Posts Tagged ‘U.K.’

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1 Ahmed, 2 Boufassils, and £3,000 for jihad

May 5, 2016

Mohammed Ali Ahmed, Zakaria Boufassil and Soumaya Boufassil

Two Belgian-Moroccans and one “British national” have been charged in Britain with funding Paris terror suspect Mohamed Abrini.  Soumaya Boufassil, one of the alleged fundraisers, is permitted to wear a burqa in court although such clothing is a political symbol in support of government by sharia law.  The reference to “collecting” money makes it sound like they were soliciting donations from the community…

From the BBC (h/t to Don):

Men accused of giving Brussels suspect Mohamed Abrini cash

Two men have appeared in court accused of giving money to the “man in the hat” suspected of being involved in the Brussels and Paris terrorist attacks.

Mohammed Ali Ahmed and Zakaria Boufassil, both 26, are accused of giving Mohamed Abrini £3,000 when he was in Birmingham in July last year.

They appeared with Soumaya Boufassil, 29, who is accused of collecting money for terrorist purposes with Mr Ahmed.

The trio, from Small Heath, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Ms Boufassil, who wore a burka, and the two men, who wore jumpers, spoke only to confirm their details.

Mr Ahmed is a British national, while both Mr Boufassil and his sister, Ms Boufassil, are Belgian-Moroccans. They have all been living in Birmingham.

Mr Ahmed and Mr Boufassil face one count of the commission of offences abroad, on or before 7 July 2015, under section 17 of the Terrorism Act.

They are accused of entering into an arrangement in which money was made available to another person, and that they knew, or had reasonable cause to suspect, it would or may be used for the purposes of terrorism…

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HSBC says bye to Islamic Relief

February 22, 2016

British bank HSBC has ended its relationship with the Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), the largest international Islamic charity in the world. In other words, HSBC has closed IRW’s account with the bank and has given them their money back. The bank’s decision was a risk-based determination probably based—not just on the locations of the world where IRW operates—on a review of IRW partners and what internal controls IRW has in place to ensure that its partner organizations and field staff have been adequately screened.

IRW has a pattern of working with Hamas-affiliated entities and then claiming afterward that it didn’t know. It is either purposeful or negligent. Either way HSBC is not obliged to serve as their bank.  After being excoriated for its slipshod compliance program a couple years ago, HSBC should now be applauded for applying solid standards.

From International Business Times last month:

HSBC snaps ties with Islamic Relief over ‘terror’ fears

January 4, 2016

HSBC has snapped banking ties with UK’s largest government-funded Muslim charity, Islamic Relief, over alleged fears of terror funding. Although the bank has halted services for other Muslim groups in the past, the affected charity is one of the most high-profile ones with operations in over 40 countries.

Islamic Relief receives millions of pounds from the Department for International Development. It expressed surprise at the bank’s decision, but said that other partners are helping it maintain aid supplies in countries where it operates. The charity added that no other bank or financial institution had withdrawn facilities.

According to The Sunday Times, HSBC may have ended ties with Islamic Relief because of the charity’s work in the Middle East, including projects in Gaza and Syria. Earlier, the Israeli government had banned Islamic Relief from the West Bank in 2014. It accused the organisation of laundering money to Hamas, a claim categorically denied by the charity.

Around the same time, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had also placed Islamic Relief on a list of forbidden organisations, a move the group is in the process of appealing against. Shortly after these bans, the bank took the decision to cut ties with the organisation, but it has only just become public knowledge.

Meanwhile, the UK Charity Commission ordered an independent investigation into the incident, and cleared Islamic Relief of terror funding allegations…

Seems the Charity Commission is the odd man out, no?

