Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: TERRORIST MONEY LAUNDRY: DUBAI?

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    Sunday, February 28, 2010



    The C.I.A. recently estimated in a classified report that Taliban leaders and their associates had received $106 million in the past year from donors outside Afghanistan, a figure first reported last month by The Washington Post. Private citizens from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and some Persian Gulf nations are the largest individual contributors, an American counterterrorism official said.

    Top American intelligence officials and diplomats say there is no evidence so far that the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or other Persian Gulf states are providing direct aid to the Afghan insurgency. 


    KABUL -- A blizzard of bank notes is flying out ofAfghanistan -- often in full view of customs officers at the Kabul airport -- as part of a cash exodus that is confounding U.S. officials and raising concerns about the money's origin.
    The cash, estimated to total well over $1 billion a year, flows mostly to the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai.

    "All this money magically appears from nowhere," said a U.S. official who monitors Afghanistan's growing role as a hub for cash transfers to Dubai, which has six flights a day to and from Kabul.

    In the meantime, the money continues to flow. Cash declaration forms filed at Kabul International Airport and reviewed by The Washington Post show that Afghan passengers took more than $180 million to Dubai during a two-month period starting in July. If that rate held for the entire year, the amount of cash that left Afghanistan in 2009 would have far exceeded the country's annual tax and other domestic revenue of about $875 million.

    The total volume of departing cash is almost certainly much higher than the declared amount. A Chinese man, for instance, was arrested recently at the Kabul airport carrying 800,000 undeclared euros (about $1.1 million).

    Cash also can be moved easily through a VIP section at the airport, from which Afghan officials generally leave without being searched. American officials said that they have repeatedly raised the issue of special treatment for VIPs at the Kabul airport with the Afghan government but that they have made no headway.

    One U.S. official said he had been told by a senior Dubai police officer that an Afghan diplomat flew into the emirate's airport last year with more than $2 million worth of euros in undeclared cash.

    The cash flown out of Kabul includes a wide range of foreign currencies. Most is in U.S. dollars, euros and -- to the bafflement of officials -- Saudi Arabian riyals, a currency not widely used in Afghanistan.

    Last month, a well-dressed Afghan man en route to Dubai was found carrying three briefcases stuffed with $3 million in U.S. currency and $2 million in Saudi currency, according to an American official who was present when the notes were counted. A few days later, the same man was back at the Kabul airport, en route to Dubai again, with about $5 million in U.S. and Saudi bank notes.

    Efforts to figure out just how much money is leaving Afghanistan and why have been hampered by a lack of cooperation from Dubai, complained Afghan and U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Dubai's financial problems, said a U.S. official, had left the emirate eager for foreign cash, and "they don't seem to care where it comes from." Dubai authorities declined to comment.



    STORM LAKE, Iowa (KTIV) - Could the killing of an Islamic Fundamentalist group leader, tied to terrorism, also have a tie to a Northwest Iowa bank?
    A Wall Street Journal report says some of the suspects used credit cards issued by a Storm Lake, Iowa based bank.          
    According to the Wall Street Journal, 26 people have been identified as suspects with connections to the murder of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, a senior leader of a Hamas, found dead January 20th in a Dubai hotel room.
    Dubai police apparently say credit cards used by 14 of the suspects were issued by MetaBank, which is unit of Meta Financial Group Incorporated, headquartered in Storm Lake, Iowa.
    It also has branches in Des Moines, Sioux Falls and Brookings, South Dakota.






    Anonymous Mark @ Israel said...

    There might be no evidence as to whether Saudi Arabia, the UAE or other Persian Gulf states are financially supporting the Talibans but it's amazing how they have continued to persist in their cause. One would really wonder what has happened to all the cash that has passed through Dubai. This is something the world has to find out.

    2:10 AM  

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