Posts Tagged ‘state sponsorship’

h1

Terror financial news: suggested reading

September 10, 2015
  • “Iran will get hundreds of billions of dollars from sanctions relief and investments to fuel its aggression and terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa and beyond,” says Israel’s prime minister… more>>
  • Shurat Hadin is pursuing legal action to stop the Iran deal until the victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism are compensated… more>>
  • Lawyers for the “British” beheader for ISIS known as “Jihadi John” are fleecing the government for legal defense fees, even though they don’t live in Britain either… more>>
  • An Amnesty International director and her husband have been outed as Muslim Brotherhood supporters… more>>
h1

Palestinian terror sponsors to post token bond in finance case

September 2, 2015

Clinton-appointed federal judge George Daniels is allowing two Palestinian entities to pay $10 million for now instead of the $656 million in damages that they owe to the victims of terrorism that they sponsored.  John Kerry’s lawyers at the State Department argued on behalf of the Palestinian entities, claiming that making them a pay a larger bond would impair their ability to govern.  Judge Daniels says he gave “serious consideration” to the arguments made by State’s lawyers.

In the old days, the State Department represented America’s interests to the world.  Now they seem to be acting more like a lobbyist on behalf of terror-sponsoring states (Palestinian Authority, Iran, Cuba…).

From Reuters (h/t Zadok):

U.S. judge says Palestinian Authority must post bond in terrorism case

Source: Reuters – Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:06 GMT

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK, Aug 24 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge ordered the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization on Monday to post $10 million in cash or bond while they appeal a jury’s finding that they supported militant attacks in Israel.

At a court hearing in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said the defendants must also deposit $1 million each month pending the appeal of a February jury verdict worth $655 million in favor of 10 American families.

The order came after the Obama administration took the unusual step of urging Daniels to “carefully consider” the Palestinian Authority’s financial condition, saying too high a bond could compromise its ability to function.

A collapse of the Palestinian Authority “would undermine several decades of U.S. foreign policy and add a new destabilizing factor to the region,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a court filing earlier this month.

Daniels said that in fashioning his order he had given “serious consideration” to the State Department’s position, despite objections from the plaintiffs that the amount was far too low.

A federal jury in February found the PLO and the Palestinian Authority liable for six shootings and bombings in Israel between 2002 and 2004, which have been attributed to Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

The attacks killed 33 people, including several Americans, and injured more than 450.

The lawsuit, filed in 2004 by U.S. victims and their family members, was brought under a federal statute that automatically tripled the jury’s verdict of $218.5 million to $655.5 million in damages.

A lawyer for the defendants, Mitchell Berger, said the Palestinian Authority was willing to make a $10 million upfront cash deposit and subsequent monthly payments of $1 million but warned that even those funds would severely hamper its efforts to rebuild schools and provide for needy families.

Kent Yalowitz, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the money was a “token amount” and criticized the Palestinian Authority, saying it made payments to terrorists in jail…

 

h1

Iran pays $2m more to Gaza martyrs’ families

May 5, 2015

Al-Ansar Charity Association, a financial intermediary between Iran and the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, has announced through social media that it will distribute $2 million to the families of shahids (martyrs for Islam) who died while fighting Israel from 2000 to 2014. This money is over and above the $900,000 Al-Ansar promised in January to the families of terrorists who died fighting Israel during the latter half of 2014.

Al-Ansar’s background and their announcement were uncovered by this report from The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center last week (with thanks to @skinroller and @El_Grillo1):

