Posts Tagged ‘Resolution 1267’

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UN, U.K. unfreeze Al Qaeda financier’s assets

March 31, 2013

In addition to removing Abdelghani Mzoudi from its Al Qaeda blacklist, the UN has lifted sanctions against Mamoun Darkazanli, a longtime terrorist bankroller and logistical manager.  The UK’s treasury department has followed suit.

Mr. Watchlist provides some of the technical details surrounding the removal here.

But who is Darkazanli, and why is this de-listing a problem?  For that, let’s turn back the dial to this 2010 article from The Telegraph via Free Republic:

Germany’s Imam Mamoun Darkazanli: Al-Qaeda’s Alleged Financier and Logistician

The Telegraph | 8/27/2010 | Derek Henry Flood

Posted on Saturday, August 28, 2010 3:52:03 AM by bruinbirdman

Police in Hamburg shut down the notorious al-Quds mosque, renamed the Taiba mosque in 2008, led by German-Syrian national and voluntary imam Mamoun Darkazanli. Darkazanli (a.k.a. Abu Ilyas al-Suri) has been a suspected al-Qaeda operative, primarily as a financier and logistician, in the European Union for close to two decades. Long active in al-Qaeda circles, Darkazanli first surfaced on the radar of Western intelligence agencies when he purportedly helped procure a cargo ship named “Jennifer” for Osama bin Laden as early as 1993 (Hamburger Abendblatt, October 16, 2004). Germany’s Bundeskriminalamt (BKA- Federal Criminal Police Office) admitted that it had been tracking Darkazanli since 1996 when it first suspected his al-Qaeda linkages (Der Spiegel, October 29, 2001).

Mamoun Darkazanli

Darkazanli was born on August 4, 1958 in Syria and is a dual German-Syrian national according to a Red notice issued by Interpol. [1] His birth city is unclear. German media report him as being born in Damascus while the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control cites his birthplace as the northern city of Aleppo. He is generally believed to be or have been a member of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (SMB), but that aspect of his life, like so many others, is also not clearly defined. Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Brotherhood organized itself in vehement opposition to the Alawite regime of the late Ba’athist strongman Hafez al-Assad. The common narrative of Darkazanli’s life path paints a picture of a Muslim Brotherhood member on the run from Ba’athist repression following an assassination attempt on President al-Assad on June 25, 1980. A major crackdown on Syria’s Islamists ensued and Mamoun Darkazanli fled to Europe. Conflicting with this well-worn narrative are two media reports. In an interview with a pan-Arab daily shortly after 9/11, his sister, Samiyah, told a reporter that although Darkazanli was a devout Muslim, he was never a member of the SMB and that he never returned to Damascus after leaving for the West because of his record as a known Syrian military draft dodger and his fear of retribution should he return to the country (Al-Hayat, October 4, 2001). The second citation contradicting his alleged involvement in the SMB stems from an interview in the Spanish daily El Mundo with the SMB’s exiled London-based leader, Ali Sadreddine Bayanouni, who outright denied Darkazanli has ever held membership in his movement.

Darkazanli and Said Bahaji

Darkazanli’s mosque operated on the Steindamm in Hamburg’s workaday Sankt Georg (Saint George) neighborhood alongside sex shops and liquor stores and near the city’s central railway terminal on the second floor of building 103. The mosque and Darkazanli provided support to the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell led by Mohammed Atta and had sustained Hamburg’s radicalizing Islamists until its closure in the early hours of Monday, August 9 (Der Spiegel, August 9).

Mamoun Darkazanli notoriously appeared in a wedding video filmed inside the al-Quds mosque for Said Bahaji, a key member of the Hamburg cell still at large. In October of 1999 Darkazanli and Bahaji celebrated his marriage to an 18-year old German woman of Turkish origin named Nese Kul alongside hijackers Marwan al-Shehi of the UAE and Lebanon’s Ziad Jarrah as well as 9/11 facilitator Ramzi bin al-Shibh of Yemen (Hannoversche Allgemeine, August 9). Bahaji, born to a Moroccan father and German mother in Lower Saxony, lived less than two kilometers from the core of the Hamburg cell in the borough of Harburg on the southern shore of the Elbe River. A reportedly close associate of Mamoun Darkazanli, Bahaji is currently believed to be along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border after his passport was recovered last year by Pakistani troops from the wreckage of a mud brick compound in the village of Sherawangi following a Pakistani army assault on a Taliban-held area in South Waziristan (Dawn, October 30, 2009; Die Welt, October 31, 2009).

