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Hot Leak, If No Surprise - Saudi Arabia Cash Machine For Terrorists!
#1
WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists

Hillary Clinton memo highlights Gulf states' failure to block funding for groups like al-Qaida, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba

Declan Walsh in Islamabad
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 5 December 2010 15.30 GMT

The terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab walks through the Chatrapathi Sivaji train station in Mumbai during the 2008 attacks. Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the atrocity, is one of several groups that have raised funds via Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Sebastian D'souza/AP

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.

"More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups," says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide," she said.

Three other Arab countries are listed as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The cables highlight an often ignored factor in the Pakistani and Afghan conflicts: that the violence is partly bankrolled by rich, conservative donors across the Arabian Sea whose governments do little to stop them.

The problem is particularly acute in Saudi Arabia, where militants soliciting funds slip into the country disguised as holy pilgrims, set up front companies to launder funds and receive money from government-sanctioned charities.

One cable details how the Pakistani militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, used a Saudi-based front company to fund its activities in 2005.

Meanwhile officials with the LeT's charity wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, travelled to Saudi Arabia seeking donations for new schools at vastly inflated costs – then siphoned off the excess money to fund militant operations.

Militants seeking donations often come during the hajj pilgrimage – "a major security loophole since pilgrims often travel with large amounts of cash and the Saudis cannot refuse them entry into Saudi Arabia". Even a small donation can go far: LeT operates on a budget of just $5.25m (£3.25m) a year, according to American estimates.

Saudi officials are often painted as reluctant partners. Clinton complained of the "ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist funds emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority".

Washington is critical of the Saudi refusal to ban three charities classified as terrorist entities in the US. "Intelligence suggests that these groups continue to send money overseas and, at times, fund extremism overseas," she said.

There has been some progress. This year US officials reported that al-Qaida's fundraising ability had "deteriorated substantially" since a government crackdown. As a result Bin Laden's group was "in its weakest state since 9/11" in Saudi Arabia.

Any criticisms are generally offered in private. The cables show that when it comes to powerful oil-rich allies US diplomats save their concerns for closed-door talks, in stark contrast to the often pointed criticism meted out to allies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Instead, officials at the Riyadh embassy worry about protecting Saudi oilfields from al-Qaida attacks.

The other major headache for the US in the Gulf region is the United Arab Emirates. The Afghan Taliban and their militant partners the Haqqani network earn "significant funds" through UAE-based businesses, according to one report. The Taliban extort money from the large Pashtun community in the UAE, which is home to 1 million Pakistanis and 150,000 Afghans. They also fundraise by kidnapping Pashtun businessmen based in Dubai or their relatives.

"Some Afghan businessmen in the UAE have resorted to purchasing tickets on the day of travel to limit the chance of being kidnapped themselves upon arrival in either Afghanistan or Pakistan," the report says.

Last January US intelligence sources said two senior Taliban fundraisers had regularly travelled to the UAE, where the Taliban and Haqqani networks laundered money through local front companies.

One report singled out a Kabul-based "Haqqani facilitator", Haji Khalil Zadran, as a key figure. But, Clinton complained, it was hard to be sure: the UAE's weak financial regulation and porous borders left US investigators with "limited information" on the identity of Taliban and LeT facilitators.

The lack of border controls was "exploited by Taliban couriers and Afghan drug lords camouflaged among traders, businessmen and migrant workers", she said.

In an effort to stem the flow of funds American and UAE officials are increasingly co-operating to catch the "cash couriers" – smugglers who fly giant sums of money into Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In common with its neighbours Kuwait is described as a "source of funds and a key transit point" for al-Qaida and other militant groups. While the government has acted against attacks on its own soil, it is "less inclined to take action against Kuwait-based financiers and facilitators plotting attacks outside of Kuwait".

Kuwait has refused to ban the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, a charity the US designated a terrorist entity in June 2008 for providing aid to al-Qaida and affiliated groups, including LeT.

There is little information about militant fundraising in the fourth Gulf country singled out, Qatar, other than to say its "overall level of CT co-operation with the US is considered the worst in the region".

The funding quagmire extends to Pakistan itself, where the US cables detail sharp criticism of the government's ambivalence towards funding of militant groups that enjoy covert military support.

