Posts Tagged ‘Money Jihad’

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Term of the week: Tajheez al-Ghazi

February 25, 2015

There are some quotations about halfway down the right-hand margin of this webpage including a statement attributed to Muhammad that “The warrior gets his reward, and the one who equips him gets his own reward and that of the warrior” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 14 No. 2520) and a sales pitch from Osama Bin Laden who told Muslim businessmen, “Your duty is to support the Mujahideen with money and men… The Zakat of one affluent Muslim merchant is enough to finance all the Jihadi front against our enemies.”

These are central concepts behind the money jihad, or al jihad bi-al-mal (see here and here). Those who wage jihad with their life or their money are to be considered of greater worth than Muslims who “sit at home” according to classic Islamic texts.

Another element of this principle is the concept of tajheez al-ghazi. Tajheez means “preparation” and al-ghazi means “warrior.” Those who cannot personally join the fight are asked to prepare (ie to fund, arm, gird, or fit) the warrior for battle.

Edwina Thompson and Aimen Dean learned more about this concept during extensive field work and interviews with 65 current or former jihadist operatives, and published it (along with co-author Tom Keatinge) in the July/August 2013 edition of Perspectives on Terrorism journal. This is a must-read:

…There are many examples from the Qur’an which illustrate the importance of giving generously to the cause of jihad and the war effort. Islam recognised from the beginning that wars, whether defensive or offensive, cost money. Therefore Islam devised a mechanism by which people would voluntarily contribute, and contribute generously, to the war effort while considering such contributions as charity. As history shows, early Muslims took this message to heart. Contributions to the Jihad took many forms: some provided arms and shields, others food and livestock, or horses and camels. The most common method of contribution is ‘Tajheez al-Ghazi’ – simply defined as fitting or arming a soldier, which allows for those who cannot, or will not, join the jihad physically for whatever reason, to achieve the honour and heavenly reward of waging jihad by proxy. The Prophet Muhammad encouraged this type of sponsorship: ‘Whoever arms a Ghazi then he would be considered a Ghazi, and whoever looked after the family of an absent Ghazi, he will too be considered a Ghazi’ (Bukhari, 2630). More popular than shields, armour, and horses is now money, which is paid to individuals aspiring to make their way to jihad theatres of conflict.

Jihad volunteers are the life and blood of such theatres in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, North Africa and Syria today. Therefore, without Tajheez being readily available for potential Jihadists the ability of groups such as al-Qaeda and the Taliban to sustain their level of activity in these theatres would be severely limited. From primary research that covers the period from 1991 to mid-2012, it emerged the Tajheez cost per jihadist was between US $3,000 and $4,000 in Bosnia (due to the number of countries that the volunteer needed to pass en route and the need to cover the cost of his AK-47), and US $2,000 to reach Afghanistan and have enough money to cover basic needs. In the case of the roughly 100 foreign jihadists who made it to Chechnya, the cost of Tajheez skyrocketed to more than US $15,000 per person due to the difficulty of entering Chechnya.

As jihad theatres emerge around the globe and attract public and media attention, local individuals, clerics and small fundraising cells organically emerge to organise and collect funding for Tajheez. Again, primary research conducted by one of the authors indicates that four out of ten Jihadists received their Tajheez from money raised or contributed by women. The funds are collected in cash, handled by individual and small cells, with almost no banking transactions occurring or with funds moving through officially registered charitable channels. Some contributors use their own credit cards to purchase tickets for traveling jihadists. Tajheez relies on hundreds of outlets, whether they are clerics or coordinators, dispersed over dozens of countries and with no organisational links between them or to a central authority, making it impossible to track them all. What unites them is a common cause…

Anybody who is serious about understanding the motives behind those who donate money to jihadist causes or the methods behind terrorist fundraising must grasp this concept.

