of their ideologies.  ISIS charges Iraqi businessmen taxes as a form of zakat and charges non-Muslims jizya.  Hezbollah collects money much of its money through khums, the Shia tax on gains.  Al-Shabaab collects checkpoint taxes and zakat on trade in keeping with taxes and customs duties levied by the caliphate of antiquity. The Taliban collects harvest taxes on opium and collects ransom money as authorized by the Koran. The FARC believes that expropriating the wealth of capitalists through extortion and ransom are in keeping with the writings of Marx and Engels.

Hat tip to Gisele for sending in coverage of the Forbes report.

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Drugs, Al Qaeda, FARC, and arming the rebels

May 12, 2013

Mounting evidence suggests that weapons given to Libyan militants in the rebellion against Qaddafi were subsequently leveraged to purchase cocaine from FARC for follow-on distribution to the same European countries that helped arm the rebels in the first place.  No lessons will be learned from this fiasco, as it’s full steam ahead with the same players arming Syrian rebels.

From the Mirror (h/t Aisha):

Al Qaeda’s £168million cocaine smugglers: terror group flooding Britain with drugs

28 Apr 2013

Profits are being used to fund terror plots in the UK and western Europe

Al Qaeda has teamed up with other terror groups to smuggle cocaine to Britain, the Sunday People has ­discovered. One plot involved a staggering four tons of the illegal drug with a street value of £168million.

Al Qaeda, led by 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden until his death in May 2011, is using profits to fund terror plots in the UK and western Europe.

And they have paid for the cocaine with weapons looted in Libya during the mayhem following the death of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011.

Spooks from MI6 and the UK’s criminal intelligence agency SOCA have joined forces to investigate al Qaeda’s links to drug cartels and terrorist groups in Africa and South America.

Two Colombians – one a member of left-wing terror movement FARC – were arrested after a probe by the US Drugs Enforcement Agency.

It is understood the South American group, now a major ­cocaine cartel, sold a large quantity of the drug to bin Laden’s North African branch, al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb.

They paid using cash and also weapons looted in Libya.

The drug was shipped to North Africa and moved across the Mediterranean into southern France where it is believed to have been distributed to other European ­countries, including the UK. A second operation carried out by secret intelligence groups led to the arrest of the former head of the navy in West Africa’s Guinea-Bissau, now classed as a “narco-state” because of its reliance on the cocaine trade.Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto and six others have now been flown to New York and charged with drugs trafficking. Four also face terrorism charges.

They were caught in a sting ­operation in which they believed they were talking to members of FARC. They agreed to supply ground-to-air missiles and a quantity of AK-47 assault rifles and grenade launchers in exchange for four tons of cocaine with a street value of £168 million.

Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb has long been involved with cocaine traffickers, receiving large payments to ensure drug runners could safely cross the Algerian Sahara with multi-million-pound consignments.

But spies say this is the first time evidence has emerged suggesting the organisation are themselves trafficking cocaine into Europe.

A highly placed crime ­intelligence source in London said: “It is a very worrying development and both MI6 and SOCA will be working ­together to find out as much as they can.

“When there is an overlap between straightforward crime and security matters, the two agencies work together. There will be a lot of interaction with security forces from several countries.

“France will be particularly involved given the Algerian connection and the fact that France seems to be the main entry point for the al Qaeda shipments. There will also be strong American interest”…

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Terror budgets illustrated

April 29, 2013

The Taliban, Hezbollah, FARC, al-Shabaab, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Hamas are the best funded terrorist groups worldwide.  Published estimates of their budgets vary by source.  The dots in the graph below reflect the highest and lowest estimates reflected in millions of U.S. dollars for each group:

Low-high chart displaying estimated annual revenues of jihadist groups and the FARC

This chart is an update to Money Jihad’s earlier post here.  The only significant change is the inclusion of Lashkar-e-Taiba, for which revenue estimates now range from $5 million to $100 million annually.  Al-Shabaab has faced revenue setbacks in the past year, but revised figures are not yet available.

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Money jihad news: recommended reading

April 18, 2013
  • Cyber attacks are often treated as technology news. But now it’s more about bucks than bits… more>>
  • So generous of Venezuela to have given a diplomatic passport Hezbollah agent Ghazi Nasr al Din . How many more operatives like him are immune from baggage searches at customs?  More>>
  • You’re a kidnapped Filipino, and your government won’t pay for your ransom. Why your government is right… more>>
  • The Palestinian Authority denies paying salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons.  I beg to disagree, says prisoner’s wife… more>>
  • Are the FARC and Al Qaeda partnering in a cocaine-for-cash and weapons trade? And you thought cash-for-clunkers was bad… more>>
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Hezbollah in Havana with $1.5 million budget

September 20, 2011

Fidel Castro calls the U.S. control of Guantanamo Bay “una daga en el corazón del suelo cubano”—a dagger in the heart of Cuban soil.

