Posts Tagged ‘Jamaat-ud-Dawa’

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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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Islamic charity funded Mumbai terror attacks

July 11, 2014

Many of us will long remember the images of smoke billowing up from the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai on Nov. 26, 2008, as a result of the wider operation that would become known in India as the 26/11 terrorist attacks that left 160 dead.

It has been presumed since then that hawala, the traditional Islamic money transfer system, was involved in the financing of the attack, which Money Jihad also believed helped the perpetrators. However, it is now beginning to appear, based on accounts from India’s Intelligence Bureau, that the Islamic charity known as Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its imams were actually behind the equivalent of $200,000 in payments, and that the money was transferred in small increments outside of the hawala system.

Rediff.com reports (h/t Geuzen):

‘JuD used charity money to fund Mumbai 26/11 attacks’

An Intelligence Bureau dossier has revealed that an amount of around Rs 1,17,37,820 was spent to carry out the Mumbai 26/11 terror attack by Pakistan sponsored Lashkar-e-Tayiba. The dossier is significant considering the recent ban on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa — Lashkar’s financial wing — imposed by the United States of America.

The JuD has been raising funds under the garb of charity and diverting it for terror activities particularly against India. The IB dossier details the manner in which the JuD raised funds for the 26/11 attack and diverted it to the Lashkar coffers.

The JuD has 50,000 members and each one is assigned a specific task of raising money under the pretext of charity, says the dossier. Until the year 2002, the Lashkar enjoyed the open backing of the Pakistan government. But after they chose to be more discreet, the JuD was floated to channelise funds.

The IB has said that its dossier was prepared based on statements made by Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist David Headley and intelligence collected from various sources. The dossier states the expenditure for the 26/11 Mumbai attacks were divided into four parts.

The money spent on the ten terrorists, including the pay off to their families and their training, was around 130,000 US dollars. The Lashkar spent 25,000 US dollars on weapons and 500 dollars for the VOIP accounts through which communication was maintained through the operation.

Headley had said that he received an amount of 40,000 US dollars from the Lashkar to carry out surveillance and other expenditure during his visits to India.

The dossier also states that funding for the JuD comes from sympathisers based out of Saudi Arabia. People who subscribe to the Wahabi school of thought contribute the most. Till date many donors contribute money for the Lashkar’s fight in Kashmir.

JuD members travel across the world to collect funds. When planning for the 26/11 attacks commenced a core team was constituted to collect funds. The Lashkar ensured that majority of the funds were collected through donations and every JuD office had a box that read charity on it. While 60 per cent of the funds came from Pakistanis settled in Saudi Arabia and Britain the rest was collected through open donations in Pakistan, the dossier states. It was around this time that the Islamic Society in the Gulf was revived and contributions began to pour in.

Since 2002, the Lashkar has devised several methods to raise funds but according to the Intelligence Bureau, JuD has been most effective in fund collection. What worked in JuD’s favour was that it was considered a legitimate outfit and none of the money was accounted by the international community as it was considered to be a charity organisation.

The JuD not only collected funds for charity and diverted it to the Lashkar, but also helped the outfit legitimise the money collected by extortion, counterfeiting, smuggling and animal skin trade.

The JuD has also set up hospitals, fish farms and a carpet business. The outfit made it compulsory for every agriculturist in Pakistan to contribute 10 per cent of their annual earnings to charity, known as ushr.

But for the Lashkar, its biggest source of income is from the drug trade. While on one hand the Inter-Services Intelligence collects money from Dawood Ibrahim, who is the leader of this trade, the Lashkar has its own set of men who undertake the same business. The Lashkar alone smuggles out 5000 tons of opium every year, which approximately accounts to 2.5 billion dollars. This money is equally shared with the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, which aides Lashkar operatives smuggle opium out of Afghanistan where it is produced.

The dossier also states that most of the money is sent to different parts of the world where the Lashkar operatives are present. It is also distributed among Al-Qaeda members present in Syria, Iraq, US and other countries. A significant amount is also sent to Jammu and Kashmir. At least 2 banks in the Valley are directly under the control of the Lashkar, which means they do not rely on the hawala network.

Money sent to different parts of the world is often carried by JuD preachers. Until now these persons were not checked, as the JuD was considered to be a legitimate organisation…

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Lashkar-e-Taiba raises money in plain sight

October 29, 2013

McClatchy reports that Pakistan has stopped enforcing the international ban against the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba.  (We must have missed when the government actually did enforce the ban.)  The prediction that LeT and its charitable front group, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, would use the recent Eid holiday to raise money from selling animals and trading hides has been borne out.

The fundraising activities seem strong in residential areas near Islamabad which are populated by government employees.  Fancy that.

Pakistani group banned after Mumbai attack found operating openly

Published: October 17, 2013

By Tom Hussain — McClatchy Foreign Staff

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s government appears to have relaxed its enforcement of a 5-year-old United Nations ban on the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist organization, which incurred the sanctions because of its militants’ alleged involvement in the November 2008 rampage in Mumbai, India, that killed 166 people.

