Posts Tagged ‘State Department’

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Hamas still uses Sudan as funding turf

September 29, 2011
Photo evidence of top-level Sudan-Hamas meeting

Sudan's president and Hamas leader in 2009

The State Department’s new “2010” report on global terrorism (that was published several months late) keeps Sudan on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.  Although State says that the Sudanese government has been helpful in operations against al Qaeda, the government isn’t strong enough to combat terrorism fully.

Moreover, the report revealed that “Sudanese officials continued to view Hamas members as representatives of the Palestinian Authority. Hamas members conducted fundraising in Sudan, and Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) maintained a presence in Sudan.”

Separate outdated reports have said that Sudan hosts “centers for raising funds and Islamic Social Unions (Marakiz li-Jam’ al-Tabarru’at wa-Ittihadat Ijtima’iyyah Islamiyya)” and that “Pro-HAMAS financial activity in Africa is centred in Sudan through the head office of the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA).”

Earlier this year, the Jerusalem Post called Sudan “a known stop on the smuggling route from Iran to Gaza.”

In March, Hamas top dog Khaled Meshaal and Yusuf al-Qaradawi (the virulently anti-Semitic sharia finance magnate and leader of the Union of Good network of pro-Hamas charities) spoke in Khartoum, Sudan, at a conference hosted by the Al-Quds Foundation—a group that seeks an “Arab identity” for Jerusalem.

Maybe they did a little fund-raising while in Khartoum?  Men like Meshaal and Creepy Qaradawi are a bit like Linda Evangelista:  they won’t even get out of bed for less than $10,000…

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Syria’s black market rife with hawala

September 27, 2011

According to the State Department’s “2010” (actually, August 2011) report on global terrorism, Syria remains a state sponsor of terrorism.  That’s not very surprising, but what is interesting to read is that hawala there is rampant within a black market that is as big as Syria’s whole economy.

Syria remained a source of concern regarding terrorist financing. Industry experts reported that 60 percent of all business transitions were conducted in cash and that nearly 80 percent of all Syrians did not use formal banking services. Despite Syrian legislation that required money-changers to be licensed by the end of 2007, many money-changers in 2010 continued to operate illegally in Syria’s vast black market, estimated to be as large as Syria’s formal economy. Regional “hawala” networks remained intertwined with smuggling and trade-based money laundering, facilitated by notoriously corrupt customs and immigration officials, raising significant concerns that some members of the Syrian government and the business elite were complicit in terrorist financing schemes.

Hawala is a method of financial transfer embraced by Muhammad.  It is used today by Muslims across the world to send remittances to their home countries, for routine transactions, but also, thanks to its invisible paper trail, to fund terrorism.

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10 years & Kuwait has no terror finance law

September 11, 2011

In 1991, the United States of America saved Kuwait from its invasion by Iraq.

Ten years later, an Islamic charity in Kuwait “returned the favor” leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the U.S. by playing a role in “anomalous” transactions by the reputed banking partner of Osama bin Laden as laid out by the 9/11 Commission’s monograph on terrorist financing.

After 9/11, the Somali-based al-Barakaat bank promptly fell under suspicion for helping fund al Qaeda’s operations.  Many members of the intelligence community perceived that Osama bin Laden was a “silent partner” in the founding of al-Barakaat with Ahmed Nur Ali Jumale.

U.S. intelligence agents had sources with personal knowledge of the situation who explained:

…at the direction of senior management, al-Barakaat funneled a percentage of its profits to terrorist groups and that UBL [Usama Bin Laden] had provided venture capital to al-Barakaat founder Ahmed Jumale to start the company. The agent believed these sources, because they had been vetted and the information they were providing was consistent with intelligence he had previously received.

Kuwait’s relations with al-Barakaat

A subsequent investigation by a U.S. team into Jumale’s records “revealed several suspicious transactions that Jumale could not adequately explain. Specifically, two NGOs made a number of unusually large deposits into the account of a Kuwaiti charity official over which Jumale had power of attorney. The funds were then moved out of the account in cash.”

The role of al-Barakaat and the nameless Kuwaiti charity have never been properly explained, although Kuwait’s al Qaeda-affiliated charity, the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), has been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Just last month, Spanish intelligence officials have disclosed that RIHS has funded radical, separatist mosques in Catalonia, and that RIHS seeks to establish an office in Spain.

