Posts Tagged ‘India’

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Lashkar-e-Taiba front charity expands footprint

February 6, 2015

Just as the terrorist group Hamas provides some social services in order to retain the loyalty of Palestinian Arabs, the jihadist group Lashkar-e-Taiba is expanding medical services to residents of Pakistan through its Jamaat-ud-Dawa front charity. (And the government of Pakistan is okay with that.)  The move also dovetails with one of Osama Bin Laden’s final wishes, which was for Al Qaeda to provide humanitarian services in order to win the hearts and minds of middle-of-the-road Muslims.

From NYT News Service:

In Pakistan, a charity project points to official tolerance of militants

KARACHI: Violence and mayhem are the hallmarks of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani group that waged the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks. But this week, the group publicly expanded its operations in an entirely different domain: health care.

On Monday, Lashkar’s founder, Hafiz Saeed, inaugurated an ambulance service run by the group’s charity wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, in the bustling port city of Karachi. Two days later a fleet of gleaming new vans, emblazoned with the charity’s distinctive flag and loaded with stretchers still wrapped in plastic, were parked outside the group’s Karachi headquarters, waiting to make their first runs to hospitals on this city’s often chaotic streets.

The group already operates a similar service in 100 towns and cities across Pakistan, a spokesman for the charity said, and was seeking donations to help fund the new service in Karachi.

Even as Pakistan is experiencing a wave of anti-militant sentiment after the Pakistani Taliban’s massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar last month, the aggressively public profile of Lashkar-e-Taiba, particularly through its Jamaat-ud-Dawa affiliate, suggests that some militant groups still enjoy official tolerance.

In fact, some analysts saw the unveiling of the ambulance service this week as a calculated rebuke to speculation that the Pakistani authorities were finally going to enforce international sanctions against Jamaat-ud-Dawa…

Hat tip to Rushette.

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U.S. takes aim at Dawood Ibrahim’s brother

February 3, 2015

New sanctions have been slapped against underworld crime boss and terrorist mastermind Dawood Ibrahim’s network by U.S. Treasury Department. One of the targets of the sanctions is Dawood’s brother Anees, who has at various times been erroneously reported as dead. Dawood was the mastermind and financier of the 1993 Mumbai bombings that killed 257 people. The expansion of sanctions against his gang speaks to an improving diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and India, and to a souring relationship with Pakistan where Dawood is currently being sheltered.

Here are the details from Treasury:

Treasury Sanctions Two Indian Nationals and a Company Based in Pakistan for Ties to the South Asian Criminal Network ‘D Company’

1/16/2015

Action Targets Long-Time Members of D Company and a Paper Mill Controlled by One of the Designated Individuals

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designation of two Indian nationals and one entity in Pakistan as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) due to their ties to D Company, a South Asian criminal organization led by Dawood Ibrahim.  As a result of today’s action, all assets of those designated that are based in the United States or are in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

D Company is a transnational crime syndicate that principally operates in India, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates.  D Company is involved in a variety of criminal activities, including narcotics trafficking, extortion, smuggling, and contract killings.  Dawood Ibrahim and other leaders of D Company are the subjects of INTERPOL Red Notices for their suspected involvement in the 1993 terrorist bombings in Mumbai, India in which 257 people were killed.  In October 2003, the Treasury Department named Dawood Ibrahim as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and in June 2006, the United States named both Dawood Ibrahim and D Company as Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act.  Additionally, in May 2012, Treasury designated two senior D Company lieutenants, Chhota Shakeel and Ibrahim “Tiger” Memon, under the Kingpin Act.

“Today, the United States is targeting D Company, a violent organization notorious for its drug trafficking activities and terrorism,” said Adam J. Szubin, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.  “Combatting transnational organized crime is a top U.S. priority, and we will continue to expose the activities of D Company and the underpinnings of criminal financial networks worldwide.”

Today’s action targets two long-time members of D Company, Shaikh Anis Ibrahim Kaskar (Anis Ibrahim), the brother of Dawood Ibrahim, and Aziz Moosa Bilakhia (Bilakhia), both Indian nationals.  Anis Ibrahim is known to be involved in narcotics trafficking, extortion, contract killings, and money laundering on behalf of D Company.  Anis Ibrahim is also accused of involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts.  Today’s action also targets Mehran Paper Mill, a Kotri City, Pakistan-based paper company owned or controlled by Anis Ibrahim.

