Posts Tagged ‘Sinai’

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Arab gangs to captives: pay up or lose organs

March 17, 2014

This is a follow up to earlier Money Jihad coverage of the organ trade that enriches Bedouins and Hamas.  If anything, the ransom demands appear to be increasing as captives’ relatives in Europe pay off the abductors.

Sweden is specifically named as one of the countries where ransom demands to relatives have been successful.  Perhaps Swedish authorities should look apply more scrutiny to financial transfers made to that region of the world, to ensure that migrants in their own country aren’t inflating ransom demands and keeping the illicit organ market in business.

From IB Times (h/t to @PaulWilko657):

Europol: Arab Gangs Threatening to Kill and Sell Organs of Africa Migrants

  • By Lewis Dean March 5, 2014

Arab gangs are threatening to kill and sell the organs of African migrants if relatives refuse to pay ransoms in time.

European crime agency Europol has said the migrants are being kidnapped by criminals who then demand family and friends living in Europe pay thousands of euros for their release.

The agency has warned EU law enforcement authorities about the kidnapping of ‘irregular migrants’ and the subsequent extortion of their relatives or friends who are residing in Europe.

Ransoms extorted have ranged from €4,400 to €25,700 and have involved multiple negotiation steps where the amount demanded by kidnappers has increased incrementally.

Payments were made to multiple cash handlers used by organised criminal groups in locations inside and outside of Europe.

The agency said individuals orginally from Eritrea in the Horn of Africa, but who now live in Sweden, and at least two other European countries have been subject to extortion as relatives are held hostage and tortured in the Sinai Peninsula, in Eygpt.

The extortion operations were run by organised criminals of Bedouin origin, who exploit irregular migrants who had been kidnapped in Eritrea and Sudan.

In some cases, hostages have been provided with phones to call European contacts and request cash for their release.

In one instance, a victim’s friend living in Sweden was contacted by two Swedish-speaking suspects on local mobile phone numbers demanding €24,000 for a victim being held in the Sinai.

Threatening that non-compliance would result in the victim’s death and sale of their organs, the suspects attempted to arrange face-to-face meetings in Sweden for the handover of ransom payments…

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Eritrean tells of $30K ransom for captive cousin

October 27, 2013

The BBC has interviewed yet another Eritrean with a tragic story to tell about Islamist (or as the BBC calls them, “tribal”) kidnap-for-ransom schemes being conducted against hapless refugees trying to make across Sinai to a better world in Israel.

His cousin was burned, raped, and was only released after extended relatives were able to meet a ransom demand of $30,000—a big amount anywhere, but especially exorbitant for that part of the world.

The interview doesn’t get into it, but the ransom money from these kidnappings is often used to purchase weapons for Hamas.

Listen—it’s just a one-minute clip:

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Sinai Peninsula flooded with one-quarter billion dollars for jihad

September 13, 2013

First, let’s put in perspective exactly how much $250 million is.  It’s a lot.  Especially for jihadist groups, most of which—even the world’s biggest ones—barely take in that much money in a year.

The possibility that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood could have diverted that much money to Islamic terrorists in the Sinai suggests that groups like relatively low-profile groups al-Gama’a al-Islamiya and the Salah al-Dine Brigades could potentially carry out attacks equal to or great than operations by the Taliban, al-Shabaab, or Al Qaeda, while still having money left over in the bank.

From Elder of Ziyon (hat tip to Genug):

Report: Muslim Brotherhood gave $250M to Sinai jihadists to attack police and army

Al Monitor translates an interview in Iraqi newspaper Azzaman with Hussein Abdel Rahman, spokesman of the Brothers Without Violence group, a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot that adheres to the same principles as the MB but eschews violence.

At the very end of the interview Rahman – who apparently knows quite a bit about what is going on in the Ikhwan – reveals a bombshell:

Azzaman: Amid persisting violence in the Sinai against the army and the police, some people are accusing Muslim Brotherhood leaders, mainly Mohamed Beltagy and Ezzat, of being involved in those incidents. Are these claims valid?

Abdel Rahman: The international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood earmarked a sum of $250 million to fund some jihadist movements in the Sinai, like al-Gama’a al-Islamiya and the Salah al-Dine Brigades, and supply them with arms sometimes to conduct acts of violence against the army and the police. Unfortunately, some are accusing Muslim Brotherhood youth of committing these acts, but it is not true. They are innocent of such acts that are caused by some leaders who have adopted the approach of Sayyid Qutb, such as Essam al-Aryan, Safwat Hegazi and Tarek al-Zomor. As for Badie, he did not manage any recent acts; Ezzat is actually the current mastermind of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While he denies direct involvement of the MB with the jihadist attacks in the Sinai, he admits freely that the jihadists are funded by the MB.

In this light, the Egyptian arrests of the Brotherhood leaders seems much more grounded in reality and less in harassment, as it sometimes appears. The implication is also that if the MB has given $250M to the Sinai jihadists, then certainly they must have bankrolled their fellow Hamas movement – and the idea that Hamas was involved in the Sinai attacks in some form becomes far more plausible as well.

(h/t Max S)

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Kidnapped for ransom: ex-hostages describe melted plastic, electrocution sessions

May 2, 2013

Freed captive:  “Death would have been a relief”

Grisly report from Sinai mortician:  corpses from Bedouin kidnappers always show signs of torture to get their families to pay ransoms

Thousands of dollars are demanded for each Eritrean kidnapped as they attempt to cross borders in search of a better life.  When the tribes, terrorists, and criminal syndicates that abduct them don’t get the money they demand, they begin torturing their victims.  In some cases, they do this even while the victim’s families are forced to listen on the telephone.

Please listen to just five minutes from this BBC radio report (sound begins after a few seconds):

The human tragedy is the most shocking element of this story, but keep in mind the equally dangerous result of how kidnappers use ransom money to help buy weapons and perpetrate further acts of violence or terrorism.

The BBC’s Mike Thomson has since followed up with this additional report worth listening to.