Shariah Finance Watch

Shariah Finance Watch

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Exposing the Risks of Shariah Finance

Turkish Banker Convicted in Iran Sanctions Money Laundering Case
Thursday, January 4, 2018 10:46 PM

posted by Christopher Holton

A U.S. jury on Wednesday found a Turkish banker guilty of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions, after a nearly four-week trial that has strained diplomatic relations between the United States and Turkey.

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at Turkey’s majority state-owned Halkbank, was convicted on five of six counts he faced, including bank fraud and conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions law, in Manhattan federal court.

“Foreign banks and bankers have a choice: you can choose willfully to help Iran and other sanctioned nations evade U.S. law, or you can choose to be part of the international banking community transacting in U.S. dollars,” Joon Kim, the acting U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement after the verdict was read. “But you can’t do both.”

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman scheduled Atilla to be sentenced on April 11.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-turkey-zarrab/u-s-jury-finds-turkish-banker-guilty-of-helping-iran-dodge-sanctions-idUSKBN1ES1D0

Erdogan going after Gulen’s Bank’s Shareholders
Thursday, January 4, 2018 10:05 PM

posted by Christopher W Holton

The Erdogan regime in Turkey is going after the Gulen organization’s shariah-compliant Bank Asya’s shareholders.

This is the latest financial aspect of the ongoing campaign that Erdogan is waging on Gulen.

Erdogan and Gulen were never best of friends but at one time their animosity de-escalated to the point of rivalry.

The Gulenists and Erdogan’s supporters cooperated in the brutal repression of protestors a few years ago.

Since then, however, Erdogan has increasingly viewed Gulen as an outright threat and he has been arresting Gulen supporters and continuing to pressure the US to extradite Fethullah Gulen from his hideout in rural Pennsylvania.

There are no good guys in this conflict.

Turkish authorities are seeking the arrest of 68 shareholders of Bank Asya in an operation targeting the network of preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of plotting a failed coup attempt in 2016.
The operation, focusing on Istanbul and encompassing nine provinces, targeted “class A” shareholders who had voting rights to determine the bank’s administrative board, police said on Wednesday.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said 49 of the suspects had been held so far.

Bank Asya was founded by followers of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, and was seized by the state in 2015 along with other Gulen-linked firms in a government crackdown.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2018/1/3/turkey-seeks-arrest-of-68-gulen-linked-bank-asya-shareholders

More on the Turkey-Iran Sanctions Evasion Scheme
Thursday, January 4, 2018 8:56 PM

SFW readers may recall our coverage of the case involving a Turkish gold trader on trial for laundering money to bypass sanctions for Iran:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2017/11/30/turkish-despot-erdogan-implicated-in-plot-to-launder-money-for-ayatollahs-in-iran/

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2017/12/06/gatestone-institute-report-turkey-laundering-billions-for-iran/

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2017/12/14/turkish-banker-accused-of-helping-iran-launder-billions-seeks-mistrial/

Now, The Atlantic has published an exhaustive investigative piece on this case written by the intrepid Jonathan Schanzer. It is MUST READING…

The Biggest Sanctions-Evasion Scheme in Recent History

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/01/iran-turkey-gold-sanctions-nuclear-zarrab-atilla/549665/

More Indications of Iranian Support for Jihadist Terrorism in Israel
Thursday, January 4, 2018 8:10 PM

posted by Christopher W Holton

Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence and security agency, has uncovered new evidence of Iranian support for Jihadist terrorism in Israel.

According to the agency, Iranian intelligence recruited 29-year-old Muhammad Maharma, a computer engineering student from Hebron, to carry out terrorist attacks and conduct espionage missions in the West Bank on behalf of Tehran.

Not surprisingly, those activities involve money for the financing of acts of terrorism:

According to the Shin Bet, Muhammad successfully recruited two Hebron residents, Nour Maharma, 22, and Diaa Srahana, 22, to form a terrorist cell. For his efforts Muhammad Maharma was paid $8,000.

He was also tasked with transferring an Israeli SIM card and both Israeli and Syrian currency to his Iranian handlers, possibly to fund an attack to be carried out within Israel’s borders.

He was indicted on charges of contact with a foreign agent, receiving funds from an enemy entity and conspiring to form an illegal organization.

Israeli officials have accused Iran of growing involvement in funding terrorist groups, such as Hamas, to carry out attacks against the Jewish state. On Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot stated that the Islamic Republic had increased its funding to Hamas and Islamic Jihad to the tune of $100 million in order to have more influence in the Gaza Strip.

It is worth mentioning that Iran’s increased funding of HAMAS and Islamic Jihad coincides with the easing of sanctions and the delivery of billions of dollars of cash as part of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran…

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Shin-Bet-Iranian-backed-terror-network-exposed-in-the-West-Bank-532703

Bandow: Saudi Arabia funding creates breeding ground for Jihad
Tuesday, December 26, 2017 8:23 PM

posted by Christopher W Holton

Doug Bandow, writing in the Orange County Register, reminds us that Saudi Arabia has created breeding grounds for Jihadists around the world.

Excerpts and link below…

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have attacked their neighbor, Qatar, for supposedly supporting terrorism. They pretend to be firefighters, but spent years as arsonists.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been consolidating power while posing as a reformer. The only positive so far of his de facto reign is his recent decision to liberalize Saudi social life. Women now can breathe and even drive.

However, he has not relaxed political or religious controls. Most important, while limiting the influence of fundamentalist clerics at home, he has not yet dropped the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s longstanding support for radical Islamism abroad.

The KSA spends as much as $4 billion annually promoting its uniquely intolerant brand of Salafist Islamic thought, aimed at the “purification” of the faith known as Wahhabism. By enforcing this rigidly intolerant theology the KSA has acted like a housebroken version of the Islamic State.

Indeed, the two powers used the same school textbooks. Reported the New York Times, ISIS “circulates images of Wahhabi religious textbooks from Saudi Arabia in the schools it controls. Videos from the group’s territory have shown Wahhabi texts plastered on the sides of an official missionary van.”

