Posts Tagged ‘Gulf’

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Sordid money: recommended news reading

May 7, 2015
  • National security adviser:  millions of dollars are coming from the Arab Gulf to Canada to promote a “jihadist interpretation of the Qur’an”… more>>
  • Where is Iran getting U.S. currency that it sends to Hamas?  From Baghdad and the Kurdish region of Iraq… more>>
  • T. Boone Pickens:  There’s no need to negotiate with Iranian liars because “we do not need Mid-East oil” any longer.  The U.S. has plenty energy resources of its own… more>>
  • Former Guantanamo Bay detainees are seeking a housing allowance from the United States.  You see, their four-bedroom house in Montevideo isn’t spacious enough… more>>
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Terror money news: recommended reading

November 6, 2014
  • Halal food certification enriches terror affiliates… more>>
  • Why terrorists love money transfer companies… more>>
  • Vice President says the Gulf monarchies funded ISISmore>>
  • Nigeria’s central bank denies financing Boko Harammore>>
  • An informative review of the controversial $1.3 billion in U.S. foreign aid to Egypt through American and Egyptian eyes… more>>
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Fracking lets us ditch Saudi oil to use our own

September 26, 2014

As part of the run-up to Money Jihad’s five-year anniversary, we’re looking back at five important videos from over the past several years about the financing of terrorism.

Last week we looked at money that has been pumped into the Gulf monarchies in oil royalties that they have turned around to use for terror for decades to placate their own Wahhabi domestic religious/political partners.  But what are we going to do about it? Drill our way out. U.S. energy independence from Arab oil, largely driven by technological innovation through hydraulic fracturing, may be the biggest strategic game-changer in the global balance of power since World War II.

From a Fox News interview last year with the Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore and national security analyst KT McFarland:

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Al Qaeda boss was key financier of Syrian rebels

January 14, 2014

The Saudi commander of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which is Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Lebanon, has been an essential fundraiser for attacks against Alawites in Syria, according to a Reuters article from Jan. 3.  Muhammad al-Majid served as an interlocutor between Gulf donors and anti-Assad militants before being arrested by the Lebanese army in November.  But surely Majid can be replaced by another Saudi—they have unrivaled expertise in bundling donations for jihad.

Al-Qaeda leader held in Lebanon ‘raised funds for anti-Assad militants’

Muhammad al-Majid, whose Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed a double suicide attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut last year, is believed to have been a key fundraiser for militants in Syria

The Saudi leader of an al-Qaeda spin-off group arrested in Lebanon this week was a key fundraiser in the Gulf for militants fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, official and private experts say.

The Lebanese army arrested Muhammad al-Majid, who leads the Lebanon-based Abdullah Azzam Brigades which claimed a double suicide attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut last November.

That attack was part of a spiral of sectarian violence in Lebanon that appears to be a spillover from Syria’s civil war. In the latest incident, a car bomb killed at least five people in a Shi’ite Muslim stronghold in southern Beirut on Thursday.

Laith Alkhouri of Flashpoint Partners, a private group which monitors militant websites for business and government clients, said Majid had “been behind a great deal of financing to the jihadists fighting in Syria.”

U.S. and European officials say that the most militant Sunni factions fighting Assad’s forces, including the Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, both aligned with al-Qaeda, are being financed largely by wealthy families in Saudi Arabia and Gulf states.

A U.S. official who declined to be identified said Majid’s arrest was, “at least a temporary setback, but certainly not a death blow, to the Ziad al-Jarrah Battalions, one of the most powerful Sunni terrorist groups in Lebanon.”

“Under Majid’s leadership, the group exported a degree of the sectarian carnage of the Syrian civil war to Lebanon by targeting Iranian and Hizbollah interests. At the same time, this is a faction that has demonstrated its resilience in the past, and Majid’s experienced deputies may well step up to the plate in his absence,” the official said…

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North Caucasus jihadists’ money traces back to Saudi Arabia and Osama bin Laden

April 19, 2013

The seed money of major North Caucasus or Chechen terrorist groups such as the Caucasus Emirate, the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (IIPB), the Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR) and the Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM) can all be traced back to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Although we don’t yet know to which groups the two Russian-born brothers of Chechen descent who were identified as suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings may belong, it’s important to take a look back at the origins of the money behind the North Caucasus jihadist network overall.

Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade

The Council on Foreign Relations says that, “According to the U.S. State Department, the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade is the primary channel for Islamic funding of the Chechen guerillas, in part through links to al-Qaeda-related financiers on the Arabian Peninsula.”

The Middle East Forum has more on IIPB:

In October 1999, emissaries of [IIPB founder Shamil Basayev] and [mujahideen leader] Ibn al-Khattab traveled to Kandahar where bin Laden agreed to provide fighters, equipment, and money to conduct terrorism and aid the fight against Russia. Later that year, bin Laden reportedly sent substantial sums of money to Basayev, Ibn al-Khattab, and Chechen commander Arbi Barayev to train gunmen, recruit mercenaries, and buy ammunition.

The United Nations says that, “With Al‑Qaida’s financial support, Al-Khattab also mobilized fighters from Ingushetia, Ossetia, Georgia and Azerbaijan to fight in Chechnya and Dagestan.”

History Commons offers further details similarities between Ibn Khattab and Osama Bin Laden, and the U.S. and U.K.-based imams who have funded Chechen rebels:

They share fundraising and recruiting networks. For example, a Florida cell of radical Sunnis that is monitored by the FBI starting in 1993 is involved with both organizations (see (October 1993-November 2001). Radical London imam Abu Qatada raises money for jihad in Chechnya (see 1995-February 2001 and February 2001) and is a key figure in al-Qaeda-related terrorism who is in communication with al-Qaeda logistics manager Abu Zubaida. [BBC, 3/23/2004; Nasiri, 2006, pp. 273] The Finsbury Park mosque of fellow London imam Abu Hamza al-Masri is used as a conduit for funds for both jihad in Chechnya and bin Laden’s Darunta camp in Afghanistan (see March 1999 and March 2000-February 2001)…

Khattab repaid Bin Laden in kind:  “In October 2001, Khattab sent additional fighters to Afghanistan and promised to pay the volunteers’ families a substantial monthly stipend or a large lump-sum payment in the event of their death.”

Special Purpose Islamic Regiment

In a 2003 study, the CDI found that, “Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network provided much ideological and financial support to the SPIR after the mid-1990’s. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Muslim “ghost charities” give $200m to Taliban

December 12, 2012

Arab states and the Gulf Cooperation Council are behind multi-million dollar zakat donations through Islamic shell charities to fund jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to an Afghan analyst.  Of course, this is how Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and 9/11 were funded in the first place, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise to regular readers of this blog.

But isn’t it noteworthy that 11 years after the terrorist attacks against New York City and Washington, D.C., that the Taliban is getting just as much money from the same old sources and the same old methods as it always has?  Attempts to bankrupt the Taliban have been an utter failure.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have blown smoke in our diplomats’ faces, promised reforms that have never fully materialized, and created nice policies against terrorist financing on paper while simultaneously serving as the world’s ratline for funding jihad.  Disgraceful.

Thanks to Twitter user @webcomobile for alerting me to this story from Gulf Daily News:

Terror funds linked to shady charities

By SANDEEP SINGH GREWAL, December 10, 2012

HUNDREDS of millions of dollars a year are being channelled into the hands of the Taliban – much of it from the Gulf, an expert told the GDN yesterday.

Shady charities in the GCC continue to funnel cash to Afghanistan to fund insurgents, said Afghanistan Centre for Research and Policy Studies director Haroun Mir.

He accused Gulf countries of not doing enough to monitor bogus charity operations, which he accused of filling terrorists’ coffers with cash to buy weapons, equipment and conduct operations.

“The Taliban gets $200 million a year to carry out its activities and recruit young people to spread terror across the world,” he said on the sidelines of the Manama Dialogue, which ended yesterday at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa.

“This huge amount of money is coming from somewhere and one main channel is bogus charities in GCC and Arab states, which collect funds that are used for illegal activities instead of noble causes.”

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Top cleric ran front group, found Gulf donors

September 6, 2012

The U.S. has sanctioned eight senior members of the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).  One of the men, Qari Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh, ran a front group to raise money for the terrorist for four years.  He also participated in at least two missions to the Gulf to obtain zakat and sadaqa donations from rich Arabs.  Sheikh’s biography is further evidence of the extent to which militant jihad relies on big money from the oil and banking powerhouses of Saudi Arabia and its neighbors.

