Shariah Finance Watch

Shariah Finance Watch

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Exposing the Risks of Shariah Finance

U.S. House of Representatives Fails in Opportunity to Defund Terror-Tied Islamic Relief
Saturday, September 16, 2017 12:33 AM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Islamic Relief Worldwide, or IRW, a United Kingdom-based humanitarian relief agency with a U.S. chapter, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. federal grants in recent years, including $370,000 for the fiscal years 2015 and 2016. Quite naturally, IRW wants to keep the spigot of federal dollars flowing, despite the charity’s links to the terrorist group Hamas.

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., introduced an amendment to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act that would have banned all federal funding of IRW and its affiliates.

When they got wind of DeSantis’ amendment, CAIR and other Islamist groups blitzed members of Congress with a last-minute lobbying effort to vote against the amendment. House leaders capitulated, withdrawing the amendment last Thursday before it was even brought up for a vote.

https://counterjihadreport.com/tag/charities-and-terror-financing/

Dana Gas rejects new Shariah bond restructuring proposal
Saturday, September 16, 2017 12:26 AM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Dana Gas dismissed a new proposal from bondholders  for the restructuring of US$700 million worth of sukuk, in the latest twist of an acrimonious dispute closely watched by Islamic finance practitioners.

Discussions between Dana Gas and its sukuk holders soured earlier this year, when the company claimed outstanding sukuk, due to mature in October, were not Sharia-compliant, and therefore illegal under UAE law.

Such a contention, and the decision to refer the matter to the talks, has unnerved Shariah finance practitioners in the UAE and the wider Shariah finance community.

https://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/dana-gas-dismisses-fresh-restructuring-proposal-1.628349

British Charity Commission Probes Another Islamic Charity
Friday, September 15, 2017 10:32 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Charities in the United Kingdom are regulated by a governmental agency known as the Charity Commission.

Over the years, the Charity Commission has found itself investigating multiple Islamic charities for a variety of irregularities, including supporting jihad.

Now we have another example.

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into an Islamic broadcasting charity because of concerns about alleged significant unauthorized payments.

The regulator said in a statement today that it had opened an inquiry into Fadak Media Broadcasts last month after receiving a serious incident report from the charity with suspicions about “significant unauthorised payments from within the charity”.

Fadak Media broadcasts through its website and via its YouTube channel to advance Islam.

Fadak is a Shia organization making it likely that it has at least informal ties to Iran, the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism. Much of their online content has been directed against Sunni Islam.

https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/regulator-probes-broadcasting-charity-amid-concerns-significant-unauthorised-payments/governance/article/1444600

Report: Palestinian Authority’s 2017 Budget Shows ‘Huge Increase’ in Funding for Terror Payments
Thursday, July 20, 2017 3:33 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The Palestinian Authority’s 2017 budget shows a “huge increase” in the funding of salaries for imprisoned terrorists and the families of “martyrs,” an Israeli research institute revealed on Wednesday.

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the amount of money allocated by the PA for payments to terrorists jailed in Israel rose 13% this year to $158 million — compared to $135 million in 2016. During the same time frame, disbursements for family members of dead terrorists increased by 4% — to $197 million from $183 million.

Overall, PMW said, the PA is spending $355 million this year on the direct funding of terrorism.

https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/07/19/palestinian-authoritys-2017-budget-shows-huge-increase-in-funding-for-terror-payments/

Two More Canadian ISNA Affiliates Lose Charity Status Due to Terror Funding
Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:56 AM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Nearly four years after the Islamic Society of North America’s Canadian wing lost its charity status for funding Jihadist terrorism, two more affiliates have been similarly sanctioned.

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2013/09/25/islamic-society-of-north-americas-canadian-wing-loses-charity-status-for-funding-terrorism/

Canadian authorities have stripped two former affiliates of the Islamic Society of North America’s Canada chapter (ISNA-Canada) of their charitable status after discovering financial ties between the Islamic organizations and a Pakistani militant group.

