Business experts weigh in on ISIS’s organ sales

Money Jihad, February 27, 2015:

Black market organ sales and the financing of ISIS was the subject of a segment on last Saturday’s edition of the business news show “Bulls & Bears” on Fox News.  Among the more interesting points made during the discussion came from hedge fund manager Gary B. Smith, who suggested that ISIS’s financial swamp can be drained by following the model for prosecuting organized crime rings to include developing informants and flipping them to rat out the big bosses.  That would have been easier if Pres. Obama had tried to keep a residual force in Iraq to include human intelligence forces, but it’s still a valid prescription for tackling ISIS sleeper cells in the West.  Roll tape:

The $20,000 behind the Paris attacks came “from abroad”

Hebdo-300x170Money Jihad, Jan. 14, 2015:

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) gave $20,000 to future Charlie Hebdo attacker Said Kouachi before he and his brother left Yemen in August 2011 according to CBS News yesterday (h/t El Grillo), which supports Money Jihad analysis of the Kouachis’ funding earlier this week. The report also adds credibility to claims by AQAP and Cherif Kouachi himself that the Charlie Hebdo attacks were planned, ordered, and financed by AQAP itself. The physical transfer of funds to Kouachi suggests that bulk cash smuggling (or the smuggling of other financial instruments) back to Europe was the method used rather than a wire, hawala transaction, or trade-based money laundering operation.

Relatedly, the Associated Press reported weapons for the Paris terrorist attacks came from abroad:

Several people are being sought in relation to the “substantial” financing of the three gunmen behind the terror campaign, said Christophe Crepin, a French police union official. The gunmen’s weapons stockpile came from abroad, and the size of it plus the military sophistication of the attacks indicated an organized terror network, he added.

“This cell did not include just those three, we think with all seriousness that they had accomplices, because of the weaponry, the logistics and the costs of it,” Crepin said. “These are heavy weapons. When I talk about things like a rocket launcher – it’s not like buying a baguette on the corner, it’s for targeted acts.”

The Belgian daily La Dernière Heure corroborates that several of the weapons acquired by the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly were bought in Brussels.

The $20,000 figure reported by CBS is also consistent with an estimate over the weekend from counterterror expert Jean-Paul Rouiller. Bloomberg Businessweek reported:

…The Kalashnikov rifles and other weapons used by the attackers, Chérif and Saïd Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly, likely cost less than €10,000 ($11,800), according to Jean-Paul Rouiller, director of the Geneva Centre for Training and Analysis of Terrorism, a Swiss research group. Including the cost of Saïd Kouachi’s 2011 trip to Yemen, where he may have received training from al-Qaeda, the total price tag for the deadly attacks by the three men might have reached about $20,000…

Bloomberg went on to report that, “for what Rouiller describes as ‘such a low-cost operation,’ financing from abroad would be unlikely”—a theory that now seems to have been disproved by the evidence.

Regardless of where it is finally determined that the funds for the weapons originated, it should be kept in mind that the direct expenses of the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly aren’t the only expenditures that matter. The weapons training camp in Yemen that both Kouachi brothers attended in 2011 wasn’t “self-financed” by individual AQAP recruits. The militants at the AQAP camp that trained the Kouachi brothers didn’t self-finance their own wages. The human smuggling network that helped sneak the Kouachi brothers across the border from Oman into Yemen isn’t self-financed. Anwar al-Awlaki, the terrorist imam with whom the Kouachi brothers met while in Yemen and possibly assigned them their marching orders, was not self-financed either. Not to mention that the Kouachi brothers’ basic cost of living in Paris probably wasn’t met by part-time work delivering pizzas and gutting fish at the market.

We will also discover over time that the websites, texts, and videos that the Kouachis and Coulibaly consumed, like most Islamic radical materials, are generally produced by entities backed by Wahhabi patrons. It is important to think of the bigger picture not just of the money it took to carry out the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher operations, but the amount of money it takes to sustain a terrorist infrastructure in Yemen (and beyond) that these sleeper cells count on for arms, training and guidance.