  1. The Al-Ansar charity association operates in the Gaza Strip and is affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). It was founded during the second intifada (2001) and serves the Iranians as a pipeline for funds to finance terrorism in the Gaza Strip and as a way to increase Iran’s influence over the Gazan population. Al-Ansar supports the families of terrorists who were killed (“shaheeds”), families whose houses were destroyed, and families of terrorist operatives imprisoned in Israel. In the past, it also supported the families of shaheeds in Judea and Samaria, with the authorization and sponsorship of Mahmoud Abbas. It is uncertain if it continues to do so today, and if it does, how the funds are delivered (See Appendices A and B).
  2. The PIJ, the second most important Palestinian terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip, is Iran’s preferred Palestinian terrorist organization. Iran supports the PIJ both financially and militarily (providing weapons, training, technological knowledge, etc.). Iran transfers large sums of money, up to several mission dollars a year, to the Al-Ansar charity association through the Palestinian branch of the Iranian Martyrs Foundation (established in Iran by the Ayatollah Khomeini to aid and support the families of Iranians killed in the Iran-Iraq War). The Iranian Martyrs Foundation has two branches in Lebanon, a Lebanese branch that supports Hezbollah and a Palestinian branch that supports Hamas and the PIJ (See Appendix B for information about the Iranian Martyr’s Foundation and its Palestinian branch). The funds for the Palestinians are probably transferred from Lebanon to the Gaza Strip by bank transfer but it is not clear which banks are involved.
  3. Since the days of the second intifada, the radical Islamist “charitable societies” operating in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria have served as pipelines for Iran to transfer funds to the Palestinian terrorist organizations. The money finances the terrorist organizations’ social network (mosques, educational institutions, support for the families of shaheeds), especially those of Hamas and the PIJ. Past experience has shown that the funds earmarked for the social network can easily be diverted to the military-terrorist wings of the various terrorist organizations. Thus the Iranian Islamic regime provided religious legitimacy for the money transferred to support Palestinian terrorism (according to the Ayatollah Khomeini, Muslim charity funds could be given to support the Palestinians).
  4. Al-Ansar, which receives funds from the Iranian Martyrs Foundation, was outlawed in Israel in 2003. It is headed by a PIJ activist named Nafez Othman Abd al-Rahman al-A’raj (Abu Suheib). His brother Omar al-A’raj was a senior PIJ military-terrorist operative, killed in 1996 during a Palestinian Authority (PA) attempt to detain him in the Gaza Strip. (Omar al-A’raj founded the PIJ’s military-terrorist network and was in charge of manufacturing IEDs for a series of deadly attacks carried out in Israel). In 2007 the Iranian Martyrs Foundation and its branches in Lebanon were designated as sponsors of terrorism by the United States Department of the Treasury because they provided Hezbollah, Hamas and the PIJ with financial support (See below).
  5. On April 12, 2015, the Al-Ansar charity association in the Gaza Strip announced that $2 million would be distributed among 5,000 families of Gazan shaheeds who had died between the beginning of the second intifada (2000) and June 31, 2014, that is, before the outbreak of Operation Protective Edge (Alansar.ps, April 12, 2015). On April 5, 2015, Al-Ansar said in a statement that the financial support was funded by the Palestinian branch of the Iranian Martyrs Foundation (Facebook page of Al-Ansar, April 5, 2015).
  6. On January 18, 2015, Al-Ansar in the Gaza Strip posted a notice on its Facebook page to Gazans whose family members had been killed in Operation Protective Edge and who had not yet registered with the society. They were requested to go to the Al-Ansar offices with a death certificate, a picture of the deceased, medical reports, and similar relevant documents, so that the transfer of funds could be arranged (Facebook page of Al-Ansar, February 11, 2005). In ITIC assessment, based on an average payment of $400 per family, the Iranian Martyrs Foundation can be expected to transfer an additional $900,000 for the families of Gazans killed in Operation Protective Edge (for approximately 2,200 families) once registration and bureaucratic procedures have been completed. Payment will mainly be made through branches of the post office in the Gaza Strip.
h1

Hezbollah expects payday from Iran deal

April 14, 2015

Excerpts follow from an IPT report regarding the effect of a nuclear deal with Iran that would lift sanctions against them.  Iranian catspaw terror groups stand to benefit from the money that will flow their way.  Hat tip to El Grillo:

The framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is set to refill Iran’s coffers and enable the Islamic Republic to invest considerable treasure in its regional network of terrorist and guerilla proxies…

They include the Shi’ite Lebanese organization Hizballah – the most highly armed terrorist entity in the world, active in the Syrian civil war – the Shi’ite Houthi forces currently seizing and destabilizing Yemen, a plethora of militant Shi’ite militias in Iraq, the Islamic Jihad terror group in Gaza and the West Bank, and Hamas, with which Iran has recently mended relations. Iran has begun sending Hamas, which rules over Gaza, tens of millions of dollars for its combat tunnel reconstruction and rocket manufacturing programs. The Iranian investment in Gaza’s Islamist war capabilities will only rise after sanctions are lifted.

