A Stalled War On Terror Finance

Another bad actor is the Gulf state of Qatar. Four years ago, the U.S. State Department called Qatar's counter-terrorism regime one of the worst in the region.[15] In addition, the Treasury Department has blacklisted several Qatari nationals for their links to al-Qaeda. Most recently, Abd al-Rahman bin 'Umayr Nu'aymi, described by the Treasury Department as "a Qatar-based terrorist financier and facilitator," was designated for his role as a financier who "provided money and material support and conveyed communications to al Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen."[16] Qatar also remains one of the last key patrons of Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules in the Gaza Strip, and it has provided the group with aid to the tune of about $100 million annually. Additionally, Qatar has hosted Hamas leader Khaled Mishaal for the better part of the last 15 years.

For these countries, and others, the stalling of America's war on terror finance has allowed them to skirt the fundamental choice outlined by President Bush back in 2001: to decide, in both political and economic terms, whether they are with us or with the terrorists. That this situation prevails more than a dozen years after the attacks of September 11th demonstrates just how far we have yet to go in combatting the practices that serve as the lifeblood of contemporary terrorism.

 


[1] David Sanger and Joseph Kahn, "Bush Freezes Assets Linked to Terror Network," New York Times, September 25, 2001, http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/25/international/25CAPI.html.

[2] As cited in John Crewdson and Cam Simpson, "U.S. Zeroing in on Terror's Money Trail," Chicago Tribune, September 5, 2002, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2002-09-05/news/0209050263_1_al-qaeda-treasury-undersecretary-jimmy-gurule-money-trail.

[3] Daniel L. Glaser, remarks before the Latvian Commercial Banker's Association Conference on "The Fight Against Money Laundering and Financial Crimes," Riga, Latvia, September 14, 2005,http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js2717.aspx.

[4] Statistics derived from U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Vol. II: Money Laundering and Financial Crimes, March 2008, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/100917.pdf.

[5] White House, Office of the Press Secretary, "Background Briefing by Senior Administration Officials on First Step Agreement on Iran's Nuclear Program," November 24, 2013, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/11/24/background-briefing-senior-administration-officials-first-step-agreement

[6] "US: Partial Sanctions Relief 'Economically Insignificant' for Iran," Times of Israel, November 26, 2013,http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-partial-sanctions-relief-economically-insignificant-for-iran-economy/.

[7] U.S. Department of the Treasury, "Treasury Cuts Iran's Bank Sadarat Off From U.S. Financial System," September 8, 2006, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/hp87.aspx.

[8] Ibid.

[9] U.S. Department of the Treasury, "Treasury Designates Bank Melli Front Company in New

York City," December 17, 2008, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/

hp1330.aspx.

[10] U.S. Department of the Treasury, "Fact Sheet: Designation of Iranian Entities and Individuals for Proliferation Activities and Support for Terrorism," October 25, 2007, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/hp644.aspx.

[11] The list is available online at http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/SDN-List/Pages/default.aspx.

[12] For a comprehensive list of these steps, see Ari Kattan, "Fact Sheet: Iran Sanctions," Center for Arms Control an Non-Proliferation, March 2013,http://armscontrolcenter.org/publications/factsheets/fact_sheet_iran_sanctions/.

[13] "The Al-Qadi Affair," Forbes, January 24, 2008, http://www.forbes.com/2008/01/24/turkey-yasin-al-qadi-biz-cz_rm_0124alqadi.html.

[14] Semih Idiz, "Pressure Mounts on Turkey Over Radical Groups in Syria," Al-Monitor, October 15, 2013,http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/10/turkey-must-control-jihadists-entering-syria.html.

[15] Scott Shane and Andrew W. Lehren, "Leaked Cables Offer Raw Look at U.S. Diplomacy," New York Times, November 28, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/29cables.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&.

[16] U.S. Department of the Treasury, "Treasury Designates Al-Qa'ida Supporters in Qatar and Yemen," December 18, 2013, http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2249.aspx.

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