In recent years the Saudi royals have spent $3 to $4 billion a years on educational fellowships and scholarships, Islamic clergy and scholars, academics and journalists, construction projects, operating funds, and school materials.

Textbooks and other materials tend to show anyone who does not profess Wahhabist precepts in, shall we say, a bad light. Over the years a number of studies have found highly negative results.

“A number of violent extremists around the world have reported that their radicalization first began when they were exposed to Salafist literature or websites.”

Riyadh wants to play America’s friend. However, as long as the KSA creates fertile ground for Islamic extremism, the U.S. is likely to find terrorists being created faster than they are being killed.

https://www.ocregister.com/2017/12/24/saudi-arabia-promotes-radical-wahhabism-creates-breeding-ground-for-terrorists/

Australia: Son of Shariah Financial Adviser Denied Bail in Shooting Case
Monday, December 25, 2017 11:32 PM

posted by Christopher W Holton

Down in Australia, Zakaria Zaatiti is being tried for shooting two teenagers back in August.

Details of the shooting aren’t complete in the article linked below but we do know that Zaatiti was denied bail, at least partially because he had conducted internet searches for “rocket propelled grenade,” “Islamic State,” “jihadology.com,” and “Christmas day attacks” which suggests Jihadi inclinations at the very least.

Not surprisingly, Zaatiti and his lawyer are pulling the victim card claiming that the judge is biased against shariah.

Frankly, we think there are mountains of evidence to justify bias against shariah, but what makes this case of interest here on SFW is the fact that Zaatiti’s father lists his occupation as a “financial adviser according to sharia law.”

That may have contributed to the judge’s reluctance to grant bail, a position we would support wholeheartedly…

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/melbourne-magistrate-denies-claims-he-has-sharia-law-bias

27 Year Old Virginia Man Sentenced to 20 years for trying to fund Islamic State
Thursday, December 21, 2017 8:18 PM

Here we have, unfortunately, yet another example of an enemy within. These stories of homegrown Jihadis here in the U.S. are becoming more and more frequent.

This particular case shows why we need a terrorist registry in every state in the United States similar to the sex offender registry that currently operates from coast to coast.

Lionel Williams was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison but will likely only serve a fraction of that time, like Randall Todd (Ismail) Royer, a communications and civil rights specialist for CAIR who was sentenced to 20 years in prison on back in 2004 but who now works for the Center for Islam and Religious Freedom in Washington DC:

https://apnews.com/0d08df6f540f4dc291314396534fcf31/Should-springing-of-US-terrorism-convicts-alarm-Americans?&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top-stories

Williams pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, expressed a desire to attack police officers and gave money to who he thought was a Jihadi fundraiser.

Once in prison, Williams is just as likely to receive influences from nefarious elements while he is serving his sentence as he is to be rehabilitated while serving time.

If Williams gets out of prison 8 years from now and moves in to your community, don’t you think your local sheriff has a need to know?

https://nypost.com/2017/12/20/man-gets-20-years-for-trying-to-fund-islamic-state/

The Shariah Finance Trojan Horse Shows Up on CNBC.com
Thursday, December 21, 2017 4:08 PM

by Christopher W Holton

One of the chief concerns from Shariah-compliant finance is that it can be, and has been, used to put people at ease about the true nature of shariah and the threat that is poses.

Shariah-compliant finance is also a weapon that Islamists can use to force shariah upon non-Muslims.

Both of these aspects of shariah finance are displayed in an article posted this week on CNBC.com

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/19/sukuk-islamic-finance-grows-in-non-muslim-countries.html

“Islamic finance is becoming so attractive that even non-Muslims want in”

That is a headline that reads more like an advertorial than a news story.

Note the use of the term “Islamic” finance, which conceals that what we’re really talking about here is shariah–and specifically compliance with shariah.

Islamic finance complies with Sharia, or Islamic law, which prohibits earning interest and bars funding activities involving alcohol, pork, pornography or gambling

Again, a misleading quote filled with half-truths.

Islamic finance doesn’t just comply with shariah, Islamic finance IS shariah.

And shariah doesn’t just deal with “interest, alcohol, pork, pornography or gambling.” Shariah goes way beyond that. It is a legal-political-social-military-financial code that covers every aspect of its adherents’ lives. By only emphasizing the prohibitions against alcohol, pornography and gambling, financial jihadists often try to push Shariah finance as a form of ethical investing.

But they don’t like to talk about things like zakat, at least not when they’re being interviewed by gullible, friendly Western “journalists:”

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2017/12/18/why-its-a-bad-idea-for-western-financial-firms-to-get-involved-in-zakat/

The financial jihadists who are pushing shariah on the West also do not like to talk about the despicable treatment of women under shariah. And they especially avoid talking about the fact that shariah mandates that its adherents spread and impose shariah worldwide–by violent jihad if necessary.

In fact, the whole reason that shariah-compliant finance was invented was to promote shariah. And that is its main mission today.

Why don’t journalists ask questions or research this stuff?

The non-speculative nature of Islamic finance can help to ensure financial stability — a reason why it’s gaining traction globally, experts told CNBC

This statement is a real whopper and demonstrates that CNBC’s reporters are in fact NOT financially sophisticated or particularly curious.

For years the financial jihadists have tried to sell the bill of goods that shariah-compliant finance is safe and secure as compared to other investment categories.

Balderdash.

Tell that to the creditors who held the shariah-compliant bonds (sukuk) of Dana Gas, which defaulted–or the several other shariah bonds that failed during the financial crisis of 2007-2009.

Shariah-compliant finance is based on Islamic law, but it cannot repeal the laws of economics and shariah investments and instruments are subject to the effects of the economic cycle just like everything else.

Too bad CNBC doesn’t seem to understand the economic cycle very well–or shariah for that matter.

