Posts Tagged ‘New York’

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The money man behind Ramzi Yousef’s terror

January 6, 2014

Looking back at the financing the Bojinka plot

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing killed six people—a disappointment in the perspective of bombing mastermind Ramzi Yousef.  He sought something grander and more devastating, but to pull it off he’d need more money.

The 2006 television miniseries “The Path to 9/11,” (one of the best films ever depicting terror finance methods) dramatized this historical development by showing Yousef meeting with his uncle and future 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.  In the scene below, KSM says he may be able to obtain financing for Yousef’s next attack—a cluster of onboard airplane explosions that would become known as the “Bojinka plot”— with help from “a wealthy Saudi,” Osama bin Laden.

Bojinka was foiled after the night of Jan. 6, 1995, when a chemical fire in Yousef’s apartment bomb lab 19 years ago today caught the attention of Philippine authorities.  But the audacity of the plan, the financial commitment of Osama bin Laden, and the logistical involvement of KSM remained as elements that would evolve into the 9/11 attack itself.

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Bill would let S. Arabia be sued for funding 9/11

August 27, 2013

Saudi Arabia financed the 9/11 terrorist attacks through a combination of government-funded “philanthropy,” private zakat donations by Saudi royals and elites, and front charities—some of which was funneled through Saudi banks.  But Saudi Arabia (and Jordan) has steadfastly resisted lawsuits in the U.S. to force their bankers to disclose documents which will prove their culpability (see here, here, here, and here).

A bipartisan bill aiming to allow such lawsuits to proceed will be reintroduced in Congress shortly by members of New York’s delegation.  Litigation should be part of a broad strategy to bankrupt terrorism and its state sponsors.

Here’s the latest from Steve Emerson writing for Newsmax:

9/11 Group Supports Terror Finance Legislation

Thursday, 22 Aug 2013

By Steve Emerson

A petition urging Congress to pass new terror financing legislation is being circulated by a group of 9/11 victims’ families and survivors of the attacks.

Three New York lawmakers plan to introduce the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act when Congress returns after Labor Day. The bill would allow American victims to sue foreign people and entities for financing terrorist attacks. Courts have blocked such claims against Saudis alleged to have aided the 9/11 plot.

It has a bi-partisan group of co-sponsors, including Democrat Charles Schumer in the Senate, Republican House member Peter King and Democrat Jerrold Nadler, all from New York.

While Americans widely support law enforcement actions to prevent terror attacks and curb terror financing, this is at least the third time the bill is being offered.

“No individual or country should be shielded from being held accountable for their role in the most heinous act of terrorism to ever occur in the United States,” Schumer said in announcing a similar 2011 effort. “This bill will send a clear message to Saudi Arabia and other sponsors of terror: if you attack the United States, you will be held accountable. It will also allow the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks to receive some justice for the losses they experienced on that fateful day.”

The petition drive by 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism aims to show Congress a broad base of support for the bill…

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Feds disclose plot against stock exchange

June 27, 2013

It turns out that busted jihadist Khalid Ouazzani wasn’t just financing Al Qaeda.  He and his associates participated in a previously undisclosed, aborted scheme to bomb the New York Stock Exchange and send shock waves through global financial markets in the process.  This revelation came to light in the course of recent congressional testimony about the results of federal intelligence programs.

Kevin Freeman rightly says this case shows that “Our economy is the real target.  The motive is to destroy our economy. So, if our enemies have the means and opportunity to destroy our market, should we be surprised if they try?”

From The Blotter page of ABC News:

Al Qaeda’s Abandoned NY Stock Exchange Plot Revealed

Top U.S. security officials revealed today that the government’s recently exposed surveillance programs led them to an al Qaeda cell that plotted, scouted, but ultimately abandoned a plan to bomb the Wall Street in 2008.

“We found through electronic surveillance that they were actually in the initial stages of plotting to bomb the New York Stock Exchange,” FBI Assistant Director Sean Joyce told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Joyce was testifying alongside high-level U.S. officials, including National Security Agency head Gen. Keith Alexander, before the House Intelligence Committee to defend the NSA’s practice of collecting vast amounts of telephone and internet usage data – programs revealed last week by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden…

The NYSE plot, which had until today been unknown to the public, was centered around an auto parts dealer in Kansas City, Missouri, named Khalid Ouazzani, who pleaded guilty in 2010 for his role in a conspiracy to provide funding to al-Qaeda. At the time of his plea, the complex case against Ouazzani seemed to have little to do with the famous NYSE headquarters on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, except for a vague reference in his plea agreement that said, “Over a period of years, [Ouazzani] and others discussed various ways they could support al Qaeda.”

