Posts Tagged ‘Sudan’

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UN quietly lifts sanctions on Bin Laden accomplice

June 24, 2013

Saudi removed from UN sanctions list

The UN’s sanctions committee removed Adel Batterjee’s name from its Al Qaeda blacklist earlier this year.  News coverage of the removal appears to have been limited to Saudi media outlets.  The U.K. followed suit shortly thereafter by lifting sanctions on Batterjee as well.

The shocking development casts further doubt on the cryptic de-listing process spearheaded by Canadian lawyer and UN ombudswoman Kimberly Prost that also led to white-listing of Muhammad Atta associate Abdelghani Mzoudi, jihadist financier Yasin Al-Qadi, and Al Qaeda check smuggler Soliman al-Buthe.  Prost’s reports and recommendations to the UN committee are secret, and the decisions are made with no explanations, transparency, or opportunities for public comment.

Meanwhile, author J. Millard Burr has published a new book, The Terrorists’ Internationale, through the American Center for Democracy.  Burr’s book documents the growth of Islamist terror groups in the 1980s and 1990s and the role of Sudanese intriguer Hassan al-Turabi in their development.  In it, Burr describes Adel Batterjee as a “close friend” of Osama bin Laden who “‘had become an important figure in the jihad movement’ by the mid-nineteen eighties.”  Batterjee moved back and forth between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to obtain financing for Lajnat Al-Birr Al-Islamiya (The Islamic Benevolence Committee), a bin Laden front charity.

Contradicting Batterjee’s claims that he had no contact with Bin Laden after 1991, Burr writes:

…Bin Laden and Batterjee had re-created their [Lajnat] charity in the Sudan and in 1992 registered it under a new name, the Al-Birr al-Duwaliya–known in the West as the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF). Its official headquarters was listed as Saudi Arabia, and Batterjee was named its director. Although centered in Khartoum, the “charity” continued to operate in Pakistan; Batterjee reduced the Al-Birr operation at Peshawar, but the small staff located there was likely called on to support Bin Laden’s interests in the Dawa Al Irshad at Murdike, and with two mujahideen training camps located in the Afghanistan-Pakistan borderlands…

The CEO of the Benevolence International Foundation served 10 years in federal prison on racketeering charges stemming from the foundation’s “charitable” work.  In 2004, Treasury undersecretary Stuart Levy said that Batterjee “ranked as one of the world’s foremost terrorist financiers, and employed his private wealth and a network of charitable fronts to bankroll the murderous agenda of al-Qaeda.”

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Hamas front company active in Khartoum

May 27, 2013

We’re told periodically that Sudan isn’t really a state sponsor of terrorism.  Sanctions against the country are said to be a mere holdover from years ago when the Sudanese hosted Osama bin Laden in the 1990s—sanctions which have been renewed strictly on the grounds of government negligence in managing “conflict” and “humanitarian access” subsequent and unrelated to bin Laden’s departure.

But the evidence continues to show that if you want to finance terrorism, Sudan is still one of the best places to operate.  Earlier we learned about the presence of and fundraising by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Sudan.  Then we found that Sudan’s janjaweed poach elephants and sell the ivory to fund terrorism.  And never mind that Eritreans are kidnapped for ransom in Sudan, or their organs are sold on the black market with the revenues enriching Hamas.  Now it comes to light that an alleged engineering company operates in the capital of Sudan for the exclusive benefit of Hamas.

Oh, and Saudi Arabia has at least three front companies for Hamas, too.  From the Investigative Project for Terrorism (h/t Sal Imburgia):

Article Alleges Hamas Money Laundering

by IPT News  •  May 16, 2013

Hamas has several business fronts operating in Saudi Arabia and Sudan which launder money for the terrorist group, the Arab News claimed in a report Wednesday.

The report claims “high-level Gulf sources” confirmed a previous story in Kuwait’s al Seyassah about the illicit activity. The Gulf Cooperation Council is expected “to put an end to the illegitimate financial activity Hamas is carrying out, without excluding these authorities arresting and prosecuting the movement’s leadership cadres,” an IPT translation of the Arab News report said.

The story named four specific businesses serving as fronts benefitting Hamas. It did not make clear what crimes generated the money, thus requiring its laundering.

Three of the companies identified are in and around Jeddah; al Sawa’id Technical for Contracting, “Al Afaq for Computer Technology and Amsar for Trade. The fourth, Hassan and Abed International for Roads and Bridges, was described as operating in Sudan’s capital Khartoum…

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Canadian subsidiary invests in genocidal Sudan

April 14, 2013

Despite Sudanese state sponsorship of terrorism and its campaign of massacres by Arab Muslims against black Muslims and Christians, a Vancouver-based firm, Statesman Resources, has an African subsidiary that maintains an oil exploration concession in the Sudan.