Why It’s a Bad Idea for Western Financial Firms to Get Involved in Zakat
Monday, December 18, 2017 1:23 PM

by Christopher W Holton

The issue of zakat is one that is central to the concerns about Shariah-compliant finance, but concerns about zakat should extend far beyond Shariah finance alone. Zakat is a real threat because it is doctrinal in Islam and no figure, organization or body in Islam has the authority to change it. But why is it a threat? Because it is a main funding source for jihad.

We have detailed this extensively on SFW for years, but periodically we feel it necessary to reinforce and update our educational outreach on zakat. What prompted this latest report was an article we came across on a British law firm’s web site of a roundtable discussion about zakat as it related to personal injury settlements from legal action in the UK.

http://www.anthonygold.co.uk/latest/blog/anthony-gold-hosts-roundtable-consultation-islamic-principle-zakat-pi-settlements-28th-november-2017/

The actual content of the Anthony Gold posting isn’t particularly interesting or revealing except that it shows that Western firms–legal and financial–are getting involved in zakat.

It leaves us wondering, do Western firms involved, even tangentially, in zakat really know about all the aspects of zakat? Most importantly, do they realize where, by Islamic law (Shariah), zakat payments are meant to end up? Are they aware of the potential legal exposure here? Do they even care that they might be funding violent jihad?

We hope that this detailed report on this all-important aspect of terrorism financing might prompt at least some of the financial and legal professionals in the West to reconsider their involvement in zakat at the very least, if not Shariah finance altogether.

A Brief Explanation of Zakat

“Zakat,” is often described as a form of tithing in Islam, although, unlike tithing, zakat is mandatory and has specific laws associated with it. Zakat is closer to a tax than it is to a tithe. One thing zakat is NOT is charity. It is worth mentioning that zakat payments are forbidden from going to non-Muslims, except in a few, specific instances. That is one reason why donations from wealthy Islamic nations to natural disasters around the world are often paltry.

Individuals, as well as businesses, are required to pay zakat and there are extensive sections in shariah texts delineating the laws associated with zakat.

Going into all the Shariah aspects of zakat is beyond the scope of this article.

Suffice it to say that all Muslims who are able to do so must donate 2.5% of their wealth (5% for Shia) toward zakat each year. Zakat is very important in Islam and is considered one of the five pillars of Islam.

And modern administration of zakat often involves Islamic charities and governments.

Zakat is a concern because, as the bipartisan 9-11 Commission Report detailed, it has in fact been used to fund Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Note that the following passages from the 9/11 Commission report reflect the misconception that zakat is a “strong call for charitable giving,” but the passages do detail that zakat has been used to fund jihad, including Al Qaeda.

From page 170 of the 9/11 Commission Report:

“Al Qaeda and its friends took advantage of Islam’s strong calls for charitable giving, zakat. These financial facilitators also appeared to rely heavily on certain imams at mosques who were willing to divert zakat donations to al Qaeda’s cause.

Al Qaeda also collected money from employees of corrupt charities. It took two approaches to using charities for fundraising.One was to rely on al Qaeda sympathizers in specific foreign branch offices of large, international charities–particularly those with lax external oversight and ineffective internal controls, such as the Saudi-based al Haramain Islamic Foundation. Smaller charities in various parts of the globe were funded by these large Gulf charities and had employees who would siphon the money to al Qaeda.

In addition, entire charities, such as the al Wafa organization may have wittingly participated in funneling money to al Qaeda. In those cases al Qaeda operatives controlled the entire organization, including access to bank accounts. Charities were a source of money and also provided significant cover, which enabled operatives to travel undetected under the guise of working for a humanitarian organization.”

From page 372 of the 9/11 Commission Report:

“Charitable giving, or zakat, is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is broader and more pervasive than Western ideas of charity–functioning also as a form of income tax, educational assistance, foreign aid, and a source of political influence. The Western notion of the separation of civic and religious duty does not exist in Islamic cultures. Funding charitable works is an integral function of the governments in the Islamic world. It is so ingrained in Islamic culture that in Saudi Arabia, for example, a department within the Saudi Ministry of Finance and National Economy collects zakat directly, much as the U.S. Internal Revenue Service collects payroll withholding tax. Closely tied to zakat is the dedication of the government to propagating the Islamic faith, particularly the Wahhabi sect that flourishes in Saudi Arabia.

Traditionally, throughout the Muslim world, there is no formal oversight mechanism for donations. As Saudi wealth increased, the amounts contributed by individuals and the state grew dramatically. Substantial sums went to finance Islamic charities of every kind. While Saudi domestic charities are regulated by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, charities and international relief agencies, such as the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). are currently regulated by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. This ministry uses zakat and government funds to spread Wahhabi beliefs throughout the world, including in mosques and schools. Often these schools provide the only education available; even in affluent countries, Saudi-funded Wahhabi schools are often the only Islamic schools. Some Wahhabi-funded organizations have been exploited by extremists to further their goal of violent jihad against non-Muslims.”

So, we have documentation that zakat payments have funded terrorism, but what the 9/11 Commission got wrong was their belief that zakat going to Al Qaeda was a violation of zakat rules. The reality is that zakat funds Jihadist groups like Al Qaeda because Shariah mandates it. Islamic charities are so often caught funding jihadist groups because Shariah mandates it.

This was not a case of “corrupt” charities violating zakat laws; it was a case of Islamic charities following Shariah to the letter of the law.

Don’t take our word for it. Just read recognized, widely-circulated Shariah texts…

One of the most authoritative sources for information on zakat is a book called “The Reliance of the Traveler, A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.” That book has a whole section devoted to the rules of zakat, including “THE EIGHT CATEGORIES OF RECIPIENTS.”  On page 272, section h8.17, one category is labeled:

“THOSE FIGHTING FOR ALLAH

The seventh category is those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster (O: but who are volunteers for jihad without remuneration). They are given enough to suffice them for the operation, even if affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing, and expenses (O: for the duration of the journey, round trip, and the time they spend there, even if prolonged. Though nothing has been mentioned here of the expense involved in supporting such people’s families during this period, it seems clear that they should also be given it).”

