IS QATAR THE FOREMOST SUPPORTER OF THE ISLAMIC STATE’S SUNNI JIHAD?

john-kerry-qatar-apby JORDAN SCHACHTEL:

Following Al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001 attack against the United States, Qatar’s state-owned Al Jazeera was introduced to the U.S. public as the channel that received the tape where Osama Bin Laden claimed responsibility for the worst terrorist attack on American soil in U.S. history.

After a spike in interest for the then-mysterious television channel, which at the time only spoke a foreign language that not many Americans had ever heard in person, The New York Times responded by sending a journalist to Qatar, who would travel to Doha to visit the Al Jazeera Arabic headquarters.

The Qatari ruling family owns Al Jazeera Media Network, which has now infiltrated the United States after it recently secured the purchase of Al Gore’s failed Current TV. The Emirs’ Al Jazeera America now has 12 bureaus installed within the United States, including Washington, D.C., and its headquarters in New York City.

NYT reporter Fouad Ajami said of his findings at the Doha AJA studio: “The channel’s graphics assign him [OBL] a lead role: There is bin Laden seated on a mat, his submachine gun on his lap; there is bin Laden on horseback in Afghanistan, the brave knight of the Arab world. A huge, glamorous poster of bin Laden’s silhouette hangs in the background of the main studio set.”

Fast-forward to present day, and figures from all continents and political stripes still point to Qatar’s role in propagating and abetting terror, not just through its media networks but through state-sponsored actions. The small but powerful oil-rich nation-state of Qatar has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons.

Some international leaders have implicated Qatari officials—accusing them of financing the Islamic State (IS) terror group that is rampaging through Syria and Iraq and continuing to expand its self-proclaimed Sunni caliphate.

In late August, German aid development minister Gerd Mueller openly commented on IS’s funding: “Who is financing these troops? Hint: Qatar,” he said, after being forced to walk back the comments due to their lack of political correctness.

Even former Israeli President Shimon Peres—a 91-year-old left-wing dove—took notice of the Qataris, recently warning that they were becoming “the world’s largest funder of terror.”

In June, The Long War Journal’s Thomas Joscelyn said in an exclusive interview withBreitbart News:

Look no further than a series of official documents from the Obama administration about Qatar, and you will see that it is a major financial hub, fundraising for jihadist groups including the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and others. In April, in the State Department’s country reports on terrorism, they specifically worried about Qatar’s relationship with Islamist groups. They worried Qatar had enabled a very permissive environment for fundraising for jihadist groups. It’s obvious why the Taliban set up its political office in Doha and why the Taliban wanted these five to send off to Qatar. They know it’s a very permissive environment with Islamist sympathies.

Qatar is also unapologetically supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood, a global organization founded by a stout Hitler admirer that seeks the same endgame as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State: a worldwide Sunni caliphate.

Read more at Breitbart

Club Med for Terrorists

0825OPEDnegley-master495New York Times, By

THE hostilities in Gaza between Israel and Hamas persist and the diplomatic war at the United Nations continues, also without resolution. While there is no shortage of opinions on the way forward, the most obvious solution is strikingly absent — the need to disarm and isolate Hamas, the radical Palestinian Islamist group.

Since Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005, Hamas has dragged us into three rounds of major assaults, and more than 14,800 rockets have been fired into Israel by the group or its proxies. The discovery of dozens of tunnels packed with explosives, tranquilizers and handcuffs that end at the doorsteps of Israeli communities should be enough to convince anyone that Hamas has no interest in bringing quiet to Gaza or residing alongside Israel in peace.

It says a great deal that Hamas’s former Arab backers, which historically have included Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, long ago abandoned the terrorist group. Only a few nations still stand by Hamas. Among the most prominent is the tiny Persian Gulf emirate Qatar.

In recent years, the sheikhs of Doha, Qatar’s capital, have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza. Every one of Hamas’s tunnels and rockets might as well have had a sign that read “Made possible through a kind donation from the emir of Qatar.”

Sitting atop 25 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and enormous natural gas reserves, Qatar has the highest gross domestic product per capita of any country in the world. The emirate is known for international shopping sprees that have included the funding of six American university campuses in Doha, the purchase of the iconic Harrods department store in London, and ownership of the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club.

For many years, the gas-rich gulf peninsula tried to avoid attracting attention lest it found itself in the same situation as oil-rich Kuwait, which was invaded by Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces in 1990. About 10 years ago, however, Qatar changed tactics. To ensure the country’s survival, the ruling House of Thani has spent extravagantly on increasing Qatar’s presence and prestige on the global stage.

Today, the petite petroleum kingdom is determined to buy its way to regional hegemony, and like other actors in the Middle East, it has used proxies to leverage influence and destabilize rivals. Qatar’s proxies of choice have been radical regimes and extremist groups.

In pursuit of this strategy, the gulf state is willing to dally with any partner, no matter how abhorrent. Qatar has provided financial aid and light weapons to Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria, and a base for leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban.