Two of Lashkar’s front organizations openly raised money this week as the Muslim festival of Eid al Adha got underway. No authorities made any effort to stop them – not a surprise, perhaps, because the groups have been known to work with the government when natural disaster strikes.

But the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate has kept a tight leash on Lashkar-e-Taiba, which the U.S. has labeled a terrorist organization, since Pakistan told the United Nations it would enforce a ban on the group and its affiliates after the Mumbai assault. The attack destroyed the significant progress the two countries had made in settling the feud that had led to two wars and four localized conflicts since the nations were created when Britain ended its colonial rule in 1947.

Lashkar’s public resurgence follows the end in August of a decade-long cease-fire between Pakistani and Indian forces along the disputed border of the mountainous Kashmir state. Since then, Lashkar and other Pakistani militant groups with a history of terrorist activity in India have made a rapid comeback.

It wasn’t difficult for McClatchy to find them in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, on Wednesday, the first day of Eid al Adha, which commemorates the biblical tale of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son upon God’s command. Abraham’s hand was stayed by the angel Gabriel at the last moment and he was instructed to sacrifice a ram instead. Muslims who can afford to now mark the celebration with the slaughter of a ram or sheep.

Lashkar’s black-and-white striped flag was clearly displayed on banners flying just 200 yards outside the residential suburb of Korang Town. Emblazoned across the banners were the addresses and phone numbers of mosques affiliated with Lashkar’s Jama’at-ud-Da’wah proselytizing sister organization. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Terror charity poised to net $5m this Eid

October 16, 2013

A hundred thousand hides sold at fifty dollars a head should yield $5 million for Jamaat ud-Dawa, a front charity for the Pakistani jihadist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba.  Pakistan’s authorities have long known that militants profit from illegal leather sales (see here and here), but the government still lacks effective mechanisms (or perhaps genuine willingness) to curtail it.

From The Guardian yesterday, with a hat tip to Shreekant:

Eid animal slaughter funds Pakistan terror groups

Hides from 6m animals sacrificed during Eid sold by front organisations for militant groups

Jon Boone in Islamabad

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Huge numbers of goats, cows and even camels will be slaughtered in Pakistani on Wednesday homes to mark the Islamic holy day of Eid al-Adha.

The sacrificial offering of around 6m animals will allow families to fulfil a religious duty, guarantee some much appreciated meat handouts to the poor and provide nearly half of the annual requirement of the country’s leather industry.

It will also generate an extraordinary cash windfall for some of Pakistan’s most dangerous militant groups.

Thinly disguised front organisations have been gearing up to compete against each other and legitimate charities to collect as many animal skins as possible, which can then be sold on for cash.

“For us it is second only to Ramadan for our income,” says an official from the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).

FIF is the charitable wing of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), itself the reincarnation of one of south Asia’s most dangerous militant groups, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a banned organisation dedicated to fighting jihad against India.

JuD has successfully fought off legal bans although many believe it remains deeply involved in militancy.

The US government has offered $10m (£6m) for information leading to the arrest of Hafiz Saeed, the group’s leader accused by some US officials of masterminding and overseeing the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Saeed moves around the country freely. On Monday, he held a press conference outside a mosque in an affluent district of Islamabad.

Surrounded by piles of food, toys and other goods that he said would be given to victims of last month’s earthquake in Baluchistan, he appealed for people to give their animal hides to JuD.

“Whatever funds we get from hides of animals we will use in Baluchistan to rebuild houses and help the people,” he said to a bank of almost 20 television cameras.

The organisation hopes to collect 100,000 hides from around the country this year. A cow hide can fetch up to $50.

Also available to buy are JuD livestock which the organisation provides and slaughters on behalf of individuals or groups who want to pool resources to share the cost.

Such initiatives have helped the organisation take market share from other charities, including the Edhi Foundation, a much-respected social welfare group.

“It’s hard to complete because they have more manpower from all their religious seminaries,” said Mohammad Rashid from the Edhi Foundation in Islamabad. “They send all their students out to the streets, to volunteer.”

Because JuD is not officially a banned organisation nothing will or can be done to stop it collecting hides.

There are fears that very little will be done to stop illegal groups from collecting hides either, particularly as many of them operate under false names.

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FATF’s terrorist charity typologies

July 9, 2013

The Financial Action Task Force, an international financial watchdog, has updated its “Recommendation 8” pertaining to government oversight of nonprofit organizations.  (Thanks to Arye Glozman who sent in a link to the report).

Overall, the revised recommendations show greater deference to the nonprofit sector and urge restraint by governments in regulating charities than the 2002 version.  This deference is a bit strange considering that using charities as vessels for funding terrorism has not decreased since 2002 then, neither in the West as illustrated by organizations such as the Holy Land Foundation and WAMY Canada, nor in the Middle East and Northern Africa where Gulf-based charities have played a central role in funding and arming Islamist rebels of the Arab Spring.

That being said, the FATF report does present a useful set of typologies to categorize four different types of terrorist “misuse” of nonprofit groups:

  1. Front charities, where everybody from the donors to the charity workers to the beneficiaries knows that the charity is a sham designed to fund terrorism.
  2. Organizations defrauding donors by telling them the money is going toward legitimate programs but then redirect the proceeds to terrorism.
  3. Branch offices of charities defrauding headquarters by misleading the leadership about the branch’s actual programs.
  4. Charity workers abusing their positions to distribute aid to militants.