From the Treasury Department’s press release:

Qari Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh, a member of LET’s central advisory committee, has held several different leadership positions in the group since approximately 2006. Sheikh has served as a leader in LET’s foreign affairs department since 2006, including acting as the department’s deputy director of political and foreign affairs between 2008 and 2009. As of mid-2008, Sheikh was also in charge of LET’s Islamabad office, including managing LET’s general operations in and around Pakistan’s capital.

Between 2008 and 2011, Sheikh ran LET front organizations that were used to raise funds and recruit on behalf of the group. Sheikh ran Falah-e Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a front used by LET for fundraising purposes, from early 2009 until mid-2010, when he was replaced as the FIF head by Hafiz Abdur Rauf. FIF and Rauf were designated by the U.S. pursuant to Executive Order 13224 on November 24, 2010. Falah-e Insaniat Foundation was added to the UN 1267 Consolidated List on March 14, 2012.

As of early 2010, Sheikh was the head of LET’s ulema (clerics) wing. Sheikh has also worked with LET’s international donors. In late 2006 and late 2007, Sheikh was part of an LET delegation that traveled to the Gulf on behalf of LET seeking support.

Head of the clerics?  Since Islamic law calls upon Muslims to wage jihad with their wealth, should we be surprised that a group of clerics would support the financing of jihad?

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Zakat to Kerala spreads terror throughout India

December 23, 2011

Charities and other non-governmental entities are falling under increased suspicion in India for funding terrorism.  The article below mentions donations from Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, so it is obviously referring to Islamic zakat that is being transferred to India to fund the activities of militant jihadist groups there (probably including the Indian Mujahideen or the Student Islamic Movement of India).

For American readers, note that “under scanner” in the article means “under scrutiny” and naxals are Marxist guerrillas.  From Rediff News (h/t to Twitter user @naveenks):

Govt puts NGOs under scanner for terror financing

Non Governmental Organisations will have to watch their transactions in the coming days as the government has proposed to put them under the scanner owing to a huge security risk.

The government believes that some NGOs in the country have been aiding terror groups with funds and hence it is important that a watch be kept over these organisations. Senior government officials pointed out that the task ahead is tough.

We believe that a large number of NGOs in the country have been sympathetic towards the cause of terrorists, and also the naxals and are indirectly raising funds for them,” said an official.

Intelligence agencies would be looking into states such as Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and West Bengal where it has been found that terror groups and Naxals are using NGOs as a mean to raise funds for their operations.

Kerala, where the inflow of money from foreign countries is high, tops the list.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Gulf-funded Kerala becomes terror hotspot

April 26, 2011

Kerala state in India is an importer and exporter of terrorism, and we have Gulf petro-dollars to thank for it, according to Balbir Punj, a senior member of India’s parliament.  Hawala is technically illegal in India, but hawala by nature is hard to detect, and zakat and cash smuggling are methods of transferring the money, too.  Is any region of the world safe from the sharia bucks influx?
 
From Express Buzz on Apr. 25:

THIRUVANATHAPURAM: Rajya Sabha MP and noted columnist Balbir Punj on Sunday blamed the opportunistic politics indulged in by the ”so-called” secular political parties for the growth of terrorism in Kerala.

He was delivering the 14th monthly lecture of the Vichara Vedi, Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram, on ‘Why Kerala a Hot-Spot of Terrorism’ at the Press Club here.
 
The senior BJP leader said Kerala has emerged an “exporter and importer” of Islamic terrorism.
 
Referring to the Keralite links to terrorism in Kashmir and elsewhere, Punj called it significant that the culprits were apprehended not by the Kerala police, but by the police and security agencies outside the state. Competitive communalism practised by the ‘so-called’ secular parties and their interference in terror-related cases have helped foment terrorism in the state. He cited as an example the unanimous decision taken by the LDF and the UDF urging the Tamil Nadu Government to release Abdul Nasser Madhani from the Coimbatore jail. The influx of large amounts of money from the Gulf region into Kerala was another factor in the growth of terrorism, he said.
 
But the nature of terrorism in Kerala was such that it cannot be seen in isolation, he said. “Islamic terror is global terror. You cannot look at Kerala in isolation. This has to be seen in totality of the situation,” Punj said.
 