The cables show how before the Mumbai attacks in 2008, Pakistani and Chinese diplomats manoeuvred hard to block UN sanctions against Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

But in August 2009, nine months after sanctions were finally imposed, US diplomats wrote: "We continue to see reporting indicating that JUD is still operating in multiple locations in Pakistan and that the group continues to openly raise funds". JUD denies it is the charity wing of LeT.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Reply
#2
US embassy cables: United Arab Emirates and terrorist funding – the Pashtun connection

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 5 December 2010 12.07 GMT

Wednesday, 02 September 2009, 11:56
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ABU DHABI 000874
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR SRAP, NEA/ARP (MCGOVERN) AND INR
EO 12958 DECL: 08/19/2019
TAGS EFIN, ECON, EINV, PGOV, AE
SUBJECT: C-SA9-01527: PAKISTANI AND AFGHAN EXPATRIATE TIES TO
EXTREMISTS
REF: STATE 71311
ABU DHABI 00000874 001.2 OF 003
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR RICHARD OLSON FOR REASONS 1.4 (B AND D).
Summary
Diplomats at the Abu Dhabi embassy answer questions about the local Pakistani and Afghan migrant populations, and how the lack of border controls allows funds to flow back to the Taliban and other militant groups. Key passage highlighted in yellow.

Read related article

1. (S) The responses in para 3 are keyed to reftel request. Post notes that reftel was not addressed to Embassy Abu Dhabi, resulting in delayed response. Post requests that all cables requiring action/information on UAE issues be sent to Embassy Abu Dhabi.

OVERVIEW

--------

2. (S) Structurally, the UAE is a relatively open economy with the most vibrant financial sector in the Gulf; its federal structure also gives much economic autonomy to the various emirates, which impose varying levels of regulation and due diligence on economic activity. Characteristic of the region, the use of cash is common for legitimate financial transactions. High volumes of cash and electronic funds flow both to and from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the vast majority of which is derived from legitimate trade and remittances. The lack of effective border controls on cash is no doubt exploited by Taliban couriers and Afghan drug lords, camouflaged among traders, businessmen and migrant workers. Systemically approaching this issue both in the UAE and in the broader Gulf region to disrupt Taliban finances, while protecting commerce and economic activity, is an important, though challenging task. At the suggestion of the UAEG, we have established joint US/UAE task force (composed of interagency elements on both sides) to combat illicit financial flows to and from Afghanistan, specifically bulk cash smuggling.

3. (SBU) Begin reftel responses:

A. © HOW MUCH MONEY DO EXPATS SEND BACK TO THEIR HOME COUNTRY IN ANNUAL REMITTANCES?

As the UAEG does not break down remittance statistics by country, it is difficult to ascertain the total value of funds transferred. Anecdotal information suggests some expatriates transfer as much as 50 percent of their salary, although there is significant variance.

1) © BY WHAT CHANNELS? HOW OFTEN?

Most expatriate residents -- of all nationalities -- who remit funds to their home country do so through formal exchange houses (like Western Union and its local competitors) or informal hawala mechanisms. As most employees are paid monthly, workers generally transfer funds on a monthly basis.

2) (S) DOES THE HOST GOVERNMENT MONITOR THE MONEY FLOWS? IF SO, HOW?

The UAE Central Bank maintains records of all financial transactions facilitated by banks, exchange houses and registered hawalas. This information includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and visa details of the sending party as well as information on the receiving party abroad. Similar information is required by Police and Customs officials for physical cash imports exceeded 40,000 AED (approximately USD 10,900).

B. © WHAT ARE THE METHODS WHEREBY SOUTH ASIANS ARE RECRUITED AND/OR RADICALIZED BY GULF-BASED EXTREMISTS?

Post has limited evidence South Asian expatriates are being recruited or radicalized in the UAE. There are anecdotal reports that one Pashtun Afghan community in the UAE may have tribal or religious ties to the Taliban. UAE authorities are known to observe this group's activities and occasionally disrupt gatherings.

C. (U) DESCRIBE AFGHAN AND PAKISTANI EXPATS AND LOCAL NATIONAL DONATIONS TO CHARITIES THAT MAY SEND MONEY TO AFGHANISTAN OR PAKISTAN.