ISNA Islamic Services of Canada and the Canadian Islamic Trust Foundation lost their charity status for “non-compliance” following a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) audit…

https://www.investigativeproject.org/6420/canadian-islamist-groups-lose-charity-status-over

U.S. levies new Iran-related sanctions
Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:47 AM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The U.S. is pursuing sanctions against 18 individuals and other entities for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program and other factors, including Iran’s “egregious human rights record,” the State Department announced Tuesday.

“Iran continues to support terrorist groups such as Hizballah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that threaten Israel and stability in the Middle East. Iran has maintained its steadfast support for the Assad regime, despite Assad’s atrocities against his own people.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/18/us-sanctions-iran-nuclear-deal-240669

Kuwait has success with NON-Shariah compliant Bond Issue
Monday, July 3, 2017 8:44 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Kuwait made a splash with its debut in the international bond market in mid-March, raising $8 billion from regional and international investors following a five-day roadshow in London and three cities in the United States. Demand was high, with more than 778 orders totaling $29 billion, according to officials.

The issuance was divided into two tranches. A $3.5 billion, five-year tranche was priced with a yield of 2.887% or 75 basis points (bp) over U.S. Treasuries, while a $4.5 billion, ten-year portion carried a yield of 3.617%, giving a spread of 100bp over U.S. Treasuries.

http://www.forbesmiddleeast.com/en/after-a-successful-issuance-kuwait-is-in-no-hurry-to-return-to-international-markets/

Shariah Finance’s Solution to the Dana Gas Debacle: Centralized Government Control
Monday, July 3, 2017 8:36 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

In the wake of the Dana Gas sukuk debacle, the UAE has come up with a solution to fix the “complexities” of Shariah finance: centralized government control.

Many proponents of Shariah finance in the West claim that free enterprise mandates that Shariah finance be allowed to flourish and expand in our financial markets.

What flies in the face of the argument is the fact that Shariah finance is inherently opposed to free market economics and is in fact a centralized economic system of government control very much like fascism and communism.

https://www.thenational.ae/business/uae-sharia-board-aimed-at-strengthening-consistency-1.91470

The New York Times Spreads Disinformation in Shilling for Shariah Finance
Friday, June 30, 2017 6:50 PM

by Christopher W. Holton

Today’s New York Times has what amounts to an advertorial for Shariah finance, espousing “Retirement Savings, the Muslim Way.”

Not surprisingly, given the New York Times’s jaded past, the article is unbalanced and omits many of the concerns about Shariah finance.

For starters, there is this passage:

Investing in companies earning a minimal amount of interest, typically 5 percent or less, may be allowed, so long as the dividend income derived from that interest is donated to charity.

What the Times is describing is the practice of “purification” in which infected assets are donated to Islamic charities selected by Shariah scholars to offset “ill-gotten gains.”

The problem with this is two-fold:

1. Numerous Islamic charities have been shut down worldwide for funding Jihad.

2. Some of the Shariah scholars who are most prominent in the Shariah-compliant finance industry have been involved with Jihadists and have espoused hateful rhetoric and policies.

Then there is this:

While the bulk of the Islamic financial sector’s assets lie in Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain…

That is just inaccurate. The reality is that Iran is by far the world’s leader in Shariah-compliant finance, both in terms of the largest Shariah-compliant financial institutions and the amount of Shariah-compliant investment assets. In fact, Iran has more Shariah-compliant assets than the 2nd and 3rd ranked countries combined. Moreover, the largest Shariah-compliant financial institutions in the world are Iranian state-run banks.

This is the industry’s dirty secret. The world leader is also the world’s foremost rogue nation with a terrible human rights record, the world’s foremost terrorist-sponsoring regime and a serial proliferator of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. So, when the Times refers to all the so-called high standards of the industry, they conveniently leave these facts out.