Reliance of the Traveller

Reliance of the Traveler is one of the most widely circulated and used manuals of Islamic sacred law (shariah). It has been offered for sale each year at the convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest Muslim Brotherhood organization in the USA, based out of Indiana. It has been endorsed as good law by the following Islamic authorities:

• The Imam of the Mosque of Darwish Pasha in Damascus, Syria
• The Mufti of the Jordanian Armed Forces
• The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) of Herndon, Virginia
• Al Azhar Islamic Research Academy of Cairo (the world’s most prestigious Sunni university)

This passage, from this widely-used Shariah text seems to have been written expressly about zakat payments to charities which have funded Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah and the Taliban. Note from the passage that such payments are meant specifically for irregular forces who are not part of any army roster, which describes terrorist/guerilla/insurgent groups exactly. Note also that they are meant for “Islamic” military operations and not secular groups (i.e. HAMAS and not the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command). Note that such payments are made even if the recipient is affluent…like Osama Bin Laden. And, finally, the families of fighters are to be taken care of, such as payments by Saddam Hussein and Saudi princes to families of Islamikaze bombers in Gaza and the West Bank.

It is very important to show, however, that Reliance of the Traveler is far from the only authoritative manual of Islamic sacred law that confirms the use of zakat to fund Jihad. In fact, some critics discount (inappropriately and incorrectly) the importance of Reliance because it traces its origins back several hundred years.

Therefore, when we find other authoritative texts that confirm zakat funding Jihad, we are absolutely compelled to reveal them in as great detail as practical. Now is just such an opportunity.

A few years ago we were introduced to a manual of Shariah that was also offered for sale at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). As we mentioned above, ISNA is the largest Muslim Brotherhood organization in the United States. They were exposed as a Muslim Brotherhood organization and were named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism financing prosecution in US history. More recently, ISNA’s Canadian wing lost its charity status for sending $280,000 to a Jihadist terrorist group in Pakistan. During his term in office, President Obama supplied a videotape message to the ISNA convention praising the organization, despite–we hope–its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Holy Land Foundation.

The Shariah manual that was offered for sale at the ISNA convention is a two-volume set known as “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence.” It was written by Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan in 2005.

Sheikh Fawzan is considered one of the most esteemed Shariah scholars in the entire Islamic world, having received three degrees in Shariah from the University of Imam Muhammad in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, the Fiqh Committee in Mecca and the Committee for Supervision of the Callers in Hajj. He also heads the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fatwas. He is the Imam at the Prince Mut’ib Ibn Abdul-Aziz Mosque, hosts a national radio program in Saudi Arabia and has published 60 books.

A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence is published by Al-Maiman Publishing House in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence

Several chapters of Volume 1 are devoted to zakat. Chapter 8 is devoted in its entirety to “Entitled Recipients of Zakat.”

This chapter provides a complete explanation of the 8 categories of recipients of zakat who are entitled to receive it. Of particular interest to those of us in the West is the seventh category. From pages 364-365 of A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence, Volume 1:

“The seventh category is that spent in the Cause of Allah such as that given to warriors who volunteer in fighting for the Cause of Allah and they do not take salaries from the Public Treasury of Muslims. Generally, the phrase “the Cause of Allah” refers to the war against the enemies of Muslims, as Allah, Exalted be He.”

This passage is particularly important because it defines “the Cause of Allah.” Other sources, such as Understanding Islamic Law (Shari’a) by Professor Raj Bhala, have used this vague phrase and implied that it had nothing to do with war or fighting. Clearly, Sheikh Al-Fawzan clarifies this point. To conceal or deny that zakat funds warfare is a form of taqiyya (sacred deception).

Next we have Qaddumi’s Elementary Hanbali Primer, an overview of the Hanbali school of Islamic law designed for use by the novice. Translated by a law student named Joe Bradford at the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia, this book has been in publication in Arabic since the 1300s.

Qaddumi’s Elementary Hanbali Primer

On page 123 of Qaddumi’s Elementary Hanbali Primer are listed the eight categories of zakat recipients. Category 7 is…”Non-conscripted soldiers.”

The next Islamic scholarly work to reveal the use of zakat to fund jihad is a book called Islamic Jurisprudence According to the Four Sunni Schools.

Islamic Jurisprudence According to the Four Sunni Schools

Originally written by Abd al-Rahman al-Jaziri, who was a professor at Al Azhar and served as chief inspector for Egypt’s Ministry of Religious Endowment’s Department of Mosques, this work was translated into English in 2009.

Islamic Jurisprudence According to the Four Sunni Schools has a whole section dedicated to “How zakat is to be spent” from pages 836-849.

The book provides a breakdown for each of the four Sunni schools of Shariah:

• Hanafi
• Maliki
• Hanbali
• Shafi’i

The Hanafis define the 7th category as “the poor who are cut off from financial income due to their going out on expeditions on behalf of God’s cause.”

The Maliki school is much more explicit (from page 839):

As for someone struggling in the way of God, he is to be given zakat if he is free, a Muslim, and not a Hashemite. If he meets these three conditions, however, he qualifies for zakat even if he is wealthy. Also included in this category is the spy who works on behalf of the Muslims in wartime, even if he is not a Muslim. If the spy is a Muslim, he must be free and non-Hashemite in order to qualify for zakat, whereas if he is a non-Muslim, the only condition is that he be free. It is also permissible to use zakat money to purchase a weapon…for the sake of jihad.

The Hanbalis are similarly descriptive (page 841):

Those struggling “in God’s cause” are identified as those who have gone on expeditions with the aim of jihad if there is no government fund from which to meet their expenses. Such people are to be given whatever they need by way of weapons,…food or drink, as well as whatever they need to return home.”