Charitable giving ("zakat") is one of the five pillars of Islam, and, as such, is pervasive in Muslim communities. Donation jars, boxes, ATMs and pledge cards for the major UAE charities (see 1C) are found throughout the country. The UAEG does not directly regulate donations, but rather oversees the establishment and registration of charitable organizations, disbursal of collected funds and goods donations. UAE charities primarily make donations abroad in the form of goods and development projects, not cash.

1) © WHICH CHARITIES MIGHT BE ASSOCIATED WITH EXTREMIST GROUPS, TERRORISTS, OR THE AFGHAN OR PAKISTANI GOVERNMENTS?

All legal charitable organizations in the UAE are associated with UAE government officials and entities. The largest of these groups, the

ABU DHABI 00000874 002.2 OF 003

Red Crescent Authority, the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Charitable Foundation, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, have ongoing charitable activities (including donations of clothing and food, as well as project developments) in Afghanistan and Pakistan in coordination with the UAEG and host governments. There is no evidence any of these groups have ties to extremist groups. In fact, the UAEG actively works to channel zakat from nationals and expatriates to the Red Crescent Authority, whose activities and employees it monitors closely.

2) © DESCRIBE EXPAT AND LOCAL NATIONAL DONATION LEVELS TO THOSE CHARITIES. WHICH ONES ARE MOST POPULAR? WHICH ONES ARE MOST SUSPECTED OF HAVING EXTREMIST, TERRORIST, OR GOVERNMENT TIES?

The major UAE charities receive significant cash and in-kind donations from senior ruling family members, wealthy Emirati nationals and small donations from other citizens and expatriates. Post does not have comprehensive statistics that reveal which charities are most popular, although the three largest are the only ones authorized to disburse funds overseas.

Ajman-based Human Appeal is suspected of ties to Hamas.

3) (U) PLEASE PROVIDE INFORMATION ON ANY CHARITIES RUN BY AFGHAN AND PAKISTANI EXPATS.

Not applicable. In order to be registered, charitable groups must be founded by 20 Emirati nationals.

D. (U) HOW LARGE IS THE POPULATION OF PAKISTANI AND AFGHAN EXPATRIATE WORKERS IN EACH GULF STATE?

There are approximately 1 million Pakistani expatriates and 150,000 Afghan nationals living in the UAE.

1) (U) HOW MANY IN THE SOUTH ASIAN COMMUNITY ARE PERMANENT RESIDENTS?

UAE immigration policies do not allow for permanent residence status.

2) (U) HOW MANY ARE GUEST WORKERS?

All expatriates are resident in the UAE on work visas or their dependents.

3) (SBU) WHAT IS THEIR ETHNIC AND, WHERE APPROPRIATE, TRIBAL/CLAN MAKE-UP?

Many Pakistanis are low-wage guest workers, predominantly Pashtun/Pathan. Baluchis have intermarried with Emiratis for generations, and many Punjabi and Sindhi elites (including President Zardari) maintain pieds-a-terres in Dubai.

Most Afghan residents are believed to be Pashtun.

E. © WHAT LINKS DO THEY HAVE WITH POLITICAL PARTIES, INSURGENTS, OR OTHER EXTREMISTS IN AFGHANISTAN OR PAKISTAN?

While it can be assumed that the Pakistani and Afghani populations in the UAE represent a wide range of political views, political activism among expatriates is discouraged by UAE authorities.

F. (SBU) WHO ARE THE KEY LEADERS WITHIN THESE COMMUNITIES?

Key leaders are prominent and successful businessmen. Given instability at home, many Afghan and Pakistani business leaders and political figures and their families use the UAE, and Dubai in particular, as a part-time residence and are active in their respective expatriate communities. Among uneducated and unskilled workers, leaders likely emerge along tribal and societal lines.

1) (SBU) WHAT PROMINENT MOSQUES OR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS DO THESE EXPATRIATES BELONG TO? DESCRIBE THE MOSQUES' ACTIVITIES AND RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GOVERNMENT, PEOPLE, OR EXTREMIST GROUPS IN AFGHANISTAN OR PAKISTAN.

All mosques operate under the direct supervision of the UAEG. None have ties to Afghanistan or Pakistan, aside from the nationalities of congregants. All sermons and announcements in UAE mosques are tightly controlled by the UAE Government.

2) (U) DO EXPATS FOLLOW PROMINENT PAKISTANI, AFGHAN, OR GULF CLERICS? IF SO, WHICH ONES, AND WHY? WHICH PAKISTANI AND AFGHAN CLERICS HAVE THE LARGEST FOLLOWING AMONG EXPATRIATES IN GULF STATES?

