Posts Tagged ‘gold’

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Shin Bet busts Hamas cell’s gold scheme

July 7, 2015

Forty members of a Hamas cell in Nablus, Israel, have been arrested by Israel’s domestic security service.  Shin Bet found the equivalent of $1 million in cash and gold during their raid on the cell.  Hamas operatives intended to buy night vision goggles and other equipment to terrorize Jews.  From The Times of Israel on Jul. 1 (hat tip to El Grillo):

Large, gold-funded Hamas cell uncovered in West Bank, Shin Bet says
Israel’s security agency breaks a 40-strong cell in the Nablus region, foiling a terror attack in the making

Israel’s domestic security service said Wednesday it had revealed and arrested members of a 40-person Hamas cell in the Nablus region of the West Bank, foiling an attack still in the planning stage and breaking apart a community-wide infrastructure.

The arrests, conducted over the past months, were made public amid a rise in terror attacks against Israelis in the West Bank and corresponding calls from settlers to increase the Israeli army’s preventative actions in the region.

Over the past 10 days there have been four shootings and two stabbings, claiming the lives of Israelis Danny Gonen and Malachi Rosenfeld and wounding several more.

The Shin Bet said the Nablus cells were run from Qatar, by Hussam Badran, a Hamas spokesperson and a native of Nablus.

Budran, operating under Saleh al-Arouri, the Turkey-based head of Hamas operations in the West Bank, sent messages to the operatives in Nablus via “email channels,” the Shin Bet said, apparently referring to non-direct messages, and laundered the money into gold jewelry transported into the West Bank from Jordan.

Anan Fatuah and Samih Aliwi, West Bank shop-owners, allegedly received cash from a Nablus couple that had traveled to Jordan for medical care but were, in fact, a forward unit of Hamas. The couple, Bassam and Mona Sayih, allegedly transferred the funds to Fatuah, who bought gold in Jordan and sold it along with Aliwi in their shop, funneling the money to Hamas operatives.

The Shin Bet and police said they found NIS four million (roughly one million dollars) in cash and gold during the arrests.

The 40-person infrastructure engaged in a wide range of activity, from education to media to charity, and was in the process of planning a terror attack.

Two of the arrested, Anas Abbas and Taufiq Sualmeh, admitted under questioning to planning a terror attack and buying night vision goggles to further the execution of that plan. They allegedly were in contact with operatives from Ahmad Jibril’s PFLP-GC terror organization in Syria…

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Terrorists offer gold in murder-for-hire scheme

January 10, 2013

Financial reward for killer of American official

Instead of cash, Al Qaeda promises gold bounty for contract killing

The latest jihadist death threat isn’t just about killing the U.S. ambassador to Yemen because 1) he’s American and 2) he’s Jewish.  The reward itself is indicative with Islamist hatred for “infidel” paper currency and their fixation with gold rooted in the days of Muhammad.  How long before Muslim fanatics who abduct Westerners begin demanding ransom payments in gold as well?

From AllVoices.com:

Al-Qaida offers gold reward for killing US ambassador in Yemen

In order to promote jihad in the Muslim world, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula announced in recend days that it would offer a reward of three kilograms of gold for anyone who kills US Ambassador to Yemen, Gerald M. Feierstein, and an additional five million Yemeni riyals for killing US soldiers, according to post on the Al Malhem website.

According to al-Qaida sources, the rewards video, entitled “Jihad Omah,” was penetrated by US intelligence, which deleted part of the announcement concerning the reward. Al-Qaida, however, stated that it still has the original copy and will continue to publish it from time to time.

Al-Qaida concluded their announcement with the famous words of Osama bin Laden, “Do not consult anyone in killing Americans“…

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Tadamon deal marked by gold lust

November 9, 2012

Tadamon Islamic Bank, Yemen’s largest sharia financial institution, has struck a deal with Gold Arab Emirate DMCC, a web-based precious metal broker, according to the Saudi Gazette.  The agreement will allow Tadamon depositors to keep their savings in gold rather than cash.