Finally, we have the Shaffis (page 843):

Those who are struggling in God’s cause are identified as those who have volunteered to go out on a jihad-related expedition and who receive no share of the allotments set aside for fighters by the government office. Even if they are wealthy, such fighters are to be provided with living quarters and with whatever they need in order to make the journey to and from the battlefield. They are also to be given what they need to cover the expenses of those they support, clothing and the value of a weapon; in addition, they are to be provided with something on which to carry their personal articles and their provisions for the journey if they are not accustomed to carrying such things themselves.”

Once again, each of these detailed descriptions in Shariah seem to describe providing money for irregular combatants–what we in the West call terrorists.

Our last authoritative Islamic source is al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah (The Laws of Governance) by Abu’l-Hasan al-Mawardi.

This book is a comprehensive account of the workings of Islamic governance and a highly influential theoretical outline of the nature of that governance. It was translated into English by Dr. Asadullah Yate of Cambridge.

The Laws of Governance

The Laws of Governance includes a section on the distribution of zakat funds on pages 180-182. Here is the description of the seventh category of zakat recipients:

Seventh, this portion is for those fighting in the way of Allah, namely the members of raiding parties; an amount from their portion is paid which is enough to cover their needs for conducting their jihad; if they go to a ribat {an Arabic term for a small fortification to house military volunteers} on the frontier, the cost of travel there is given them, and if possible an amount for the expenses which will be incurred during their stay; if they return after having completed the jihad, they are given for the expenses incurred in their travel there and their return.

It is important to point out that none of these books have ever been considered “radical” or “extreme.” They are mainstream Islamic law texts widely used throughout the Sunni Islamic world. In fact, each one is available for sale on Amazon.com. And what each of these authoritative, widely circulated books shows is that Shariah mandates that zakat must fund Jihad.

How Hezbollah Finances its Jihad…and How the Obamanistas Looked the Other Way
Sunday, December 17, 2017 11:11 PM

posted by Christopher W Holton

Politico has a blockbuster and exhaustive report posted that details Hezbollah’s criminal enterprises that finance its Jihad…and how Barack Obama’s desperation to reach a nuclear deal with Iran ended up blocking the task force that was going after them…

https://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/obama-hezbollah-drug-trafficking-investigation/

Shariah Banking Tiny Portion of Market in Egypt
Saturday, December 16, 2017 5:38 PM

posted by Christopher W Holton

No example of how Shariah Finance is failing can be more significant than its failure to catch on in the Arab world’s most populous nation, Egypt.

Not only is Egypt the most populous Arab nation, but it is also home to Al Azhar, Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university, dedicated to studying the Quran and Islamic law (Shariah).

Despite all this, the Egyptian Association for Islamic Funding reports that Shariah banking makes up merely 6% of total transactions of banks working in Egypt today.

https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/12/16/islamic-banking-egypt-worth-egp-222bn/

Financial Jihadists Look to Push Shariah Compliant Finance on ASEAN Nations
Friday, December 15, 2017 8:43 PM

posted by Christopher W Holton

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries “should leverage on the rising global demand for Shariah-compliant financial products and services by strengthening their institutional frameworks and devise a bloc-wide integration framework that would allow Asean to capitalise on the industry.”

http://borneobulletin.com.bn/bolster-bloc-wide-integration-to-boost-islamic-finance-asean-members-urged/

H.R. McMaster finally gets a clue and fingers Qatar and Turkey for Supporting Terrorism
Friday, December 15, 2017 7:14 PM

posted by Christopher W Holton

Though he continued to use contrived, tortured language in his description of the threat, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster finally woke up this week and realized that the threat from Jihad (a word he did NOT use) extends way beyond–geographically and literally–ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Speaking at a conference in Washington, D.C., McMaster fingered two countries that he said were playing a key role in advancing “radical Islamist ideology” through the Muslim community’s “charities, madrassas and other social organizations.”

Not Pakistan. Not Libya. Not Iran. The two countries named by McMaster have been regarded for most of the past century as stalwart allies of the West. One is a member of the NATO alliance and a candidate country for EU membership. The other hosts the most vital American military base in the Middle East, home to the headquarters of CENTCOM and the location of more than 9,000 U.S. troops.

These two countries are Turkey and Qatar. And the promotion of radical Islam, McMaster said, is “now done more by Qatar, and by Turkey.”

Read more…

http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2017/12/15/dont-forget-qatar-and-turkey#.WjQcHCPMw6g=

Saudi Arabia Criticized for Funding Salafist Islam in Southeast Asia
Friday, December 15, 2017 6:58 PM

posted by Christopher W Holton

It has been a well-established fact that Saudi Arabia has spent tens of billions of dollars over the past 30-40 years or so proselytizing its brand of Sunni Islam, known as Wahhabism, but properly categorized as Salafism.

It is also a well-established fact that Salafi Islam has given rise to Jihadist organizations like the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and others.

Now, Saudi Arabia is facing criticism for its activities which are being indirectly blamed for the rise the Islamic State in the Philippines and Jihadists elsewhere in Southeast Asia…

Ozy.com reported that the danger came from the spread of rigid and sectarian forms of Islam, including Salafism, which, it said, was being encouraged by the Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia.

It said the emergence of an Islamic State affiliate in the Philippines pointed to the growing impact of this strain of Islam, at the cost of local versions across Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and even countries such as Cambodia.

Minorities and even Shia Muslims are increasingly finding themselves targeted. The more rigid and sectarian forms of Islam, historically out of place in Asia, are being promoted with scholarships and charity.

The report quoted Krithika Varagur, a Jakarta-based writer who studies Salafism in Southeast Asia, as saying that Saudi Arabia was more directly funding charities and institutions meant to proselytise in Indonesia.

This includes building mosques, funding preachers, performing missionary activity and offering scholarships.

She said this had resulted in increased religious intolerance of minorities, more shariah-inspired laws and the erosion of local Muslim traditions.

“Saudi investments have permanently altered the face of Indonesian Islam by making it more conservative, fundamentalist and intolerant,” Varagur was quoted as saying by Ozy.com.