The Times also picks and chooses what it likes to disclose about Shariah:

Both the Quran and hadith inform Shariah, which guides Muslims through practical life decisions, including how they should make and save money while remaining true to their religious principles.

Conveniently omitted from this whitewash of Shariah are aspects like:

• The obligatory nature of violent Jihad.
• The goal of establishing a worldwide caliphate subjugating non-Muslims.
• The desirability of female “cutting,” aka female genital mutilation.

We could go on and on…

Finally, there is this passage from the Times article:

The Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, Malaysia’s Islamic Financial Services Board and Bahrain’s International Islamic Financial Market are among the major independent organizations that help Muslims achieve these goals. Advised by boards of Islamic financial experts and religious scholars, these organizations continuously and systematically review companies, bonds and mutual funds to ensure they are Shariah-compliant.”

The Times mentions the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and it is indeed the most prominent independent body attempting to govern and apply standards to the Shariah finance industry. But they don’t tell you anything else.

Sitting atop the AAOIFI Shariah Advisory Board is a man that is no stranger to regular, long-time readers of SFW: Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

http://aaoifi.com/members-2/?lang=en

Usmani is one of the most prolific Shariah scholars in the world of finance. He receives compensation from dozens of banks and investment firms.

Before cashing in with the private sector, Usmani was a Shariah judge on the Supreme Court of Pakistan for 20 years.

Usmani is also a complete Jihadist.

In September 2001, Usmani was part of a small delegation of clerics known to be sympathetic to the Taliban in Afghanistan and travelled there to ostensibly convince Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, to turn over Osama Bin Laden to the United States. Information leaked later by some of the clerics present at the meeting indicates that the delegation may have, in fact, tried to stiffen the Taliban’s will to resist.

Usmani is a prolific writer in Urdu, Arabic and English, having published dozens of books and countless articles.

Among his books available in English is a vitriolic attack on Christianity called “What is Christianity” and a broadside against the West and modernity called “Islam and Modernism.”

Here is one particularly revealing quote from “Islam and Modernism:”

“Killing is to continue until the unbelievers pay jizyah (subjugation tax) after they are humbled or overpowered.”

Usmani is well-known for his uncompromising views on the mandatory nature of conducting offensive jihad against non-Muslims “in order to establish the supremacy of Islam” worldwide.

Usmani also complained bitterly at the lack of martyrs to combat American forces in Iraq:

“No one is found having any desire of Shahadah (martyrdom). How many mothers are there who want to sacrifice their sons for the cause of Islam? How many sisters are there who want to say goodbye to their brothers departing to wage jihad against non-believers?”

Usmani referred to Americans in Iraq as “stinking atheists” and “the worst ever butchers and vultures of the world” who are “clawing off the flesh of bodies of innocent Iraqi Muslims.”

According to what Usmani has said and written, aggressive jihad against unbelievers is an Islamic obligation and, as such, does not need any justification.

“For a non-Muslim state to have more pomp and glory than a Muslim state itself is an obstacle, therefore to shatter this grandeur is among the greater objectives of jihad.”

Under Pakistani dictator General Zia al-Haq (1977-1988), who was also a zealous advocate of Shariah, Usmani played a key role in the introduction of the Shariah-based punishment code known as the Huddud Ordinance, as well as blasphemy laws and other Shariah injunctions, to the huge detriment of Pakistani justice and civil liberties to this day.

Men like Usmani form the foundation of the industry described in the New York Times article. This alone should be troubling and should at least attract the curiosity of journalists. Then again, I’m not sure the folks at the New York Times can be properly termed “journalists.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/30/your-money/retirement-savings-the-muslim-way.html

Financial Jihadists Continue to Target Kenya
Friday, June 30, 2017 5:57 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Shariah finance is a weapon of Islamic imperialism, as evidenced by the fact that Kenya has been targeted for some time to embrace Shariah finance.

Unfortunately, those efforts have been successful.

