Turkish PM Erdogan Top Backer of Hamas

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (Photo: © Reuters)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (Photo: © Reuters)

BY RYAN MAURO:

Turkey, despite officially being a U.S. ally and member of NATO, deserves blame for the latest missile attacks and kidnappings carried by Hamas.  The Erdogan government is sponsoring Hamas, inciting extremist fervor and is even harboring the terrorist leader that oversees kidnappings in the West Bank.

The latest missile attacks by Hamas were preceded by the kidnapping and execution of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank by Hamas operatives. The Hamas leader urging kidnappings of Israelis in the West Bank is named Saleh al-Arouri, and he operates from Turkey.

The kidnappings were preceded by a concerted effort by al-Arouri to fund and plan such operations. He may or may not have masterminded this specific attack, but it was the fruition of his orders. Hamas officially denies involvement, but Israel has identifiedthe kidnappers as Hamas terrorists that were previously arrested and released.

Israeli intelligence has reportedly concluded that Turkey has been the top financial sponsor of Hamas since 2012, with Erdogan arranging for the transfer of $250 million to the terrorist group annually. Another report puts the figure at $300 million. The funding comes from private sources he is close to and not from the official budget. Turkey is also said to have trained Hamas security forces in Gaza through non-governmental groups.

The report said that Turkey coordinates the fundraising with Qatar, another supposed U.S. ally. Members of Congress have asked Qatar to stop financing Hamas. Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas, lives in Qatar and even gave an extremist sermon at its Grand Mosque. The U.S. blocked a $400 million aid package from Qatar to pay 44,000 employees of the Hamas government in Gaza.

The Egyptian government is placing the blame on Hamas, Turkey and Qatar for the continuing conflict. When Egypt proposed a ceasefire, Israel accepted it. Hamas did not, responding with rocket fire and making demands it knows will not be met.

“Had Hamas accepted the Egyptian initiative, at least 40 Palestinian souls would have been saved,” said the Egyptian Foreign Minister.

Turkey responded with its own condemnation of Egypt. Erdogan said Egyptian President El-Sisi is an “illegitimate tyrant.”

Read more at Clarion Project

Israel’s ‘FBI’ Links ‘Islamic Relief USA’ Charity to Hamas

Hamas-K2-IP

The charity is sponsored by major US corporations including Microsoft and GE. Its 2012 revenues were over $60 million.

By Ryan Mauro:

The Israeli government has banned Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), a U.K.-based charity, for financing Hamas. Its American branch, Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), is based in Virginia and, shockingly, its current CEO, Anwar Khan, is an advisor to the State Department as was its former CEO Abed Ayoub.

President Obama has boasted of his administration’s work with IRUSA. Ayoub spoke at an event hosted by Vice President Biden in June 2012 when he was IRUSA’s CEO.

IRUSA is sponsored by Microsoft, Cisco Foundation, GE Foundation and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Guidestar lists IRUSA’s 2012 revenue as over $60 million.

The Shin Bet, Israel’s equivalent of the FBI, provided intelligence to the Israeli government that prompted Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to sign a decree banning the charity. He described IRW as “another source of funds for Hamas.”  Its branches in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the West Bank are reportedly run by Hamas members.

In May 2006, Israel arrested IRW’s Gaza project director, Iyaz Ali, because he funneled money to banned Hamas fronts. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says he admitted to working with Hamas entities and members in the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. He was deported back to the U.K. and banned from returning.

The authorities searched his computer and found photos of Hamas terrorist activities, Osama Bin Laden, former Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and propaganda that placed a swastika over the Israeli flag. The Israelis also found documents linking IRW to Hamas financiers in Nablus, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said:

“The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure. The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population.”

IRW denied working with Hamas in a June 19 statement and pointed to its financial support from Western governments, the European Commission and the United Nations. According to NGO Monitor, IRW gets funding from the governments of the U.K., European Union, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

IRUSA’s current CEO, Anwar Khan, was originally with IRW and was one of the founders of IRUSA in 1993. According to his bio, he is an advisor to the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group and has been appointed to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Advisory Committee of Voluntary Foreign Aid.