Unknown.

ABU DHABI 00000874 003.2 OF 003

A) (SBU) WHERE DID PROMINENT CLERICAL LEADERS RECEIVE THEIR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND WHAT SCHOOL OF THOUGHT DO THEY LOOK TO FOR RELIGIOUS GUIDANCE (DEOBANDI, BARELVI, AHL-E HADITH, SALAFI, ETC.)?

There are no known Pakistani or Afghani clerics in the UAE. The Imam who delivers the English language Friday sermon in Abu Dhabi (i.e., the language of many South Asians, is American).

B) © DESCRIBE CLERICS' POLITICAL ACTIVITIES IN GULF STATES, PAKISTAN, OR AFGHANISTAN.

All clerics/imams are supervised by the UAEG and are not involved in political activities.

3) (U) WHO ARE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL OR WEALTHY BUSINESSMEN IN THESE COMMUNITIES? WHAT TYPES OF BUSINESSES ARE THEY INVOLVED IN?

There are a number of successful Pakistani and Afghan businessmen resident in the UAE who are involved in a wide range of trading and services.

4) © WHAT LINKS DO THE BUSINESS LEADERS HAVE WITH CLERICS OR EXTREMISTS AT HOME? DESCRIBE ANY ROLE THEY MAY PLAY IN RAISING, HOLDING, OR DISPERSING FUNDS FROM THE EXPAT COMMUNITY?

Post has no evidence that business leaders are engaged in fundraising or other ties to extremists, although we would not be surprised if it is happening.

G. (U) HOW DO EXPATS VIEW THE TALIBAN AND OTHER EXTREMISTS IN THEIR HOME COUNTRY? WHAT ASPECTS OF THESE GROUPS' PLATFORMS AND ACTIVITIES DO PAKISTANI AND AFGHAN EXPATRIATES ADMIRE OR REJECT?

Unknown.

H. (U) HOW DO EXPATS VIEW THEIR GOVERNMENTS IN KABUL OR ISLAMABAD?

Many wealthy Afghans and Pakistanis tell EmbOffs that they choose to live in the UAE rather than their corrupt and/or failing countries. Others, particularly those with political ties, are committed to eventually returning home to help re-build their countries, but choose to temporarily live in Dubai out of concern for their families' safety.

I. (S) PLEASE DESCRIBE ANY STEPS THE HOST GOVERNMENTS HAVE TAKEN OR PLANS THEY MIGHT HAVE TO MONITOR OR INFLUENCE THESE EXPAT POPULATIONS.

For national security reasons, the UAEG closely monitors all expatriates, particularly those from Pakistan (the largest expat community in the UAE) and Afghanistan (given concerns about extremism/terrorism). The specific plans are not known.

J. (S) TO WHAT EXTENT ARE THE U.S. EMBASSIES WORKING WITH OTHER THIRD-COUNTRY OFFICIAL PERSONNEL TO GATHER INFORMATION ON AND ATTEMPT TO ADDRESS THIS SUBJECT AREA (I.E. THE TRACKING AND STEMMING OF TERRORIST FINANCING FLOWS TO INSURGENT GROUPS IN AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN)?

Emboffs have regular exchanges with like-minded countries on financial crimes matters, although historically these efforts have focused on al-Qaida and Iran. There has been ongoing cooperation with like-minded embassies regarding efforts to disrupt drug trafficking and related money laundering through the UAE.

K. (SBU) PLEASE REPORT ON THE TYPES OF MEDIA FOLLOWED AND/OR PARTICIPATED IN BY AFGHAN AND PAKISTANI EXPATRIATES IN SAUDI ARABIA AND THE GULF STATES.