Also see:


Expert: ISIS recruits not motivated by money

Money Jihad, Jan. 5, 2015:

Russia Today recently interviewed terror finance expert Loretta Napoleoni about the business operations of the Islamic State of Iraq. During the conversation, Napoleoni made some comments that seemed to suggest that ISIS is primarily driven by business imperatives rather than ideology—that governing territory and running a bureaucracy create its own financial demands that consume more and more of the organization’s time. Interviewer Sophie Shevardnadze sought clarification, asking if isn’t the case that ISIS fighters are motivated by their genuine Islamist beliefs rather than profit motives. Napoleoni gave a good and wise answer (transcribed below).  Roll tape:


I think the people that are joining this organization today, they are not joining because they want to make money—we’re not talking about mercenaries here, at all—we’re actually talking about people that are lured into joining, who are seducted. We’re talking about true seduction… All of the sudden the message comes from the Islamic State and says, “Come and help us build the new state, come and help us implement the Muslim political utopia,” something that for generations and generations, for centuries the Muslims have tried to establish and they have always failed. So these people are not motivated by money, they are actually motivated by an ideology. But in order to get to this level the Islamic State had to build itself and they did it through finance.

Fracking lets us ditch Saudi oil to use our own

Money Jihad, Sep. 26, 2014:

As part of the run-up to Money Jihad’s five-year anniversary, we’re looking back at five important videos from over the past several years about the financing of terrorism.

Last week we looked at money that has been pumped into the Gulf monarchies in oil royalties that they have turned around to use for terror for decades to placate their own Wahhabi domestic religious/political partners.  But what are we going to do about it? Drill our way out. U.S. energy independence from Arab oil, largely driven by technological innovation through hydraulic fracturing, may be the biggest strategic game-changer in the global balance of power since World War II.

From a Fox News interview last year with the Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore and national security analyst KT McFarland:

Oil money and Saudi Arabia’s stranglehold over global affairs

Money Jihad, Sep. 18, 2014:

The five year anniversary of this blog’s inception is coming up in October. Before then we’ll revisit five videos that have touched on extremely important concepts in terrorist financing.

Today we’ll look at two. Money Jihad has shown one of them before—an interview with Bernard Lewis on C-SPAN—but it’s important enough to return to, about how oil money and the love affair between the House of Saud and Wahhabi clerics precipitated the rise of global jihad:


The other picks up where Lewis left off.  Former CIA director James Woolsey offers additional examples and comparisons about what Saudi oil money and the related control by Wahabbi clerics has meant for Islamic developments throughout the world over the past several decades.


Watching these videos and considering the billions of petrodollars that have flowed to terrorism, it almost feels silly to sniff out smaller transactions of a thousand dollars here and hundred dollars there to individual “martyrs” and their operations.

Seven habits of highly effective kingpins

Risky BusinessMoney Jihad:

Criminal and terrorist groups are highly interconnected according to new analysis of data by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center. The conventional wisdom was that criminals worry that working with terrorists may draw unwanted scrutiny from their governments, and they are only inclined to cooperate only in resource-poor environments where it is necessary to survive. But the CTC finds that transnational traffickers and criminals appear to be more than willing to partner with terrorists, and that they benefit from these relationships in a wide variety of environments.

The full report can be read here. It is very thorough (89 pages) and includes academic language and models. Here are a just a few of the salient points from the study about members of the global underworld that may be of interest to practitioners and analysts outside of academia:

  1. Interconnected: 98 percent of the individuals in the global illicit marketplace are within two degrees of separation of each other.
  2. International: One in three individuals in the network have international relationships.
  3. Distributed power: Unlike typical hub-and-spoke networks where 80 percent of the connections rely on 20 percent of the actors involved, the global illicit network is somewhat less dependent on a small number of powerful actors/kingpins. Twenty percent of participants are responsible for only 65 percent of underworld connections. This diffuse hub-and-spoke model makes the network tougher for law enforcement to disrupt.
  4. Willingness to work with terrorists: “Individuals involved in other illicit activities link to terrorists 35 percent of the time” (p. 43). Terrorists often serve as “boundary spanners,” that link and form introductions between disparate groups such as drug traffickers, arms dealers, and organized crime.
  5. Frequent bilateral links with the United Arab Emirates: The top two bilateral connections in the criminal underworld–the U.S. and Colombia and the U.S. and Mexico–are probably unsurprising to Americans. The third most prevalent bilateral connections are between India and the U.A.E., and the sixth most common are between Pakistan and the U.A.E.
  6. Organized crime, not just terrorism, benefits from state sponsorship. We know that state sponsorship of terrorism exists, but for some reason we erroneously assume that state sponsorship of crime does not. The evidence from North Korea, Russia, the Balkans, and Pakistan indicates that criminals can carry out national interests—a phenomenon deserving further study.
  7. Convergence is not driven by poverty. Terrorists and criminals are drawn together in a variety of environments, not just in countries where there are little money or resources. The evidence indicates that the opposite is often true—that criminal masterminds prefer climates where there is some level of predictability and economic development, such as Monzer al-Kassar operating in Spain and Dawood Ibrahim in Dubai. Focusing only on failed states could be a red herring.