The FBI now says Ouazzani was talking to an extremist in Yemen about a terror plot that would strike at the symbolic heart of America’s capitalist system – an attack on Wall Street.

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Cigarette smugglers linked to terrorists

May 24, 2013

Sixteen Palestinian immigrants have been arrested for a cigarette smuggling ring, and at least three of the men have ties to terrorists (h/t El Grillo).  Officials are “very seriously concerned about where the profits of this enterprise went,” suggesting that revenues may have been transferred to fund terrorist groups overseas.  The smuggling investigation itself originated from a counter-terror probe into the suspects’ activities.

From New York News 12:

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Islamic Relief accepted £60K from Al Qaeda front

May 15, 2013

Financial statements show that Islamic Relief Worldwide has received over £62,000 (nearly 100,000 U.S. dollars) from the Al Qaeda-linked, Yemen-based Charitable Society for Social Welfare (CSSW) over the past 10 years.

CSSW donated funds to Islamic Relief in 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2008, mostly for “Palestinian relief” activities.  The 2004 funds transfer was recently discovered by Stand for Peace (with a h/t to Money Jihad reader and IMED research fellow Jacob Campbell for alerting us).  A review of Islamic Relief’s annual statements by Money Jihad revealed the subsequent donations:

CSSW donations to Islamic Relief

Year Amount given Project
2008 £13,060 Gaza Strip Emergency
2007 £9,999 Lebanon Water and Sanitation Programme
2004 £11,265 Palestine Relief
2003 £28,100 Palestine Relief and Emergency Projects
Total £62,424

The CSSW came under FBI surveillance in 1999.  In 2004, CSSW’s Brooklyn branch chief Numan Maflahi was convicted for obstructing the FBI investigation into the charity’s fundraising.  In 2008, the Washington Post revisited the matter, writing that “federal prosecutors in [the Maflahi] New York terrorism-financing case described the charity [CSSW] as ‘a front organization’ that was ‘used to support al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’.”

In 2010, IntelWire revealed that the U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $3.5 million grant for a partnership that included CSSW.

CSSW has previously denied terrorist connections by claiming mistaken identity, despite evidence to the contrary from the Maflahi prosecutors and IntelWire.

Islamic Relief itself has previously been under fire for receiving $50,000 from a Bin Laden front in 1999, for financing Hamas in 2005-06, for cooperating with pro-Hamas Union of Good charities on an ongoing basis, and for its leadership being dominated by Muslim Brotherhood officials.

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Muslim crime syndicate sues accuser for $30m

April 27, 2013

Christian organization targeted in frivolous libel lawsuit by jihadist front group

Jamaat al-Fuqra, an Islamist network operating in North America and Pakistan, has maintained a presence in the U.S. for decades through a commune-style sect known as The Muslims of America, Inc. and a shell company called Professional Security International.  These entities have perpetrated a series of white collar crimes, especially workers compensation fraud, to finance terrorist activities overseas.

The Virginia-based Christian Action Network’s recent publication of a book documenting the history of investigations and successful prosecutions against employees of the syndicate prompted the lawsuit.  CAN reports that Susan Fenger, a fraud examiner who  spearheaded the investigations into MOA in the 1990s, has agreed to testify in CAN’s behalf if the defamation and libel suit goes to trial.

From CAN’s Press Room on Apr. 15:

Muslim Terrorist Group Files $30 Million Lawsuit Against Christian Action Network

By Patti Pierucci

A Muslim terrorist group has filed a lawsuit against Christian Action Network seeking $30 million, following the publication of a book by CAN President Martin Mawyer entitled “Twilight in America.” The suit alleges that Mawyer, co-author Patti A. Pierucci and CAN defamed and libeled the group by publishing information about their crimes and ongoing illegal behavior.

The group, known as The Muslims of America, Inc. (MOA), has operated as a front group for Al Fuqra, which was at one time listed as a terrorist group by the State Department. Al Fuqra members have been convicted of and suspected in dozens of terrorist-related and white-collar crimes in the United States going back decades.

Forensics investigator Susan Fenger—who successfully prosecuted an American Muslim group in the 1990s on charges of terrorism and white-collar crime—has agreed to testify on behalf of Christian Action Network in a lawsuit filed by the same Muslim organization.