Keep in mind as you read this that Osama Bin Laden used Tadamon Bank to distribute funds to Al Qaeda operatives in the 1990s.  This is a bank that caters to the deepest fears and suspicions of its customers.

GOLD AE signs landmark deal with Tadhamon Bank

GOLD Arab Emirate (GOLD AE) DMCC, the premier online trader in deliverable gold and silver, has recently signed a landmark gold allocated account partnership with Tadhamon International Islamic Bank, the biggest bank in Yemen, through its sister company SABAYEK24, in Sana’a.

The customers of Tadhamon International Islamic Bank will have the option of gold instead of cash in their saving accounts.

The deal underlines the growing awareness among investors in Yemen of the value of gold as a hedge against global inflation, hyperinflation and prolonged financial downturn.

Commenting on the partnership, Mohammad Abu-Alhaj, Charman of GOLD AE DMCC & SABAYEK24, said: “TIIB is a perfect partner for us. We remain committed to serving as a key player in the international bullion trading market and this deal is yet another exciting chapter the GOLD AE success story.”

He added: “Currency wars among different countries as well as uncontrolled printing of money by Central Banks around the world are putting the cash savings and purchasing power of millions of families at risk, considering the impact of the real possibility of their savings being completely wiped out with the unavoidable potential financial depression.”

He further said: “Gold is a stable investment that can also be used as a form of payment anywhere in the world. It is protected to the usual risk and limitations of other currencies. In fact, gold has been a preferred investment and a more stable form of currency for thousands of years…

Note how the article drips with animosity toward paper currencies, Western central banks, and harkens back to an alleged era of prosperity that lasted “for thousands of years.”  Must have missed that particular phantom golden age!

Although sharia law has never provided a sustainable recipe for economic prosperity, Islamists disdain the Western financial system for our concept of interest on savings and loans, for Jewish involvement in the international financial system, and for our system of “infidel” paper currency rather than using the gold dinar and silver dirham from the “good old days” of Muhammad.

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Sudan’s new refinery a golden goose?

September 26, 2012

Times have been tough for Sudan ever since it played host to Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s.  That hospitality brought Sudan a U.S. designation as a state sponsor of terror.  Sanctions against the Islamist regime have been ratcheted up since then, except that humanitarian assistance has been authorized, and the sanctions don’t apply to the newly formed South Sudan which broke away from Sudan proper.

Three-quarters of Sudan’s oil resources are now located in South Sudan, and U.S. sanctions against doing business with Sudan’s oil sector are tough.  For those reasons, Khartoum has pursued other sources of revenue, and is hoping that a brand new refinery will enable the country to sell $3 billion of gold next year.

From Reuters on Sept. 19:

Sudan opens first gold refinery to boost exports

Sudan opened its first gold refinery on Wednesday as it seeks to improve the quality of its rising gold exports and offset the economic damage inflicted by the loss of most of its oil revenues.

The country is increasing its gold production after losing three quarters of its oil output when South Sudan became independent in July last year.

The government hopes the new refinery in the capital Khartoum will help it to produce gold to international standards and reduce the amount of gold smuggling to overseas markets such as Dubai. Producers would receive more money for the higher-quality gold, thereby reducing the incentive to smuggle.

The refinery will have a daily production capacity of 900kg of gold and 200kg of silver, its head Mohamed Osman al-Zubeir said at the opening ceremony. This more than doubles the previous forecast for the refinery’s annual gold capacity, to 328 tonnes from 150 tonnes Sudan hopes to sell gold worth up to $3 billion this year, double last year’s gold revenue. Central bank governor Mohamed Kheir al-Zubeir told said on Wednesday that had sold 58 tonnes of gold worth $2.6 billion over the past 16 months.

There are several obstacles to Sudan’s goal:  first, gold smuggling to Beirut, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai is apparently commonplace.  Second, gold industry standards and trade associations probably prohibit the importation of gold from designated conflict zones such as Sudan (think “Blood Diamonds”) even in cases where particular governments may allow it.  Third, Read the rest of this entry ?