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Britain cites Turkish transit of Syrian terror cash

October 19, 2015

British authorities have drawn attention to Turkey’s role as a transit point for the illegal flow of money from the U.K. into the hands of terrorists in Syria.  From the new report, “UK national risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing,” published by HM Treasury and the Home Office:

…Most recently, police investigations have shown that MSBs [money services businesses] are being used to send funds to Turkey and Egypt, eventually reaching foreign fighters in Syria. Funds are typically broken down in to smaller amounts to avoid the need to provide identification and to avoid detection. Intelligence also indicates that employees have been known to facilitate funds to terrorists through their position within MSBs…

… Amal El-Wahabi was convicted in 2014 for coercing a friend to carry 20,000 Euros (£15,800) to Turkey in an attempt to fund her husband’s jihad for ISIL in Syria…

…Turkey is a key hub for the flow of funds to Syria for terrorist use. Intelligence suggests that cash has been withdrawn from ATMs on the border of Turkey and Syria by foreign fighters engaged in fighting in Syria. Turkey does not control the full length of its land border and there are plentiful routes for smuggling goods and people into Syria. The movement of oil from ISIL controlled areas through a network of middle-men, and the risk of it moving through Turkey, is also of concern…

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UK cracks down on anti-democratic Islamists

September 21, 2015

Great Britain will grant their Charity Commission new powers to unseat board members of charities who espouse anti-democratic, un-British values according to a strategy document leaked to the Telegraph.  If true, this is a welcome development.  Hateful Islamist leaders have to be shamed and weeded out.  U.S. states should follow suit by granting their secretaries of state, who generally have authority to regulate charities, equivalent powers.

Extremists to be purged from charity boards under new law

Mosques will be hit as watchdog to use powers to expel ‘hate preachers’

19 Sep 2015

The Government is to purge “extremist” trustees from every charity in England and Wales in a crackdown that could affect thousands of people.

A leaked draft of the Home Office’s new counter-extremism strategy, seen by the Telegraph, says new legal powers for the Charity Commission to sack trustees will be used far more widely than expected.

In a paper in May on how it would use the powers, now being created in a bill before Parliament, the commission made no mention of extremism being grounds for disqualification.

However, the leaked counter-extremism strategy, due to be published this autumn, states that “once the legislation is enacted, the Charity Commission will take action against all trustees who meet the definition of extremism set out in this document.”

The strategy document defines extremism as “the vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.”

Among those likely to be affected are several mosques, most of which operate as charities, including the hardline East London Mosque. Some of its trustees have publicly supported sharia law and punishments for “crimes” such as adultery.

A number of aid charities have been regularly accused of channelling funds to terror groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and have trustees with links to those organisations.

Some private Muslim schools are likely to be caught by the provisions, including two run by the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation, a charity closely linked to the racist and extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir.

In a Hizb pamphlet one of the foundation’s trustees, Farah Ahmed, attacked religious tolerance and democracy and said that Western education was a “threat to our beliefs and values.”

Non-Muslim groups may also be affected, including Soldiers off the Street, a veterans’ charity whose trustees include a former senior British National Party activist.

Charitable status carries substantial privileges, including exemption from paying most taxes, tax breaks for individuals who donate and Gift Aid, which allows charities to claim back the tax paid by donors.

The Telegraph has exposed how hate preachers and Islamist extremists have secured charitable status and exploited it to claim thousands of pounds in Gift Aid and other advantages.

The benefit was claimed by IERA, a charity linked to a number of the “Portsmouth jihadis,” six young men from the Hampshire city who travelled together to fight for Islamic State (Isil) in Syria. IERA’s trustees include the extremist preacher Abdurraheem Green, also known as Anthony Waclaw Green.

Its board of advisers has included Bilal Phillips, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, and the hate preacher Haitham al-Haddad, who has called Jews the “brethren of swine and pigs.”

Al-Haddad also founded and ran his own charity, the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF), which publishes a hardline Islamist website, Islam21c.com, and other extremist material…

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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>>
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Terror financier deported

July 24, 2015

This individual supported Qoqaz.net, a flagship jihadi website of the early 2000s (see here and here).  He also supported Azzam Publications, a website which instructed readers how to send money to the Taliban in 2001.  His prison sentence in the U.S. is up, and he’s heading back to Britain.  The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a press release about the deportation last week (h/t to @skinroller):

ICE deports prolific terrorist fundraiser to UK

PHILADELPHIA — A British national who was sentenced in federal court for multiple crimes supporting terrorism fundraising efforts was deported late Monday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) led the investigation into the terrorist supporter’s activities, and ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) handed him over to British authorities.