In Malaysia, Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa of the think tank Islamic Renaissance Front said, the problem was imported by students returning from Saudi Arabia. Returning students, including hundreds of civil servants, had brought back a “sectarian attitude” that would “break society apart”, he said.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/12/15/inter-religious-harmony-in-sea-under-threat-from-rigid-islam-says-report/

Long Island Woman Accused of Funding Islamic State
Friday, December 15, 2017 6:34 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

A Long Island, New York woman named Zoobia Shahnaz has been charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering and is being held without bail after evidence indicated that she was sending money to the Islamic State jihadist organization.

Shahnaz was born in Pakistan and worked as a lab technician at a hospital in New York City.

Prosecutors say she took out fraudulent loans of $85,000 in order to buy the bitcoin online to transfer funds destined for the Islamic State.

Prosecutors say that Shahnaz obtained a Pakistani passport in July and booked a flight to Pakistan with a layover in Istanbul, intending to travel to Syria.

She was arrested at John F Kennedy airport in New York carrying $9,500 in cash, just under the limit of $10,000 that a person can legally take out of the country without declaring the funds.

Searches of her electronic devices showed numerous searches for Islamic State-related material.

Ms Shahnaz faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the money laundering charges and up to 30 years for the bank fraud charge.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42362478

Poole: Intelligence Leaks Reveal Erdogan Regime Funding Criminal Turkish Gangs in Germany
Thursday, December 14, 2017 8:19 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The intrepid Patrick Poole as a major story breaking over on PJ Media indicating a great deal of direct Turkish regime involvement in funding “criminal gangs” in Germany to attack dictator Erdogan’s opponents there…

German intelligence wiretaps revealed AKP Party officials transferring money to leaders of the “Osmanen Germania” (Ottoman Germany) biker gang to purchase weapons and directing attacks on critics of Erdogan’s increasingly tyrannical regime in Turkey among Germany’s sizable Turkish population.

https://pjmedia.com/homeland-security/intelligence-leaks-reveal-erdogan-regime-arming-criminal-turkish-gangs-germany/

South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry seeks ties with Two of the World’s Worst
Thursday, December 14, 2017 8:07 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The South African Department of Trade and Industry will lead an Outward Selling Mission (OSM) to the Qatar and Islamic Republic of Iran from 2-9 March 2018.

The objective is to facilitate access for South African value-added products and services into Qatar and Iran.

Iran of course needs no introduction. Iran has been described by the US State Department as the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism for decades. Iran has supported HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, to name a few. Iran also has an illicit ballistic missile program and a nuclear program in defiance of multiple UN resolutions.

Qatar is a bad actor as well, as we have documented here on SFW in the past…

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2013/01/03/al-gore-sells-out-to-qatar-state-owned-al-jazeera-buys-current-tv/

Qatar, or its citizens, have been implicated in financing ISIS, Al Qaeda, HAMAS and the Muslim Brotherhood, to name a few…

http://www.ftwonline.co.za/customs/article/129408/Outward-Selling-Mission-to-Iran

FDD: Evidence in Iranian Budget of Huge British Ransom Payment
Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:42 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

There are indications that the British government may have been involved in a ransom payment to the Iranian government for the release of a British-Iranian dual citizen being held in by Iran.

Before we get too indignant about this alleged revelation, we should remember that it wasn’t terribly long ago that the Obama regime was sending pallets of Euros on board C-17 transport aircraft to Iran…

Anything that enriches the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism is a bad idea in our view and the West seems to be in a race to see who can help the Ayatollahs sponsor terrorism more…

From the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies…

This past weekend, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson departed Tehran without securing the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the Iranian-British dual citizen being held hostage by Tehran. However, a single line in Iran’s newly released budget proposal for the coming fiscal year suggests that London and Tehran may be close to a ransom arrangement.

The ransom consists of £400 million that the Shah of Iran paid for British weapons before his ouster in 1979. As a result of the Islamic revolution that year, the UK neither delivered the weapons nor returned the shah’s payment. As a result of sanctions on Iran, British courts have ruled that the funds may not be released. The British government denies that there is any connection between negotiations about the money and negotiations concerning the release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe. An Iranian spokesman claimed that an agreement to return the £400 million is imminent, but has nothing to do with the status of Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is employed by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news company by that name.

Tehran has a long history of hostage operations designed to secure cash, weapons, and other concessions from the West. Just months after the conclusion of the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, Reuters reported that Iran had increased the rate at which it was arresting dual nationals. It currently holds 30 dual nationals, including 19 Europeans and six U.S. citizens or green card holders.

Read more at:

http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/saeed-ghasseminejad-iranian-budget-hints-at-british-ransom-payment/

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: Bankrupting Hezbollah Will Help Contain Iran
Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:04 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Up until the September 11, 2001, attacks against the United States, Hezbollah, Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Shiite Party of God, was responsible for the deaths of more Americans than any other terrorist group in the world. Hezbollah introduced suicide bombings into the regional vernacular. The group, supported and fueled by the Iranian revolution, blew up two U.S. embassies in Beirut, and destroyed the barracks of the U.S. Marine peacekeepers in the Lebanese capital.

Meir Dagan, Israel’s legendary special operations mastermind, created a financial warfare task force codenamed Harpoon when he led the prime minister’s counterterrorism bureau in 1996. Harpoon worked to undermine the vast fortunes of Yasir Arafat and the other Palestinian terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. When, in 2002, Dagan became the head of Israel’s Mossad, the country’s foreign intelligence service, Harpoon became an operational espionage unit. Harpoon took on financiers and banks — anyone and everyone that touched money destined for the suicide bombers; the task force’s motto was “follow the money, target the money, and kill the money.” In 2006, during the Second Lebanon War, Dagan saw to it that the Israeli Air Force obliterated Beirut banks where Hezbollah kept its cash reserves. Bankers’ homes were targeted too. When the Dollars, Dinars, and Euros burned, Hezbollah was forced to beg for a cease-fire.