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Slick ad tells Muslim youth to use gold coins

May 11, 2012

A new commercial uses images of Muslim young ladies buying food at a halal cafeteria with silver coins.  Viewers are urged to use the silver dirham coins and gold dinars in order to “revive the Sunnah”:

The Islamic world is replete with examples of the move toward silver and gold coins, and this is just the latest.  Indonesia recently introduced a standardized dinar and dirham system to run alongside their paper currency as an option for Indonesians.

Gold advocates and Muslim financiers make repeated claims of gold and silver having “intrinsic value.”  Pardon me, but can you eat gold and silver?  Can you drink it?  Will it keep you warm in winter and dry in the rain?  No—only the things you can buy with gold and silver can do that for you.  And guess what?  You can buy the same things with paper currency.

In this sense, “fiat” currency isn’t much different from “fiat” metal.  But metals are susceptible to fluctuations in the global market (like oil) and could potentially be a less stable system upon which to base a national monetary system.

Turning back the financial clocks to the dinar and dirham may make some Western nostalgists, goldbugs, and paranoiacs envious or concerned that the Islamic world is taking what they feel is a more sensible approach to money.

But there is nothing to be envious about.  Returning to gold and silver will not help the economies of the Islamic world.  If anything, it will make them even less efficient and less competitive in today’s currency-based financial world.

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Safety smokescreen for Conviasa ban

April 11, 2012

The European Union has imposed an “operating ban” against the Venezuelan airline Conviasa.  This is the same airline that former ambassador Roger Noriega  said “conducts regular flights between Caracas and Damascus and Teheran. The Hezbollah networks use these flights and others to ferry operatives, recruits, and cargo in and out of the region.”  Amb. Noriega also suggested that Conviasa has been used to traffic cocaine from Venezuela to West Africa.

The new Conviasa ban has been attributed in public to questions about airline safety, but anti-money laundering insider Kenneth Rijock has pointed out on his blog that the ban may actually have been imposed due to the transport of nuclear materials from Venezuela to Iran with a stopover in Europe, or due to bulk gold smuggling by the airline to help buoy a faltering Iranian economy.  From Mr. Rijock on Apr. 4:

DID VENEZUELAN AIRLINE MOVE NUCLEAR MATERIAL THROUGH EUROPE ?

…The ban fails to specify exactly what operating conditions, ramp inspections, or other events caused this action, but the grounds may be much more disturbing than flight safety deficiencies.

Any one of these may have been the reason to ban Conviasa from EU airports:

  1. Seats on Conviasa’s curious long-haul operation between Caracas, Damascus and Tehran, have a history of being inaccessible to civilian passengers. It has served as a conduit for Iranian nationals,  traveling for any number of reasons, including evasion of international sanctions, to gain access to the Western Hemisphere. Visas are freely available at the Venezuelan Embassy in Tehran for official travelers; I have seen a few of them on brand-new Iranian passports.
  2. Anti-Terrorism experts believe that agents of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, especially the Quds Force, its international wing, have entered Venezuela in that manner. Remember also that there is a Hezbollah Venezuela, and this is probably the only direct, open access for members of specially designated global terrorist organisations to travel from the Middle East to Latin America. The arrest and detention, at the US-Mexican border, of non-Spanish speaking Middle Eastern nationals suspected of terrorist affiliations, carrying valid Venezuelan passports, validates this belief. Hamas, ETA, whomever the terrorist group du jour happens to be currently in favour with the Chavez regime.
  3. These wide-body A340 aircraft have been engaged in heavy cargo airlift of military materiel either way, eastbound or westbound. Most experts have heard rumours of missiles to Venezuela; small arms to Syria and Iran; what else has been shipped into Iran, evading the international sanctions ? These aircraft are exempt from normal customs procedures in Venezuela, so frankly, anything goes.
  4. Gold has been known to have been shipped in bulk to Iran; we can also assume that bulk cash, in the form of US Dollars, is also traveling from the Chavez regime to Iran. Remember, due to the sanctions, Iran is in dire need of “Greenbacks” to purchase goods and services in the global marketplace for cash. They are getting some of those needs met from Iraqi sources, but their international purchases from suppliers willing to do business surely do not involve credit.
  5. My best guess is that the EC does not want a nuclear accident at one of the EU airports, due to a mishap involving a Conviasa aircraft carrying Uranium to Iran, or even a nuclear device or component to Venezuela, whose leadership has longed to have the nuclear option. Is that really why Conviasa is now banned from EU airports ?