Darkazanli, a 52 year-old resident of the Hamburg’s Uhlenhorst district, has yet to be convicted of any offense in the EU and described his links with hijackers Atta and al-Shehi as “coincidences” (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, January 9). He is listed in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 as of 2007 as either residing or having his business registered at Uhlenhorster Weg 34, just two kilometers north of the al-Quds mosque. Resolution 1267 was adopted in the fall of 1999 by the Security Council to sanction designated members and supporters of al-Qaeda and the Taliban with the UN’s dismay at the then unyielding civil war in northern Afghanistan.

On July 15, Darkazanli’s company, Darkazanli Export-Import Sonderposten, initially designated as an al-Qaeda entity on October 6, 2001, was delisted as such an entity by the Security Council, though he still appears on the consolidated sanctions list as an individual affiliated with al-Qaeda. [2] The UN does not provide a specific explanation as to why Darkazanli’s company was taken off the sanctions list. It may no longer be an active business thereby becoming irrelevant to the list after a recent review.

Kingdom of Spain v. Darkazanli

Darkazanli was wanted by the famed Spanish anti-terror judge Baltasar Garzón and spent time in German custody in 2004-2005 but was never extradited to Madrid. Read the rest of this entry ?

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UN lifts sanctions on Muhammad Atta associate

March 27, 2013
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Abdelghani Mzoudi now free to roam about the cabin

Abdelghani Mzoudi, a pal of 9/11 hijacking leader Muhammad Atta, is free to access his accounts, travel internationally, and buy or sells arms if he so chooses.  The United Nations removed Mzoudi from their blacklist of Al Qaeda operatives on March 18.

A tip of the hat goes to Mr. Watchlist, one of the only websites to have reported the Mzoudi de-listing.

According to the 9/11 Commission report, Mzoudi was an associate of the Al Qaeda cell in Hamburg, Germany, and personally witnessed Muhammad Atta sign his last will and testament in 1996.  Mzoudi was previously acquitted of terrorism charges, “not because the court was convinced of his innocence,” but because of missing evidence.

The United Nations has been on a sanctions list removal spree lately, freeing Al Qaeda sympathizers and financiers such as Yasin al-Qadi and Soliman al-Buthe from blacklists with almost no explanation, transparency, or opportunity for public comment.

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U.N. lifts sanctions on 45 Taliban & Al Qaeda, Russia hesitates

August 3, 2010

Yesterday the United Nations Al-Qaida & Taliban Sanctions Committee announced the de-listing of ten Taliban members and 35 Al Qaeda members or affiliated companies from their sanctions list.  Names of five of the Taliban members had been announced last week. 

Eight of the individuals are thought to be dead, although the U.N. is opaque on how it verified the deaths of the individuals delisted.  Presumably, the de-listing of dead jihadists would free the assets of terrorists to be released to their heirs, although none of the wire reporters has looked into this question yet.

Any de-listing requires the unanimous vote of the sanctions committee.  The committee is made up of all 15 members of the Security Council, of which the U.S. is a member.  Naturally, this means that the United States, Amb. Susan Rice, and the Obama administration support the removal of names. 

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, “Russia, which sits on the committee along with the other 14 Security Council members, had been cautious about deleting names, U.N. diplomats said. Russia is concerned about Islamic fundamentalism and Taliban-linked drug-trafficking in its region, they said.”

What the de-listing by the U.N. means for the affected individuals and companies is:

  • no more frozen assets
  • no travel restrictions
  • no longer being subject to an arms embargo

Several money transfer agencies, including al-Barakaat Wiring Service which operated in Minnesota, were included in the de-listing.  This means that sanctioned Somali hawaladars in Minneapolis can go back in business.