Bilakhia works directly for Anis and Dawood Ibrahim and manages extortion, enforcement, and debt collection activities for D Company.  Bilakhia has been involved with D Company since at least the 1993 Mumbai bombings, for which he is wanted by Indian authorities…

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Outfoxing jihadi financiers: news reading tips

January 29, 2015
  • American banks have begun breaking off their old love affair with Arab banks… more>>
  • A Democrat congressman recently planned to speak at an event with a Taliban fundraiser… more>>
  • Too often, organized smuggling networks simply aren’t prosecuted… more>>
  • A Pakistani boatload of terrorists self-detonated off India’s waters. Most Indian media and officials agree that a terrorist plot was foiled in the process, except for the Indian Express which claimed the offenders were just petty smugglers. A blogger carefully dismantles the Indian Express’s version of events… more>>
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Boko Haram targets India for drug dealing income

January 16, 2015

The jihadist group Boko Haram killed up to 2,000 people in northeastern Nigeria last week. The operation would have cost Boko Haram a great deal of money in terms of arming and paying wages to their fighters. Boko Haram is known previously to have sustained itself through jizya, robberies, military depot raids, zakat from supporters, arms trafficking, and drug smuggling through West Africa.

But a new vector for Boko Haram’s drug racket may be emerging in India. Fugitive terrorist and underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim, who is currently being given safe haven in Pakistan, is facilitating Boko Haram’s entry into the illegal drug racket in South Asia according to news outlets there. Times Now reported last fall that the Pakistani spy agency ISI arranged for a meeting between Dawood’s brother, Anees Ibrahim, and Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, which has already started yielding profits for Dawood’s “D-Gang” and Boko Haram. Roll tape:

Nigerian drug dealers are especially active in Goa and Mumbai.

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SIMI takes page from Al Qaeda financial playbook

December 23, 2014

The Student Islamic Movement of India is copying old Al Qaeda financial tactics including forgery, counterfeiting, and keeping a stash cash on hand, according to South Asian news sources.  In and of itself this might not be so alarming considering that Al Qaeda central never made very much money relative to more “traditional” terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, but Al Qaeda’s ISIS stepchild has shown that major terrorist movements can spring from relatively humble financial origins.

Earlier this year we reported that SIMI may have amassed a $20 million nest egg for future operations.  Taken together, this news may suggest growing financial sophistication on SIMI’s part.  Would have blogged about this sooner but other news kept coming up. From TNN two months ago:

SIMI fugitives operated on al-Qaida pattern

They followed the methods mentioned in the al-Qaida training manual. The manual was first implemented by al-Qaida while bombing US embassy in Kenya in 1998. It was produced as evidence in the case’s trial by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2001. FBI had first seized it from the laptop of an alleged al-Qaida operative in Manchester in UK.

The manual has notes on counterfeiting and forgery, security measures for undercover activities, and strategies in the case of arrest and indictment.

The way Students Islamic Movement of India operatives functioned shows they followed the manual in toto, say investigators following them. It guides on details like location of the hideout, lifestyle to be followed by operatives and keeping sufficient cash ready. Police had recovered Rs 9 lakh [14K USD] the SIMI fugitives had handed over to two persons in Bijnor with the promise that they would collect the cash when required. The manual also cautions operatives against living together and that all of the group members need not be aware of where the others are holed up.

Al-Qaida has already announced its intention to revive Islamist terrorism, which has ebbed in India following a crackdown on Indian Mujahideen cadres. Now, SIMI elements are being warmed up to replace them. While IM supports the Iraq-based ISIS, the SIMI operatives have cozied up to al-Qaida.

In the recent past, there have been reports that Qaidat al-Jihad or al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), a new outfit of al-Qaida, is setting up roots in India by recruiting operatives from IM and SIMI, to use their network…

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Modi cocks gun and takes aim at illicit money

June 1, 2014

Newly elected prime minister Narendra Modi is reportedly putting the finishing touches on a new framework to tackle illicit money in India. While some of the new task force’s work will probably be geared toward ferretting out money allegedly stashed in Swiss bank accounts by political opponents, their objectives will also include the detection of hawala and terrorist financing.