The emirate has also used the Arabic service of Al Jazeera news network to spread radical messages that have inflamed sectarian divides. In the early days of the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera’s coverage of popular uprisings earned the network millions of new followers and solidified its status as a mainstream global news network. Qatar capitalized on this popularity by advancing its own agenda — namely, using the Arabic network to promote the views of extremists who were undermining the region’s more pragmatic elements. In particular, Qatar’s open support for the Muslim Brotherhood angered its gulf state neighbors. In March, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Doha in protest.

This hasn’t stopped the Persian Gulf monarchy from serving as a Club Med for terrorists. It harbors leading Islamist radicals like the spiritual leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who issued a religious fatwa endorsing suicide attacks, and the Doha-based history professor Abdul Rahman Omeir al-Naimi, whom the United States Department of Treasury has named as a “terrorist financier” for Al Qaeda. Qatar also funds a life of luxury for Khaled Meshal, the fugitive leader of Hamas.

Mr. Meshal’s uncompromising stance — he has vowed never to recognize Israel — has long been an obstacle to reaching a peace deal. But behind Hamas, Qatar is pulling the strings. According to a report last week in the pan-Arab daily newspaper Al Hayat, Qatar even threatened to expel Mr. Meshal if Hamas accepted Egyptian proposals for a long-term cease-fire in Gaza. All because Doha wants a starring role in any cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel.

It is time for the world to wake up and smell the gas fumes. Qatar has spared no cost to dress up its country as a liberal, progressive society, yet at its core, the micro monarchy is aggressively financing radical Islamist movements. In light of the emirate’s unabashed support for terrorism, one has to question FIFA’s decision to reward Qatar with the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar’s continued sponsorship of Hamas all but guarantees that, whatever happens in this round of hostilities, the terrorist group will rearm and renew hostilities with Israel. The only way forward is to isolate Hamas’s last major backer. Given Qatar’s considerable affluence and influence, this is an uncomfortable prospect for many Western nations, yet they must recognize that Qatar is not a part of the solution but a significant part of the problem. To bring about a sustained calm, the message to Qatar should be clear: Stop financing Hamas.

Pentagon Unaware that Qatar Funds Terrorism

 

Washington Free Beacon:

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said he finds media reports that Qatar is funding terrorism to be “concerning” if in fact “the reports are true.”

Kirby appeared to be unaware of State Department and Treasury Department intelligence reports categorically confirming that Qatar is a chief financier of terrorist activities, including of the group Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, Kirby maintained that the U.S. relationship with Qatar remains “solid” and that reports of the Muslim country’s terrorist activities would be concerning if true.

“We continue to have a solid military-to-military relationship with Qatar,” Kirby told reporters, referring to recently inked $11 billion arms deal signed by the U.S. with Qatar.”

“As you know, Secretary Hagel has spent a lot of time with the GCC nations. We were just there a couple of months ago. And we want to continue to broaden that military-to-military relationship. And that’s our focus is on the military relationship.”

Kirby seemed completely unaware of U.S. intelligence reports on the matter of Qatar’s funding for terrorism.

The State Department has designated Qatar as “significant terrorist financing risk” due to its support for Hamas and other terror networks.

David Cohen, the U.S. Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, has additionally referred to Qatar as “a permissive terrorist financing environment.”

The State Department has further concluded: “Qatari-based terrorist fundraisers, whether acting as individuals or as representatives of other groups, were a significant terrorist financing risk and may have supported terrorist groups in countries such as Syria. The ascension of the new Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani did not result in any political changes that would affect the Government of Qatar’s ability to counter terrorism.”

“Qatar’s lack of outreach and enforcement activities to ensure terrorist financing-related transactions are not occurring and the lack of referrals by the financial intelligence unit of cases are significant gaps,” it added.

Also see:

U.S. Overlooks Global Terror Funding of Prized ‘Ally’ Qatar

The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani with Hamas head in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh during the emir's October 2012 visit to Gaza. During the visit, the emir pledged $400 million to the Hamas terrorist organization.

The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani with Hamas head in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh during the emir’s October 2012 visit to Gaza. During the visit, the emir pledged $400 million to the Hamas terrorist organization.

BY RYAN MAURO:

Proof continues to mount that Qatar supports Hamas, Al-Qaeda affiliates, the Muslim Brotherhood and contributes to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq. Yet, its prized status as a U.S. “ally” exempts it from being held accountable. The U.S. needs to call a spade a spade and label Qatar as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

The fighting between Israel and Hamas has brought a rare spotlight to Qatar’s duplicity. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) explained in a recent interview that the Qatari government has “told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization,” even though the State Department labels Hamas a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres said Qatar is now “the world’s largest funder of terror.” In October 2012, the Qatari emir pledged$400 million to the Hamas regime governing the Gaza Strip. In June, Qatar offered $60 million to pay the salaries of Hamas’s government workers. The leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, continues to operate from Doha, the capital of Qatar.