Iran will also be able to use the money to boost its partners, who are increasingly reliant on its aid, and which are subject to Iranian directives. Iranian regional partners include the Assad regime in Syria, which has killed enormous numbers of innocent civilians in the country’s civil war, and the Shi’ite Iraqi government, dependent on Iranian support in the war against the Islamic State.

Once international sanctions are lifted, Iran stands to secure over $100 billion in unfrozen funds in foreign exchange assets around the world. Soon afterwards, international companies are expected to rush into Iran to invest, and oil sales will resume, generating huge new revenue sources.

The Islamic Republic will, without question, siphon off a part of that money to its various tentacles abroad, providing them with cash, training, and array of weapons, such as guided rockets and missiles for Hizballah, firearms and projectile capabilities to militias in Iraq and Yemen, and missiles for the Assad regime in Syria…

Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah has acknowledged the impact of lifting the sanctions on Iran, telling a Syrian television channel on Monday that the deal will “strengthen Tehran’s role in the region.”

“Iran will become richer and wealthier and will also become more influential,” Nasrallah told Syria’s Al-Ekhbariya TV. “This will also reinforce the position of its allies.”

“A stronger and wealthier Iran, in the coming phase, will be able to stand by its allies, and especially the Palestinian resistance, more than at any other time in history,” Nasrallah stated…

h1

CNN documents Qatari funding of terror

July 21, 2014

The jihad in Syria against the Alawites has been wholeheartedly funded by millionaires in Qatar. The Qatari ministry of culture oversees some of the volunteer operations to fund terrorism like this, and counter-terrorism expert Juan Zarate says the financial support for jihad comes “from the top.” This isn’t new information, but seeing video of the players involved may help some people to grow up and out of the old-fashioned 1990s view of Qatar as an ally in the Gulf.

CNN’s Erin Burnett reports:

h1

State Dept.: Hamas still raising funds in Sudan

May 16, 2014

The U.S. State Department has repeated its claim that Hamas uses Sudan as a source of financing in its new report on activities by state sponsors of terrorism covering the 2013 time period.

Although the State Department did not name specific financing operations, press reports in 2013 indicated that the Hamas front company known as Hassan & Abed International for Roads & Bridges operates in Khartoum. Last year it was also alleged that Malik Obama, the President’s brother, raised funds for Hamas through a Sudan-based organization. More recently, a leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood visited the Sudanese capital amidst questions about Sudan’s role in regional weapons trafficking.

Excerpts from the State Department’s report follow (emphasis mine):

Elements of al-Qa’ida (AQ)-inspired terrorist groups remained in Sudan.  The Government of Sudan has taken steps to limit the activities of these elements, and has worked to disrupt foreign fighters’ use of Sudan as a logistics base and transit point for terrorists going to Mali, Syria, and Afghanistan.  However, groups continued to operate in Sudan in 2013 and there continued to be reports of Sudanese nationals participating in terrorist organizations.  For example, regional media outlets alleged one Sudanese national was part of an al-Shabaab terrorist cell that attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in September.  There was also evidence that Sudanese violent extremists participated in terrorist activities in Somalia and Mali.

In 2013, Sudan continued to allow members of Hamas to travel, fundraise, and live in Sudan.  

The UN and NGOs reported in 2013 that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is likely operating in the disputed Kafia Kingi area, claimed by Sudan and South Sudan, in close proximity to Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).  At year’s end, the United States continued to engage the Government of Sudan, the AU, and the UN to evaluate these reports.