This information comes from Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  Schanzer points out that although he believes such investment is legal, it is totally out-of-step with Western expectations about refraining doing business with the Sudanese:

Why is the West Doing Business with Sudan?

Jonathan Schanzer
5th April 2013 – National Post

What does Canada have in common with the regime in Sudan, which perpetrated genocide in Darfur, while allying with Iran and providing weapons to the Palestinian terror group Hamas?

In practical terms, they share very little. Ottawa withholds commercial support services and government-to-government development co-operation from Sudan. Canada’s parliament also has enforced sanctions mandated by the United Nations Security Council, including an arms embargo, as well as an asset freeze and travel ban on certain individuals.

Yet, somehow, it is legal for Canadian firms to invest in Sudan’s oil sector.

Just consider Vancouver-based Statesman Resources. The company owns 50.1% of an African subsidiary, Statesman Africa. In July 2012, Statesman Africa was awarded 75% of an oil exploration area known as “Block 14” in northwest Sudan, along Egypt’s southern border.

Preliminary estimates by Statesman Africa indicated that the block might have a “mean potential resource of 600 million barrels.” By November 2012, Block 14’s prospects looked even brighter. One estimate suggested that it held “1.5 billion barrels of gross un-risked prospective resources.”

According to the Associated Press, as of December 2012, Statesman Africa was “in the process of being formally registered in Sudan and opening an operational office in Khartoum.” According to the company’s CEO, Sudan’s state oil company, Sudapet, is “essentially … a joint venture partner.” Statesman must also work with Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum, which is the regulatory authority.

To be clear, there is nothing illegal about Statesman’s investment in Sudan. Canadian companies are apparently free to do business with Khartoum. But in doing so, they are out of step with Canada’s otherwise sensible foreign policies in the Middle East.

Sudan, as noted above, is a patron of Hamas. It allows the group’s leaders to fundraise and train on Sudanese soil. It also was the origin point for Iranian-made Fajr 5 long-range rockets that were smuggled into Gaza and subsequently fired into Israel during the conflict in November 2012. This was not the first time Sudan helped Iran smuggle weapons into Gaza, either.

Canada has properly listed Hamas under its criminal code. There are severe penalties for “persons and organizations that deal in the property or finances of a listed entity. In addition, it is a crime to knowingly participate in, or contribute to, any activity of a listed entity for the purpose of enhancing the ability of the entity to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity.”

Yet, somehow, it is legal to engage in business with Hamas’ patron, Sudan.

Sudan serves as an important hub for Iran’s terrorist training, financial investments, and the distribution of Iranian weapons to jihadi groups across the African continent. Canada has placed strong sanctions on Iran for its global terrorist activity and its pursuit of an illicit nuclear program. Yet, somehow, it is legal to engage in business with Iran’s close ally, Sudan.

This dissonance appears to be rooted in Canada’s focus on Sudan’s civil conflict, rather than its foreign policies. As one official government website notes, “Improved bilateral relations between Canada and Sudan are contingent on the Government of Sudan’s willingness to take steps toward maintaining a peaceful relationship with the Republic of South Sudan and its other neighbors, ending the current violence in Darfur and the transitional areas, and improving the overall human rights situation across the country.”

The United States, by contrast, lists Sudan as a State Sponsor of Terror. Khartoum earned this distinction in 1993 by allowing al-Qaeda to create its headquarters in the country during the 1990s. However, it remains on the list now for its close and continuing ties to both Iran and Hamas…

Read it all here.

By the way, Ken Rijock also advises entities doing business with Sudanese companies to obtain written assurances from them that their goods and services aren’t benefiting end users in Iran.  Statesman Resources wouldn’t want to run afoul of Canada’s sanctions on Iran by engaging in slipshod business practices in Sudan, would they?

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Hamas funded by slave and organ trade

March 24, 2013

Sudanese and East African flesh peddlers aligned with Hamas terrorists are ransoming captives and engaging in the trade of human organs to buy weapons for jihad.  This information does not come from right-wing Cassandras, but from CNN’s own correspondent in Berlin, Frederik Pleitgen.