Acknowledgment: Thanks to Twitter user @El_Grillo1 for sending in a link to the CTC study.

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…



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

Video: Christopher Holton on Civilization Jihad, the Global Islamic Insurgency and Shariah Compliant Finance

moa1Terror Trends Bulletin, Oct. 17, 2012, by Christopher Holton:

This information makes up the introductory portion of the briefing that I have been delivering around the country for the past 3 years. It is important given the mounting evidence of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the West, and the US in particular.

On 22 May 2007, the Pew Research Center, certainly not a “conservative” organization, published a report on a survey that they conducted of Muslims in America. The name of that report was “Muslims in America: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream.”

Pew rolled it out as a celebration of Muslims in America. The media jumped on the bandwagon and the report was received with delight.

But there are aspects of the report which deserve more scrutiny and which Pew and the media essentially ignored in their spin during the release.

First a few background highlights:

• Pew reported that there were 2.35 million Muslims in America, including 1.4 million over the age of 18 (the target group of the survey).

This is important because the Muslim Brotherhood organizations, such as CAIR and ISNA, frequently claim that there are 5-6 million Muslims in America. President Obama parroted the bogus 5-6 million figure from the Muslim Brotherhood in his 2009 Cairo speech.

• 30% of the 1.4 million (420,000) were said to be between 18 and 29.

This is important because this is the demographic most likely to be involved in jihadist activity.

Most importantly, there were two particularly relevant questions that were buried deep in the Pew survey that Pew chose not to address or highlight in its release and rollout of the report:

Relevant Question Number 1: Can Suicide Bombing of Civilian Targets to Defend Islam be Justified?

A: Often/Sometimes: 8%

A: Rarely: 5%

A: Don’t Know/Refuse to Answer: 9%

A: Never: 78%

 In other words, AT LEAST 13% of American Muslims believed that suicide bombings of civilian targets was justified at least in some circumstances.

 182,000 Muslims in America over the age of 18 believed that Islamikaze bombings of civilian targets was justified at least in some circumstances.

Here is another important point: This same question was asked of Muslims under the age of 30 (the age group most associated with jihadist activity):

A: Often/Sometimes: 15%

A: Rarely: 11%

A: Don’t know/refuse to answer: 5%?

A: Never: 69%

 26% or 109,200 Muslims in America between 18 and 29 believed that Islamikaze bombings of civilian targets was justified at least in some circumstances.

Relevant Question Number 2: What is your view of Al Qaeda?

A: Favorable: 5%

A: Somewhat Unfavorable: 10%

A: Don’t Know/Refuse to Answer: 27%

A: Very Unfavorable: 58%

Same questions to Muslims under 30:

A: Favorable: 7%

A: Somewhat Unfavorable: 16%

A: Don’t Know/Refuse to Answer: 19%

A: Very Unfavorable: 58%

 70,000 Muslims in America admitted to having a favorable view of Al Qaeda.

 29,400 Muslims in America between the ages of 18 and 29 admitted to having a favorable view of Al Qaeda.

It is particularly noteworthy that younger Muslims in America appear to be more predisposed to violent Jihad than older Muslims based upon the answers to these two questions.

Note that this survey was conducted of Muslims in America, not Muslims in Benghazi, Ramadi, Fallujah, Gaza, Cairo, Sana’a, Tehran, Kandahar, or Islamabad. The tens of thousands of Muslims that harbor these views all live in America. These numbers are staggering and frightening.