Keep in mind that Kenya is less than 12% Muslim, so there is very little inherent demand for Shariah-compliant financial products in Kenya…

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has lauded government efforts to deepen Islamic Finance in Kenya, following the Presidential assent of the Finance Act 2017, confirming Kenya’s commitment to positioning itself as a regional Islamic Finance hub.

The Finance Act 2017 contains a raft of targeted measures designed to support the growth of Islamic Finance in Kenya.

http://www.kbc.co.ke/cma-lauds-government-efforts-to-deepen-islamic-finance-in-kenya/

US Federal Court Rules U.S. Can Seize Manhattan Tower From Iranian-American Charity
Friday, June 30, 2017 5:38 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

A New York jury has ruled that the U.S. government can seize a Manhattan skyscraper worth as much as $1 billion from an Iranian-American charitable foundation accused of violating sanctions against Iran.

The U.S. federal court on June 29 ruled that Alavi Foundation, the majority owner of the 36-story office building at 650 Fifth Ave., knew and helped hide the fact that the building’s 40 percent partner, Assa Corp., was a front for the Iranian government.

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim said the tower “secretly served as a front for the Iranian government and as a gateway for millions of dollars to be funneled to Iran in clear violation of U.S. sanctions laws.”

He said the court ruling represented “the largest civil forfeiture jury verdict and the largest terrorism-related civil forfeiture in U.S. history” and would “allow for substantial recovery for victims of Iran-sponsored terrorism.”

The U.S. government has said it wants to turn over the proceeds from a sale of the building to holders of more than $5 billion in terrorism-related judgments against Tehran.

Kim pegged the value of the building, built in 1978, at $500 million, although some estimates put it at double that amount.

The Alavi Foundation was likely to appeal the verdict, although lawyers did not immediately comment after the ruling.

The Alavi Foundation’s lawyers argued that the charity was unaware Iran was secretly benefiting from the participation of Assa Corp in the ownership of the building.

The lawyers maintained that the foundation used funds to support schools, health care, and higher education, along with promoting the study of Persian culture, language, art, literature, and civilization.

The Alavi Foundation was founded during the reign of the shah of Iran. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted the shah, Iran’s conservative Islamic government replaced much of Alavi’s board of directors.

https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-alavi-foundation-seize-manhattan-building-650-avenue-court-ruling/28586708.html

Dana Gas: Shariah Finance’s self-licking ice cream cone
Friday, June 30, 2017 5:12 PM

by Christopher W. Holton

As we reported earlier this month, the market for Shariah bonds is entering a new crisis as a result of an apparent default by Dana Gas:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2017/06/15/more-fallout-from-the-dana-gas-sukuk-debacle/

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2017/06/13/possible-shariah-finance-crisis-brewing-dana-gas-shariah-bonds-declared-unlawful/

Dana Gas is refusing to pay its creditors based on a new decision that its bond offering is no longer Shariah-compliant. This is an example of a moral hazard that does not exist in conventional finance.

A borrower refuses to pay, challenging the sharia-compliance of its bond

Ten years after sealing a landmark production deal with Iraqi Kurdistan, it is struggling to recover $900m it is owed by the autonomous region and the Egyptian government. So it faces a liquidity squeeze. That is not, however, why it says it wants to restructure $700m-worth of Islamic bonds maturing in October 2017. Rather, it says it has received legal advice that the bonds are no longer compliant with sharia—rules based on Islamic scripture.
The bonds were deemed compliant in 2013, but Dana cites evolution in the “interpretation” of Islamic financial instruments. It is seeking to have them declared invalid in a United Arab Emirates court.