Harpoon did more than just incinerate Hezbollah’s financial institutions. It uncovered the terrorist group’s leading role in a highly lucrative global cocaine smuggling operations involving Venezuela’s strongman and Syria; the espionage effort, ultimately working closely with U.S. law enforcement to forcefully crippling the network and bringing indictments of the ringleaders who were situated on the four corners of the globe; the bank used by Hezbollah to launder its multi-billion dollar drug ring, was eventually taken down by Israeli-assisted lawsuits and the long arm of the U.S. Departments of Justice and the Treasury. Harpoon used hackers and malware to subvert the financial connection between Iran’s intelligence services and their proxy gunmen for hire in Lebanon. During this period, “mysteriously,” a Ponzi scheme defrauded Hezbollah’s leadership of close to a billion dollars.

Read more at…

https://www.newsmax.com/nitsanadarshanleitner/hezbollah-iran-saudi-arabia-israel/2017/12/12/id/831294/

US House of Representatives Votes to Have US Treasury Department Publish Iranian Leaders’ Assets Over the Objections of Maxine Waters and Other Democrats
Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:50 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The US Treasury Department must publish a report listing the financial assets of Iran’s leaders, under a bill that passed the US House of Representatives this week.

The bill, which passed by a vote of 289-135, must still pass the US Senate before President Trump can decide whether or not to sign it into law.

“Iran’s top regime leaders — the Supreme Leader and the country’s top political and military brass — have amassed huge wealth through their tyrannical rule and corrupt and covert structure,” Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, said upon introducing the legislation. “Reports have indicated these funds are being used to support and sponsor terrorism around the region and to undermine our own national security interests. Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, cannot be trusted and it’s important for the security of the region and for the United States for these secret funds to be exposed publicly to the world.”

This legislation previously was stymied when President Obama declared that he would veto it if it got to his desk.

Leading the charge for the Iranian side was Maxine Waters…

“The true purpose of this legislation is to create reputational risk for companies that might seek to do legitimate business with Iran,” the California Democrat said. “For this reason, the bill would be a strategic mistake, as its report would undoubtedly be seized upon by Iran as an intentional effort to discourage international investment by Iran, which would be viewed y Iran — and likely by the major world powers who joined us in the JCPOA as well — as a violation of the express U.S. commitment under the nuclear deal not to interfere with the full realization of the relief provided to Iran under the accord.”

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/house-votes-to-have-treasury-department-publish-iranian-leaders-assets/article/2643427http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/house-votes-to-have-treasury-department-publish-iranian-leaders-assets/article/2643427

US sanctions expected against Iran for its involvement in Yemeni war
Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:34 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The US Congress is considering a bill to impose new sanctions on Iran for its destructive role in Yemen and its policies to destabilize the country by supporting Houthi militias and supplying them with weapons.

(The bill is being) prepared by Republican Rep. Elena Rose Lehtinen of Florida and Ted Poe of Texas, senior members of the House of Foreign Affairs Committee, to punish Iran for supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen and for sending Revolutionary Guards and weapons to the Houthis.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/12/13/US-sanctions-expected-on-Iran-for-its-destructive-role-in-Yemen.html

Turkish Banker Accused of Helping Iran Launder Billions Seeks Mistrial
Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:26 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Lawyers for a Turkish banker on trial in New York on charges that he helped Iran evade U.S. sanctions asked a judge on Wednesday to declare a mistrial, saying testimony by a former Turkish police investigator should not have been allowed in court.

The lawyers for Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at Turkey’s majority state-owned Halkbank, said the jury had been “tainted” after hearing Huseyin Korkmaz testify in Manhattan federal court this week that he feared he would be tortured if he returned to Turkey, where he led an investigation involving Turkish officials, Atilla and others.

Prosecutors have accused Atilla, 47, of working with Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab and others to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions through fraudulent gold and food transactions.

https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2017-12-13/turkish-banker-accused-of-helping-iran-launhttps://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2017-12-13/turkish-banker-accused-of-helping-iran-launder-money-seeks-mistrialder-money-seeks-mistrial

Iran to join Russia-led economic power bloc
Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:20 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

As if we needed any more evidence of Putin’s nefarious intentions, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s foremost state sponsor of Jihadist terrorism, is now joining Russia’s Eurasion Economic Union (EEU)…

The Islamic Republic of Iran is due to join the Eurasion Economic Union (EEU) soon, with all formalities planned to be finalised in a short time from now.

The EEU is an economic union with a single market, consisting of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Russia. Within the union, free flow of goods, services, capital and workers is guaranteed.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/eurasian-superpower-iran-join-russia-led-economic-power-bloc/

Gatestone Institute Report: Turkey: Laundering Billions for Iran
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 8:27 PM

The Gatestone Institute has posted an excellent analysis of Turkey’s activities to launder money to help Iran, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, bypass sanctions.

Here are some excerpted highlights and a link to the report:

In the investigation, Zarrab was accused of running a network that laundered at least $87 billion to bypass U.S. and international sanctions on Iran, and bribing ministers, their sons and senior public officials in Turkey.

Meanwhile, the police found around $9 million in cash stuffed into shoeboxes at the home of Suleyman Arslan, then general manager of Halkbank, a government-owned bank that was instrumental in trade between Turkey and Iran. Then EU Minister, Egemen Bagis, was the other recipient of cash from Zarrab, according to the prosecutors. And Housing Minister Erdogan Bayraktar was accused of arranging multibillion dollar contracts for government-friendly companies. At the peak of the wave of arrests and investigation, Bayraktar would publicly say: “Whatever I have done, I have done it with [Erdogan’s] knowledge and orders.” And he would argue that “the prime minister [Erdogan] too should resign.”