Read more at Clarion Project

Telling the Truth about Terrorism and Islamic Charities

download (78)By Michael Curtis:

The link between “charity” groups and terrorist organizations is frequently not recognized or is ignored. The chairman of the British Charity Commission, William Shawcross, on April 20, 2014 expressed his concern about charities being used as vehicles for such groups. He warns that the “problem of Islamist extremism… is not the most widespread problem we face in terms of abuse of charities but is potentially the most deadly… and it is growing.”

The growth is evident from the analysis in the British list of terrorist organizations proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000. Of the 55 organizations, 33 are Islamist, alphabetically, from the Abu Nidal Organization, whose declared aim is the destruction of Israel, to Saved Sect or Savior Sect, a group that has disguised its name on a number of occasions and which seeks to establish an Islamic Caliphate ruled by Sharia law.

Shawcross’s rightful concern was that some charities in the UK as elsewhere in Western democracies purportedly raise funds to provide aid for desirable objectives, and do so to some extent, but that they are also engaged in money laundering to organizations that are involved, directly or indirectly, with terrorist groups. More specifically, Shawcross found that some people accused of terrorist offenses serve as charity trustees.

Oxfam International, which showed such courage in trying to prevent the powerful Scarlett Johansson from taking a job with the Israeli company SodaStream, appears naïve and politically inept in not grasping this link. In January 2014 Oxfam was about to cosponsor an exhibit on Gaza in the East London Mosque together with Ibrahim Hewitt, a trustee of Interpal, officially the Palestine Relief and Development Fund, a so-called charity organization.

Oxfam, though now universally famous for its acute knowledge of the precise conditions in Israeli settlements, did not know, as every schoolboy in London does, that the East London Mosque is a notorious cauldron of anti-Western and anti-Semitic hatred. One of the individuals, Sakeel Begg, due to speak at another event at the Mosque, describes jihad as “the greatest of deeds.” The Mosque has also entertained other speakers such as Saad al-Beraik who refers to Jews as “monkeys,” and calls on Palestinians not to “have mercy or compassion on the Jews,” and to wage jihad against them.

It is also well known that the Mosque is an organization close to the Bangladeshi wing in the UK of Jamaat-e-Islami, a violent Islamic terrorist group, responsible for mass murder in 1971, and linked to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

Oxfam understood that Hewitt was due to speak at the Mosque in conjunction with the Gaza exhibition it was cosponsoring. But then it cancelled the event not because of the hatred expressed in Hewitt’s remarks about Israel but because of his comments about homosexuality about which Oxfam had been previously unaware. Hewitt is reported as wanting homosexuals to suffer “severe punishments” for their “great sin.” He is not clear, at least officially, whether gays should be executed or whether they should simply be subjected to stoning. In spite of the cancellation, the irrepressibly naive Oxfam still “looks forward” to working with the Mosque to “highlight the plight of children of Gaza.”

Read more at American Thinker

Longtime U.S. ‘Allies’ Qatar, Kuwait Prime Terror Financiers

al-Thani and Haniyeh

The message the West is delivering is that once you’re an ally, you’re always an ally — even if you help our enemies.

BY RYAN MAURO:

David Cohen, the Treasury Department Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, has stated for the record what no other U.S. official would: Qatar and Kuwait, two supposed “allies” of the U.S., are facilitating Islamist terrorism and extremism.

Last month, Cohen spoke at a think tank and immediately turned to Qatar after discussing Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism.

“Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally, has for many years openly financed Hamas, a group that continues to undermine regional stability. Press reports indicate that the Qatari government is also supporting extremist groups operating in Syria,” he said.

Qatar’s staunch backing of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas hasalienated its Arab neighbors that view them as terrorist organizations. The leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad traveled to Qatar to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. Qatar appears to have helped heal the relationship between Iran and Hamas.