When Khaled Mashaal and other Hamas officials lived in Syria, it contributed to the State Department’s designation of Syria as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Qatar is now harboring and funding them lavishly and hasn’t even received a slap on the wrist. Instead, Qatar was awarded with America’s largest arms sales of 2014: $11 billion worth of Apache helicopters and Patriot defense systems.

Qatar’ actions have been defended by none other than Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, another leader who is ostensibly a U.S. ally butbacks Hamas. A charity linked to Erdogan is even signing up human shields and sending a new flotilla to challenge the blockade on Gaza. Erdogan said Turkey and Qatar are “on the side of the persecuted” and Israel is a “terrorist state.”

It is now known that Qatar’s support for Hamas includes material assistance for terrorist operations and even direct cyber attacks on Israel.

Read more at Clarion Project

Published on Jun 18, 2014 by CNN

Blockbuster terror finance trial to start against Jordan’s Arab Bank

ShowImage (7)

By YONAH JEREMY BOB:

After about a decade of waiting, and a last ditch attempt to get the US government or Supreme Court to block the case, the most significant terror finance case ever to go to trial in US history, against Arab Bank, is set to begin on Monday.

The Jordanian government implied that if the bank – essentially Jordan’s sovereign bank – loses, its economy and the entire counter-terror cooperation with the US could fall apart.

Whatever the result, the case could shine a light on the world of terror financing.

The case itself, which many high profile news outlets have regularly followed and CBS News’s Sunday Morning program featured, involves allegations that Arab Bank facilitated massive transfers of funds to Hamas leaders and institutions, as well as to the families of imprisoned Hamas members and suicide bombers, via Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah’s al-Shahid Foundation – mostly between 1998 and 2004 (though evidence may focus on 2001-2004.) The plaintiffs alleged that Arab Bank knew that the funds related to terrorists and terror groups, and is thus civilly liable for deaths resulting from terror attacks perpetrated using the transferred funds, and must thus pay damages for the killing of their family members.

Arab Bank said there is a lack of proof the funds went to terrorists, that the funds contributed directly and sufficiently to terror attacks or that the bank had any knowledge of a connection to terrorism.

A critical issue in the case – which brought the US State Department, Justice Department and Treasury Department to loggerheads over what official US policy should be – is an April 2013 sanctions order imposed by a New York federal court that penalized the bank for refusing to hand over key documents that the plaintiffs said they needed to prove their case.

Read more at The Jerusalem Post

Al Qaeda financiers use Qatar for international activities

The Terror Finance Blog, by A. D. Kendall:

In addition to institutional and charitable support by Qatar, Al Qaeda and its offshoots (including jihadists in Syria and Iraq) receive substantial financial support from private Qatari donors and bundlers. Here’s a quick who’s who:

Abd al-Rahman al-Nuaymi

Abd al-Rahman al-Nuaymi

Abd al-Rahman al-Nuaymi:  The U.S. Treasury Department describes al-Nuaymi as “a Qatar-based terrorist financier and facilitator who has provided money and material support and conveyed communications to al-Qa’ida and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen for more than a decade. He was considered among the most prominent Qatar-based supporters of Iraqi Sunni extremists.” Al-Nuaymi transferred $600K to Al Qaeda in Syria in 2013, and sent $2 million monthly to Al Qaeda in Iraq for an undisclosed period of time. He is also described as an interlocutor between Qatari nationals and Al Qaeda in Iraq leaders.

Salim Hasan Khalifa Rashid al-Kuwari:  Treasury says al-Kuwari “provides financial and logistical support to al-Qa’ida, primarily through al-Qa’ida facilitators in Iran. Based in Qatar, Kuwari has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial support to al-Qa’ida and has provided funding for al-Qa’ida operations, as well as to secure the release of al-Qa’ida detainees in Iran and elsewhere.”

Abdallah Ghanim Mafuz Muslim al-Khawar:  According to U.S. officials, “Al-Khawar has worked with Kuwari to deliver money, messages and other material support to al-Qa’ida elements in Iran. Like Kuwari, Khawar is based in Qatar and has helped to facilitate travel for extremists interested in traveling to Afghanistan for jihad.

Khalifa Muhammad Turki al-Subaiy:  The UN describes al-Subaiy as “a Qatar-based terrorist financier and facilitator who has provided financial support to, and acted on behalf of, the senior leadership of Al-Qaida (QE.A.4.01). He provided assistance to senior Al-Qaida leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed prior to Sheikh Mohammed’s capture in March 2003. Since that time, he has provided financial support to Al-Qaida senior leadership in South Asia.” Al-Subaiy served a brief prison sentence in 2008 before being released by Qatar.

Yusuf Qaradawi:  The Egyptian-born, Qatar-based spiritual father of the international Muslim Brotherhood sits atop a massive terrorist funding network including the “Union of Good” umbrella network of charities that funds Hamas. Qaradawi was also a sharia adviser for Al Taqwa which provided banking services to Al Qaeda.

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