The kidnapping of foreigners for ransom in Darfur continued, although no U.S. citizens were kidnapped in 2013.  These kidnappings have hindered humanitarian operations in Darfur.  Abductees have been released unharmed amid rumors of ransoms having been paid.

In 2013, the United States continued to pursue justice for the January 1, 2008 killing of two U.S. Embassy employees.  At the end of the year, the Sudanese Supreme Court was deliberating on an appeal filed by defense attorneys of the three remaining men convicted of the two murders, requesting that their death sentences be commuted…

The Government of Sudan has made some progress in opposing terrorist financing, although members of Hamas are permitted to conduct fundraising in Sudan

The report goes on to say that Sudan’s central bank “circulates” the names of sanctioned individuals to Sudanese banks. The report doesn’t go as far as to say that the banks are actually closing accounts or freezing the assets of designated terrorists. Doesn’t sound like much progress to me.

The government of Sudan hasn’t come out with an outright denial of the allegations, but rather says that the U.S. report “lacks credibility.”

h1

Lessons learned from 6 big terrorist windfalls

April 29, 2014

Terror finance trials over the last ten years have frequently involved transfers by individuals of a few thousand dollars to terrorist organizations abroad. Sometimes those cases get as much attention from the news media and law enforcement as multi-million dollar cases of funding terrorism.

This tendency is unfortunate because it causes us to lose sight of the big time patrons of terrorism and their methods. Small transfers are likelier to involve individual actors, small groups, and criminal activity. High-dollar terrorist transactions are likelier to involve state sponsorship, or at least large organizations such as major charities, and sometimes corporations which are targeted for extortion or kidnapping-for-ransom schemes by militants. Consider:

• France paid $15 to $20 million to the Taliban for the 2011 release of reporters Stéphane Taponier and Hervé Ghesquière. France may have also paid a $34 million ransom to Al Qaeda in North Africa for the release of four captives last year, and an $18 million ransom just last week to release four journalists abducted by Syrian rebels.

• The Holy Land Foundation, largest Islamic “charity” in the U.S. in the early 2000s, gave $12.4 million to Hamas. George W. Bush said that the money HLF raised was “used by Hamas to recruit suicide bombers and support their families.” The leaders of HLF were found guilty of providing material support to terrorism and received sentences ranging from 15 to 65 years in federal prison.

• Qatar has spent an estimated $3 billion (or, less credibly, $5 billion) to fund Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria. In so doing they’ve helped turn Syria into a charnel house with over 150,000 dead since 2011.

• Carlos the Jackal received, according to different accounts, either $20 million or $50 million from the Saudi government in 1975 to release the OPEC ministers he had taken hostage. Allegedly, this money wasn’t used by Carlos himself but was pumped back toward international terrorist causes. Eventually, Carlos the Jackal was caught and sentenced to life in prison in France on separate charges.

• The Born brother heirs to the multinational Bunge and Born corporation were forced to pay a $60 million ransom to leftwing Montoneros terrorists in Argentina in 1974. Some of the money may have been kept in shadowy Argentine and Cuban banks. Mario Firmenich, mastermind of the plot, was convicted in 1987.

• The Palestinian Authority just pledged another $74 million to spend as incentives and stipends for terrorist “martyrs” and their families from their annual budget.

Several lessons should be learned from the above sampling of terrorist jackpots:

1. Don’t pay ransoms. Paying ransoms is the quickest way to fund millions of dollars worth of future terrorist attacks and to increase the likelihood of larger ransom demands down the road.

2. In cases of suspected terrorist financing, always look at both the source and the beneficiary of the funding—not just one party in isolation. With the Holy Land Foundation, we tend to focus mostly on HLF as a contributor, without examining how Hamas uses Islamic charities in the West to finance its operations. Likewise in the Taponier and Ghesquière case, what little coverage there was in English language media focused on the ransom negotiations and French foreign policy, while completely ignoring the aftermath of what the Taliban and the Baryal Qari group did with the money. We learn more from each case when we look at both sides of the equation. Read the rest of this entry ?