In August, 24 members of Congress confronted Qatar over its relationship with Hamas. The Qatari government subsidizes the spread of Islamism around the world, even in downtown Washington D.C.

The Qatari government is also guilty of helping Al Qaeda’s regional affiliates. Cohen pointed out that the Treasury Department sanctioned a terrorist in December named Abd al-Rahman bin Umayr al-Nu’aymi, who raises money in Qatar and channels it to Al Qaeda elements in Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq.

He managed the movement of over $2 million every single month to Al Qaeda in Iraq at one point and delivered the terrorists’ messages to media outlets from 2003-2004. This means that Qatar, a U.S. “ally,” has the blood of American soldiers in Iraq on its hands.

Read more at Clarion Project

Time for due diligence on welfare recipients?

bomberwelfare

Deceased terrorist imam Anwar al-Awlaki once wrote in Inspire magazine that, “All of our [Islamic] scholars agree on the permissibility of taking away the wealth of the disbelievers in dār al-ĥarb [the non-Muslim world] whether by means of force or by means of theft or deception,” for the purposes of carrying out jihad.

By A. D. Kendall:

The family of Boston marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received over $100,000 in public benefits from 2002 to 2012 according to documents compiled a year ago from state agencies by the Massachusetts House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight.

The aid included food stamps and welfare benefits to the Tsarnaevs’ parents and to Katherine Russell, Tamerlan’s wife.  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also received student financial aid and forbearance (although he probably omitted income from drug sales and auto repair referral kickbacks on his student aid application).

Public benefits, being somewhat fungible, free up money for the recipient to put toward purposes separate from what was intended.  During the period of time that Katherine Russell received food stamps and welfare payments (2011 through 2012), Tamerlan was able to fly to Russia in early 2012 to seek out radical connections.  In effect, the benefits that Tamerlan and Katherine received through her name may have enabled the purchase of Tamerlan’s plane ticket to the jihadi rat’s nest of the North Caucasus.

The question of public benefits funding terrorists in Boston comes after years of ongoing scandals documented in Great Britain, where dangerous Islamists like Abu YahyaAnjem ChoudaryEmdadur Choudhury, and Abu Qatada have had their homeswelfare benefits, and legal expenses paid from taxpayer money.  “Twentieth” 9/11 hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui also received welfare benefits in England, along with the family of Abu Hamza.  Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia have also dealt with the same exploitation of their generous public benefit programs by Islamists.

Several of these abuses probably occurred because of guidance that individual benefit recipients received from radical imams in their communities. Deceased terrorist imam Anwar al-Awlaki once wrote in Inspire magazine that, “All of our [Islamic] scholars agree on the permissibility of taking away the wealth of the disbelievers in dār al-ĥarb [the non-Muslim world] whether by means of force or by means of theft or deception,” for the purposes of carrying out jihad.  And the same Anjem Choudary mentioned above once encouraged Muslims living in the U.K. to collect public benefits as “jihad seeker’s allowance” instead of getting a job.

In light of this problem, it may be time to contemplate whether government agencies that issue public benefits should be required to adhere to the same know-your-customer provisions and due diligence requirements under which private sector financial institutions already operate.

Read more at The Terror Finance Blog

Two Americans Arrested for Plans to Join Syrian Jihadists

Syrian rebel fighters

By Ryan Mauro:

Two Americans were arrested in the past few days as the Syrian civil war attracts Western recruits. One sought to join Hezbollah and the other took the side of an Al-Qaeda affiliate, but both believed they were fulfilling a commandment to wage jihad against the infidel.

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Syrian jihadists have a sophisticated network in America, including those favorable to Al-Qaeda-linked groups. One opposition group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood has received over $12 million in U.S. government assistance.

Another Islamist named Sheikh Osama al-Rifai has used the Syrian Sunrise Foundation to raise over $3.6 million in one tour, bringing him to Florida, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, California and Michigan. His fundraising pitch was that any donor qualifies as a “jihadist for Allah.” One event was held at the influential Mosque Foundation that is part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood network.