Pakistani nationals are employed at some of the major English language newspapers and satellite television stations based in the UAE. OLSON
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#3
US embassy cables: Terrorists use hajj as cover to collect donations

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 5 December 2010 12.33 GMT

Friday, 29 May 2009, 11:46
C O N F I D E N T I A L RIYADH 000716
EO 12958 DECL: 05/22/2019
TAGS PREL, PTER, EFIN, AF, PK, SA
SUBJECT: SAUDI INTERIOR MINISTRY BRIEFS SPECIAL ADVISOR
HOLBROOKE AND TREASURY DAS GLASER ON TERRORISM FINANCE
REF: RIYADH 702
Classified By: CDA DAVID RUNDELL, 1.4 (b),(d)

1. KEY POINTS:

-- (SBU) Special Advisor Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Treasury DAS Glaser were briefed on Saudi terror finance efforts at a May 16 meeting with Interior Ministry (MOI) officials at the Security Forces Officers Club in Riyadh. Holbrooke also received a briefing on Saudi counterterrorism strategies (reftel). -- (SBU) Saudi Arabia will join the Egmont Group by the end of May 2009. -- © Holbrooke pushed for stronger cooperation in pursuing sources of funding for the Taliban, particularly in the Gulf States. -- © The Hajj is still a major security loophole for the Saudis, since pilgrims often travel with large amounts of cash and the Saudis cannot refuse them entry into Saudi Arabia. A new Saudi law requires arriving travelers to declare cash over certain amounts. -- © The MOI is concerned about funds flowing to Hizballah from the Saudi Shi'a community. -- © The political situation in Pakistan affects MOI's intelligence cooperation with Pakistan's ISI.

NEW SAUDI FIU PROMISES BETTER COOPERATION

2. © The briefing was delivered by officials from the MOI's new Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). They said the Saudi FIU's mission is to cooperate with all other authorities to combat money laundering and terrorism finance, and outlined the divisions of FIU and their responsibilities to receive, analyze, investigate, and act upon reports of terrorist finance activities in concert with other Saudi financial and law enforcement agencies. The FIU had a budget of $31 million in 2008.

3. © Holbrooke asked how the U.S. was working with the new FIU. DAS Glaser said FIU cooperation will enable Saudi Arabia to plug into the global terror finance context. The U.S. has tested the Saudi system with three requests and has received a good response. Glaser added that Saudi success in rolling up domestic terror cells has had a positive impact but the need now was to target financial donors and networks that channel the funds to AQ and the Taliban. The daily work of exchanging information with Saudi Arabia was going well.

4. © Holbrooke asked whether the relationship could be further improved. The Saudis replied that Saudi Arabia would join the Egmont Group by the end of May 2009. Holbrooke said terrorists exploit the seams between countries such as borders, free trade zones, and international networks such as Hawala systems, and that in this respect drug proceeds were not the primary source of funds for the Taliban; rather private donations from the Gulf were the chief source of Taliban financing. This indicated the need for a new level of cooperation, he said, to address funds flowing from the Gulf to the Taliban, AQ, and South Asian terrorist groups. In particular, the UAE, Pakistan, and the UK must be on board.

5. © MOI counterterrorism advisor Major General Khalid al-Humaydan said Saudi Arabia was working to create a "coherent plan" on terrorist finance that included establishing a legal basis for taking action against financiers. The MOI had no problem targeting organizations, he said, but preferred to go after financiers on an individual basis: "the bad apples, not the whole barrel," he said. With the FIU in place, he said, the MOI would be better able to "turn leads into tangible evidence" and follow up with counterpart authorities in other countries. "We used to call Dubai the 'Black Hole'," of terrorist finance, he said. Glaser agreed with the need for a comprehensive strategy. He said he understood the Saudi approach to focus on individuals rather than organizations, but there was another more common model that focused on organizations as part of a broader terrorist network.

HAJJ, HIZBALLAH, AND PAKISTAN

6. © MOI Senior Advisor Major General Dr. Sa'ad al-Jabri said the Saudi approach was based on the fact that Saudi Arabia had been in a war and had to act. Saudi authorities had detained over 4,000 individuals, some of whom were suspected of terrorist financing offenses and would act if supplied with information. Hajj was still a big problem for the Saudis, since they could not refuse to let pilgrims enter the country. Some of the non-Saudi terrorism detainees in Saudi Arabia had entered as pilgrims. The Saudi government recently passed a law requiring arriving travelers to declare cash above a certain amount, but Hajj was still "a vacuum in our security," he admitted. Another problem was money going to Hizballah from Saudi Shiites. The Saudis' focus had been on funds from Sunni sources, but they needed to focus on the Shi'a too, Dr. Sa'ad said.