There is no global standard or overarching authority for sharia compliance. Some countries, like Malaysia, have a central sharia board for finance. Others, including the UAE, do not, leaving issuers and investors to rely on the guidance of learned scholars to vet transactions. Inevitably, they sometimes disagree. Mohammed Khnifer of the Islamic Development Bank says some are “now trying to revisit the standards to make them more sharia-compliant”. Yet Dana’s request that a previous sharia ruling be reversed—and the looming default—are unprecedented.
Creditors are enraged. Dana Gas is proposing to exchange the sukuk for a new, sharia-compliant security that would confer rights to less than half of current profit rates, so that the company can focus on “cash preservation”. (Though, if sharia compliance was its only motive, nothing would prevent it from issuing new sukuk with the same economic value.)

https://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21724416-borrower-refuses-pay-challenging-sharia-compliance-its-bond-infant

Islamic State Revenue Dropping Drastically Thanks to Coalition Campaign
Friday, June 30, 2017 4:53 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Income for the Islamic State has dropped by 80-percent over two years. According to a study of its finances, an extended air campaign, and loss of territory, hit the oil and tax revenue streams for the militant group. The self-proclaimed caliphate earned an average of $81 million in the second quarter of 2015. This year during the same period, the group has only earned an estimated $16 million. The report comes from IHS Markit, a global data monitoring company.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nhl/losing-ground-islamic-state-revenue-drops/vp-BBDsHK6

More fallout from the Dana Gas sukuk debacle
Thursday, June 15, 2017 12:59 AM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

A decision by Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas to declare $700 million of its sukuk invalid has sent shivers through the Islamic finance industry, raising concern about the safety of sharia-compliant debt instruments in general.

Dana said on Tuesday it had received legal advice that its sukuk, or Islamic bonds, which mature in October, were not compliant with the Islamic sharia code and had become “unlawful” in the United Arab Emirates.

http://www.reuters.com/article/dana-gas-sukuk-idUSL8N1JB05A

Palestinian Authority still paying terrorists
Thursday, June 15, 2017 12:47 AM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Senior official denies claim by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that PA has ‘changed its policy’ regarding funding of jailed terrorists.

The Palestinian Authority is still providing stipends to terrorists sitting in Israeli jails, despite claims by US officials that the PA was reversing its policy, a senior Israeli official said.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/231026

Saudi Report: Shariah scholar Qaradawi called for killing Christians
Thursday, June 15, 2017 12:34 AM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the leading theologians of the Muslim world and one of the pioneers of Shariah finance, who is also considered the spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, has called for the murder of Christians.

Ahmed Adnan, a Saudi journalist, writer and political advisor based in Lebanon made the claim Qaradawi supports killing Christians in an interview with Al-Ahram al-Arabi.

“A call of Yusuf al-Qaradawi was intercepted in which he gave a fatwa to blow up churches and kill Christians,” he said in the interview. “This information is not from me but from a special source. This fatwa inspired training sessions in Libyan Islamist militia camps. These training sessions resulting in terror attacks that blew up churches and the incident of al-Minya.”

https://clarionproject.org/qaradawi-death-christians/

Possible Shariah Finance Crisis Brewing: Dana Gas Shariah Bonds Declared “Unlawful”
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 6:03 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Here we see illustrated a real pitfall of Shariah compliant finance.

Dana Gas of Abu Dhabi previously issues $700 million worth of Shariah bonds, also known as sukuk. Now, the firm is informing creditors that its sukuk are actually NOT shariah compliant and is proposing that they be traded for a new shariah-compliant issue.

Not surprisingly, there is a lack of trust between the various parties at this point.

Who knows what is at work here?

If the issue is indeed not shariah compliant, why wasn’t this known before? Who knew what and when did they know it?

It would also seem that having an issue declared not shariah compliant is a great way for a borrower to escape or delay responsibility for its obligations.

None of these specific hazards exist in a conventional transaction.

Note also that New York firms such as Houlihan Lokey and Moelis are up to their eyeballs in this mess.

