Posts Tagged ‘IIRO’

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Saudi Arabia crowns new king who financed jihad

February 2, 2015

In 1978, the Saudi monarchy decided to expand the exportation of fundamentalist Wahhabi Islam across the world through the establishment of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO). About 10 years later, IIRO’s Philippine branch was established by Osama Bin Laden’s brother-in-law, which subsequently funded Philippine terrorists. By the 2000s, IIRO’s branch in Indonesia began funding Al Qaeda training camps.

The Bush administration designated IIRO-Philippines and IIRO-Indonesia as terrorist entities in 2006. IIRO’s U.S. offices were closed at the time, although IIRO appeared to reopen an office in Florida 2010. IIRO is the fourth best-funded Islamic foundation in the world according to a 2011 study.

The man who selected the leadership of IIRO and approved its spending from its inception is the new king of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz:

Saudi Crown Prince Salman

From the Washington Free Beacon:

…[T]hroughout his public career in government, Salman has embraced radical Muslim clerics and has been tied to the funding of radical groups in Afghanistan, as well as an organization found to be plotting attacks against America, according to various reports and information provided by David Weinberg, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

In 2001, an international raid of the Saudi High Commission for Aid to Bosnia, which Salman founded in 1993, unearthed evidence of terrorist plots against America, according to separate exposés written by Dore Gold, an Israeli diplomat, and Robert Baer, a former CIA officer.

Salman is further accused by Baer of having “personally approved all important appointments and spending” at the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), a controversial Saudi charity that was hit with sanctions following the attacks of September 11, 2001, for purportedly providing material support to al Qaeda.

Salman also has been reported to be responsible for sending millions of dollars to the radical mujahedeen that waged jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s, according to Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who is now director of the Brookings Intelligence Project.

“In the early years of the war—before the U.S. and the Kingdom ramped up their secret financial support for the anti-Soviet insurgency—this private Saudi funding was critical to the war effort,” according to Riedel. “At its peak, Salman was providing $25 million a month to the mujahedeen. He was also active in raising money for the Bosnian Muslims in the war with Serbia”…

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Bangladesh overwhelmed by the financial jihad

November 26, 2012

Bangladesh continues to teach the world more and more about the collusion between Islamic sharia financial institutions and terrorist organizations.

First there was the revelation that IBBL uses zakat to fund terrorists.  Then there was the U.S. Senate’s damaging report about HSBC last summer which highlighted the British bank’s relationships with IBBL and another sinister sharia bank in Bangladesh, the Social Islami Bank Limited.

The revelations probably had something to do with FATF issuing a warning to Bangladesh to clean up its act and tighten the screws on terror financing.  The government of Bangladesh is indeed trying to, but the jihadi swamp there is so foul, and sharia banking is so dominant over conventional banking, that one wonders if the swamp can ever be drained.

This informative November article from the Eurasia Review provides some excellent background on the last 20 years of terrorist financing in Bangladesh and how the country wound up in its current stew with FATF:

Bangladesh: Banking For Terror – Analysis

By: SATP
November 12, 2012

By Sanchita Bhattacharya

In what seems a logical culmination of events, Bangladesh has been given time until February 2013 to address deficiencies in its fight against money-laundering and terror-financing to avert black-listing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)…

…[T]he U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation, in its July 17, 2012, report titled U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History, disclosed that two Bangladesh-based banks, Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) and Social Islami Bank Limited (SIBL) were involved in terror financing. Regarding the functioning of HSBC, it was mentioned that the bank acted as a financier to clients seeking to route funds from countries like Mexico, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan, Myanmar, Japan and Russia. The report also stated that the HSBC supplied dollars to IBBL and SIBL, ignoring evidence of their links to terror financing. HSBC did not submit these two banks to enhanced monitoring for suspicious transactions, despite recommendation by HSBC’s own Financial Intelligence Group (FIG).

According to the document, SIBL’s ownership stakes were held by two Saudi Arabia based non-governmental organizations (NGOs): the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) – implicated in terrorist financing by the U.S. administration and included on the list of those prohibited to do business in the country; and Lajnat-al-Birr-al-Islam (Benevolence International Foundation, BIF), one of al Qaeda’s financers.