7. © Holbrooke noted that Pakistan was also a center for terrorist financing through Islamic charities and asked whether the Saudis were monitoring the large Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia, and whether the Saudis were consulting with the governments of Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh about the issue. Al-Humaydan said the Saudis had detained numerous individuals from these countries and were seeking cooperation to investigate their activities. He added that "we talk to ISI (Pakistan's intelligence agency) and get a good response, but we think ten times before approaching them; things are changing there and we are advised to be careful." Political unrest and new ISI leadership were the principal changes, he said. As a result, he concluded, "We only trust face-to-face transmission of information." The MOI had shared information with ISI on Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia suspected of terror finance, but ISI had not responded.

DON'T FORGET IRAN

8. © Holbrooke asked whether the Taliban still found support in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Sa'ad answered that support from Saudi Arabia was less than it had been in earlier years, such as the 1980s, but was still present. Holbrooke asked about Iran, and Dr. Sa'ad replied that in the Saudi view, Iran was a "serious contributor" to terrorism activities in many places, including Yemen, North Africa, and Latin America.

9. © Holbrooke concluded by assuring his hosts of the U.S. commitment to cooperation on fighting terrorism and for better relations with the Muslim world.

10. (U) Meeting participants

U.S.

Special Advisor Ambassador Richard Holbrooke Barnett Rubin, Senior Advisor Dan Glaser, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury David Rundell, Charge d'Affaires Andrew Roth, Embassy Riyadh Edwin Brown, Embassy Riyadh (notetaker) Jeff Smith, Embassy Riyadh

Saudi Arabia

Major General Sa'ad al-Jabri, Senior Advisor, Ministry of the Interior

Major General Khalid al-Humaydan ("Abu Ali"), Counterterrorism Advisor, Ministry of the Interior

Brigadier General Ahmed al-Issa, U.S. Liaison, Ministry of the Interior

Captain Bandar al-Subaie, Assistant to MG Sa'ad al-Jabri

FIU briefers

11. (U) Amb. Holbrooke cleared this telegram.

RUNDELL
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#4
US embassy cables: Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network using United Arab Emirates as funding base

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 5 December 2010 12.01 GMT

Thursday, 07 January 2010, 13:10

S E C R E T ABU DHABI 000009
NOFORN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 2035/01/07 TAGS: ECON, PTER, KTFN, AE, AF, EFIN SUBJECT: (S) US-UAE Further Cooperation to Disrupt Taliban Finance
CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Olson, Ambassador, State Department, U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)
Summary
American and UAE officials discuss Taliban sources of funding including local front companies, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and named Taliban fundraisers who travel to the UAE. Local Taliban supporters also raise funds. Key passage highlighted in yellow.

Read related article

(S//NF) Summary

1. (S//NF) SUMMARY. On December 15-16, 2009, Treasury Department Acting Assistant Secretary of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis Howard Mendelsohn, along with GRPO officers and Treasury analysts, met with senior officials from the UAE's State Security Department (SSD) and Dubai's General Department of State Security (GDSS) to discuss suspected Taliban-related financial activity in the UAE. Prior to these meetings, GRPO and Treasury passed to SSD and GDSS detailed information on the financing of the Taliban and other terrorist and extremist groups based in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mendelsohn praised the UAE for its contribution to building a stable and moderate Afghanistan. He thanked the SSD and GDSS for its commitment, per the directive of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, to disrupt any Taliban-related financial activity that can be identified in the UAE. The UAE services pledged full cooperation toward the shared goal and asked for additional detailed and actionable lead information. In particular, they asked for additional passport information, telephone numbers, full names and aliases, and travel itineraries for Taliban figures suspected of traveling to the UAE. END SUMMARY.

2. (S//NF) During the course of the two multi-hour intelligence exchange sessions, GRPO and Treasury analysts walked through the previously shared information suggesting that Taliban-related finance officials have visited the UAE in order to raise or move funds. The UAE security officials believe that the Taliban may draw support from the sizeable Pashtun population resident in the UAE. They asked for lead information the U.S. could gather with names of individuals or entities in the UAE that may be supporting the Taliban.

3. (S//NF) Officials from SSD and GDSS pledged that their respective organizations would follow up on the information provided, and work through intelligence channels to share information and results and submit additional requests for information.

