Posts Tagged ‘Morocco’

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ISIS fundraisers afoot in Ceuta

September 15, 2014

A cell of Islamic State of Iraq agents have been arrested after operating in Morocco. Several of the operatives are said to have raised funds for their cause in Ceuta, a Spanish city adjoining Morocco. The Local, which subsequently reported that there are as many as 95 Spaniards fighting with ISIS in Syria, has the story:

Spain helps Morocco break up ISIS terror cell

Nine jihadists belonging to a recruitment cell for the terrorist group ISIS were arrested on Thursday in the north of Morocco with the help of Spanish security forces.

The arrests took place in Fez, Tétouan and Fnideq (Castillejos), not far from North African Spanish enclave of Ceuta, after extensive investigations involving Spanish security agents.

Some of those detained had ‘strong ties’ to Spain, Spain’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The cell is believed to have been dedicated to the recruitment, financial support and deployment of jihadists. Moroccans and others recruited to the cause by the group would be sent to training camps in Siria and Iraq run by the terrorist organization ISIS.

Once there, they would learn how to use firearms, build and defuse bombs, steal cars and other skills needed to carry out terrorist attacks or suicide missions.

Some of those recruited by the men arrested are believed to have participated in acts of violence in Syria and Iraq, including decapitations which were filmed and shared on social media…

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Dutch Muslim group urges Moroccan pension fraud

April 27, 2014

The Dutch benefits agency SVB is trying to find out the value of assets held by public benefit recipients. To assist in that effort, they’ve asked Moroccan pensioners for their Moroccan identity numbers, because many of them have properties and even businesses in Morocco from which they generate income that they have not disclosed to the authorities in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, a Muslim foundation known as the Euro-Mediterranean Center of Migration & Development (Emcemo) is encouraging Moroccan immigrants to withhold their identity numbers from SVB.

The benefits should be suspended until the recipients comply. They were probably required to disclose foreign assets when they first applied for benefits anyway. Financing terrorism with fraudulently claimed benefits by Islamist immigrants, which has been endorsed by the likes of Anwar al-Awlaki and Anjem Choudary and implemented by men like the Tsarnaev brothers, is an increasing threat to Western democracies.  De Telegraaf has previously reported on the exploitation of public benefits in the Netherlands by radical Salafist networks.

Vlad Tapes has the exclusive English version of this report from Apr. 15:

Holland: Islamic foundation instructs Moroccans how to commit benefit fraud

“Euro-Mediterranean Centre of Migration & Development” sounds like EU or OECD, but I found out that it is an Islamic foundation. Via 10news.dk, translated by Sjoerd from Parool:

Moroccans not happy with fraud inquiry of Social Insurance Bank

The Euro-Mediterranean Centre of Migration & Development (Emcemo) in Amsterdam is calling on Moroccan elderly not to provide their Moroccan identity number to the Social Insurance Bank (SVB). With that information the SVB traces social benefit fraud.

SVB asks Moroccan recipients of Additional Provision Income Elderly (AIO) since last week in a letter to pass that number. Thus the SVB can check in Morocco if someone owns houses, land or savings in that country.

This benefit is for older people with an inadequate pension and little capital and little additional revenue: with the AIO, the state pension is supplemented to match the minimum income. It is mandatory to report foreign property but it is often difficult for the SVB to check if someone has done that.”

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Foreign money enters France to build mosques

June 26, 2012

From Vlad Tepes on a Moroccan-funded mosque in Blois, France:

Translation by Hermes from:

Digital Alert:

According to article 220 of the moroccan criminal code, christians who engage in proselytism in the moroccan kingdom have to face penalties of up to 6 years behind bars, churches are closed and foreigner christians are expelled if they dare to publicly display their faith. Moroccans have no right to convert to another religion, and according to the constitution, a christian is not allowed to get moroccan citizenship.

Meanwhile the building of mosques in France and its control by Morocco (and other muslim countries) increases. This is about a territorial conquest of the zones under muslim colonization which are multiplying mainly in France, but also in other european cities.

After the building of the great mosques in Clermont-Ferrand and Saint-Etienne, which were financed by Morocco, now it is the turn of the town of Blois. A mosque and a madrassa in being built on a 1500 square meter plot of land. The king of Morocco donated 787.000 euros to help finishing the building of the complex.

The building of the “Bilal cultural and religious centre”, begun 2 years ago, was at a standstill. The first 600.000 euros collected by the regional muslim community were entirely spent. On the occasion of a private visit of the King of Morocco to one of his numerous properties in France, he was handed over a report explaining the details about the project and the difficulties the project was going through. The king’s reaction was positive and he donated the money needed to end the project

More than 30.000 muslims live in that region: Moroccans, Argelians [Algerians], Turks and Africans of different nationalities. The founding stone was laid down in december 11, 2009. The mosque will have an area of 1500 square meters,including a prayer hall of 450 square meters and a 9.20 meters high minaret.