It was noted, further, that Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank, also engaged in suspicious transaction, had a 37 per cent ownership in IBBL. HSBC also had maintained an association with Al Rajhi, a member of al Qaeda’s “Golden Chain” – a list including at least 20 top Saudi and Gulf States’ financial sponsors of al Qaeda, including bankers, businessmen, and former ministers.

The U.S. report on terror financing was not a recent finding. Since 9/11, the U.S. has taken strong steps to halt the flow of funds to terrorist organizations under Executive Order 13224 and related elements of the USA Patriotic Act.

The exposure of the unholy nexus between banking establishments and terrorist activities in Bangladesh can be traced back to the watershed country-wide serial bomb blasts on August 17, 2005. 459 explosions had been orchestrated in 63 of the country’s 64 Districts (excluding Munshiganj), killing three persons and injuring 100 others, on that date. After the serial blasts, which were orchestrated by the Jamaat ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), the role of IBBL in promoting religious terror was brought under scrutiny, when Bangladesh Home Ministry constituted a committee to investigate terror financing. Subsequent to the arrest of the JMB ‘chief’ Shaikh Abdur Rahman and his second in command Siddiqui Islam alias Bangla Bhai, and the subsequent seizure of some banking documents, the investigation team documented suspicious transactions with IBBL branches in Sylhet, Gazipur and Savar, where violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act were noticed. The Act which came into existence in 2002 was last amended on June 20, 2011. Rahman and Bangla Bhai were also found to have accounts with IBBL. The two were eventually hanged on March 30, 2007 – Rahman in Comilla Jail and Bangla Bhai in Mymensingh Prison.

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Sheikh: preventing terror finance violates rights

September 25, 2012

Sheikh Saleh bin Abdulrahman Al-Hussein, formerly the chief of the presidency of Saudi Arabia’s two holy mosques and a member of the Senior Ulema Council, has written a 1,600 word opinion piece in the Arab News defending the transfer of funds overseas through “charity” from Saudi Arabia.  Hussein asserts that such “charity” is a personal freedom and human right.

In the piece, Sheikh Saleh Hussein slams a 2003 U.S. congressional hearing, which he claims had no facts, just emotional smears, about Saudi charities involved in financing terror.  He blames that hearing, subsequent arm twisting at the United Nations, and traitorous reporting by local Gulf journalists, for giving Saudi Arabia a bad reputation as the world’s terror financial hub.

If the evidence of Saudi perfidy is all based on false or exaggerated rhetoric, can the sheikh please explain the following events?

  • Why the Saudi International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) branch in the Philippines, which was designated by the U.S. as a terrorist entity, was founded by Osama Bin Laden’s brother-in-law, Muhammad Jamal Khalifah—a senior Al Qaeda leader?
  • Why Saudi Arabia conceded that Al Haramain (a charity that operated under the control of the government of Saudi Arabia) branches in Bosnia, Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Pakistan were terrorist entities?
  • Why the former head of Al Haramain in the U.S. was convicted last year to 33 months in prison for funding jihad in Chechnya?
  • Why the founder of Saudi Arabia’s largest private bank (and the Sunni world’s largest sharia bank) was named in the infamous “Golden Chain” list of 20 financial benefactors of Al Qaeda, and why Saudi Arabia has resisted all legal attempts to access his bank’s records?
  • Why Saudi Arabia sponsors telethons to raise money for suicide bombers?
  • Why the chief of the Bangladeshi terrorist organization JMB says his funding sources include the Saudi-based Muslim World League and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth?
  • Why the Saudi government continues to award public contracts to the Bin Laden family for construction projects?

Oh, and one more question.  Sheikh Hussein concludes his commentary by invoking a verse from the eighth chapter of the Koran (“The Spoils”), a sura which addresses taking the spoils of war from conquered infidels.  If the sheikh is truly interested in defending the principle of charity toward the poor, this is a quite remarkable passage to select!

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HSBC flouted warnings, cozied up to IBBL

July 20, 2012

A report by the U.S. Senate has documented extensive ties between HSBC and Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL), the biggest sharia bank in Bangladesh.  HSBC engaged in business activity with the Bangladeshi financial institution despite ample evidence of IBBL facilitating terrorist financing.