The “charities” used by Osama bin Laden to funnel money from wealthy Saudi donors to Al Qaeda in the 1990s are a good example of type #1.  Jamaat-ud-Dawa in Pakistan is a good example of a front charity today, with donors and recipients understanding that the money is really for the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group.  Many analysts would probably say that the Holy Land Foundation fell into type #2, with donors unwittingly funding Hamas (although some donors knew that their zakat was funding “resistance” against Israel).  Islamic Relief Worldwide can be associated with types #3 and #4 by having a branch office in Gaza that passed money along to Hamas, allegedly without the knowledge of headquarters in England.

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Punjab province gives grant to terror camp

June 28, 2013

The government of Pakistan’s Punjab province has approved a line item in its budget to give 61 million rupees (approx. 600,000 U.S. dollars) to a terrorist base camp known as Markaz-e-Taiba in Muridkey (h/t msjri).

The Markaz-e-Taiba center falls nominally under the control of the Punjabi government, but is actually an encampment for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which is itself a front charity for the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba.

What’s so shocking is that this can occur in broad daylight.  Punjab isn’t even trying to hide it.  This is the point to which Pakistan’s “cooperation” in the war against terrorism has deteriorated.  If the U.S. and its allies are still unwilling to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, could it at least consider designating Punjab as a provincial sponsor?

From PTI via the Times of India:

Pak’s Punjab govt allocates millions of rupees for Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa

PTI Jun 18, 2013

LAHORE: Pakistan’s Punjab province government has allocated over Rs 61 million in its budget for fiscal 2013-14 for the largest centre of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the parent body of banned terror group LeT that carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Besides a grant-in-aid of over Rs 61 million for the JuD’s centre known as ‘Markaz-e-Taiba’, the provincial government has allocated Rs 350 million for setting up a “Knowledge Park” at the centre and other development initiatives.

Details of the allocations were presented in budget documents tabled in the Punjab assembly on Monday by the PML-N government led by chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.

One document stated: “Grant-in-aid to chief administrator Muridkey Markaz (is) Rs 61.35 million”. The JuD’s centre is located at Muridkay on the outskirts of Lahore.

In his budget speech in the assembly, finance minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman announced that the provincial government “intends to establish a Knowledge Park in Muridkey”.

He said the government had allocated Rs 350 million for the park and several other initiatives in Punjab.

Shortly after the UN Security Council designated the JuD a front for the LeT in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, the Punjab government took over the centre in Muridkey.

At that time too, Punjab was ruled by the PML-N. Since then, the government has allocated money in its annual budget for the administration of the centre in Muridkey.

In 2009-10, the government provided more than Rs 82 million for the administration of JuD facilities.

In fiscal 2010-11, chief minister Sharif, using his discretionary powers, allocated two separate grants for JuD facilities.

The government granted Rs 79.77 million for six organisations at Markaz-e-Taiba and a special grant-in-aid of Rs 3 million for the JuD’s Al-Dawa School System in several districts of Punjab.

Officials have said in the past that the allocations were needed to continue “welfare services” provided by the JuD’s schools, dispensaries and hospitals across the province of 90 million.

In the past, the Punjab government defended its decision of allocating money to the JuD by saying the grants had been awarded for the administrator of the Markaz-e-Toiba.

There is no formal ban on the JuD and its chief, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, lives freely in Lahore despite a 10-million dollar bounty offered for him by the US.

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Terrorist front group banned from skin trade

April 5, 2013

Pakistani officials rule that Lashkar-e-Taiba’s front charity cannot profit from animal hides

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the charitable front group for the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, from buying and selling animal hides.  The leather trade has been an extremely lucrative business for jihadist entities, particularly in Punjab.

Authorities cited UN sanctions against JuD in 2008 as the basis for the ban. From the Indian Express last month:

JuD cannot collect Eid-ul-Azha hides: Pakistan authorities to court

Pakistani authorities have informed a court that the Jamaat-ud-Dawah it is not allowed to collect the hides of sacrificial animals as the group was listed as a terrorist organisation under a United Nations Security Council resolution in 2008.

The Punjab Home Department informed the Lahore High Court yesterday that the JuD was barred from collecting hides on the instructions of the federal Interior Ministry.

The instructions were part of security arrangements for the Eid-ul-Azha, when a large number of animals are sacrificed. Every year, the JuD collects thousands of hides and sells them to tanneries to raise funds for its activities.

The JuD was named a front for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba on December 10, 2008 in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks.

In a written reply submitted to Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial, the Home Department said the Interior Ministry had issued a code of conduct for collecting the hides of sacrificial animals.

Under this code, all organisations are required to obtain a certificate from the district administration chief and the district police chief for collecting hides. It said the Interior Ministry had issued a list of proscribed organisations and said that they should not be allowed to collect hides.

Prior Money Jihad coverage of Hizbul Mujahideen, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, and Jaish Muhammad using the leather trade to fund militant operations against India is available here.

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