Civilizational Jihad and Global Islamic Insurgency with Christopher Holton, Published on Dec 26, 2013 by Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors:


“… new reality makes identifying and understanding the Islamic doctrinal basis of our Jihadist enemies all the more important, yet with each passing attack, we seem to be getting further and further away from doing so.”

Christopher Holton of the Center for Security Policy discussed what America faces in addition to the threat of violent jihad another, an even more toxic danger — a stealthy and pre-violent form of warfare aimed at destroying our constitutional form of democratic government and free society. The Muslim Brotherhood is the prime mover behind this seditious campaign, which it calls “civilization jihad.”

Civilizational Jihad is succeeding through government, finance, military institutions…and though our schools.

Christopher Holton is Vice-President of Outreach at the Center for Security Policy. He directs the Center’s Divest Terror Initiative and Shariah Risk Due Diligence Program. He has been involved in legislation in twenty states to divest taxpayer supported pension systems from foreign companies that do business with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Sudan, and the Syrian Arab Republic. Since 2008, Chris has been the editor-in-chief of the Shariah Finance Watch Blog. In 2005, he was a co-author of War Footing, published by the US Naval Institute Press. Holton’s work has also been published by National Review, Human Events, The American Thinker, Family Security Matters, Big Peace, World Tribune, World Net Daily, NewsMax, and Before joining the Center, Chris was President of Blanchard and Company, a two hundred million dollar per year investment firm, and editor-in-chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit. Christopher blogs at


And this is an excellent presentation on Shariah Compliant Finance with a long Q&A beginning about 50 min. in:


Here is a transcript of a similar presentation given in 2012.


Saudi Arabia still head of terror finance octopus

sausi petrodollars

Money Jihad:

Saudi Arabia remains the world’s top financier of terrorism and sponsor of fundamentalist Islam throughout the Arab Spring.  U.S. media and Treasury officials don’t really like to discuss it in public, but a report earlier this fall from France 24 gives further confirmation, if you needed it, of the fact that Saudi petrodollars are behind the latest Salafist inroads in the Middle East.

Read it all:

How Saudi petrodollars fuel rise of Salafism

Since the 2011 Arab revolts, a loose network of underground zealots has evolved into a potent and highly vocal force. Behind the remarkable rise of Salafism lies the world’s leading producer of oil – and extremist Islam: Saudi Arabia.

By Marc DAOU

When protesters incensed by an anti-Muslim video scaled the walls of the US embassy in Cairo on September 11, tearing down the Stars and Stripes, a black flag could be seen floating above the battered compound. From Sanaa, in Yemen, to Libya’s Benghazi, the same black banner, emblem of the Salafists, soon became a ubiquitous sight as anti-US protests spread like wildfire across the Arab world. The 2011 Arab uprisings have served the Salafists well. With the old dictators gone, a once subterranean network of hardliners has sprung into prominence – funded by a wealthy Gulf patron locked in a post-Arab Spring rivalry with a fellow Gulf monarchy.

The ‘predecessors’

A puritanical branch of Islam, Salafism advocates a strict, literalist interpretation of the Koran and a return to the practices of the “Salaf” (the predecessors), as the Prophet Mohammed and his disciples are known. While Salafist groups can differ widely, from the peaceful, quietist kind to the more violent clusters, it is the latter who have attracted most attention in recent months.

In Libya and Mali, radical Salafists have been busy destroying ancient shrines built by more moderate groups, such as Sufi Muslims. Fellow extremists in Tunisia have tried to silence secular media and destroy “heretical” artwork. And the presence of Salafist fighting units in Syria has been largely documented. Less well known is who is paying for all this – and why.


For regional experts, diplomats and intelligence services, the answer to the first question lies in the seemingly endless flow of petrodollars coming from oil-rich Saudi Arabia. “There is plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that Saudi money is financing the various Salafist groups,” said Samir Amghar, author of “Le salafisme d’aujourd’hui. Mouvements sectaires en Occident” (Contemporary Salafism: Sectarian movements in the West).

According to Antoine Basbous, who heads the Paris-based Observatory of Arab Countries, “the Salafism we hear about in Mali and North Africa is in fact the export version of Wahhabism,” a conservative branch of Sunni Islam actively promoted and practised by Saudi Arabia’s ruling family. Since the 1970s oil crises provided the ruling House of Saud with a seemingly endless supply of cash, “the Saudis have been financing [Wahhabism] around the world to the tune of several million euros,” Basbous told FRANCE 24.