As previous Money Jihad coverage has shown, IBBL helped bankroll the dangerous spread of Wahhabi Islam in Bangladesh.  Last year, IBBL was also named by its own government for diverting zakat to fund militant jihad, and one of its sharia board advisers was arrested an interrogated for an attack against police officers.  And that was without even knowing the contents of this report, which are quite damning.

IBBL remains one of the world’s worst examples of the nexus between sharia finance and terror finance.  But HSBC didn’t seem to mind too much.

From Wednesday’s Daily Star:

Terror financed due to HSBC failure

US probe into British bank’s operation in Bangladesh exposes links of 2 local Islamic banks

Terror sharia bank worked closely with HSBC

Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd and Social Islami Bank Ltd came into the spotlight yesterday for their alleged links to terrorist financing after a US Senate report exposed British banking giant HSBC’s internal governance failure to control flows of suspect funds.

Click here to read Full Text of US report

One of the banks was allegedly funding al-Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law held shares in a company that has shares in the bank.

In all these cases, profit motive rather than cautions from various levels within the bank and standard procedures ruled the game.

More thoughts were given to the bank’s making $47,000 in revenue that might go up to $75,000 a year later than to the terrorist links the banks allegedly had, or the US authorities’ view of the banks.

A report of the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a congressional watchdog panel, has revealed these troubling information which show a “pervasively polluted” culture at HSBC Holdings Plc.

The bank acted as financier to clients seeking to route shadowy funds from the world’s most dangerous and secretive corners, including Mexico, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria, according to the report.

The US report also mentioned that Al Rajhi Bank, a Saudi bank, was involved in suspicious transactions.

HSBC apologised to the US Senate, saying it takes “compliance with the law, wherever it operates, very seriously”.

In one instance, when Islami Bank wanted to open a US dollar account with the HSBC US office, questions were raised about the Saudi bank Al Rajhi’s 37 percent ownership in Islami Bank. Ears of HSBC’s anti-money laundering unit were cocked.

But the then head of HSBC Global Banknotes, Chris Lok, felt that his interest in considering a new account depended upon whether there was enough potential revenue to make.

“Is this an account worth chasing….How much money can you expect to make from this name? It’s just that if the revenue is there then we are prepared for a good fight,” he wrote. “The money is there and we should go for this account.”

“Then Lok and others approved the account despite questions about its [Islami Bank] primary shareholder Al Rajhi Bank, whose past links to terrorist financing had received attention in the media …and troubling information about Islami Bank itself,” the senate report said.

HSBC’s own Financial Intelligence Group (FIG) unit had reported that Shaikh Abdur Rahman, chief of Bangladesh’s terrorist outfit JMB, had an account with Islami Bank. Bangladesh Bank found that two branches of Islami Bank had been engaged in “suspicious transactions” and urged the bank to take action against 20 bank employees for failing to report the suspicious transactions, according to the FIG report.

Six top militants including JMB chief Abdur Rahman and his deputy Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai were executed for killing two Jhalakathi judges in 2007.

HSBC’s Know Your Customer unit had reported that Islami Bank be classified as a highest risk client but HSBC rejected the suggestion. It meant HSBC did not subject the bank to any enhanced monitoring.

HSBC’s another internal report said a Saudi NGO, International Islamic Relief Organisation (IIRO), had been implicated in terrorist financing by the US government and included on the list of those prohibited to do business in the US. The IIRO had accounts with both Islami Bank and Social Islami Bank, and yet HSBC’s Compliance Department denied an internal request of due diligence on the bank.

“Today, although HSBC exited the US banknotes business in 2010, Islami Bank remains a customer of two dozen HSBC affiliates,” the report said.

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Vile charity to open at least 7 new branches

June 5, 2012

The International Islamic Relief Organization has been an important entity in spreading virulent Wahhabi teachings beyond the borders of Saudi Arabia to the farthest reaches of the Islamic world.  IIRO’s branches in the Philippines and Indonesia were designated as terrorist entities by the United States in 2006.  Saudi Arabia must figure that this is a good time for IIRO to spread its tentacles once more across the globe.

Sorry to Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, India, the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Angola.  You will be the next victims.  The Koran says that the mujahideen are eligible recipients of zakat.  Muslim scholars, particularly in Saudi Arabia, are fully aware of this provision of Islamic law, and they will keep that in mind as they allocate zakat funding to these new branches.