Taliban/Haqqani Network

4. (S//NF) Mendelsohn acknowledged the important steps the UAE has taken to combat al-Qaida and the Taliban-to include sending troops to Afghanistan-and highlighted the importance the USG places on combating Taliban financing. He stated that the Taliban receives significant money from narcotics trafficking and extortion, but noted that the U.S. believes that the group also receives significant funds from the Gulf, particularly from donors in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He further stated that the Taliban and Haqqani Network are believed to earn money from UAE-based business interests. Security officials from both SSD and GDSS agreed that the Taliban and Haqqani Network are serious threats. Officials from SSD added that Iran supports the Taliban with money and weapons, helps the Taliban smuggle drugs, and facilitates the movement of Taliban and al-Qaida members. SSD officials stated that Iran's IRGC and navy are involved with these activities. GDSS officials noted Iran's support to Taliban in Pakistan, adding that GDSS believes that India also has supported Pakistani Taliban and Pashtun separatists.

5. (S//NF) Treasury analysts provided information on XXXXXXXXXXXX two senior Taliban officials who have made multiple fundraising visits to the UAE, according to U.S. intelligence. The UAE security services were not familiar with either individual and asked for additional identifying information, including current passport information used by the individuals to enter the UAE in order to track down their movements. (NOTE: Information available to the USG and shared for this exchange included telephone numbers, an e-mail address, and expired passport information for crosschecking against Emirati immigration databases on both individuals. END NOTE.) SSD confirmed it checked UAE immigration systems based on the passport information provided and found no matching records. GRPO and Treasury analysts also shared names and phone numbers of multiple Taliban and Haqqani associates known either to reside in or travel to the UAE. SSD officials stated that Taliban fundraisers may use fabricated travel documents, and that Pakistanis/Afghanis often carry multiple passports, but noted that individuals from Pakistan and Afghanistan who apply for a travel visa now require an eye scan. The officials said this system should help prevent a single individual from using different aliases or passports. The services pledged to continue their investigations and share further results.

6. (S//NF) GDSS officials noted its ongoing monitoring of the large Afghan and Pakistani immigrant communities in Dubai and they commented that the Taliban extorts money from UAE-based Afghan businessmen. The same officials said the Taliban is also involved in kidnapping for ransom, whereby Afghanistan and Pakistan-based family members of the UAE-based businessmen are kidnapped for Taliban profit. Some Afghan businessmen in the UAE have resorted to purchasing tickets on the day of travel to limit the chance of being kidnapped themselves upon arrival in either Afghanistan or Pakistan.

7. (S//NF) The GDSS officials stated that hawaladars are usually unwitting when they transfer money that ends up with the Taliban. They further noted that Taliban financial supporters are likely to transfer smaller amounts across multiple hawalas to minimize suspicion.

8. (S//NF) SSD officials discussed the Taliban and Haqqani Network's suspected use of front companies to raise and move money. They were familiar with Haji Khalil Zadran, a Kabul-based Haqqani Network financial facilitator who has visited the UAE, but were not able to provide any details on him.

9. (S//NF) GDSS officials were familiar with XXXXXXXXXXXX who reportedly provides funding to the Taliban/Haqqani Network, according to U.S. intelligence. The GDSS officials stated that they do not believe XXXXXXXXXXXX is loyal to the Taliban, and noted that he has cooperated with Pakistani authorities, as well as with Afghan President Karzai. They pointed out XXXXXXXXXXXX's past visits from former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mullah Zaif, but noted that such visits-which may have resulted in financial support-have ceased. GDSS continues to monitor XXXXXXXXXXXX although at present they do not believe that he is a Taliban financial manager. Mendelsohn suggested that he may be a pragmatist who maintains relationships with legitimate authorities, but the USG has current information that suggests he is still involved with the Taliban.

10. (S//NF) GDSS discussed at length the history of the Haqqanis. They specifically highlighted Jalaluddin Haqqani's success in exploiting images of civilian casualties in Afghanistan for fundraising purposes.

(S//NF) Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jamaat al-Dawa al-Quran wa al-Sunna

11. (S//NF) Mendelsohn also raised Afghanistan and Pakistan-based extremist and terrorist groups, to include Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT) and Jamaat al-Dawa al-Quran wa al-Sunna (JDQ). UAE security services were not familiar with the names of specific UAE-based LT members shared by GRPO and Treasury, but promised to follow up on the information. Mendelsohn raised the UAE-based NGO Dar al-Birr as an organization suspected of supporting JDQ. GDSS was familiar with the organization and pledged to investigate the matter.

OLSON
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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