Should a Conviasa aircraft make a forced landing, or suffer an accident between Caracas and the Middle East, whether through equipment malfunction, or pilot error, we need to see what it is carrying on board, preferably with inspectors carrying radiation-measuring equipment, before its cargo is released. I wonder what will then happen to the Conviasa board of directors and the pilot in command.

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War on Qaddafi based on fear of gold standard

August 11, 2011

Umm… okay… right…

Well, the theory that Europe and the United States have gone on the offensive against Muamar Qaddafi makes “sense” only if you have the same world view as one of the sources for this theory, Louis Farrakhan.

The weird leader of the Nation of Islam recently had this exchange on a program called “Spectrum Today”:

‘How’s America’s wealth today? How is she doing financially? What is the deficit? Some say it’s about US$56 trillion counting Social Security and Medicare.

‘That’s a big number. She’s printing money, but there’s nothing backing it,’ said Farrakhan.

In the book, ‘The Fall of America,’ Elijah Muhammad wrote, ‘The English pound and the American dollar have been the power and beckoning light of these two great powers.

‘But when the world went off the gold and silver standard, the financial doom of England and America was sealed.’

Muhammad added: ‘The fall of America is now visible and understandable. Long has Allah been gradually removing the power of the great and mighty America while few have noticed it. This has been done by degrees, and they do not perceive it.’

This article from the Southern Times lays out the theory that Qaddafi possesses a lot of gold, and intended to create a Muslim and pan-African currency backed by gold that would change the global balance of financial power.  The fear of that possibility is what has prompted the U.S. and Europe to declare that “Qaddafi must go.”  The West would be shaking in its boots, the author argues, if oil-exporting countries began selling their oil for gold dinars rather than U.S. dollars.

The only reason this bizarre fantasy deserves any ink on this blog is because it highlights the fixation that Muslim authorities have for re-imposing the gold standard on an unwilling world.  Their belief is based, not on a solid understanding of economics or trade, but upon the idea that the Profiteer Muhammad used only coins of gold and silver in the Seventh Century, and so should we.  They also despise paper currency that is backed only by the faith and credit of an infidel government.

The gold bugs are getting buggier.

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Rare Muslim opposes gold…for wrong reason

February 3, 2011

I began reading this article with great excitement, and thought, “Finally, a Muslim economist is talking sense instead of frothing at the mouth about the ‘evils’ of paper currencies.”  It seemed so good at first that I figured a fatwa would be issued against him within the next 24 hours.

Until I read his real reason for opposing a return to the gold standard:  “He said gold supply was dominated by non-Islamic countries.”

There you have it.  It’s not about what’s best for the global economy, for stabilizing prices, or what the best medium of exchange truly is.  It all boils down to what gives Islam the upper hand.  Thanks, Professor.  From the Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama.com on Jan. 17:

KUALA LUMPUR—Islamic countries should continue to use paper currency instead of gold dinar as history has shown that the return to the coinage system could increase interest rates and inflation would be difficult to control.

Professor of Comparative Economic History at International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), Dr Murat Cizakca, said money should serve as a medium of exchange, not as a commodity.

“We need to continue with paper currency, and the central banks controlling paper currency should have full autonomy,” he said.

Cizakca said this at a public lecture entitled, “Islamic Gold Dinar:  Myths and Reality” organized by the Association of Chartered Islamic Finance Professionals and INCEIF here Monday.

He said gold supply was dominated by non-Islamic countries.