H/t TGMBDR:

IIROSA to open overseas chapters

The International Islamic Relief Organization-Saudi Arabia (IIROSA), a major Saudi-based charity with a mandate to provide necessary aid and relief globally, plans to open overseas chapters in various countries, Adnan Khalil Basha, IIROSA secretary-general told Arab News on the sidelines of a reception hosted for foreign diplomats based in the capital here on Tuesday.

The recepion was organized to highlight the IIROSA programs and projects being carried out in different countries. The IIROSA aims to identify impoverished areas and the needy population across the world, especially in countries where Muslims are in minority and to lend them support on priority basis. The event was addressed by Abdullah bin Abdulmohsin Al-Turki, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL).

Diplomats from the Arab region, Islamic countries, Africa, Europe and Americas attended the conference. A number of foreign envoys and diplomats praised the IIROSA activities saying the organization has been delivering aid in different parts of the world adhering to the international rules that govern charities.

Referring to the expansion plan undertaken by the IIROSA, Basha said his organization was planning to open new chapters in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, India, Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Angola and a few other countries. About the dangers posed to aid workers in countries such as Tunisia, where the situation is still volatile, he said that “this is the time to open IIROSA offices in countries like Tunisia and at places where there are uprisings, unrest, natural disasters and poverty.”

“Every year, the IIROSA plans to open five or six chapters across the world, but sometimes we succeed and sometimes we don’t because of stricter regulations in those countries or tight licensing regulations,” said the IIROSA chief. “In fact, we are working to open a chapter in India,” said Basha, adding that the IIROSA is doing its best to bring home to Indian officials that it is a transparent organization.

He said the IIROSA wanted to boost communication with different societies across the world to promote greater understanding and friendship. “Our work is purely humanitarian and we do our best to serve the needy around the world without any discrimination.”

“We establish educational and health institutions, build training and rehabilitation centers, construct orphanages and shelters for the needy besides establishing water supply system and digging wells,” he explained. Asked about the budgetary constraints faced by the IIROSA and other Islamic charities, he said the “IIROSA had been getting its resources from endowment (auqaf) properties, donors and from our partner organizations.” “There is no exact financial budget or annual budgetary allocations, rather it depends on the donors how much they would give,” said the IIROSA chief, adding that all finances are audited and made transparent as per international regulations and standards.

About its relief operations, Basha said his organization has always been among the first to assist victims of natural or man-made disasters providing them with accommodation, food and medical treatment. He said the assistance extended by the IIRO has so far benefited more than 43 million people in 149 countries.

The organization financed and managed 1,162 projects benefiting more than 1.2 million people in four continents in 2011, Basha said.

“During floods in Pakistan, we were among the first to be there and in Somalia we were among the major relief organizations to extend relief to the hunger-stricken people,” said the IIROSA chief, who has been supervising a number of aid and relief operations launched by this charity.

He pointed out that the IIROSA has helped in the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, which includes eradication of poverty, universality of primary education, limiting rate of child mortality, environmental sustainability and holding international partnerships.

At the end of the event in Riyadh, an IIROSA documentary film titled “Pioneer” was shown to the diplomats, which highlighted some of the humanitarian and relief achievements of the organization. The diplomats and officials led by Al-Turki and Basha also visited a photo exhibition, which was organized on the sidelines of the event.

The IIROSA is a charity affiliated with the Makkah-based Muslim World League.

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The world’s 20 biggest Muslim NGOs

March 5, 2012

From a 2011 University of Coopenhagen paper by Marie Juul Petersen entitled “For humanity or for the umma? Ideologies of aid in four transnational Muslim NGOs”:

Sizable Muslim bodies

The author of the paper excluded the well-heeled Aga Khan Foundation because that foundation does not describe itself as a Muslim NGO.  Italicized organizations are closed because of counter-terrorism prosecution.  Budget data comes from 2005 to 2009.

I disagree with some of the amounts and order listed, but overall find this to be a handy, helpful table.

The top organization listed, Islamic Relief, has fallen under increasing disrepute for its work with Hamas and the ties of its leadership to the Muslim Brotherhood.  Several of the other charities listed are no better.