Babar Ahmad, 41, was extradited to the United States in 2012 to face charges for operating a family of websites collectively known as Azzam Publications, which an HSI investigation determined was established to “incite the believers” and also to raise money for known terrorist groups, including the Taliban.

Ahmad admitted to the crime in 2013 and received a 150-month prison sentence by a federal judge in July 2014. He was deported once he completed the prison term, which included time served in Britain and the United States leading up to his sentencing…

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More benefit fraud for jihad

July 17, 2015

British leaders are finally starting to realize that benefit fraud by Islamists isn’t just about private greed.  The stolen benefits are actually being used by men and women to join the battle in Syria and Iraq against perceived infidels.  The Muslim British youngsters have taken the teachings of Anjem Choudary and others to heart, learning that it is acceptable to steal money from infidel countries through their generous welfare programs so long as that money is used in furtherance of jihad.

From the Daily Mail (h/t El Grillo):

ISIS jihadis in Syria and Iraq are funding their evil war by milking Britain’s benefits system through false claims, online fraud and student loans

  • Experts fear that jihadis have committed frauds to abuse welfare system 
  • DWP has launched a probe to establish the extent of the fraud 
  • Hundreds of Brits are believed to have joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria
  • First time the Whitehall department has admitted the fraudulent claims

ISIS terrorists are abusing the UK benefits system to fund their holy war in Iraq and Syria, authorities fear.

Hundreds of Brits are believed to have travelled abroad to fight with ISIS and many of them are still believed to be claiming taxpayer-funded benefits.

Experts believe jihadists have committed a number of high-level frauds to deliberately abuse the welfare system.

While a number of countries do have benefits agreements with the UK that allow British citizens to continue claiming state hand-outs, Iraq and Syria are not among them.

But the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Fraud and Error Service has launched a series of reviews after people living in Iraq and Syria successfully pocketed UK benefits…

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Britain bans ransom payments by insurance companies to terrorist groups

May 25, 2015

Earlier this year, Parliament passed a measure that prohibits insurance companies from paying ransoms to terrorists and provides for penalties if they do. The bill was debated in January, but it was not clear to Money Jihad at the time that the bill actually passed. The reliable Tom Keatinge has let us know that, yes, the bill has been enacted.

For more background on the law, check out Foreign Policy’s report on the subject from Jan. 8.

British legislators are considering a new bill that takes aim at a small, secretive niche in the insurance industry that deals with kidnapping and ransom, the latest money spinner for terrorists.

The new counterterrorism bill, proposed in November and being debated this week in the House of Commons, gives the British government broad powers to address new terrorist threats posed by the rise of the Islamic State.

One of the most controversial provisions would give ministers the ability to block British citizens suspected of fighting for terrorists from returning to the United Kingdom. Another section would require universities to limit the number of “extremist” speakers they host on campus.

But one part of the proposed bill that has gotten less attention would also make it a crime for British insurance companies to reimburse families or companies that pay a ransom to a terrorist in order to secure the release of a hostage. Critics argue that the provision is misguided, that it will do little to stem the flow of money to terrorists, and that it could disrupt the thriving industry of “kidnap and ransom” insurers and negotiators who successfully get people out of hostage situations.

Companies buy this insurance for employees working overseas who are in danger of being taken captive by terrorists, militants, or criminals. If that happens, the insurer connects the company to negotiators to help executives or families make a deal with kidnappers, send payment, and get the hostage back.

Kidnapping and ransom policies have come under scrutiny recently as British and U.S. counterterrorism officials have taken a stronger stance against paying ransoms to terrorists in order to starve Islamist militants of an important new source of funding. The Islamic State has used kidnapping for ransom to underwrite its gory campaigns in Syria and Iraq. A United Nations report in October estimated that the Islamic State had received $35 million to $45 million in ransom payments in the past year.