The wages of this shameful trade are $35 million annually, says Pleitgen, in a completely overlooked but significant piece entitled “Human trafficking in the Sinai: to fight it we need to know it,” last month on the human rights webpage EveryOne.  Here are some of his most salient points:

  • Eritrean and Sudanese human traffickers continue kidnapping Eritrean refugees for ransom.
  • Every refugee kidnapped by the traffickers means roughly 20,000 dollars for armed fundamentalism. The turnover of trafficking is around $35 million per year. The Sudanese President, Omer Hassan al-Bashir, has acknowledged the role of the Rashaida tribe in the slave and organs trade…”
  • “Some of the major traffickers, including Abu Ahmed and Abu Khaled, have declared in interviews reported in the media, to be part of Hamas. In Sudan, through this massive fundraising activity focused on the abduction and sale of human beings, they are preparing the future stages of the war against the “infidels,” Western culture and the State of Israel.”
  • “[T]he Kalashnikovs in possession of Hamas militants are bought with profits from the slave and human organs trade.”

Read Pleitgen’s full piece here, and earlier Money Jihad coverage on this subject here.  Thanks to Twitter user @meankitteh1 for suggesting fresh coverage of the role of human trafficking in financing terrorism.

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Iran financing Gaza’s jihad by land, sea, and air

January 18, 2013

Whether through Sudanese ports, Libyan overland routes, the Rafah border crossing, or smuggling tunnels, Iran has been reasserting its role as the leading regional state sponsor of terror against Israel by funneling arms to Gaza.

Were reports of imminent financial collapse of Iran premature?  If Iran can fund weapons shipments to Gaza to the degree alleged by Israeli officials in this report, it would seem so.

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Sharia banks that fund terrorism

January 7, 2013

The connections between ethical finance and violent extremism

The relationship is simple.  Jihadists know they can trust sharia-compliant banks to maintain their anonymity, not ask too many questions, and facilitate high-dollar transactions on behalf of their terrorist groups.  Some Islamic financial institutions, such as National Commercial Bank and Islami Bank Bangladesh, have taken the relationship a step farther by donating a portion of their bank profits in the form of zakat as an act of corporate “charity” to terrorist organizations, or in the case of Al Rajhi, through private zakat donations of leading bankers.  Saudi Arabia and Iran are key bases for these activities, but this is a global phenomenon.  Here’s Money Jihad’s short list of the worst offenders:

Al Rajhi Bank:  The Saudi financial institution has served as the sharia bank of choice for the world’s jihadists, including East Africa embassy bomber Mamduh Mahmud Salim, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, and organizations like Indonesian Kompak and Al-Haramain.  Bank co-founder Sulaiman Al-Rajhi appeared on the infamous Golden Chain document of Al Qaeda financiers.  These allegations were reinforced by the recent U.S. Senate investigation into HSBC’s correspondent relationships.

Al Shamal Islamic Bank:  Osama Bin Laden co-founded the Al Shamal in Sudan and invested $50 million there.  During the 1990s and early 2000s, Al Qaeda distributed money to its cells through Al Shamal.  Funds passed through Al Shamal were used in preparation for terrorist attacks.

National Commercial Bank:  Offering conventional and sharia banking services, Saudi Arabia’s self-described first, largest, and most prominent bank is NCB.  Among other misdeeds, a Saudi audit revealed that NCB transferred $74 million in the 1990s as zakat through its charitable front organizations to Al Qaeda (see here, here, and here).  Khalid bin Mahfouz, the head of the bank, exploited libel laws to sue author Rachel Ehrenfeld in an effort to silence accusations about his role in financing terrorism.

Arab Bank:  This conventional bank in Jordan maintains a wholly-owned subsidiary (Islamic International Arab Bank PLC) that offers full-range sharia services.  Arab Bank has transferred money on behalf of Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP), a notorious French charity, to a known financial subunit of Hamas.  The Jordanian bank has paid out insurance benefits to families of suicide bombers for the Saudi Committee—another charity that funds Hamas.  Arab Bank has handled transactions for the Holy Land Foundation, whose leaders now sit behind bars for financing terrorism.  It has been the subject of American investigations, but the bank has consistently refused to turn over related documents to the U.S.

Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited:  IBBL, Bangladesh’s biggest sharia bank, has handled Wahhabi accounts to propagate radical Islam since its inception.  In 2011, the Bangladeshi home ministry intelligence revealed that 8 percent of the bank’s profits were diverted as corporate zakat to support jihad in Bangladesh.  One of the men on IBBL’s board of sharia advisors was arrested in connection with a terrorist attack against Bangladeshi police officers.  The U.S. Senate slammed British bank giant HSBC for maintaining relationships with IBBL despite evidence that it served terrorists like Shaikh Abdur Rahman of Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh and terror-funding Islamic charities like IIRO.  The Senate’s report also implicated HSBC for disregarding evidence of terror financing at another Bangladeshi sharia bank with whom it worked:  Social Islami Bank.

Bank Melli:  The Iranian Islamic bank sent “at least $100 million to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard branch that supports Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups, the Quds Force” between 2002-06.