You lay down with dogs, you get fleas.

http://www.reuters.com/article/dana-gas-sukuk-idUSL8N1JA1QZ

Indonesian Shariah Bond Offering Falls Far Short of Target
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 5:51 PM

by Christopher W. Holton

Indonesia’s finance ministry sold 3.03 trillion rupiah ($227.97 million) of Islamic bonds at an auction, below the indicative target of 5 trillion rupiah, its financing and risk management office reports.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/international-business/indonesia-sells-3-03-trillion-rupiah-of-islamic-bonds-below-target/articleshow/59124027.cms

Africa’s growing Shariah finance footprint
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 5:41 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Shariah compliant finance continues to be an instrument of Islamic imperialism. No where is this more true than in Africa where, in nations like Kenya, which has a very small Muslim population, Shariah compliant financial institutions are descending upon the marketplace.

http://www.islamicfinance.com/2017/06/africas-growing-islamic-finance-footprint/

Qatar Crisis: Pot Calling Kettle Black
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 5:02 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Another article pointing out that both Qatar and Saudi Arabia are funders of Jihadist terrorism and that Saudi Wahhabism is one of the fountainheads for Jihadist terrorist organizations…

http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/serendipity/qatar-crisis-pot-calling-kettle-black/

Blogger: The Saudi-Qatar Rift: The Cat Calling the Kettle a Terrorist Financier
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 4:55 PM

by Christopher W. Holton

We had to think long and hard about linking to this article. The author maintains that the Muslim Brotherhood should not be designated a terrorist organization, which is totally wrong in our view, especially given the fact that HAMAS is in fact the Muslim Brotherhood in Israel and Palestinian areas.

That major difference aside, the article is spot on in pointing out that, while Qatar may in fact finance terrorism, that accusation, coming from Saudi Arabia is more than a little hypocritical. Saudi Arabia–or at the very least wealthy Saudi subjects–is a major source of financing for Sunni Jihadist terrorism and has been for many years…

https://chargedaffairs.org/the-saudi-qatar-rift-the-cat-calling-the-kettle-a-terrorist-financier/

Qatar isolation threatens HAMAS funding
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 4:43 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The isolation of Qatar by other Gulf nations poses a threat to HAMAS due to the fact that Qatar has provided funding for years to the Palestinian jihadist terror organization…

http://www.kpax.com/story/35649335/what-the-qatar-crisis-means-for-hamas

A Kind of Civil War? UAE Blacklist Targets Qatari Banks
Monday, June 12, 2017 11:47 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Qatar is certainly isolated due to its support for the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood, in addition to its cozy ties with the Ayatollahs in Iran.

The economic warfare has begun, with the United Arab Emirates firing the opening salvoes…

A move by four Arab states to blacklist dozens of figures with alleged links to Qatar could squeeze liquidity at Qatari banks which get a significant amount of their funding from the region.

United Arab Emirates central bank has ordered local banks to stop dealing with the 59 individuals and 12 entities with alleged links to Qatar and to freeze their assets.

It has also told them to apply enhanced due diligence for any accounts they hold with six Qatari banks. The six banks are QNB, Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank, Barwa Bank, Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank.

It is worth noting that prominent Sunni Shariah scholar and Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Yusuf al-Qaradawi chairs the Shariah advisory boards of Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank.

http://gulfbusiness.com/uae-blacklist-likely-squeeze-liquidity-qatari-banks/

Dubai exports Shariah Banking to Kenya
Monday, June 12, 2017 11:38 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Shariah-compliant Finance is a key instrument of Islamic imperialism, as illustrated by the story linked below.

Kenya has been targeted for a few years now by the financial jihadists. Only less than 12% of Kenyans are Muslim, yet Kenya has attracted the attention of Shariah financial institutions for several years, as we have covered on SFW:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/category/kenya/

Now Dubai Islamic Bank is opening operations in Kenya with three branches…

http://kenyanwallstreet.com/dubai-islamic-bank-begins-operations-kenya-three-branches

Report: Former Official Claims Obama Admin ‘Systematically Disbanded’ Units Investigating Iran’s Terrorism Financing Networks
Sunday, June 11, 2017 1:51 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The Obama administration “systematically disbanded” law enforcement investigative units across the federal government focused on disrupting Iranian, Syrian, and Venezuelan terrorism financing networks out of concern the work could cause friction with Iranian officials and scuttle the nuclear deal with Iran, according to a former U.S. official who spent decades dismantling terrorist financial networks.