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10 biggest terror finance news stories of 2014

December 30, 2014
  1. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria rebounded from a weaker financial position to amass $3 billion in annual income after taking over Fallujah in January and Mosul in June. Its diversified portfolio makes ISIS the world’s best funded terror group. Western allies are trying to cut off ISIS’s money, but admit that the best case scenario is that ISIS will run out of cash on its own.
  2. Treasury undersecretary David Cohen announced in March that “Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally, has for many years openly financed Hamas,” and that it is financing terrorists in Syria. These comments were followed up by former MI6 spy chief Richard Dearlove’s statement in July that “substantial and sustained funding” for ISIS comes from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. At least 5 but probably dozens more prominent Qataris are involved in the financial pipeline to Al Qaeda affiliates.
  3. The 4,500 rockets fired by Hamas toward Israel from July to August were financed and supplied by Iran and Qatar, further calling into question the wisdom of Iranian nuclear negotiations and periodic U.S. communications through Qatari diplomats for outreach to the Taliban.
  4. A ban from Israel and a designation as a terrorist entity by the U.A.E. made 2014 an annus horribilus for Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW). The world’s largest Islamic charity was also tarnished by revelations that its German subsidiary has worked with a Hamas-connected charity in Syria and that IRW’s U.S. subsidiary, IR-USA, was documented to have given $118,000 to terror-linked groups.
  5. Turkey’s role in financing terrorism spilled out into public view after paying $800 million to ISIS for oil. Turkey’s 2014 corruption scandal also revealed the extent of their involvement in Iranian sanctions evasion. Turkish president Erdogan’s support for Al Qaeda financier Yasin al-Qadi led his removal from U.S. terror blacklists.
  6. Arab Bank was found liable in Linde v. Arab Bank, PLC in September for funding 24 terrorist attacks by Hamas. The case sets a powerful legal precedent for victims’ families to seek justice against Middle Eastern banks involved in financing terror.
  7. A bill to declassify 28 pages of a Congressional report into 9/11 gained 20 new co-sponsors in 2014. The redactions deal with money given by Saudi officials and agents to the hijackers.
  8. Sharia banker and Islamist militant financier Mir Quasem Ali was sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal in November for 8 torture sessions he oversaw against Bangladeshis in 1971. Ali’s involvement highlighted the intersection between Saudi money, violent Islamist groups, and sharia-compliant banking.
  9. Boko Haram kidnapped 200 girls in April, possibly for financial reasons, as suggested by Boko Haram’s demands for a ransom from the Nigerian government and from the girls’ families. Other motives include sex and household work and the prospect of money and prisoner swaps.
  10. An outspoken singer and fierce critic of terror finance, Saado Ali Warsame, was slain in Somalia in July. Warsame previously called upon fellow Somalis to refrain from using the remittance company Dahabshiil because of the firm’s role in funding terrorism. Warsame alleged before her death that the company offered a contract for her assassination.

Newer Money Jihad readers may also want to look back at our biggest stories of 2013, 2012, and 2011 to see how the threats are evolving over time.

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Top 5 Money Jihad posts

October 7, 2014

This blog has been around for five years next week. Readers may be interested to see what some of the most popular posts here have been. According to WordPress statistics, these have been the five most frequently read/visited posts on this blog to date:

  1. The world’s 20 biggest Muslim NGOs
  2. The world’s 5 richest terror groups
  3. Zakat Foundation & Muslim Hands unite
  4. Islamic tax chart
  5. Welcome to Lilburn, Georgia

Not a bad selection. But we wouldn’t necessarily say those have been our best posts. Now, for the editor’s top 5 favorites:

Lastly, the oddball gallery. These are our top 5 “overlooked” posts—items that, never seemed to gain the traction or readership they deserved. Were these just too weird for popular consumption? You be the judge:

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Technorati stops publishing blog rankings

September 13, 2014

For 10 years, the blog indexing company Technorati served as the Nielsen ratings equivalent of the blogosphere. But earlier this year, Technorati quietly yanked its rankings of blogs off the Internet and into a dustbin in their server room.

The end of Technorati’s rankings is unfortunate. The site lost some credibility over the years, but it was still one of the better tools available for tracking and comparing the relative popularity, authority, and influence of blogs. (It also means the end of “Technorati tags,” a convenient way of tagging content especially on Typepad platforms.)