In an exclusive interview with Mawyer in 2006, Fenger said she had a $50,000 bounty on her head, placed there by the leader of MOA in Pakistan, Sheikh Mubarik Ali Gilani. The bounty was a form of payback from Gilani because he had to finance the defense of numerous MOA/Fuqra members who were prosecuted as a result of Fenger’s investigation.

Despite the threat to her and the price on her life, she has agreed to testify at the upcoming trial on behalf of CAN to help clear them of any charges.

“Susan Fenger spent years investigating The Muslims of America and its money trail, eventually proving that money scammed from taxpayers was going overseas to fund a known terrorist, Sheikh Gilani,” Mawyer said. “She is a hero because of her relentless pursuit of justice when no one else, not even the FBI, were willing to take on a powerful Muslim group with terrorist ties.”

Mawyer added: “There is such an abundance of official documentation of MOA’s involvement in terrorist activities that I am confident we will prevail in this lawsuit.”

Fenger’s investigation proved without doubt that MOA was a front group for Al Fuqra, and that its members were involved in a myriad of illegal activities. Over the years, members have been convicted of or linked to worker’s compensation fraud, murders, fire-bombing, drug crimes, weapons crimes, and more.

In a January 2013 article posted on MOA’s web site, they admitted that a former member of their group “was secretly the head of the hit team of Ikhwanul Muslimeen (Muslim Brotherhood)” and that former members “were involved in street crimes, drugs, brothels, unemployment fraud, and other offenses.” They claim, however, that they did not know any illegal activity was going on.

1990s Prosecutions

In early 1990, the FBI approached Susan Fenger with a request. Fenger was the chief criminal examiner for the Colorado State Department of Labor and Employment at the time. She was a forensics expert in handwriting, and she knew how to track financial fraud. The FBI agent walked into her office in Denver and handed her a paper with some names on it. They suspected worker’s compensation fraud.

All of the names presented by the FBI were names of Al Fuqra members, said Fenger. “The agent … told my director at the agency that these people were allegedly terrorists.”

The then-governor of Colorado, Roy Romer, was furious.  He appointed Fenger as chief investigator and insisted that she pursue the case above all others.

It was Fenger who put the case together. She was able to prove that Al Fuqra members had been committing white-collar crimes for a decade, most of them involving worker’s compensation fraud in Colorado, in order to fund their terrorist-related activities. The final charges brought, and subsequent convictions, would fall under the heading of racketeering and white-collar crime.

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Following the money trail behind the WTC bomb

February 26, 2013

The financial evidence points back to Osama Bin Laden in the World Trade Center bombing that killed six people 20 years ago today.

In Modern Jihad, Loretta Napoleoni wrote that the WTC bombing mastermind, Ramzi Yousef, said the World Trade Center bombing cost $15,000.  This was not verified during Yousef’s trial because it wasn’t necessary to establish his guilt.

And who provided the $15,000?  John Miller, the ABC reporter who once interviewed Osama Bin Laden, wrote this in his book The Cell:

… Ibrahim el-Gabrowny had met with bin Laden a year before the bombing and investigators believe that at least a portion of the $20,000 bin Laden gave el-Gabrowny during that meeting—ostensibly for [Rabbi Meir Kahane’s assassin El-Sayyid] Nosair’s defense—was spent on materials used in the World Trade Center bomb.

Other sources say that Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, Yousef’s uncle and the architect of the 9/11 attacks, provided the bomb money for his nephew.

In any case, it wasn’t enough cash to carry out Yousef’s vision.  FBI official Dale Watson testified five years after the bombing that, “After his capture in 1995, Ramzi Yousef conceded to investigators that a lack of funding forced his group’s hand in plotting the destruction of the World Trade Center. Running short of money, the plotters could not assemble a bomb as large as they had originally intended. The timing of the attack was also rushed by a lack of finances.”

Al Qaeda would not make the mistake of shortchanging its next attack against the World Trade Center eight years later.

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The top 5 terror finance films of all time

February 24, 2013

Thrillers about terrorism focus on adventure, explosions, and tension; while they may depict specific terrorist attacks and the logistics behind them, such movies rarely address the financing.  Meanwhile, movies about bank robberies, jewel heists, and corporate malfeasance show how bad guys finance themselves, but these financial crime films tend to boil down to greed, or the acquisition of money for personal use, rather than raising money for broader social objectives.