“The gold dinar will be exposed to speculation as the gold price also have its ups and downs.

“Thus, Islamic countries should continue to use paper currency and increase trade between each other, and eventually in the future agree to a common paper currency,” he said…

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Gold bug, thy name is Islam

December 1, 2010

No more Bretton Woods for Mahathir

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has spoken out within the past month saying that trading paper currencies is silly, and that we should return to the gold standard.  A few old school American politicians take a similar position, and there’s growing interest in restoring some type of global standard to currency markets.

That being said, the antipathy toward paper currencies has special resonance in the Islamic world.  Mr. Mahathir is a longtime advocate of the gold dinar movement.  As we have noted before, Islamists are uncomfortable with fiat currencies, and they prefer using the same type of money that their prophet did–gold and silver coins.

Why is it that every financial downturn becomes an excuse for deepening the Islamization of world financial markets?

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Islamic economics: cut zeroes to stop inflation

January 21, 2010

Nobody likes inflation.  But Muslims really don’t like inflation.  They have a saying that one silver dirham (coin) during the time of Muhammad would buy one chicken, and that one dirham today would buy you… one chicken.  That is why the movement within the Islamic world to buy gold coins has skyrocketed, as I have blogged about here.

Iran’s rial is supposedly pegged to the dollar, so the mullahs can’t quite figure out why they would experience inflation.  No matter.  Just behead the zeroes from the currency itself.  That will solve it.  Here’s the news from AP, via MSNBC:

TEHRAN, Iran – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday his government is planning to lop off zeros from its currency in an apparent fight against Iran’s double-digit inflation.

Ahmadinejad’s government is preparing to enact a law in April that would sharply slash energy and food subsidies. The move could provoke more unrest in a country already struggling under international sanctions, high inflation and a government crackdown on the opposition.

“It is planned to remove zeros off currency and make the rial value real,” Iran’s government website quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. “The value of rial, under the law, is calculated on the basis of the price of gold. For some reason, the rial has been devaluated and we have to return its value to the one existing in the law.”

The Iranian rial is now traded at 10,000 rials to one U.S. dollar. That compares to 70 rials against the dollar in 1979, the year an Islamic revolution toppled the pro-Western Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The governor of Iran’s Central Bank, Mahmoud Bahmani, last month said three or four zeros will be removed from the currency, depending on the results of the government’s subsidy cuts.

But don’t worry.  Sharia finance and Islamic economics are more ethical, equitable, and sustainable than Western capitalism.  That’s what we’re told, anyway.

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Funding slavery & terror: Part I

December 18, 2009

Background

Muhammad, whom Muslims view as the perfect man to emulate, owned slaves.  It should therefore be not entirely surprising that, even in modern times, the average human trafficker is more likely to be a Muslim than a Christian or Jew.  Arutz Sheva ran a story this summer with the headline, “Muslim Countries Lead in Human Trafficking”:

Muslim countries in the Middle East and north-central Africa lead the world in human trafficking, according to a new U.S. State Department report. Of the 17 countries that were given the “Tier 3″ listing reserved for the worst offenders, nine were Muslim countries or countries with a large Muslim population from these two regions. Tier 3 countries are defined as those “whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards” of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 and “are not making significant efforts to do so.”

The Middle Eastern countries with Tier 3 status are Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. The north-central African countries are Mauritania, Chad, Sudan, Niger, and Eritrea, all of which have very large Muslim populations.

This blog is not about slavery under Islam, but many analysts have pointed out modern day connections between human trafficking and terrorism.  Therefore, this three-day series will look at the financial interplay between the two wicked practices, including:

  1. Common funding sources
  2. Personal and financial collusion among traffickers and terrorists
  3. Anti-money laundering (AML) laws that can address trafficking and terrorism simultaneously.

Similar revenue channels

To illustrate the first point about overlapping funding sources, Mining Weekly published a useful example this fall (before the inception of Money Jihad) about stolen gold, terrorism, and trafficking in persons:

Read the rest of this entry ?