Technorati probably could have helped its own reputation by making a bigger announcement before the move, or at least by enabling web users to access archived rankings. But they didn’t. So we’re not sure where this blog ended up immediately prior to Technorati pulling the plug, but as of March 2014, Money Jihad was listed a “Top 100” blog under the “World Politics” category, ranking 72nd:

Technorati blog ranking for Money Jihad

Money Jihad was also listed as a top 500 U.S. politics blog as early as 2010 when readership was much lower than it is today.

Alexa, which still provides statistical comparisons of blogs, generally monitors the blogs with the biggest audiences, and scarcely registers accurate metrics for “mid-market” blogs unless you pay them.

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Admin note about TTFB

September 6, 2014

Money Jihad blog, which is hosted by WordPress, is working great.

The Terror Finance Blog (TTFB) however, to which Money Jihad blogger A.D. Kendall is a contributing expert, is experiencing domain problems. TTFB’s editor Ilan Weinglass says the problem may take some time to resolve.

The website that has taken over the terrorfinance.org URL calls itself “Terror Finance: tutto sulle opzioni binarie,” The website is in Italian and gives advice on binary trading options. Forbes magazine warns its readers that binary option websites “are gambling sites, pure and simple,” not investment websites.

Money Jihad and blogger A.D. Kendall are in no way affiliated with the Italian website.

The Terror Finance Blog is technically still available in a basic format at http://terrorfinance.typepad.com/. Pieces written by Kendall for TTFB were cross-published on Money Jihad, and can still be accessed as normal at https://moneyjihad.wordpress.com/category/appearing-at-terror-finance-blog/. Once TTFB finds a more permanent home, we’ll let readers know.

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Money Jihad blog benefits from celebrity tweets

August 16, 2014

We were quite surprised when comedian and actress Roseanne Barr recently tweeted out a link to a Money Jihad blog post from last year about Hamas’s involvement in organ trafficking to her quarter-million followers on Twitter:

Tweet by Roseanne Barr to Money Jihad post

But the 17 retweets and 10 favorites to Roseanne’s tweet didn’t drive quite as much traffic as the 55 retweets and 127 favorites for a droll tweet earlier this month by television actor David Boreanaz to his 600,000 Twitter fans:  “Number 4: https://moneyjihad.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/the-worlds-5-richest-terrorist-groups/,” corresponding to Hamas’s place among the world’s five richest terrorist groups as ranked by Money Jihad:

Angel from Buffy tweets link to Money Jihad post

But oftentimes the Hollywood tweeps can’t compete with subject matter experts with large followings on Twitter. Canadian commentator Tarek Fatah, author of The Jew is Not My Enemy and several other books, routinely attracts multiple retweets, as he did with this 2013 tweet about Money Jihad’s profile of one of Jamaat-e-Islami’s Saudi financiers:

One of Tarek Fatah's links to Money Jihad

That level of influence is tough to match on our own. But with over 4,500 followers on Twitter, @moneyjihad chirps out some popular tweets linking back to the blog, like this one in May about the Canadian Islamic charity IRFAN’s financing of Hamas:

Money Jihad Twitter referral

Twitter, in addition to being a very fun way of gathering news and engaging with people about terrorist financing, has been a very effective method of drawing attention to the blog.

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Money Jihad blogger joins Terror Finance Blog

March 7, 2014

This blog is delighted to announce that Money Jihad author A.D. Kendall is joining the ranks of contributing experts at the Terror Finance Blog (TFB)!  Kendall is honored to be wearing this additional hat.  TFB has been a valuable resource in the field for years, and its contributors include counter-terror rockstar Rachel Ehrenfeld, the author of the excellent book Funding Evil.  Please be sure to bookmark http://terrorfinance.org/ it if it isn’t already one of your favorites.

Money Jihad itself isn’t going anywhere.  Fresh, insightful blog posts and tweets to our 4,000+ followers will continue churning out as usual.

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