We are left with a handful of movies dealing with the actual financing of terrorism or rebel insurgencies, and those that do often address the subject briefly.  Although it’s tough to find movies that incorporate both elements, it’s worth the investment.  These five movies help illuminate important concepts in terrorist financing in ways that news articles and scholarly research cannot, and in ways that simple bank heist movies can’t either.  They’re also sure to entertain you along the way.

By the way, it took a long time to compile this short list, so please acknowledge Money Jihad if this ranking is reproduced elsewhere.

  1. “Casino Royale”—Le Chiffre is a bankroller to the world’s terrorists.  But he is being pursued by terrorists who want access to their funds immediately.  Le Chiffre sets up a high stakes poker game in Montenegro to get more money and restore his credibility with his terrorist clients.  His rival?  None other than James Bond, 007, who enters the match with money fronted by the British government.  If Bond wins, the international financing of terrorism will be setback; if he looses, the government will have directly funded terrorists.  While the men play their game, is Bond’s love interest being forced to work for an unnamed terrorist group in Algeria?This film shows how skill, charm, and a little bit of luck by Britain’s best spy can triumph over shadowy but well-connected forces behind the international financing of terrorism.
  2. “The Path to 9/11″—The television miniseries (especially Part I) that aired on ABC in 2006 includes an ensemble cast and multiple story lines, one of which focuses on the money trail that led U.S. intelligence to recognize the threat posed by Osama Bin Laden in the 1990s.  The trail begins with the cunning bomb maker, Ramzi Yousef, who bombs the World Trade Center and becomes and international fugitive.  From the Philippines to Pakistan, Yousef works on his explosives, causing mayhem wherever he goes.  He’s planning a massive attack–bombs detonating aboard flights, but to do it he needs money—real money—for materials, equipment, electronics, and men.  His comrade tells him about a Saudi millionaire who can help. Meanwhile, tired of going after “small fish,” the FBI’s John O’Neill and other senior members of the U.S. counter-terrorism community try to find out who’s funding Yousef.  The U.S. gets a nervous informant who is about to depart with Yousef on a trip to Afghanistan, where Yousef says they can meet his financier, whom he calls “the tall one.” The money chase story line earns this miniseries its place on the list, but even without it, the movie is a devastating portrayal of bureaucracy and politics getting in the way of mid and lower level agents who are trying to stop Bin Laden 9/11.  This important film is unfairly maligned by liberals who have flooded the Internet with an endless stream of angry, overly politicized criticism.
  3. “The Long Good Friday”—Unbeknownst to an English mafia boss, one of his lieutenants delivers cash to the Irish Republican Army, but skims a little for himself along the way.  The lieutenant ends up dead, and the boss, played by Ed Hoskins, and his loved ones wind up the target of a seemingly inexplicable bombing campaign. It turns that out another of his key gang members, a real estate developer who employs Irish workers, was the one responsible for the ongoing payments to the IRA.  While the bombs are exploding, Hoskins is trying to complete a major business deal with an American investor played by Eddie Constantine (who also appears in another noteworthy terrorist financing movie, “The Third Generation,” as a West German businessman who funds terrorism in order to sell equipment to security forces fighting it.)  His best advisers tell him to back down, but Hoskins thinks he can go toe-to-toe against one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world.  It’s a tense, exciting film, and it’s somewhat unique among movies for providing a glimpse into how front companies can be used to fund terrorism. Hoskins was widely praised for his performance, and Helen Miren who plays his wife is absolutely superlative.
  4. “Baader Meinhof Complex”—The movie portrays the terrorist acts committed by the Red Army Faction, or Baader-Meinhof group, in West Germany in the late 1960s and ’70s.  The group also carried out bank robberies which they regarded as legitimate “expropriation” to finance the revolution—a common Marxist terrorist fundraising technique.  Ultimately the first generation of the Red Army Faction fell apart.  It’s a well-done film that illustrates how the terrorists’ search for bigger and better attacks ultimately destroys and shatters not just the lives of their victims, but their own lives too.
  5. “Nighthawks”—Wulfgar, an international terrorist mercenary—sets off a bomb in England, striking “a blow against British colonialism” in Northern Ireland.  But children are killed in the attack, and the IRA refuses to pay him.  Struggling to overcome a shortage of pay and his damaged reputation, Wulfgar gets plastic surgery and sets off for New York.  There he hopes he can launch a major terrorist attack that will be covered by the news media capital of the world, and prove his worth again to international terrorist organizations that would hire him again if he succeeds.  He is aided by “Shakka Kappour,” a ruthless Moroccan terrorist in her own right.  Only cop-on-the-beat Sylvester Stallone can stop them, with assistance from his partner Billy Dee Williams and counter-terrorist expert LeGard, who does as good a job as anybody since Col. Mathieu from “The Battle of Algiers” in getting inside the mind of terrorists to defeat them at their own game.  Explosions, dramatic tension, and great pacing earn this overlooked thriller a place in the top five.