And from Al Arabiya on the Saint-Étienne mosque:

A new mosque bearing the name of Moroccan King Mohamed VI is now open in France amid praise of the cooperation of the French authorities.

President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (Conseil Français du Culte Musulman- CFCM) Mohammed Moussaoui inaugurated the Mohamed VI Mosque in the southwestern French city of Saint-Étienne.

The mosque, built on an area of 10,000 square meters, boosts a 14-meter high minaret and accommodates more than 1,000 worshippers.

The mosque bears the name of Moroccan king Mohamed VI who donated five million Euros of the total eight million of the construction cost.

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Billion dollar giveaways for Islam’s rising tide

June 19, 2012

The G-8 is  doubling down on its promises last year of creating a $20 billion Islamist stimulus package of aid and loans by offering a “New Transition Fund” (ie, international donor aid that the recipients can use as slush funds) to Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia plus a “Capital Markets Access Initiative” (ie, loan guarantees) as part of an overall plan called the “Deauville Partnership.”

This time the G-8 claims that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Turkey will be donors too, although no pledged amounts are disclosed in the official press release.

With personal musings in italics, here’s the press release filled with euphemisms for how many of your tax dollars and tax euros will go to help line the pockets of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, or to repress their political opponents, or both:

Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition Fact Sheet on Finance

5/21/2012

Context

The Middle East and North Africa region is undergoing one of the most important transitions of our time. The G-8 launched the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition[1] to support the historic changes in the Middle East and North Africa. In the face of numerous challenges, the five transitioning countries (Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia) have taken important steps to toward democracy and economic development. However, these countries face growing economic challenges, including a difficult external environment and, for some countries, delays in the political transition.
For which the only possible solution could be throwing more money at the transitioning countries, right?
The Partnership’s efforts on finance focus on economic stabilization, near-term job creation, and economic governance to help the Partnership countries move towards sustainable and inclusive growth. Specifically, the Partnership is launching a Capital Markets Access Initiative, creating a new Transition Fund, and promoting assistance by International Financial Institutions (IFI) in a coordinated and effective way.
Coordinated and effective you say?  Well, how could we possibly argue with that?
Capital Markets Access Initiative
 
The heightened uncertainty associated with political transitions has meant that the five transitioning countries face significant constraints in financing their budgets and accessing external capital to support much-needed investments. Access to private sector finance for governments and businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, will be important to restoring economic stability, increasing jobs, reducing poverty, and boosting long-term growth. Since the events of last year, the Partnership countries and their private sectors have experienced reduced access to the international capital markets.
If banks have reduced lending to these countries, that should serve as a signal that such loans are a risky bet.  But somehow our politicians think they have a better sense of the creditworthiness of these nations than professional bankers who do this for a living.
The Capital Markets Access Initiative aims to help the transitioning countries reintegrate into international capital markets under reasonable financing terms to fill their sizable financing gaps and to allow their enterprises to invest in job-creating projects. In particular, the Initiative creates a collective approach to channel credit enhancement and political risk insurance instruments to transitioning countries and their private sectors.
As an example of the work of this initiative, on April 20, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Tunisian Finance Minister Houcine Dimassi signed a declaration of intent to proceed with a U.S. loan guarantee for Tunisia. Since the signing of the declaration, teams from the U.S. and Tunisian governments have made considerable progress toward signing a loan guarantee agreement and hope to proceed as quickly as possible with additional actions that would allow the Tunisian government to re-enter international capital markets later this year. This guarantee, combined with additional financing from the multilateral development banks, will help Tunisia meet its 2012 financing needs. Work proceeds on a follow-on financing package from the multilateral development banks, including additional sovereign guarantees.
Ah, it took this far reading through the press release and this example to find out that they’re referring to loan guarantees; ie, if the countries can’t pay back loans to banks, we’ll pay the loans for them.  That should give them a great incentive to comply with the terms of the loan!
A New Transition Fund
The five transitioning countries face an urgent need to fundamentally re-orient their economies to address their high levels of unemployment, weak rule of law, and deteriorating public services. The transitioning countries have asked for support to meet these demands, including technical assistance (TA) and grant resources to accelerate innovative reforms. While a wide range of bilateral and multilateral donors currently provide TA, it has not sufficiently addressed the needs of some key areas, in particular economic governance.
No problem–the U.S. and Europe have plenty of money these days to share with you!
Members of the Deauville Partnership have proposed a new, grant-based Transition Fund to help countries implement critical reforms in the areas of: (1) economic governance, (2) trade, investment, and integration, and (3) institutional reform. A new Transition Fund would support a combination of diagnostic analyses, technical advice, and initial implementation of targeted policy initiatives and reforms that have strong demonstration effects. The G-8, regional partners and transition countries are working together to advance this fund. The fund will have broad support from G-8 and Gulf donors, and is expected to be operational later this year.
Multilateral Assistance and IFI Coordination Platform   
 