In January, a terrorism-supporting imam named Sheikh Mohammad Rateb al-Nabulsi came to the U.S. to fundraise for Syrian “rebels” in 11 cities with help from a group called the Syrian American Council. One of the fundraisers was held at the Islamic Center of Passaic County in N.J. Other events took place in Florida, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Virginia.

In the 1980s, Afghanistan acted as the incubator for a generation of terrorists. It was the one spot where aspiring jihadists could go to get everything they needed, especially fighting experience. Other Muslims, innocently hoping to stop oppression, became radicalized on the battlefield.

Syria is modern-day equivalent. The civil war could end tomorrow, but the jihad it intensified will go on.

Read more at Clarion Project

Also see:

Recognizing the risks of Somali remittances

Somali HawalaBy  A.D. Kendall:

Last week, Bell State Bank in North Dakota announced that it would stop doing business with companies that remit money to Somalia.  The move follows decisions by Minnesota banks in 2011 to stop providing Somali remittance services, and an attempt by Barclays last year to cut off its partnership with Dahabshiil, a money transfer company with primary operations in Somalia.  The banks have been challenged in courts on both sides of the Atlantic, and advocacy groups have heavily criticized the banks’ decisions on humanitarian grounds.

Indeed, humanitarian considerations are of the utmost importance.  Unfortunately, money transferred to Somalia, particularly through Dahabshiil, all too often falls into the wrong hands and perpetuates the cycle of violence in Somalia.  Banks should stand fast in their original decisions, and here are five reasons why:

1.  The risks are real.  The frequency of cases involving Somalis in the West transferring funds to al-Shabaab over the last few years presents genuine concerns to financial institutions.  For instance, four men in California were found guilty last year of transferring money to al-Shabaab through Shidaal Express, a Somali hawala business.  Two Somali women in Minnesota were sentenced in 2013 for sending money to al-Shabaab through several remittance channels including local hawala dealers and Dahabshiil.  A Saudi-American was also indicted last year for wiring money to al-Shabaab.  In 2012, a man in London admitting transferring £8,900 to fighters in Somalia.  Danish intelligence revealed in 2012 that the equivalent of thousands of dollars a day is sent to terrorist organizations outside of Denmark—mostly to Somalia, and often unwittingly.

Apart from the risks on the ground in Somalia, Western banks have real reasons for concern that if they continue relationships with Dahabshiil, they could subsequently be fined by regulators at a future date if political winds change.  U.S. banks are surely aware, for example, that decisions on whether to fine, settle with, or prosecute banks with lax compliance programs have a great deal to do with the shifting political and prosecutorial priorities of whoever happens to be in charge at the Department of Justice and the financial regulatory agencies.  One official may take a very friendly view toward facilitating Somali remittances this year, but a different person will be calling the shots two years from now.

2. The risks are not decreasing.  Gone are the days of 2012 when al-Shabaab appeared to be on the ropes in 2012 both financially and militarily.  Al-Shabaab was able to turn around its financial situation after the fall of Kismayo by cutting deals with occupying forces.  Al-Shabaab continues to profit from imposing taxes on commodities such as charcoal and sugar, and their role as ivory trade middlemen between poachers and buyers appears to be growing.  Al-Shabaab is still capable of carrying out devastating strikes such as the Westgate Mall attack and the recent assault against Somalia’s presidential palace that left 11 dead.

Read more at The Terror Finance Blog

A.D. Kendall has been blogging about terrorist financing since 2009 at moneyjihad.wordpress.com Follow him on twitter @MoneyJihad

Experts: Iran Exerting Troubling Influence in Latin America

Guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC / AP

Guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC / AP

By :

Iran and its terrorist proxy groups’ influence in Latin America remains a troubling security threat to the region and world, experts said at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Hezbollah, a Shiite terrorist group based in Lebanon and sponsored by Iran, has established illicit networks in Latin America in the last few decades to provide millions annually for its global operations, experts on the region told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.