No law against terrorist financing

What is the most nauseating is that Kuwait still has no law against terrorist financing.  The State Department’s report on global terrorism in 2010, which was published late just a month ago, provided a painful update:

The Kuwaiti government lacked comprehensive legislation that criminalizes terrorist financing. Draft comprehensive anti-money laundering/counterterrorist finance (AML/CTF) legislation was first submitted to the National Assembly in December 2009. Kuwait’s parliament rejected the combined bill in November 2010, sending it back to the Council of Ministers with a request to separate terrorist finance from the AML law. By separating terrorist financing from money laundering, Kuwait made measured progress over the past year on its draft AML legislation, which remained under consideration by the Parliament.

One wonders how the State Department can count Kuwait hosting a conference on money laundering and terrorist financing 10 years after 9/11 as “measured progress.”

Last week, the International Monetary Fund warned that Kuwait could be turning into a beehive of money laundering activity.

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State Department: HuM funded by zakat

September 4, 2011

Harakat ul-Mujahideen (also known as Harakat ul-Ansar), a group of jihadists supporting the annexation of Kashmir, are funded partly by magazine ads and pamphlets they distribute soliciting zakat.  (Of course, the State Department calls it “donations,” but we can only expect so much forthrightness from that particular agency.)

The U.S. State Department is required to submit a report to Congress annually about global terrorism.  The 2010 report was due in April.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton missed the deadline, and was four months late publishing it.  But leaving that aside, here are excerpts from State’s description of Harakat ul-Mujahideen:

Description: Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HUM) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997. HUM seeks the annexation of Indian Kashmir and expulsion of Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. Reportedly, under pressure from the Government of Pakistan, HUM’s long-time leader Fazlur Rehman Khalil stepped down and was replaced by Dr. Badr Munir as the head of HUM in January 2005. Khalil has been linked to Usama bin Ladin, and his signature was found on bin Ladin’s February 1998 fatwa calling for attacks on U.S. and Western interests…

Activities: HUM has conducted a number of operations against Indian troops and civilian targets in Kashmir. It is linked to the Kashmiri militant group al-Faran, which kidnapped five Western tourists in Kashmir in July 1995; the five reportedly were killed later that year. HUM was responsible for the hijacking of an Indian airliner in December 1999 that resulted in the release of Masood Azhar, an important leader in the former Harakat ul-Ansar, who was imprisoned by India in 1994 and then founded Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) after his release. Another former member of Harakat ul-Ansar, Ahmed Omar Sheik was also released by India as a result of the hijackings and was later convicted of the abduction and murder in 2002 of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl.

HUM is still actively planning and carrying out operations against Indian security and civilian targets in Kashmir. In 2005, such attacks resulted in the deaths of 15 people…

External Aid: HUM collects donations from wealthy and grassroots donors in Pakistan, Kashmir, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf states. HUM’s financial collection methods include soliciting donations in magazine ads and pamphlets. The sources and amount of HUM’s military funding are unknown. Its overt fundraising in Pakistan has been constrained since the government clampdown on extremist groups and the freezing of terrorist assets.

“Overt fundraising” has been constrained.  Now that’s reassuring.

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Hillary begs Obama to keep funding Hamas

August 25, 2011

Hillary asks Obama for a favor

Responding to the foreign aid spending reductions proposed by Republicans in the House of Representatives, Hillary Clinton has written a letter demanding that Pres. Obama veto any legislation that would limit her multi-billion dollar State Department budget.

In other words, not only does Sec. Clinton want to keep spending money during a time of national financial calamity, but it also means that she is rejecting the Republican proposal that the U.S. first certify that money will not go to Hamas, Hezbollah, or the Muslim Brotherhood before it distributes foreign aid.

From the Washington Post (h/t Israel Matzav) on July 27:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is blasting a House bill that would impose strict new requirements on U.S. aid  to countries including Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan and Yemen, warning that she will urge a veto if the measure reaches President Obama’s desk.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Ex-Gitmo jailbird now AQAP fundraiser

July 1, 2011
AQAP fundraiser

Al Ghamdi, global terror financier

The U.S. State Department has designated Othman Ahmed al Ghamdi, a radical Sunni Muslim Arab, as a terrorist.