Opaque channels

Not all of the cash comes from Saudi state coffers. “Traditionally, the money is handed out by members of the royal family, businessmen or religious leaders, and channelled via Muslim charities and humanitarian organizations,” said Karim Sader, a political analyst who specializes in the Gulf states, in an interview with FRANCE 24.

Until the Arab Spring revolts upended the region’s political landscape, these hidden channels enabled the Salafists’ Saudi patrons to circumvent the authoritarian regimes who were bent on crushing all Islamist groups. These were the same opaque channels that allegedly supplied arms to extremist groups, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to Western intelligence officials.

Free education

Other, slightly less shadowy recipients of Saudi petrodollars include the numerous religious institutions built around the Arab world to preach Wahhabi Islam, as well as the growing list of Saudi satellite channels that provide a platform for radical Salafist preachers. A large share of the booty also goes to Arab students attending religious courses at the kingdom’s universities in Medina, Riyadh and the Mecca.

“Most of the students at Medina University are foreigners who benefit from generous scholarships handed out by Saudi patrons, as well as free accommodation and plane tickets,” said Amghar. “Once they have graduated, the brightest are hired by the Saudi monarchy, while the rest return to their respective countries to preach Wahhabi Islam”. According to Amghar, the members of France’s nascent Salafist movement follow a similar path.

Direct funding

Exporting its own brand of Islam is not the only item on Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy agenda. “While they see themselves as the guardians of Islamic doctrine and have always generously financed Muslim missionaries, the Saudis’ priority is not to ‘salafise’ the Muslim world,” explained Amghar. “Their real aim is to consolidate their political and ideological influence by establishing a network of supporters capable of defending the kingdom’s strategic and economic interests.”

Since last year’s Arab revolutions, these supporters have benefited from more direct – and politically motivated – funding. “With the region’s former dictators out of the way, Salafist groups have evolved into well-established parties benefiting from more official Saudi aid,” said Sader, pointing to the spectacular rise of Egypt’s al-Nour party, which picked up a surprising 24% of the vote in January’s parliamentary polls.

“The Saudis were genuinely surprised by the Arab Spring revolts,” said Mohamed-Ali Adraoui, a political analyst who specialises in the Muslim world. “Riyadh’s response was to back certain Salafist groups (…) so that it may gain further clout in their respective countries,” Adraoui told FRANCE 24.

Gulf rivalries

The Saudi strategy is similar to that adopted by its arch Gulf rival Qatar – a smaller but equally oil-rich kingdom – in its dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood, the other great beneficiary of the Arab Spring. “When it comes to financing Islamist parties, there is intense competition between Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” said Sader.

read more

See also:

Money Jihad: How Islamists Finance Their Operations

Pat Condell Rips Saudi Arabia again (Video)

The Savage Lands of Islam

Webinar: How America’s Addiction to Saudi Oil is Funding Global Terror

Saudi Arabia – Moderate Voice or Draconian Monarchy?

Muslim MasterCard: Compass pointing to Mecca embedded in new bank card

Daily Mail:

A compass pointing the way to Mecca is embedded in a new MasterCard aimed at Muslims.

Gulf state-owned bank Al Hillal in the United Arab Emirates has rolled out the new bank card which complies with Islamic laws banning charging interest on loans in a bid to appeal to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.

Islamic law or Shariah forbids ‘riba’, the charging of interest on loans, because it enables the rich to exploit the poor, creates social and economic tension and encourages risk, according to scholars.

MasterCard spokesman James Issokson said, according to ‘We continue to see a growing demand, especially in the Middle East, for Islamic banking in general, and more specifically in our case, for cards that are Shariah-compliant in accordance with the tenets of the Islamic faith.’

As well as the compass which allows the cardholder to orientate themselves towards prayers five times a day, the new MasterCard has other benefits.

Cardholders have access to travel vouchers to pay for the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca, which Muslims are required to do at least once in their lifetime if they have the means.

Mr Issokson said: ‘A percentage of the money spent using the card is donated to local charities.’