Those networks involve money laundering, counterfeiting, piracy, and drug trafficking in cooperation with local criminal groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Celina Realuyo, assistant professor of national security affairs at the National Defense University, said the “convergence” of terror and crime networks in Latin America presents a significant threat to regional and global security.

“These types of illicit actors, terror providers, and criminals, a lot of them are offering and brokering services but may not espouse the ideological fervor that other groups have,” she said. “But they’re offering a lot of special services—a terror pipeline—where you see this very unholy alliance between terror groups and criminal groups who have a win-win.”

The witnesses’ testimony on Tuesday appeared to contradict a State Departmentreport issued last year that downplayed the threat of Iran and Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere and was sharply criticized by some lawmakers and terrorism experts.

Realuyo said a lot of fundraising for Hezbollah in the region cannot be “separated out” from the illicit operations of local criminal groups.

Douglas Farah, senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Americas Program, added that just because ties between Hezbollah and groups like FARC seem opaque does not mean they are nonexistent.

“It’s hard to get through the policy perception that [they’re] not there,” he said.

Realuyo pointed to three recent cases as evidence of the links between Hezbollah and criminal groups in Latin America.

Read more at Free Beacon

More on Hezbollah activities in Latin America: http://counterjihadreport.com/category/latin-america/

South Carolina Smuggling Ring Linked to Muslim Brotherhood

cig smuggling

A similar case occurred in the 1990s where the Hezbollah terrorist group was financed through the illegal sale of cigarettes.

By Ryan Mauro:

A mosque in South Carolina that is linked to a cigarette smuggling ring has links to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Clarion Project has found.

Authorities have unsealed an indictment charging the president of the Central Mosque of Charleston, Nasser Alquza, with illegally selling cigarettes after being caught in a sting operation. Ten other individuals were also charged.

The investigation began in 2009 when the government learned that one of the defendants was trying to buy cigarettes in the Carolinas below their regular price. The suspected objective was to sell them for profit at other states with higher sales taxes without paying the government as required.

According to the indictment, Alquza paid $7.5 million to undercover government agents for almost 7,000 boxes of cigarettes. The conspirators used businesses to hide the money they earned from the illegal sales. If it would have been a legitimate sale, the defendants would have received over $15 million.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism points out that there was a very similar case in Charlotte, N.C. in the 1990s where the Hezbollah terrorist group was financed through the illegal sale of cigarettes.

The website of Nasser Alquza’s Central Mosque of Charleston shows it has linkages to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Article XVII of its published bylaws states that if the mosque is dissolved then “all remaining assets of the mosque shall be turned over to the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) or such other Islamic Center…”

The North American Islamic Trust describes itself a “historical Islamic equivalent of an American trust or endowment.” The organization says it holds the titles of over 325 properties in 42 states.

NAIT was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood entity by the FBI as early as 1987. A 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo confirmed that NAIT is one of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends” and stated that the network’s goal is to wage a “kind of grand jihad in America … by eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within …”

Read more at Clarion Project

Iran Sanctions Relief Could Fund Terrorism Against U.S.

Hezbollah fighters / AP

Hezbollah fighters / AP

By :

Iran has been granted absolute control over more than $4 billion that will be unfrozen and returned to Tehran under the recently enacted nuclear accord, causing concern that the cash will be used to fund terrorism.

The billions in cash come with no strings attached, meaning that Iran has complete authority over how the funds are spent—and the U.S. government cannot ensure that it will not go toward terrorism.

The White House did not mandate oversight of the funds under the nuclear deal, leading to concerns that one of the world’s top terrorism sponsors will give a cash infusion to radicals across the Middle East.

“Once the money is transferred to Iran we have no ability to determine how that money is allocated,” said Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the Treasury Department, which is tasked with enforcing sanctions on Iran.

The U.S. State Department has designated Iran as the world’s “most active state sponsor of terrorism.”

“There is no guarantee this cash is going into some fund that will help Iran’s purported moderates,” Schanzer said. “This is going into the account of the Islamic Republic, which can be dispersed to a wide range of different actors, many of whom are bad.”