A week after the investigation officially took off, three ministers resigned from cabinet, but that was not the end of the story. On the same day, a chief prosecutor in Istanbul ordered the detention of 30 more suspects on charges of bribes involving around $100 million. Among the top suspects were Erdogan’s son, Bilal, and Yasin al-Qadi, who had been put on a U.S. list of “specially designated global terrorists” for his alleged activity to sponsor terrorism.

Erdogan’s government quickly covered up the investigation; put the blame on an attempt to eliminate him, most notably by a Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, in exile in the United States; purged the law enforcement officers whom the courts later sent to jail; released Zarrab and closed the case.

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11501/turkey-zarrab-affair

An Example of Disinformation on “Islamic Banking”
Monday, December 4, 2017 12:25 AM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Linked below is a rather typical example of the taqiyya that is used to promote Shariah-compliant finance, in this case Islamic banking.

Practitioners of Shariah-finance are fond of defining it simply as “interest free.”

There is much more to Shariah finance besides the interest-free aspect.

First of all, the term “interest free” is misleading in itself in that it implies banks lend money for free. Nothing could be further from the truth. They may not call it interest, but Shariah loans involve charges and fees.

Secondly, there are myriad rules surrounding Shariah finance besides prohibitions on interest. Two of those involve zakat donations and purification of misused funds, both of which go to any number of 8 destinations, depending on which school of Shariah involved. One of those destinations is “those fighting in the way of Allah,” which means those waging Jihad.

That’s why so many Muslim charities have been implicated in funding terrorism.

It’s particularly outrageous that the author of the article linked below would dismiss such concerns about Islamic banking given that he is writing for a publication in Kashmir.

Back in 2008 a Jihadist group tied to the conflict in Kashmir killed 165 innocent civilians in a bloody attack on Mumbai, India. That group was Lashkar e Taiba (LeT). LeT was greatly aided by a charitable affiliate in their Jihadist activities…

http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/not-pursing-islamic-banking/267780.html

Citi Shills for Pakistan as Share of Shariah Assets Grows
Friday, December 1, 2017 7:14 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Readers who do business with Citi Group may be interested in their activities involving Shariah-compliant finance in Pakistan.

According to annual report issued by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Shariah-compliant assets now represent 34.6 per cent of the total assets of the Non-Banking Financial Institute (NBFI) industry in Pakistan. the number of Shariah-compliant mutual funds has reached 109 and Shariah-complaint funds have 41 per cent of the assets under management of the mutual fund industry. The report added that the Takaful (Shariah-compliant insurance) industry comprises of five dedicated Takaful operators and 21 window Takaful operators. Takaful sector assets represent 2.7 per cent of the total assets of the insurance industry.

https://pakobserver.net/share-shariah-compliant-assets-steadily-rising-secp/

The market share of Shariah-compliant assets is rising in Pakistan.

This wouldn’t be particularly interesting for most readers since Pakistan is an overwhelming majority Muslim nation with Islamic institutions fully integrated into its government and legal systems.

But what should be interesting to those of us in the West is the fact that U.S.-based financial conglomerates are playing a large role in the march of Shariah finance in Pakistan.

Citibank CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) James C. Cowles has said he expects economic growth to continue in Pakistan…

Speaking at Citibank’s EMEA Media Summit held in London earlier this month, Mr Cowles said the global bank has got a “robust business” in Pakistan in terms of both international and local clients.

Refraining from making a direct comment, he skirted around the issue of growing political instability in Pakistan.

The federal government is a major client of Citibank. It is part of a consortium that advised the government in the recent issue of sukuk and eurobond, which raised $2.5 billion from global institutional investors.

In other words, Citibank helped Pakistan raise billions of dollars through Shariah-compliant bonds.

You may wish to consider Citibank’s Shariah activities in making your own personal financial decisions…

https://www.dawn.com/news/1373897

Turkish Despot Erdogan Implicated in Plot to Launder Money for Ayatollahs in Iran
Thursday, November 30, 2017 7:29 PM

posted by Christopher W. Holton

In stunning testimony in a blockbuster legal case in New York on money laundering and alleged violations of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the key figure in the trial today declared that Turkish dictator Recep Erdogan was up to his ears in the scheme.

This revelation confirms two things that we have suspected for a long time:

1. Erdogan is no ally of the U.S. or the West in general;

2. Erdogan’s sympathies lie with the Islamic world to the point that he will aid and abet outright Jihadist regimes and organizations who target his NATO allies.

In short, Recep Erdogan is one of the worst leaders on the planet.

Reza Zarrab, a Turkish gold trader who laundered billions of dollars for the Iranian regime in violation of sanctions, told a New York jury today that Turkish economics minister Zafer Caglayan informed him that then-prime minister Recip Erdogan personally approved a scheme to involve two Turkish banks in the sanctions-evading money laundering plan.

Iran was under economic sanctions due to its nuclear program, which violated international law, its sponsorship of terrorism, including support for Hezbollah, HAMAS and Al Qaeda, and its ballistic missile program.

This case actually started as an anti-corruption investigation in Turkey back in 2013, but Erdogan suppressed it with a brutal purge of police investigators and prosecutors. When U.S. federal prosecutors brought their own case in New York, Erdogan has repeatedly tried to get U.S. officials to drop it with increasingly shrill protests.

Zarrab has admitted to helping Iran access billions of dollars in oil proceeds that should have been sealed off due to comprehensive U.S. sanctions. He claims he utilized a sophisticated laundering scheme that funneled at least some of the money through U.S. banks using gold as currency in fictitious food purchases.

Zarrab also confessed that in 2012, after successfully tapping Iran’s money accumulating in Turkey, he helped concoct a similar gold scheme to launder Iranian money that was caught up in India, also by laundering through Turkey.

Zarrab also says he used millions of dollars in bribes of Turkish government and banking officials and officers to facilitate his scheme. One of the Turkish banks involved, Aktif bank, was owned at the time by Erdogan’s current Energy Minister and employed his son in law.

Turkish investment markets have been rattled in the wake of the testimony. The Turkish lira virtually collapsed in trading in international currency markets.

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