onsdag, juni 02, 2010

Vem ligger egentligen bakom Ship to Hamas ?

Många har säkert ställt sig frågan:
Vem står i verkligheten bakom Ship
to Hamas, det stora PR-jippot för
islamismen i Gaza ?
Weekly Standard ger svaret i artikeln
The Terror Finance Flotilla av
Jonathan Schanzer.
The Turkish organizers of the Gaza Strip-
bound flotilla that was boarded this morning
by Israeli commandos knew well in advance
that their vessels would never reach Israeli
That's because the organizers belong to a
nonprofit that was banned by the Israeli
government in July 2008 for its ties to
terrorism finance.
The Turkish IHH (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri
Vakfi in Turkish) was founded in 1992, and
reportedly popped up on the CIA's radar in
1996 for its radical Islamist leanings.
Like many other Islamist charities, the IHH
has a record of providing relief to areas where
disaster has struck in the Muslim world.
However, the organization is not a force for
good. The Turkish nonprofit belongs to a
Saudi-based umbrella organization known
to finance terrorism called the Union of Good
(Ittilaf al-Kheir in Arabic). Notably, the Union
is chaired by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who is
known best for his religious ruling that
encourages suicide attacks against Israeli
civilians. According to one report, Qardawi
personally transferred millions of dollars to
the Union in an effort to provide financial
support to Hamas.
In 2008, the Israelis banned IHH, along with
35 other Islamist charities worldwide, for its
ties to the Union of Good. This was a follow-
on designation; Israelis first blocked the Union
of Good from operating in the West Bank and
Gaza in 2002.
Interestingly, the Union of Good may not only
be tied to Hamas. Included in the Israeli list of
36 designees was the International Islamic Relief
Organization (IIRO). In 2006, both the U.S.
government and the United Nations designated
the IIRO branch offices in Indonesia and the
Philippines for financing al Qaeda.
French magistrate Jean-Louis Brougiere also
testified that IHH had an "important role" in Ahmed
Ressam's failed "millennium plot" to bomb the
Los Angeles airport in late 1999.
The U.S. government, it should be noted, also
views the Union of Good as a terrorist organization.
On November 12, 2008, a press release from the
U.S. Treasury announced the umbrella group's
leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists
(SDGT), stating that the group was "created by
Hamas leadership to transfer funds to the
terrorist organization."
"Terrorist groups such as Hamas continue
to exploit charities to radicalize vulnerable
communities and cultivate support for
their violent activities," said Treasury
Undersecretary Stuart Levey.
According to Treasury, Hamas's leadership
actually created the Union of Good in 2000
—just after the launch of the armed campaign
against Israel—as a means to transfer funds
to Hamas. At the time of designation in 2008,
the Treasury believed that the Union of Good
was transferring "tens of millions of dollars a
year" to Hamas-controlled entities in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip.
As the Treasury release explained, "The Union
of Good acts as a broker for Hamas by
facilitating financial transfers between a web
of charitable organizations—including several
organizations previously designated… for
providing support to Hamas—and Hamas-
controlled organizations in the West Bank
and Gaza.
The primary purpose of this activity is to
strengthen Hamas' political and military
position in the West Bank and Gaza."
It gets worse. The Treasury, drawing from
declassified documents, stated unequivocally
that the Union of Good "compensated Hamas
terrorists by providing payments to the families
of suicide bombers. One of [the charities], the
Al-Salah Society, previously identified as a key
support node for Hamas, was designated in
August 2007... The Society employed a number
of members of the Hamas military wing and
supported Hamas-affiliated combatants during
the first Intifada."
Then there's the leadership. Apart from the
aforementioned Qardawi, Union of Good's
top officials include Hamas members, as
well as Yemeni national Abd al-Majid al-
Zindani, who was designated by the U.S.
Treasury as a terrorist in 2004 for providing
support to al Qaeda.
Thus, the convoy of ships allegedly trying
to bring aid to the Gaza Strip could never
be characterized as a "peace flotilla."
With ties to Hamas and other dangerous
groups, the IHH can only be described as a
dangerous organization. Its members only
underscored this fact when they attacked
Israeli naval personnel with iron bars and
knives, ultimately leading to the regrettable
deaths this morning on the Mediterranean Sea.
Jonathan Schanzer is a former terrorism finance
analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury
and the vice president for research at the
Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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