Illicit money has been flowing into India from Kashmir and Pakistan for years under the Congress party’s nose. Modi’s BJP party must act as quickly as possible in order to begin reversing that.

Thanks to Sumon Chakraborty for sending this in from India Today:

Black money: Modi’s task force is almost ready

It could be the first big step from PM-designate Narendra Modi to bring back black money stashed abroad.

Sources in central agencies tell Indiatoday.in that a framework for a new task force to deal with black money has been prepared.

“Under the directions of senior officials of Department of Revenue, this task force has been created. It will be headed by the Financial Intelligence Unit,” said an official, requesting anonymity.

Central agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate, the Income Tax Department and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence are the members of the task force.

The task force will deal with black money derived from corruption, money laundering, hawala, terrorist financing or through off-shoring of wealth via tax havens.

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Terrorist tycoon ‘mortally afraid’ of Modi

May 26, 2014

Terrorist billionaire and organized crime kingpin Dawood Ibrahim is said to be “mortally afraid” of India’s newly elected prime minister, Narendra Modi.  So much so that he has fled his longtime safe haven in Karachi for a city within the Taliban’s control on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.  Such a move suggests that Dawood Ibrahim is paying off the Taliban as an extra layer of security protection–a potentially highly lucrative arrangement for the Taliban.

As Money Jihad predicted at the end of last year, Modi’s election would, “represent a significant threat to the established criminal and terrorist underworld in India and Kashmir that are being backed by Pakistan.”  More recently, Modi has promised to crack down on illicit money, hawala, and tax evasion.  At long last, Dawood can see the writing on the wall.

From DNA on May 20 (hat tip to @RushetteNY):

Scared of Narendra Modi, Dawood Ibrahim, gang members go in hiding

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 | S Balakrishnan

With Narendra Modi all set to become the prime minister, India’s most-wanted don, Dawood Ibrahim, has relocated himself to an unknown location close to the Af-Pak border, which is under the Taliban. His base has been in Karachi.

During the poll campaign, Modi had told a Gujarati news channel that he would bring Dawood to India from Pakistan if he comes to power. Now that Modi is in power, the general expectation of the intelligence community is that he will tighten the screws on Dawood. Fearing a commando-type operation, Dawood is believed to have shifted his base to a remote corner and got the ISI to beef up his security.

“With Modi coming to power, he is mortally afraid,” an intelligence official said. It is expected that Modi may seek the services of Ajit Doval, retired chief of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) who is known for his brilliant operational capabilities, to zero in on the don. Doval is currently associated with the Vivekananda centre in New Delhi.

BJP has already started adopting a strong position vis-a-vis Pakistan. In a recent TV debate, senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari made it clear that the new government will have “zero tolerance” to terrorism. He said the response of the new dispensation will be vastly different from that of the erstwhile Manmohan Singh-led UPA government, which was afraid to strike.

Sushilkumar Shinde, home minister in the UPA government, had only talked about bringing Dawood back to India and had claimed that the government was in touch with the FBI for it. But RK Singh, who was the then Union home secretary and is currently with BJP, had pooh-poohed Shinde’s claim. Singh too is known to be keen on targeting Dawood and is expected to help the new government in it.

It’s not only Dawood who has done the vanishing act, even many members of his gang in Mumbai have pulled out of the metropolis. Though the police is under the Congress-NCP-led Maharashtra government, central agencies can pick up people suspected of links with terror networks and organised crime.

Former IPS officer YC Pawar, the man who effected the first breakthrough in the investigation into the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts masterminded by Dawood in tandem with Pakistan’s ISI, is of the opinion that the don can indeed be brought to India. He had told dna recently: “Modi is a man of tremendous will power and a go-getter. These qualities are needed at the topmost level to operationalise a plan to eject Dawood out of Pakistan. I am not saying this as a member of BJP but as a professional cop who has dealt with organised crime for several years”…

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