But apparently the Castro brothers have no such qualms about inviting a fundamentalist Islamic dagger to be plunged into the heart of their island.  Twenty-three Hezbollah operatives are due to arrive to establish a cell in Cuba (h/t Israel Matzav) to plot an attack against a South American Israeli target.

The terrorists will take a $1.5 million budget with them.  The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera says the operation was signed off by Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah.  Often, terrorists are able to spend about 10 percent of their operating budget on the actual attack (with the other 90 percent going toward salaries and routine expenses).

This report surfaces shortly after Cuban denials of the U.S. conclusion that Cuba remains one of only four state sponsors of terrorism in the world.  The U.S. State Department has noted that Cuba never renounced its ties to the stinking rich guerrilla Marxist FARC, and that it allows Basque terrorists to live in Cuba.

With Venezuela, Guyana, Haiti, Trinidad, Florida, and Cuba all playing host to Islamists, the Caribbean has become the hatchery for the jihadist egg in the Western Hemisphere.

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The world’s 5 richest terrorist groups

August 29, 2011

In terms of their annual operating budgets to the best of our knowledge at this time, the Taliban, Hezbollah, the FARC, Hamas, and al-Shabaab may be the wealthiest terrorist organizations in the world today.  Al Qaeda trails, but if all its affiliated organizations are included, Al Qaeda remains in the upper echelon of the world’s terror budgets.

1.  Taliban

Taliban nets between $70 and $400 million from drug activity (of which at least $15 to $25 million is collected as ushr, Islam’s 10 percent tax on harvests) annually.  In addition, the Taliban collects an estimated $150 to $200 million per year in zakat and sadaqa donations, mostly from the Arab nations of the Persian Gulf.  These figures exclude extensive Taliban revenues from ransoms, extortion, and improperly diverted money from Western aid, U.N. contributions, defense contractors, and the Afghanistan government itself.  My own estimate would place that subtotal of an additional $50 million per year.

Splitting the difference for the estimated range of revenues, that would bring the Taliban’s total budget to an estimate of approximately $560 million annually.

2.  Hezbollah

Rachel Ehrenfeld’s Funding Evil documented that Hezbollah’s annual operating budget is between $200 and $500 million.  Iran provides at least $120 million of that, with the rest coming from khums, drug trafficking, and other criminal activity.

3.  FARC

Columbia’s Marxist guerrillas, the FARC, enjoy annual revenues that range from estimates of $80 to $350 million.

4.  Hamas

For 2010, Gaza’s budget adopted by Hamas was $540 million, but that’s a larger amount than Hamas’s own budget.   The Council on Foreign Relations lists Hamas’s budget as $70 million.  However, the recent news that Iran is cutting or ending its aid to Hamas which would  substantially diminish Hamas’s treasury.  Hamas receives significant funding through charitable front groups and from Saudi Arabia.

5.  Al Shabaab

A recent report from the U.N. revealed that al-Shabaab’s revenues are between $70 and $100 million per year, propelling it into the top tier of global jihadist funding.

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS

Al Qaeda

The CIA estimated that before 9/11, al Qaeda’s annual budget was $30 million, which was almost exclusively from “donations” (zakat and sadaqa).  By almost all accounts, al Qaeda’s financial situation has deteriorated since then.  Other estimates place their budget from $16 to $50 million, which still puts al Qaeda itself toward the bottom of the list.  However, there are indications that revenue collections of al Qaeda offshoots such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and al-Shabaab are flush with funds.  With AQIM in particular, the evidence shows that funds are being transferred from the regional organization back to the parent al Qaeda organization itself.

Lashkar-e-Taiba

Reuters calls Lashkar-e-Taiba (whose revenues include hawala, the Gulf, and Pakistan’s ISI) “one of the largest and best-funded Islamic militant organizations” in South Asia.

It bears repeating that much of the revenue listed above, with the exception of the FARC’s drug money, originate from traditional Islamic revenue sources such as zakat, sadaqa, khums, and ushr, rather than from “secular,” criminal activity.