How ISIS and Al-Qaeda fund terrorist attacks

In recent years, ISIS has killed, kidnapped, abused and trafficked thousands of Yazidis in northern Iraq.Image Getty Images

Culinary experts, so to speak, would kill for it. A jar of honey from the famous Al-Shifa brand. That costs at least $55 for 250 grams, but then you really have some delicious stuff at home. Sidr honey, made in the deserts of Yemen, is considered to be one of the best honeys in the world. Produced in the traditional way, without chemicals ”, the seller wrote on the Internet.

So enjoy. But with a taste. Because more than ten years ago, the American intelligence services put the Yemeni Shifa honey manufacturers on their list of suspects. “They will have evidence that Osama bin Laden is using a network of honey stores to earn income and ship weapons, drugs and troops,” he wrote. New York times on time. Apparently, that included healing: sweet honey as a cover for a terrorist company.

And more delicacies are used to buy Kalashnikovs.

23 tons of chocolate bars

Last year, the Israeli authorities confiscated 23 tons of chocolate bars. It was imported by two companies in the Gaza Strip, allegedly linked to the terrorist Hamas movement. The Israelis said the chocolate proceeds were intended to fund the armed struggle of Hamas.

The honey and chocolate terrorists are mentioned in a book by French politician Nathalie Joule. She is a member of the French Senate on behalf of the center-right UDI party. “As a politician, I have been involved in the war against terrorism for years. I saw very different ways in which terrorists finance their struggle. That is what I wanted to define,” says Gullit.

This resulted in a list of over four hundred pages, with some very surprising financial construction at times. “What surprised me myself was how creative the terrorists are when they need the money.”

French politician Nathalie Jules has written a book about the financial facilities that terrorists use to pay for their attacks.  Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

French politician Nathalie Jules has written a book about the financial facilities that terrorists use to pay for their attacks.Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Northern Irish Republican Army had a factory outside Miami, America, where they supposedly manufactured veterinary medicines. Nothing was ever animal friendly. The proceeds were intended to fund the struggle for independence. The Basque Country Eta made money from the massive sale of counterfeit clothes, bags and cigarettes from expensive brands in Spain. Nicotine was used to propel attacks.

Even ISIS had income from smuggling cigarettes. But the organization has also responded to current events: two years ago, a website was discovered where ISIS offered Corona mouth covers for sale with the aim of financing the armed struggle.

Unknown cash flow

Knowledge of terrorist money flows remains relatively limited. Al Qaeda has made good money from opium for years. The Islamic State had oil fields in Syria and Iraq, generating millions in revenue. However, in practice, there is a huge variety of often unknown financial flows, according to Gault’s book.

Two years ago, 29 people were arrested in France who actually invested terrorist money in Syria. Coupons representing a certain value of bitcoin were bought in a traditional “bar tabac” in France. That was legal. The vouchers were photographed and sent to French fighters in Syria. With the data on paper, the terrorists became the owners of virtual money. In this way, hundreds of thousands of euros would have been transferred to Syria, in part by radical Muslims in France.

During the Cold War, terrorist groups were often funded by Washington or Moscow. At that time they were still called resistance groups. “The money was easy to track down,” says attorney Nicholas Eskenazi, who earned his Ph.D. on the subject last year.

That changed after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Terrorist groups came to stand alone and liberate themselves. They also had to look for the money themselves. Everything is now being used to finance the fight: and that makes the fight very complicated.” The money flows are big and small, according to Goulet Stock.

tax havens

Belgian authorities have interrogated the mother of an Islamic State fighter for transferring money to her son in Syria. She thought it was for a car and the birth of a daughter she raised, but her son was also a high-profile inside ISIS.

In 2015, it was leaked Panama Papers from. It turns out that huge amounts of money have been transferred to tax havens around the world. And not only by football players, businessmen and movie stars. An analysis by Europol showed that there were also 116 names on the list of Muslim extremist terrorists, which appeared in Europol’s database. They also know how to find their way to the Virgin Islands.

The rules have been tightened. For example, since the 1990s, and certainly after the attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001, the United Nations has taken new measures to strike terrorists in their pockets. It worked, Eskenazi says. But then, terrorist groups adapted again. More came low costattacks. Soloists went out into the street or into the church with a knife or a gun. Natalie Gault: “The attack in Nice, in July 2016 (86 killed, editor), cost only 2,500 euros: the offender bought a gun and only rented a truck.”

Selling girls for 200 to 1500 euros

The lower the appraisal costs, the easier it is to raise funds. Prevention is difficult: investigative services do not focus on the loners who withdraw a few thousand euros from the bank.

“It’s very difficult to perform,” Eskenazi agrees. “On the other hand: because of stricter rules and controls, also on money flows, an attack like the September 11 attack in New York, which required a lot of organization and cost between 400,000 and 500,000 euros, is now almost impossible.” This does not mean that the worst-case scenario no longer occur.

In recent years, ISIS has killed, kidnapped, abused and trafficked thousands of Yazidis in northern Iraq. “Prisoners of war and their children were offered for sale as merchandise in slave markets or on social media such as Telegram,” Boulet said. The girls were sold for 200 to 1500 euros.

became the Yazidis big job to terrorists. The United Nations said ISIS received $850,000 in 2016 from Yazidis to buy back their kidnapped relatives. In 2014, ISIS reportedly earned $35 to $45 million in ransom for kidnappers.

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