The IFI Coordination Platform aims to facilitate information sharing and operational dialogue with the Partnership countries, identify opportunities for joint transactions and policy and analytical work, and coordinate monitoring and reporting on the implementation. The IFIs established a dedicated Coordination Platform in advance of the Finance Minister’s Meeting in Marseille on September 10, 2011 to better leverage the collective resources of the ten IFIs that work in the region, with the African Development Bank as the first chair of the rotating secretariat. Since that time, the Partnership has sought to deepen the cooperation among the ten IFIs and between bilateral and IFI assistance.
On April 20, the Partnership called on the ten Partnership IFIs to deliver on their commitments in the short term, particularly in the area of job creation and small and medium enterprise (SME) development. Examples of ways in which the IFIs are providing concrete support to the Partnership countries this year include:
  • The provision of development policy loans to Tunisia (African Development Bank and World Bank), Jordan (World Bank), and Morocco (World Bank) underpinning governance, private sector reforms and domestic markets.
  • In Tunisia, the African Development Bank is supporting SME credit lines and rural infrastructure to support inclusive growth.
  • Support for public-private partnerships through the Arab Financing Facility for Infrastructure, launched last year by the World Bank and Islamic Development Bank.
  •  Development of relevant post-secondary education skills in the region through the International Financial Corporation “e4e Initiative for Arab Youth.”
  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Arab Monetary Fund are cooperating to promote local currency and capital markets in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia.

[1] Countries in the Partnership include the five Partnership countries (Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco, and Libya), the G-8, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Turkey. The International Financial Institutions include the African Development Bank, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Arab Monetary Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, the OPEC Fund for International Development, and the World Bank. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is also a Partnership member.

Of course no numbers are mentioned in the press release.  For what it’s worth, Reuters reports that “The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was also trying to change its charter to create a special fund worth $4 billion to invest in the region over the next three years,” and that the IMF “has said it could provide $35 billion to help emerging Arab democracies.”

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Spain saves Saudis money, builds mosque itself

February 7, 2011

The big time mosques in Spain used to be bought and paid for by Saudi Wahhabists.  Ah, the good old days.  Now mosques are being funded by Spanish taxpayers, most notably in Barcelona.  In theory, the Barcelona project would help prevent extremism because their new mosque will not be Saudi-sponsored.  However, it is unclear what if any oversight role the city government would have in matters such as imam selection, approval of prayers or sermons, in requiring audits, or in monitoring the curriculum if the mosque includes a school.  Here are the highlights from a good Hudson New York article called “Spain Goes on Mosque-Building Spree” a month ago that missed our radar:

  • Barcelona “has agreed to shell out nearly $30 million in public funds for the construction of an official mega-mosque with a capacity for thousands of Muslim worshipers.”
  • “The idea to build a mega-mosque funded by Spanish taxpayers comes after Noureddine Ziani, a Barcelona-based Moroccan imam, said the construction of big mosques would be the best way to fight Islamic fundamentalism in Spain.”
  • “Ziani also said European governments should pay for the training of imams, which would be ‘a useful formula to avoid radical positions.’”  [This sounds identical to a new initiative in in Germany.]
  • “Saudi Arabia built the ‘great mosques’ in the Spanish cities of Madrid, Malaga, Marbella and Fuengirola, has been accused of using the mosques and Islamic cultural centers in Spain to promote the Wahhabi sect of Islam dominant in Saudi Arabia.”
  • “In Lleida, a town in northeastern Spain where 29,000 Muslims make up 20% of the population, the local Islamic association Watani recently asked Moroccan King Mohammad VI for money to build a mosque in the center of town.”
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Governments go to bat for jihadists on both sides of the pond

January 22, 2010

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is lobbying in behalf of the removal of several individuals’ names from the United Nations terrorist blacklist and for the Bank of England to “un-freeze” their assets.

The only problem is that the individuals in question are known jihadists who have participated in plots against the West.  One of them was even convicted by Morocco for involvement in the 2003 Casablanca bombings.  From the Telegraph:

The seven men were placed on the United Nations list because they were suspected of having links with al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

As a result they have been barred from leaving Britain and their assets have been frozen by the Bank of England and HM Treasury.

They include individuals who were:

  • convicted of involvement in the 2003 Casablanca bombings and of possessing terrorist documents in the UK,
  • accused of assisting the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa and of being an associate of Osama bin Laden,
  • found guilty by a military court of plotting terror attacks.

But an attempt by the men to have their names removed from the UN list has now won the backing of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The FCO has insisted that it is acting because it has reviewed the men’s cases and does not think they are dangerous.

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