Moreover, State describes Ghamdi as a fundraiser for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).  That’s Washington’s polite way of saying that Ghamdi solicits zakat donations from rich Gulf supporters, signs-off on kidnap for ransom schemes, or both.

Earlier Money Jihad coverage has addressed AQAP’s efforts to obtain funds from Saudi Arabia here and here.

From the Miami Herald on June 17:

U.S. lists Saudi freed from Guantánamo as global terrorist

By Carol Rosenberg

The State Department Thursday added a freed Guantánamo detainee to its list of government-sanctioned terrorists, saying the Saudi Arabian soldier is now a fundraiser for the Yemeni offshoot Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula.

The Obama administration has been deeply concerned that turmoil in Yemen stirred by anti-government protests has created a vacuum that could strengthen the influence of the al Qaeda franchise there. The United States blames AQAP for training the so-called “Underwear Bomber,” now in federal custody after failing to blow up an Amsterdam-Detroit plane on Christmas Day 2009.

Othman Ahmed al Ghamdi, 37 or 38, was among the earliest captives brought to Guantánamo from Afghanistan in the prison camp’s first week. He arrived on Jan. 14, 2002…

A State Department announcement Thursday said that, in addition to his fundraising activities, he had “worked with other AQAP members to plan and stockpile weapons for future attacks.”

In May 2010, the statement said, he appeared in a video that publicly identified him as the Yemeni terror group’s “operational commander”…

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UN funds rogue nuclear ambitions

April 7, 2011

First we pay the Taliban to “reintegrate” with the government of Afghanistan.  Then we consider arming Libyan rebels who include Al Qaeda.  Meanwhile, we fund “technical” and “peaceful” nuclear aspirations of rogue regimes.  Will the news of Western governments and international organizations supporting our enemies never cease?  From the Daily Beast on Mar. 22:

Iran, Sudan, Syria, and other countries the U.S. has named state sponsors of terrorism have received millions of dollars in U.N. nuclear technology aid—and Hillary Clinton won’t stop the flow of cash. Laurel Adams of the Center for Public Integrity reports.

The State Department is refusing to block U.N. nuclear technology aid to countries that are on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime.

The reason, says Hillary Clinton’s department, is that such a clampdown would hinder other countries that have nothing to do with terrorism.

The U.S. provides $20 million a year to help finance the International Atomic Energy Agency, which promotes peaceful use of nuclear energy. But some IAEA funds have gone to countries that could potentially use nuclear technology to build weapons, the Government Accountability Office warns in a new report.

Neither the State Department nor the IAEA have sought to limit the so-called technical cooperation aid to terror-linked nations such as Iran, Sudan, Syria, and Cuba, or countries that are not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, such as India, Israel, and Pakistan, the congressional watchdog says.

The former head of the program told investigators that requests for technical assistance are evaluated strictly on technical merits, thwarting efforts to assess national-security concerns.

“State officials told us that the U.S. did not systematically try to limit TC projects in Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria—which the department designated as sponsors of terrorism,” the report says. “These four countries received more than $55 million in TC assistance from 1997 through 2007.”

During the same time frame, India, Israel, and Pakistan received $24.6 million in technical assistance, even though none is a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Nuclear equipment and technology, even if geared toward peaceful purposes, also can be used to develop nuclear weapons. Yet the former head of the TC program told the investigators that requests for technical assistance are evaluated strictly on technical merits, thereby thwarting efforts to assess national-security concerns.

The GAO has suggested repeatedly that the State Department withhold the U.S. contribution to IAEA that would go to countries accused of aiding terrorists.

“The United States has applied several types of sanctions limiting foreign assistance and trade to states it has designated as sponsors of terrorism and to other countries. To avoid the appearance of an inconsistent approach and to foster greater cohesion in U.S. policy toward such nations, we believe that it is fair for Congress to consider requiring State to withhold a share of the U.S. contribution,” the GAO says.

Withholding funds would undermine the Obama administration’s ability to convince other member countries to contribute to the fund, and since the funding is not traced to specific projects, it would punish all recipients in the program, the State Department said in response.

The IAEA provides minimal information on project proposals, usually just project titles, which further hinders efforts by the Energy Department to assess the risk of proliferation in countries requesting assistance.