Bank Saderat:  Another major Iranian sharia finance house, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned the rocket-funding Bank Saderat, stating that “The bank is used by the Government of Iran to transfer money to terrorist organizations, including Hizballah, Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. A notable example of this is a Hizballah-controlled organization that has received $50 million directly from Iran through Bank Saderat since 2001.”

Other culprits include Dubai Islamic Bank, which is active in both the U.A.E. and Pakistan, and Tadamon Islamic Bank.

So much for “ethical finance.”  For further developments, please continue reading Money Jihad, Shariah Finance Watch, and @moneyjihad on Twitter.

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Ivory terror: elephant bloodbath funds jihadists

December 3, 2012

Sudanese Arab militiamen and Somali al-Shabaab terrorists are financing their jihad from poaching raids against the endangered wildlife of their mostly Christian neighbors.

The janjaweed poachers use the profits from massacring the African elephant to continue their massacres against black Africans in Darfur.  The common link is their utter disregard for life and for the rule of law.

From the Africa Review on Nov. 17:

Cameroon deploys crack unit to foil Sudanese poachers

Cameroon’s Special Forces have been deployed to foil an imminent raid by Sudanese poachers who for eight weeks earlier this year slaughtered half the population of elephants for their ivory at one of the country’s wildlife reserves.

The poachers have been attempting to take park guards in northern Cameroon by surprise by exploiting greater ground cover that has sprouted in the rainy season, according to international conservation body World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which said it had been informed by high ranking officials of the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) on Friday.

“This is the same group of poachers that in early 2012 travelled more than 1,000km on horseback from northern Sudan across the Central African Republic and Chad to kill over 300 elephants in the Bouba N’Djida National Park in northern Cameroon,” WWF said.

The heavily armed and well coordinated poachers, who had told local villagers of their plans to kill as many elephants as possible, claimed they had killed as much as 650 out of some 1,000 that roamed the park.

The elephant population in Cameroon and in central Africa is estimated to have been halved, mainly by poachers, between 1995 and 2007 with the number of elephants killed still on the rise…

The article does not precisely identify whom the Sudanese poachers are or for what they will use the ivory profits.  But a story from the New York Times in September explained that Sudan’s janjaweed, the Arab supremacists who bear responsibility for the genocide against black Africans in Darfur, are offenders in the illegal ivory trade:

Several Sudanese ivory traders and Western officials said that the infamous janjaweed militias of Darfur were also major poachers. Large groups of janjaweed — the word means horseback raider — were blamed for killing thousands of civilians in the early 2000s, when Darfur erupted in ethnic conflict. International law enforcement officials say that horseback raiders from Darfur wiped out thousands of elephants in central Africa in the 1980s. Now they suspect that hundreds of janjaweed militiamen rode more than 600 miles from Sudan and were the ones who slaughtered at least 300 elephants in Bouba Ndjida National Park in Cameroon this past January, one of the worst episodes of elephant slaughter recently discovered.

In 2010, Ugandan soldiers, searching for Mr. Kony in the forests of the Central African Republic, ran into a janjaweed ivory caravan. “These guys had 400 men, pack mules, a major camp, lots of weapons,” a Western official said. A battle erupted and more than 10 Ugandans were killed.

“It just shows you the power of poaching, how much money you can make stacking up the game,” the official said.

How much and for what purpose?  Der Spiegel reports that janjaweed poachers use the proceeds for arms:  “The millions of dollars their poaching raid must have brought in will allow them to replenish their weapons stores.”

Although no Somalis were mentioned in the latest Cameroon hunt, the New York Times also identified al-Shabaab as an ivory poaching participant:

Perhaps no country in Africa is as lawless as Somalia, which has languished for more than 20 years without a functioning central government, spawning Islamist militants, gunrunners, human traffickers and modern-day pirates. Ivory has entered this illicit mix.

Several Somali elders said that the Shabab, the militant Islamist group that has pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, recently began training fighters to infiltrate neighboring Kenya and kill elephants for ivory to raise money.

One former Shabab associate said that the Shabab were promising to “facilitate the marketing” of ivory and have encouraged villagers along the Kenya-Somalia border to bring them tusks, which are then shipped out through the port of Kismayo, a notorious smuggling hub and the last major town the Shabab still control.

“The business is a risk,” said Hassan Majengo, a Kismayo resident with knowledge of the ivory trade, “but it has an exceptional profit.”

Read more details of al-Shabaab’s involvement in the ivory trade here.

Sadly, the Islamist culture and tradition of raiding, pillaging, plundering and exploitation of natural resources and property is alive and well.