He traced the roots of Islamic fundamentalism in India to Shah Waliullah, an 18th century theologist who proclaimed that Islam was in danger in India.
 
“For centuries, Hindus and Muslims had lived in peace. Shah Waliullah suggested that Islam was in danger and the remedy was, Islam can survive only if Muslims maintain physical, ideological and emotional distance from the Hindus,” he said.

The British also made clever use of this frustration on the part of the Muslim clerics to keep the Hindus and Muslims divided to achieve their ends.

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Still no oversight of Gulf charities

March 31, 2010

NPR aired a story last week on the Taliban’s finances.  The media usually focus on the Taliban’s opium revenues, but this report was more helpful because it actually addresses the cash pipeline of zakat “donations” from the Persian Gulf to Afghanistan:

[T]here is a steady stream of cash that flows to the Taliban, wittingly or otherwise, from Muslim charities and religious institutions outside Afghanistan.

‘Charitable’ Donations

Haroun Mir, director of Afghanistan’s Center for Research and Policy Studies, says many of those donations come from the oil-rich countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC.

“There [is] a network of charities in the GCC countries which directly support institutions in Pakistan which are supporting financially these extremist movements such as the Taliban,” Mir says. “And our estimates are in Afghanistan that between $150 [million] to $200 million every year reaches directly to Taliban via this network of charities that exists in the Gulf countries.”

Mir says he recently asked Bahrain’s foreign minister what can be done to halt the money flowing to the Taliban.

“He recognized the problem,” Mir says. “But he responded there is no mechanism in the region to monitor the transfer of charity funding. And I think it would be good if the United States government, in cooperation with the countries in the region, creates a mechanism in order to monitor. And he also mentioned licensing of the charity organizations.”

Analysts say that in a region where nongovernmental aid groups and charities operating domestically often face severe scrutiny and regulation, such lack of oversight on the religious charities seems a glaring omission.

Read or listen to the full report here.  What’s stunning above is the statement from Bahrain’s foreign minister, big boy Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, that “there is no mechanism in the region to monitor the transfer of charity funding.

This sounds like confirmation that Saudi requirements for SAMA to approve charitable transfers abroad are misleading or meaningless.  It’s also an admission that Bahrain hasn’t done much to regulate its own charitable sector.  This is not very reassuring when Bahrain had at least one state minister laundering up to $30 million and the country has no means of freezing illegally used assets.

U.S. Treasury and State Department officials need to do a much better job of cajoling the Gulf nations to regulate their charitable sectors.

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Islamic prof: takaful will lead to zakat bonanza

December 27, 2009

As Shariah Finance Watch has pointed out, Islamic insurance, or takaful, is on the rise, particularly in Iran and South Asia.

But if one Qatari scholar of Islamic law has his way, takaful will multiply in the Persian Gulf states as well.  This recent article from the Gulf Times points out that the number of Islamic insurance companies has increased from one to three in the past ten years, and Dr. al-Qaradaghi would like to see it increase much further.  The growth of Islamic insurance presents its own sharia finance problems, but what caught my eye was the zakat connection of the scholar’s sales pitch:

A leading industry expert has predicted a huge growth potential for Qatar’s Takaful (Islamic insurance) market, estimating its annual growth at 25%.

Dr Ali Mohayeddin al-Qaradaghi, a professor of Islamic jurisprudence at Qatar University, said that the local Islamic insurance market has lots of expansion opportunities since “every policy holders with the conventional insurance firms is willing to turn to the Takaful scheme”…

The scholar also estimated the annual Zakat that should be given by banks and companies listed in region’s stock markets at $100bn, which he said, can tackle the poverty problem in the world if invested in aid programmes.

“Based on a recent study I made, I calculated the value of the Zakat due by companies and banks in Gulf and other Islamic states can make $200bn. If this amount was properly invested through a ten-year plan to eradicate poverty, there would be no more poor people who starved to death around the world,” he added.

All right.  So that’s $200 billion in corporate zakat dollars due out “around the world.”  That sounds nice at first.  Until you listen to Ambassador Holbrooke, the U.S.’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, who says that most of the Taliban’s revenue comes from zakat donations from Persian Gulf benefactors.  I feel no excitement about a new zakat tidal wave crashing down on the shores of an increasingly radicalized Islamic world.