Honorable mention:  “A Bullet for the General”–Chuncho (or sometimes Chucho) and his bandits traffic arms for General Elías, a rebel leader during the Mexican Revolution.  Chuncho is joined by “El Niño,” an American man with mysterious motives.  They conduct a good, old-fashioned train robbery, seize rifles from a military garrison after assassinating its commandant, and dispossess the richest man in San Miguel of his wealth.  The film may not be the best of the Italian produced “Zapata westerns” set during the Mexican Revolution which all touched on similar themes, but it is one is quite germane to how an insurgent movement is armed and financed.

A problem worth noting about terror finance movies is that about half of them are designed convince audiences that terrorism is an artificial phenomenon created and funded by capitalists to increase profits circuitously.  While movies in this mold such as “The Third Generation,” “Burn!” and “The International” are relevant to the subject of financing terrorism or a revolution, and are entertaining, they are based on fundamentally flawed premises about the nature of the threat and cannot be wholly recommended.

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Case can proceed against terror-funding bank

January 22, 2013

Progress made as court rejects bank’s appeal

Arab Bank’s refusal to turn over records has been a major obstacle in the Linde v. Arab Bank terrorist financing case.  To move beyond the legal stalemate, the presiding judge said the jury could infer what it wants to about Arab Bank’s secrecy.  The bank appealed the judge’s jury instruction to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  The appellate court ruled Friday that it had no standing to review the case at this time (h/t @ChallahHuAkbar), and that there’s nothing drastic enough about the judge’s instruction to cause the circuit court to intervene.

From Bloomberg:

Arab Bank Sanctions Order Appeal Dismissed by U.S. Court

Arab Bank Plc (ARBK)’s appeal of sanctions for not obeying discovery orders in a lawsuit brought by victims of terrorist attacks was dismissed by a federal appeals court in New York.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today that it couldn’t hear the bank’s appeal of a sanctions order imposed by U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon in Brooklyn until after the consolidated suits pending before her have ended.

“We conclude that the sanctions order is not a reviewable collateral order, and we therefore dismiss the bank’s appeal for want of jurisdiction,” the panel of judges said.

“We conclude further, that this is not an appropriate case for issuance of the extraordinary writ,” the appeals court said, adding, “the bank has not established (among other factors) that it has a ‘clear and indisputable right’ to such drastic relief or that review after final judgment will not provide adequate relief.”

Courtney Linde, the widow of John Linde Jr., who was killed Oct. 15, 2003, while guarding diplomats traveling in the Gaza Strip, sued in federal court in Brooklyn in 2004. She is the lead plaintiff for a half-dozen families suing the Amman, Jordan-based lender in cases that allege it “knowingly and purposefully supported” foreign terrorist organizations between 1995 and 2004 by providing financial support. The bank has denied wrongdoing.

Sanctions Imposed

The judge imposed sanctions upon the bank for not complying with several court orders to produce documents the plaintiffs said were relevant to their case. Gershon’s sanctions took the form of a jury instruction that would permit — but not require — the jury to infer from the bank’s failure to produce the documents that it provided financial services to foreign terrorist groups and did so knowingly.

Gershon also precluded the bank from introducing for the jury’s consideration certain evidence related to undisclosed materials.

The bank argued that the sanctions were “unduly harsh,” that jury instructions would predetermine the outcome of the case, and that the documents are covered by foreign bank secrecy laws, so that their disclosure would subject the bank to criminal prosecution.

Ten similar suits brought against the bank by the families of dozens of victims of other attacks in Israel were consolidated and are pending before Gershon. She hasn’t yet determined whether any of those cases will go to trial.

‘Substantially Right’

“We think they got it substantially right,” Gary Osen, a lawyer for some of the plaintiffs, said in a phone interview about the decision to dismiss the appeal. “It just means these cases can go forward. All we ask for is our day in court.”

Bob Chlopak, a spokesman for Arab Bank, said in an e-mail that the ruling is “not an endorsement of the district court’s sanctions.”