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), for instance, has been known to wage clandestine terror operations across the globe and train radical forces.

Iran also is the principal backer of Hezbollah, which has long terrorized Israel and is currently operating on Tehran’s behest inside Syria to bolster embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

Other Iranian-backed militias have operated in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they have been known to carry out terror attacks against U.S. and Western forces.

“What has gone overlooked largely is that these funds could be handed to other bad actors that work for or on behalf of the Iranian regime,” Schanzer said.

Iranian funds have long been frozen in banks across the globe under strict sanctions imposed by the United States. As these sanctions are rolled back under the nuclear deal, the once frozen funds will be sent to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).

Iran is set to repatriate more than $4 billion in the next several months as its accounts are unfrozen.

The White House is staying quiet on the issue.

Read more at Free Beacon

iranianmoney-1

 

Also see: Khamenei’s Business Empire Gains from Iran Sanctions Relief

IPT Exclusive: Radical Syrian Cleric Secures US Visa Despite Endorsing Suicide Bombings

Global Terrorism and Saudi Arabia: Bandar’s Terror Network

Saudi spymaster Bandar bin Sultan

Saudi spymaster Bandar bin Sultan

By Prof. James Petras, h/t @El_Grillo1

Saudi Arabia has all the vices and none of the virtues of an oil rich state like Venezuela.  The country is governed by a family dictatorship which tolerates no opposition and severely punishes human rights advocates and political dissidents.  Hundreds of billions in oil revenues are controlled by the royal despotism and fuel speculative investments the world over.  The ruling elite relies on the purchase of Western arms and US military bases for protection.  The wealth of productive nations is syphoned to enrich the conspicuous consumption of the Saudi ruling family.  The ruling elite finances the most fanatical, retrograde, misogynist version of Islam, “Wahhabi” a sect of Sunni Islam.

Faced with internal dissent from repressed subjects and religious minorities, the Saudi dictatorship perceives threats and dangers from all sides:  overseas, secular, nationalists and Shia ruling governments; internally, moderate Sunni nationalists, democrats and feminists; within the royalist cliques, traditionalists and modernizers.  In response it has turned toward financing, training and arming an international network of Islamic terrorists who are directed toward attacking, invading and destroying regimes opposed to the Saudi clerical-dictatorial regime.

The mastermind of the Saudi terror network is Bandar bin Sultan, who has longstanding and deep ties to high level US political, military and intelligence officials.  Bandar was trained and indoctrinated at Maxwell Air Force Base and Johns Hopkins University and served as Saudi Ambassador to the US for over two decades (1983 – 2005).  Between 2005 – 2011 he was Secretary of the National Security Council and in 2012 he was appointed as Director General of the Saudi Intelligence Agency.  Early on Bandar became deeply immersed in clandestine terror operations working in liaison with the CIA.  Among his numerous “dirty operations” with the CIA during the 1980s, Bandar channeled $32 million dollars to the Nicaragua Contra’s engaged in a terror campaign to overthrow the revolutionary Sandinista government in Nicaragua.  During his tenure as ambassador he was actively engaged in protecting Saudi royalty with ties to the 9/11/01 bombing of the Triple Towers and the Pentagon.  Suspicion that Bandar and his allies in the Royal family had prior knowledge of the bombings by Saudi terrorists (11 of the 19), is suggested by the sudden flight of Saudi Royalty following the terrorist act.  US intelligence documents regarding the Saudi-Bandar connection are under Congressional review.

With a wealth of experience and training in running clandestine terrorist operations, derived from his two decades of collaboration with the US intelligence agencies, Bandar was in a position to organize his own global terror network in defense of the isolated retrograde and vulnerable Saudi despotic monarchy.

Read more at Global Research

Also see:

From Saudi Arabia with Terror: Controversy Highlights Saudi Ties to Chechen Jihad

Exclusive to the Religious Freedom Coalition
Andrew E. Harrod, PHD explores the feud between Vladimir Putin and Prince Bandar bin Sultan

Given that the “Chechen groups that threaten…the games are controlled by us,” Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan allegedly promised to “guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics” to Russian President Vladimir Putin during an August 2013 Moscow visit.  Even if untrue, this story surrounding Bandar’s visit raises disturbing questions about ongoing Saudi ties to Chechen jihadists.