U.S. officials have long argued that making ransom payments encourages more kidnapping (though that hasn’t stopped Washington from acquiescing to ransom payments). The U.N. passed a resolution in January 2014 to discourage countries from meeting ransom demands, but a New York Times investigation published in July revealed that many European countries have been covertly making payments…

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Islamic terror money: recommended reading

March 19, 2015
  • The U.K. has only frozen the bank accounts of 1 percent of British jihadists fighting for ISISmore>>
  • In response to the $655 million judgment against it, the PLO said “We will appeal.” Then the PLO blamed American victims of terrorism for having traveled to the Middle East in the first place… more>>
  • It was excluded from one list of threats to the U.S., but sanctions against Hezbollah remain in effect, 100 percent… more>>
  • International financial watchdog:  ISIS‘s “primary source of income comes from the territory it occupies”… more>>
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Money and plots: suggested news reading

March 12, 2015
  • German police raid a mosque before a terror cell could meet with arms dealers in Bremen… more>>
  • Lajnat al Daawa al Islamiyya, a Kuwait-based charity designated by the U.S. and UN as a terrorist entity, was a donor to the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge where the Tsarnaev brothers worshipped… more>>
  • Two terrorist facilitators scam £150,000 from an elderly Englishman to fund jihad in Syriamore>>
  • Authorities have frozen its bank account of CAGE, a Muslim-British advocacy group that defends terrorists, but CAGE is still fundraising… more>>
  • A Yemeni bound for Qatar with £500,000 cash hidden in his luggage tells JFK airport authorities the money was for his “really big family”… more>>
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Biggest prior terrorist attack on France funded by Algerian from London

January 8, 2015

Before the Charlie Hebdo massacre yesterday, the last major terrorist attacks on French soil were the Paris transit bombings of 1995. Those attacks, which killed eight and injured 150, were carried out by the Groupe Islamique Arme (GIA), an Algerian jihadist group. The mastermind of the GIA bombings was Rachid Ramda, an Algerian living in the U.K. at the time who the British then detained but refused to extradite to France until 10 years later. The delay in Ramda’s extradition was allegedly because of Great Britain’s “Londonistan” policy of not wanting to offend Muslim investors and immigrants even to the point of jeopardizing public safety. Ramda was eventually convicted on several charges over the Paris bombings, including the financing of the attacks which involved a wire transfer from Ramda to onsite bomber Ait Ali Belkacem. Here’s a look back at coverage of Ramda’s conviction by Reuters from 2007:

French court convicts Algerian of Paris bombings

A French court jailed Algerian Rachid Ramda for life on Friday for his role in financing a spate of bomb attacks on the Paris underground rail network that killed eight people and wounded 200 others in 1995.

Paris Assizes Court ordered that Ramda should serve a minimum 22 years behind bars for his role in the attacks, the worst bombings on mainland France since World War Two.

Court president Didier Wacogne, sitting with six professional assessors, said Ramda was “guilty of complicity to murder and attempted murder” as well as an array of explosives and other offences.

Around 70 relatives and friends of victims of the attacks were present for the verdict which was met in silence.

Ramda, 38, who denied the charges, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2006 for terrorist conspiracy linked to the same bombing campaign.

His lawyer Sebastien Bonot protested during the case that Ramda was being tried a second time for the same crime, and said after Friday’s verdict that his client would appeal.

“This decision is certainly not a surprise but we feel that justice and the law have not been done,” he told reporters.

The prosecution said Ramda was a key figure in Algeria’s radical Armed Islamic Group (GIA), and added that phone taps showed he was in regular contact with Ali Touchent and Boualem Bensaid, the GIA’s coordinators in France.

A police search of Ramda’s London address produced a Western Union payment slip bearing his fingerprints which showed he had sent 5,000 pounds ($10,250) to the Paris bombers

The source of the Charlie Hebdo attackers’ weapons and money are not yet known.