Read more

Sheikh: preventing terror finance violates rights

Money Jihad:

Sheikh Saleh bin Abdulrahman Al-Hussein, formerly the chief of the presidency of Saudi Arabia’s two holy mosques and a member of the Senior Ulema Council, has written a 1,600 word opinion piece in the Arab News defending the transfer of funds overseas through “charity” from Saudi Arabia.  Hussein asserts that such “charity” is a personal freedom and human right.

In the piece, Sheikh Saleh Hussein slams a 2003 U.S. congressional hearing, which he claims had no facts, just emotional smears, about Saudi charities involved in financing terror.  He blames that hearing, subsequent arm twisting at the United Nations, and traitorous reporting by local Gulf journalists, for giving Saudi Arabia a bad reputation as the world’s terror financial hub.

If the evidence of Saudi perfidy is all based on false or exaggerated rhetoric, can the sheikh please explain the following events?

  • Why the Saudi International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) branch in the Philippines, which was designated by the U.S. as a terrorist entity, was founded by Osama Bin Laden’s brother-in-law, Muhammad Jamal Khalifah—a senior Al Qaeda leader?
  • Why Saudi Arabia conceded that Al Haramain (a charity that operated under the control of the government of Saudi Arabia) branches in Bosnia, Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Pakistan were terrorist entities?
  • Why the former head of Al Haramain in the U.S. was convicted last year to 33 months in prison for funding jihad in Chechnya?
  • Why the founder of Saudi Arabia’s largest private bank (and the Sunni world’s largest sharia bank) was named in the infamous “Golden Chain” list of 20 financial benefactors of Al Qaeda, and why Saudi Arabia has resisted all legal attempts to access his bank’s records?
  • Why Saudi Arabia sponsors telethons to raise money for suicide bombers?
  • Why the chief of the Bangladeshi terrorist organization JMB says his funding sources include the Saudi-based Muslim World League and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth?
  • Why the Saudi government continues to award public contracts to the Bin Laden family for construction projects?

Oh, and one more question.  Sheikh Hussein concludes his commentary by invoking a verse from the eighth chapter of the Koran (“The Spoils”), a sura which addresses taking the spoils of war from conquered infidels.  If the sheikh is truly interested in defending the principle of charity toward the poor, this is a quite remarkable passage to select!

Money Jihad: Revisiting the Golden Chain, 11 years later

Money Jihad:

It was the 1990s.  Osama bin Laden was broke, busted, and disgusted.  Al Qaeda had spent its last dime, and Osama needed a bailout.  Sulaiman Al-Rajhi and 19 other millionaire and billionaire Muslims came to the rescue.  They constituted a “golden chain” of financial backers that would enable a second life for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan from which to stage the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

The U.S. Senate presented the evidence against the Golden Chain once again this summer in its report about the misdeeds of the British bank HSBC.  HSBC maintained a relationship with Al-Rajhi Bank, of which Sulaiman Al-Rajhi was a founder, until 2005 despite the earlier discovery of the Golden Chain and Al-Rajhi Bank’s record of facilitating terrorist transactions.

Don’t take my word for it.  This comes from the Senate’s Jul. 17, 2012, report:

Al Qaeda List of Financial Benefactors. The al Qaeda list of financial benefactors came to light in March 2002, after a search of the Bosnian offices of the Benevolence International Foundation, a Saudi based nonprofit organization which was also designated a terrorist organization by the Treasury Department, led to seizure of a CD-ROM and computer hard drive with numerous al Qaeda documents.  One computer file contained scanned images of several hundred documents chronicling the formation of al Qaeda. One of the scanned documents contained a handwritten list of 20 individuals identified as key financial contributors to al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden apparently referred to that group of individuals as the “Golden Chain.” In a report prepared for Congress, the Congressional Research Service explained:

According to the Commission’s report, Saudi individuals and other financiers associated with the Golden Chain enabled bin Laden and Al Qaeda to replace lost financial assets and establish a base in Afghanistan following their abrupt departure from Sudan in 1996.

One of the 20 handwritten names in the Golden Chain document identifying al Qaeda’s early key financial benefactors is Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi, one of Al Rajhi Bank’s key founders and most senior officials.