Prince of terror?

Prince of terror?

According to reported leaks, Bandar’s comments came in the context of various offers designed to induce Russian abandonment of its Syrian client Bashar al-Assad, currently embattled by Saudi-supported rebels.  The Bandar controversy from August remains ominous given ongoing attacks by Chechen jihadists across Russia.  A December 29, 2013, Volgograd train station suicide bombing, for example, killed 18, only to be followed the next day in the city by a trolleybus suicide bombing claiming an additional 16 lives.

Volgograd is a key transportation hub on the way to Russia’s volatile Caucasus region including Chechnya and the Black Sea city of Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics will open on February 7. Doku Umarov, Chechen “emir” of the terrorist Imarat Kavkaz (IK or Caucasus Emirate), called in a July 3, 2013, online videofor the games’ disruption. Umarov condemned the Olympics as “satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors.”

Past evidence suggests that Bandar could have made a veiled threat concerning Chechen jihadists to Putin.  Chechens seeking independence from Russia following the Soviet Union’s 1991 dissolution were initially largely secular.  Yet jihadist groups through the years such as those from Al Qaeda “have increasingly sought to co-opt the Chechen movement as their own,” Islamism scholar Lorenzo Vidino has noted.  As a result, the Russian military estimated in 2003 that Arabs were about one-fifth of Chechnya’s some 1,000 active fighters, providing the Chechens with most of their expertise in communications in mine laying.

Read more

See also:

Do the Saudis really control the terrorists they court? by Paul Sperry

Donor nations appear clueless about Palestinian Authority stipends to terrorists

download (50)By Money Jihad, January 5, 2014:

In November, The Guardian’s Edwin Black wrote about the phenomenon of Palestinian Authority providing stipends to terrorists imprisoned in Israel. Money Jihad did not blog about his piece at the time, because this phenomenon is already familiar to our readers (see herehere, and here), and it didn’t seem to break any news or provide any new information.

But upon rereading his write-up, Black’s explanation is so clear and striking that this is definitely worth a second look.  He makes the observation that many officials in the U.K. and U.S. are still stunningly unaware of how much of their donor aid to the PA is skimmed off for the purposes of these stipends.

Hat tip to Dr. Mia Bloom, professor of security studies at UMass Lowell, for sending this over:

How British and American aid subsidises Palestinian terrorism

US and UK taxpayers fund the Palestinian Authority, which in turn funds prisoners in Israeli jails. It’s dangerously dysfunctional

On both sides of the pond, in London and Washington, policymakers are struggling to weather their budget crises. Therefore, it may astound American and British taxpayers that the precious dollars and pounds they deploy in Israel and the Occupied Territories fungibly funds terrorism.

The instrument of this funding is US and UK programs of aid paid to the Palestinian Authority. This astonishing financial dynamic is known to most Israeli leaders and western journalists in Israel. But it is still a shock to most in Congress and many in Britain’s Parliament, who are unaware that money going to the Palestinian Authority is regularly diverted to a program that systematically rewards convicted prisoners with generous salaries. These transactions in fact violate American and British laws that prohibit US funding from benefiting terrorists. More than that, they could be seen as incentivizing murder and terror against innocent civilians.

Here’s how the system works. When a Palestinian is convicted of an act of terror against the Israeli government or innocent civilians, such as a bombing or a murder, that convicted terrorist automatically receives a generous salary from the Palestinian Authority. The salary is specified by the Palestinian “law of the prisoner” and administered by the PA’s Ministry of Prisoner Affairs. A Palestinian watchdog group, the Prisoners Club, ensures the PA’s compliance with the law and pushes for payments as a prioritized expenditure. This means that even during frequent budget shortfalls and financial crisis, the PA PA pays the prisoners’ salaries first and foremost – before other fiscal obligations.