David Asher, who previously served as an adviser to Gen. John Allen at the Defense and State Departments, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday that top officials across several key law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the Obama administration “systematically disbanded” law enforcement activities targeting the terrorism financing operations of Iran, Hezbollah, and Venezuela in the lead-up to and during the nuclear negotiations with Tehran.

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/obama-admin-systematically-disbanded-units-investigating-irans-terrorism-networks/

Financial Pressure Builds on Qatar
Sunday, June 11, 2017 1:44 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Qatar has come under intense pressure from its Sunni Gulf neighbors for its close ties to Iran, support for the Muslim Brotherhood and funding by wealthy Qataris of the Islamic State.

Now that pressure is extending outside of the Persian Gulf region…

France’s justice minister Francois Bayrou has said France should end tax breaks to Qatari investors on property deals, just days after several Arab countries severed ties with the Gulf Arab state. – See more at: #sthash.a5IG2rnn.dpuf" target="_blank">http://www.international-adviser.com/news/1036324/french-justice-minister-calls-qatari-tax-breaks#sthash.a5IG2rnn.dpuf

http://www.international-adviser.com/news/1036324/french-justice-minister-calls-qatari-tax-breaks

UK Government in Apparent Cover-up of Saudi Terror Financing
Monday, June 5, 2017 8:19 PM

by Christopher Holton

First it was the suppression of the 28 pages of the 9/11 report. Now, 16 years after 9/11, the West still has not learned its lesson.

The British government reportedly is suppressing a report which shows that Jihad in the U.K. is largely funded by Saudi Arabia. Once again, the treacherous Saudis get a free pass.

The Guardian has the story. Here is an excerpt and link to their report:

‘Sensitive’ UK terror funding inquiry may never be published

Investigation into foreign funding and support of jihadi groups operating in UK understood to focus on Saudi Arabia

An investigation into the foreign funding and support of jihadi groups that was authorised by David Cameron may never be published, the Home Office has admitted.

The inquiry into revenue streams for extremist groups operating in the UK was commissioned by the former prime minister and is thought to focus on Saudi Arabia, which has repeatedly been highlighted by European leaders as a funding source for Islamist jihadis.

////

…18 months later, the Home Office confirmed the report had not yet been completed and said it would not necessarily be published, calling the contents “very sensitive”.

“It is no secret that Saudi Arabia in particular provides funding to hundreds of mosques in the UK, espousing a very hardline Wahhabist interpretation of Islam. It is often in these institutions that British extremism takes root.”

The contents of the report may prove politically as well as legally sensitive. Saudi Arabia, which has been a funding source for fundamentalist Islamist preachers and mosques, was visited by May earlier this year.

Last December, a leaked report from Germany’s federal intelligence service accused several Gulf groups of funding religious schools and radical Salafist preachers in mosques, calling it “a long-term strategy of influence”.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/31/sensitive-uk-terror-funding-inquiry-findings-may-never-be-published-saudi-arabia

House Foreign Affairs Committee to Hold Hearings on Hezbollah’s Financial Network
Monday, June 5, 2017 7:58 PM

posted by Christopher Holton

Attacking Hezbollah’s Financial Network: Policy Options
Hearing

06.08.2017 10:00am 2172 Rayburn Full Committee

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “Hezbollah is a top terrorist threat to the U.S. and our allies.  And as Iran’s proxy it operates internationally – massacring civilians in Syria, attacking Americans and Israelis, and laundering drugs and cash.  This hearing will look at additional tools to target Hezbollah’s resources and its ability to exploit the international financial system to its benefit.”

Witnesses
Matthew Levitt, Ph.D.
Director and Fromer-Wexler Fellow
Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy                              

David Asher, Ph.D.
Member
Board of Directors
Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance
Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Mr. Derek Maltz
Executive Director
Governmental Relations
Pen-Link, Ltd.  