“The bank continues to believe that the district court’s sanctions order raises serious issues of international concern, and it is currently weighing its legal options,” he said.

The bank, Jordan’s largest, won dismissal in November of a separate case filed by former Israeli government official Mati Gill, which alleged that the lender supported the group Hamas. Gill, who was injured in a 2008 by a shot fired from Gaza, a territory bordering Israel, sought damages from the bank…

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Potential game changer in terror finance law

November 29, 2012

A ruling by the New York Court of Appeals may change the way terror financiers take advantage of correspondent bank relationships in the U.S.  Kudos to Shurat HaDin for pushing this case forward (and for linking to the news too).

This ruling will probably cause a stir among bank compliance circles because it could be difficult and expensive to conduct sufficient screening of correspondent banks.  But the alternative, which is to passively condone terrorist transactions in your bank that originated from a foreign bank, isn’t such a great alternative.

Given the size and centrality of the financial sector in New York, this state-level ruling will have international consequences.

From the Jerusalem Post on Nov. 21:

Lebanon War victims alter game of terror financing

Terror groups may no longer be able to do transactions in US dollars after a groundbreaking ruling by the highest state court in New York, the New York Court of Appeals, announced Shurat Hadin, the Israel Law Center, on Wednesday.

The ruling was issued on Tuesday in favor of victims of Hezbollah rocket attacks from the 2006 Lebanon War and could be a “game changer” in the global financial war on terror financing.

Until now, terror financing could avoid scrutiny in the US by making fund transfers through American correspondent banks.

A correspondent bank essentially serves as a middle bank for fund transfer for banks that do not have local US branches.

As long as the terrorist-affiliated banks had no local branch in the US they were insulated from any legal consequences, and the correspondent bank could plead ignorance regarding the transactions.

However, using a new interpretation of an existing law, the appeals court ruled that correspondent banks will now be held liable for civil damages if it is found that they facilitated transactions that ultimately can be traced back to terror entities.

This places the onus on correspondent banks to do more careful policing of where fund transfers are eventually going even behind sometimes what could be many layers of straw companies to hide that terrorists are receiving the money.

Most importantly, many correspondent banks simply may cease involvement in any transactions where they have doubts about a possible terror connection to avoid even the possibility of heavy civil liability and bad press.

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How the Arab League roped 7 U.S. companies into their Israel boycott in 2012

November 17, 2012

The Arab League has imposed a formal economic boycott against Israel since 1948 to the present.  In 1977, Congress passed legislation prohibiting U.S. businesses from becoming instruments of foreign-led, non-U.S. boycotts such as the Arab League boycott of Israel.

Under the law, if an entity asks an American firm for assurance that it does no business with Israel, the U.S. company is supposed to report that request to the federal government.  The business is not supposed to comply with the request or furnish information to the requestor that would help the Arab League enforce its boycott.

The Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance has settled with seven U.S. companies in 2012 for 44 alleged violations of antiboycott regulations this year:

  • Parfums de Ceour, a Connecticut-based discount perfume seller, furnished information three times to the United Arab Emirates, and failed to report six requests it received from the UAE, to assist with the boycott.
  • The Miami branch of Banco Sabadell provided boycott-related information twice to Syria.
  • Samuel Shapiro & Co., a trade logistics company in Maryland, made five failures to report requests from the UAE for boycott guarantees.
  • SteelSummit International, a New York steel producers, gave information four times to Saudi Arabia about whether it had business relationships with Israel.
  • Polk Audio, a speaker manufacturer in Maryland, failed to report a request from Oman and provided information to Oman.
  • Dover Energy’s Texas valve and switch maker, Norriseal, failed six times to report requests from Pakistan and four instances of cooperating with Pakistan’s requests for boycott assurances.
  • Grainger, the Illinois-based industrial supplier, failed to report 12 requests it received from Kuwait for boycott information.

The companies were required to pay over $100,000 total in civil penalties for the above violations this year.

A possible defense of the businesses is that requests from importers or banks from the Arab League states are deceptively designed to elicit the information they want without directly inquiring about business dealings with Israel.  Instead, they’ll request a signed statement confirming that a company’s ship can enter an Arab port, which is designed to weed out companies and shippers that have done business with Israel.

Nevertheless, U.S. antiboycott regulations have been on the books for over 40 years, and companies—particularly those doing business in the Middle East—should know that by now.

Hat tip and thanks to Twitter pal RushetteNY for suggesting coverage of antiboycott compliance.

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