The law of the prisoner narrowly delineates just who is entitled to receive an official salary. In a recent interview, Ministry of Prisoners spokesman Amr Nasser read aloud that definition:

A detainee is each and every person who is in an Occupation prison based on his or her participation in the resistance to Occupation.

This means crimes against Israel or Israelis. Nasser was careful to explain:

It does not include common-law thieves and burglars. They are not included and are not part of the mandate of the ministry.

Under a sliding scale, carefully articulated in the law of the prisoner, the more serious the act of terrorism, the longer the prison sentence, and consequently, the higher the salary. Incarceration for up to three years fetches a salary of almost $400 per month. Prisoners behind bars for between three and five years will be paid about $560 monthly – a compensation level already higher than that for many ordinary West Bank jobs. Sentences of ten to 15 years fetch salaries of about $1,690 per month. Still worse acts of terrorism against civilians, punished with sentences between 15 and 20 years, earn almost $2,000 per month.

These are the best salaries in the Palestinian territories. The Arabic word ratib, meaning “salary”, is the official term for this compensation. The law ensures the greatest financial reward for the most egregious acts of terrorism.

In the Palestinian community, the salaries are no secret; they are publicly hailed in public speeches and special TV reports. The New York Times and the Times of Israel have both mentioned the mechanism in passing. Only British and American legislators seem to be uninformed about the payments…

 

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Watch Erick Stakelbeck interview of Edwin Black here:  The Watchman Show: Financing the Flames of Terror

Group Run by al Qaeda Terrorist Invited to Brief Dems on Drone Policy

Yemenis protest against U.S. drone strikes targeting al Qaeda militants / AP

Yemenis protest against U.S. drone strikes targeting al Qaeda militants / AP

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The representative of a human rights group headed by a designated al Qaeda terrorist was denied a visa by the State Department after being invited by congressional Democrats to discuss drone strikes.

Mohammad Al Ahmady, the Yemen director for Geneva-based NGO Al Karama, was expected to brief Reps. Alan Grayson (D., Fla.), Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), and Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) the morning of the Nov. 19, according to press release from Grayson’s office.

Ahmady, who also serves as a top official in an al Qaeda-linked Yemeni political party, did not attend because of visa issues. The State Department said it could not comment on visa matters.

Several Al Karama officials have faced terrorism allegations. Al Karama’s founder and current president Abdul Rahman Naimi was designated as a terrorist and al Qaeda supporter by the U.S. Treasury Department in December, along with the group’s Yemen representative Abdulwahab Al-Humayqani. Al Karama’s legal director, Rachid Mesli, is currently wanted for terrorism charges in Algeria.

Schakowsky’s office referred questions to Grayson and Lee, saying the other offices led the briefing.

“She is listed as a member attending the briefing, the briefing was led by the other 2 offices,” said a spokesperson in an email.

A spokesperson for Grayson said Ahmady did not actually attend the briefing and that the terrorist designation of Al Karama’s president was “not in place at the time of the briefing, so again, we had no reason to suspect any wrongdoing on the part of Mohammad [Al Ahmady].”

Lee’s office did not respond to request for comment.

Al Karama executive director Mourad Dhina said he was unsurprised the State Department turned down Ahmady’s visa request.

“To be frank, it was not a big surprise to us, because obviously the report [that Al Karama had recently published on U.S. drone strikes in Yemen and that Ahmady was going to present] was not something to be welcomed by the U.S. government,” Dhina said. “We hoped that Mr. Ahmady would have been able to come and present the thing and debate things with whoever would be interested in debating that.”

National security hawks blasted the Democrats for seeking advice on U.S. policy from a group run by an apparent al Qaeda supporter.

“More than a decade into this war, people serious about American national security need to look at how our leaders can be so consistently fooled by groups like Al Karama, who warn about empowering al Qaeda in public but fund the jihadist group in private,” said the Center for Security Policy’s David Reaboi.

Read more at Free Beacon

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