Mara Karlin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Practice and Associate Director of Strategic Studies
School for Advanced International Studies
Johns Hopkins University

US Targets Hezbollah with More Sanctions; Lebanon Pushes Back
Monday, June 5, 2017 7:49 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

There are rumblings that Washington is preparing more wide-ranging sanctions aimed at the Jihadist terrorist organization Hezbollah.

These sanctions are well-deserved and overdue. Not only did Hezbollah kill 241 US Marines, sailors and soldiers in Beirut on 23 October 1983, they also participated heavily in the insurgency in Iraq, trained Al Qaeda operatives in explosives in Sudan and have repeatedly murdered Israelis.

Now, using U.S. lobbyists, the government of Lebanon is trying to prevent those sanctions from being imposed.

This shows the degree to which Hezbollah has become the most powerful segment in Lebanese politics.

Also note in the Reuters story linked below that Reuters disgustingly refers to Hezbollah as “the powerful Shi’ite Hezbollah political group.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-economy-sanctions-idUSKBN18T1S4

UAE Media Fingers Qataris for Funding Al Qaeda
Monday, June 5, 2017 7:25 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Al Arabiya is a major news organization out of the United Arab Emirates. It has also become a player in the isolation of Qatar engineered by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain. (Qatar deserves the isolation.)

Al Arabiya has taken the unusual step of naming wealthy Qataris who it says have funded Jihad. Some of this information was already widely known, but it is still unusual for Al Arabiya to single these men out publicly.

Note that at least one of the names on the list was an employee of the Central Bank of Qatar. It is worth noting that Yusuf al-Qaradawi, spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, is the chief shariah scholar of the Qatari central bank.

It is also notable that the Qataris were funding Al Qaeda affiliates and Jihadis in Afghanistan who were waging combat against U.S. troops…

Abdulrahman Al-Nuaimi:

Abdulrahman Al-Nuaimi is one of the most prominent financiers of terrorist groups, primarily al-Qaeda. According to the US Department of the Treasury, Al-Naimi transferred large sums of money from Qatar to al-Qaeda in Syria via al-Qaeda representative Abu Khaled al-Suri.

US intelligence revealed that al-Nuaimi also financed al-Qaeda in Iraq back in 2001 by sending $2 mln per month to the organization for a year.

Furthermore, the US Treasury proved that Al-Nuaimi financed Al-Shabaab Militant group in Somalia after he had converted a quarter of a million dollars in mid-2012.

Khalifa Muhammad Turki al-Subaiy:

Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan also had a large share of Qatari funds, through Khalifa Muhammad Turki al-Subaiy.

He is a former employee of the Central Bank of Qatar and has been accused of providing financial support to al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and al-Qaeda fighters in Syria who moved from Afghanistan.

Abdul Latif Al-Kawari and Issa Al-Baker:

Abdul Latif al-Kawari and Issa al-Baker were also officially accused of funding al-Qaeda in Pakistan.

In early 2012, al-Kawari facilitated the international travel of a courier carrying tens of thousands of dollars designated for Al Qaeda. Later that same year he, according the US Treasury Department, “worked…to coordinate the delivery of funding from Qatari financiers intended to support Al Qaeda and to deliver receipts confirming that al-Qaeda received foreign donor funding from Qatar-based extremists.”

Saad al-Kaabi:

A donation campaign by Saad al-Kaabi was also carried out in favor of the Nusra Front in Syria three years ago.

Salim Hasan Khalifa and Rashid al-Kawari:

The two Qatar partners Salim Hassan Khalifa and Rashid al-Kawari, who are listed on the international terrorism list, are accused of funding al-Qaeda with hundreds of thousands of dollars, providing logistical support and facilitating the transfer of extremist elements to Afghanistan.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2017/06/01/These-are-the-most-prominent-Qataris-accused-of-financing-terrorism.html