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Wahhabi money flows for Koran memorization

July 18, 2011

The World Muslim League, the Saudi grand poobah of Wahhabist indoctrination around the globe, recently sponsored an international Koran memorization and recitation contest in Pakistan for children.  Two Muslim World League subcomponents, the Holy Quran Memorization International Organization and International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) helped organize the event.  IIRO’s Philippines and Indonesia branches have been blacklisted by the U.S. for financing terrorism.

The winner was a 7-year-old.

The Pakistani Bait-ul-Mal (meaning “house of money,” the traditional Arabic term for the Islamic treasury), an agency funded mostly by Pakistani taxpayers, announced it would award over $3 million rupees (over $40,000) to the winners of each six categories of the indoctrination contest.  Additional cash prizes will be given to the children by the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan.

During a lavish ceremony for the Wahhabi-approved whiz kids, a former president of Pakistan praised Saudi officials for “their keen interest in support the people of Pakistan especially during the 2005 earthquake and 2010 flood.”

The cash awards are small in comparison to the billions spent globally on Islamism, but the attendance of such high-profile guests to the function demonstrates the relevance and influence the World Muslim League still exerts across the globe.

Here’s the report from the Pakistani Observer.  Pakistan’s International News had additional coverage on July 12.

IT IS they who truly follow God’s revelation, and are constant in their prayer, and spend on others, secretly and openly, out of what We provide for them as sustenance- it is they who may look forward for a bargain that can never fail, since He will grant them their just rewards, and give them yet more out of His bounty: for, verily, He is much-forgiving, ever responsive to gratitude. (35: 29-30).

These were the Quranic verses recited by a 7 year old Hafiz Jamal in a well attended function held at The national Library of Pakistan.

The function was organized by the Director General of The Muslim World League and Islamic Relief Organization Pakistan Office, Mohammad Abdu Atian to honour the top 10 Huffaz of Holy Quran among 1577 children below 10 years of age who took part in the annual competition. Children from all provinces of Pakistan participated in the competition.

Four prominent chief guest attended the functions. The are the former President of Pakistan Mr. Mohammad Rafiq Tarar, Chairman Baitul Mal Mr. Zumard Khan, the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan Mr. Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer and the Saudi Military Attaché Brig (Navy) Abdullah bin Saeed al-Ghamdi. Dr. Abdullah Mohammad Habbab, Director of Education in Islamic Relief Organization in Saudi Arabia also attended. There were a large number of Huffaz, their families and teachers. Representatives from print and electronic media were also in attendance to cover the function.

It was a high profile and well organized function. The Huffaz thrilled the audience with their heart-felt recitation of Holy Quran. Safi Mohammad Nawaz ( 7 years old) secured the first position. Khamsa Javed Ali memorized Holy Quran in just 115 days. Both were asked by Al-Ghadeer to sit on the platform of honour.

Hafiz Bilal Wazir who is 16 years old was introduced. He could tell you within a split of a second the entire detail of a given verse including in which page it is mentioned. Mr. Atian calls him the Computer. Others among the audience believe that he is faster than the computer.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Tarar paid rich tribute to Saudi Arabia and commended the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud for their keen interest in support the people of Pakistan especially during the 2005 earthquake and 2010 flood.

He also paid rich tribute to the Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer for his role in promoting the bilateral relations and personal involvement in the relief of the victims of the 2010 flood.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Zumard Khan announced a grant from Baitul Mal of Rs.3.1 million to be spent on the Huffaz. Last year, Baitul Mal donated Rs.2.5 million.

The Saudi Ambassador announced that he would arrange in the near future a dinner at his residence for the Huffaz and their teachers.

Prizes would also be distributed among all the Huffaz as a gesture of goodwill and encouragement from Al-Ghadeer.

The Muslim World League and Holy Quran Memorization International Organization have been recognized by the United Nations. They have now the status of Observer in the UN and OIC.

In collaboration with “ Holy Quran Memorization International Organiozation, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Muslim World League and International Islamic Relief Orgasnization regularly organize a grand annual function of prize distribution amongst the top Huffaz of the age of ten years or below on competitive basis.

The participants are selected from all over Pakistan. Five top selectees are granted return ticket for performance of Umra besides cash awards.