The Golden Chain document has been discussed in the 9-11 Commission’s report, in federal court filings, and civil lawsuits. Media reports as early as 2004 noted that the al Qaeda list included the Al Rajhi name. HSBC was clearly on notice about both the al Qaeda list and its inclusion of Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi.

What became of the Golden Chain?  As for Al-Rajhi, the most prominent individual listed, he remains at large with an estimated net worth of $6 billion, showing up on Forbes magazine cover stories and feature interviews in the Arab News.  By Al-Rajhi’s own admission, he’s working out a “meticulous scheme” for a mysterious charitable endowment to dispose of his assets.

Money Jihad – Seven ways to stop funding terror

Money Jihad:

Money Jihad has previously proposed methods to limit zakat and hawala—two major mechanisms for funding terror.  Here’s a more comprehensive set of our recommendations that would reduce terrorist financing overall:

  1. Drill, baby, drill.  The U.S. should expand offshore oil drilling, open federal lands for drilling, ease its permitting process for new refineries, encourage hydraulic fracturing methods that tap previously inaccessible energy sources underground, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.  Increasing domestic U.S. and Western Hemisphere energy production will reduce reliance on Persian Gulf oil supplies and thereby minimize the profits reaped by hostile, foreign regimes that sponsor terror.
  2. Eliminate foreign aid to Pakistan.  Pakistan uses its ISI spy service to fund the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and Lashkar-e-Taiba.  Continuing to waste money on Pakistan is not only wasteful when we can least afford it, but it is suicidal.
  3. Study the true enemy and threat.  Among the most important concepts for the Western public to understand are:

    If we fail to acknowledge Islam as the animating force behind terror finance, we’ll get confused and aim at the wrong targets.  For example, we’ve spent billions of dollars complying with extensive bureaucratic requirements such as currency reports that have yielded minimal results.

  4. Launch a new offensive against Muslim American charities and entities that fund terrorism.  Pick a few of the highest profile ones and make an example of them by prosecuting their leaders and dressing them in orange jumpsuits.  Prosecute Islamic Relief USA under the laws against providing material support for terrorism.  Prosecute the Council on American-Islamic Relations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.  Strip the halal food certifier IFANCA and the mosque deed financier North American Islamic Trust of their tax-exempt status.
  5. Tax hawala. Terrorists use the traditional Islamic money transfer system known as hawala to exchange money without being monitored.  Hawala dealers in the U.S. are required to register with FinCEN, a financial regulator, but about 85 percent of hawaladars ignore the requirement.  Imposing a simple one percent tax on hawala remittances would help put hawala under the jurisdiction of tax authorities rather than financial regulators who focus more attention on large banks than on small money services businesses.  A one percent tax would be a mild, positive step in beginning to track the transactions to countries that intend us harm.
  6. Designate ISI and Muslim World League as terrorist entities.  Pakistan funds jihadists through its ISI intelligence agency.  Saudi Arabia funds Hamas, Al Qaeda, and other Wahhabi movements abroad through the Muslim World League (MWL) which is comprised of eight subdivisions including the notorious International Islamic Relief Organization and the World Assembly for Muslim Youth.  The U.S. should declare the ISI and MWL to be foreign terrorist organizations in the same fashion that the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps has been designated.
  7. Stop paying ransoms to jihadists.  Enforce U.N. Resolution 1904 which prohibits paying ransoms to terrorists or broker a new treaty banning the payment by governments or insurance companies of ransoms to specified terrorist groups.  Al Qaeda affiliates, the Taliban, Abu Sayyaf other jihadist organizations have made millions of dollars in the kidnap-for-ransom business.  Discourage recreational travel by Westerners to locations such as Somalia, Yemen, and the southern Philippines.

Any one of these proposals alone could help reduce terrorist revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Other analysts have proposed improving and standardizing financial regulations, adopting conditions-based aid rather than open-ended foreign aid through the use of millennium challenge accounts, encouraging divestment and terror-free investing, promoting alternative energy sources, enacting harsher sanctions against Iran, a putting a greater focus on the prosecution of white collar financial crimes.

Ultimately, you have to examine the biggest sources of revenue for jihad, then look at what actions would be likeliest to reduce those revenue streams.

Chris Holton: Shariah Compliant Finance and Financial Jihad

June  6, 2012 by 


Christopher Holton is Vice President for Outreach at the Center for Security Policy. He directs the Center’s Divest Terror Initiative and Shariah Risk Due Diligence Program. He has been involved in legislation in 20 states to divest taxpayer-supported pension systems from foreign companies that do business with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Sudan and the Syrian Arab Republic. Since 2008, Holton has been the editor-in-chief of the Shariah Finance Watch blog.

In 2005, Holton was a co-author of War Footing, published by the US Naval Institute Press. Holton’s work has also been published by National Review, Human Events, American Thinker, Family Security Matters, BigPeace, World Tribune, WorldNetDaily, Newsmax and The Before joining the Center, Holton was President of Blanchard and Company, a $200 million per year investment firm and editor in chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit.

Related article:

Holton to Congress:  Currently no disclosure or transparency standards for zakat, sharia products (Money Jihad)

Chairman King Outlines Key Priorities for 2012

Rep. King standing fast from ACT for America:

During the legislative briefing portion of our national conference back in 2010, ACT! for America Executive Director Guy Rodgers explained “the power of the gavel.”

He told conference attendees that the political party in the majority in Congress holds a great deal of power with respect to everything from what bills get introduced in committees to what bills get a vote on the floor. It’s called “the power of the gavel.”

When Republicans won control of the House in 2010, the chairmanships of all the House committees were turned over to Republicans. Rep. Peter King became chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee—and a new day dawned as he addressed issues, such as Muslim radicalization, that previously hadn’t seen the light of day.

Last year Rep. King was one of the recipients at our national conference of our Patriot award for his courage and effectiveness in fighting for our national security. Below you’ll see his priorities for this year. Rep. King continues to stand fast in the face of the baseless attacks he has received from organizations like CAIR.

This year’s National Conference & Legislative Briefing will be June 27 to 29 in Washington, DC. The fact that many of our attendees each year are repeat attendees says it all. If you’ve never attended, this is an event you’ll never forget. Click here to find out more and to register.

Chairman King Outlines Key Priorities for 2012

By CQ Staff

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter T. King released a list of his priorities for the panel in the coming year, leading off with one of its most controversial hearing topics from 2011: Muslim radicalization in America.

The New York Republican’s series of domestic radicalization hearings, which covered topics including terrorist recruiting on the Internet and in prisons, as well as the role of Muslim community leaders and organizations in speaking out against violence. The sessions drew criticism from panel Democrats, civil liberties organizations and Muslim advocacy groups. King and several of his fellow GOP panelists, however, called them productive and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., agreed to hold a joint hearing in December on the potential threat of radicalization among members of the U.S. military.

“In 2012, we will continue the Committee’s focus on critical counterterrorism issues, just as I promised to do when I was selected as chairman,” King said. “The series of radicalization hearings I convened last March has been very productive, and I will definitely continue the hearings in 2012. The committee will also examine a number of additional homeland security issues and will move legislation necessary to secure our homeland from the terrorists who continue to plot attacks against us.”

His office said that legislation will include bills covering authorization for the Department of Homeland Security and its components — a goal the chairman has set in previous years — and cybersecurity. The House Homeland subcommittee that handles cybersecurity approved a bill (HR 3674) from its chairman, California Republican Dan Lungren, earlier this month.

King’s other priorities are:

  • Studying the presence and activities in the United States of Iran’s intelligence services, as well as groups such as Hezbollah and al Qaeda.
  • Probing money from Islamist groups that comes into the United States.
  • Examining potential leaks of classified information regarding sensitive counterterrorism operations.
  • Obtaining Purple Heart medals for military servicemembers hurt of killed during the 2009 shooting attacks at Fort Hood, Texas, and at recruiting stations. Currently, those events are considered criminal matters under military policy and ineligibles for Purple Hearts, as King’s and Lieberman’s committees discussed last year.
  • Investigating the possible roles that the deceased al-Qaeda head Anwar al-Awlaki and current seniors leaders Daoud Chehazeh and Eyad al-Rababah, may have played the attacks of September 11, 2001.
  • Studying security preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
  • Assessing whether enemy veterans of conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia pose dangers to the U.S. homeland.
  • Ensuring the protection of U.S. security contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Monitoring emerging threats to the homeland;
  • Continuing close examination of the Department of Homeland Security’s operations, policies, and programs