Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Al-Shabaab "Money Man" Sheikh Hassan al-Turki Runs the "Al-Barakaat Hawala" Money Transfers from Norway, UK & USA to Somalia in Support of Terrorism.

Sheik Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki, (his photo), Al-Shabaab leader -- on U.S. and U.N. lists of al Qaeda associates. From the Ogaden clan, reported to be active in Southern Somalia, lower Juba near Kismayo. Hassan al-Turki is part of the Al-Itihaad Al-Islamiya (AIAI) leadership. In the early 1990's as Somalia fell into disorder following the end of the Siad Barre regime, Osama bin Laden took advantage of the chaos to fund Al-Itihaad (AIAI), later sending foreign militants who trained and fought alongside al-Itihaad members with the goal of creating an Islamist state in the Horn of Africa. AIAI was also active in setting up sharia courts. An article published in the San Francisco Chronicle, in December 16, 2001 quoted unnamed intelligence officials who claimed AIAI was extensively connected to Al Barakaat. The San Francisco Chronicle called al Barakat a Somali-based business conglomerate and money transfer organization. In 1993, AIAI members were suspected to be behind the killing of eighteen elite U.S. rangers in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu (Black Hawk Down). The AIAI members allegedly gunned down two U.S. helicopters, which claimed the lives of many American soldiers. The U.S. Department of State has also accused the AIAI of a past history of participating in insurgent-style attacks against Ethiopian forces as well as other Somali factions.

According to U.S. intelligence officials, Al-Itihaad (AIAI) cooperated with the al-Qaeda operatives who carried out the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam that killed 224 people. In June 2004, Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki, who had become leader of the organization AIAI, was also sanctioned for his connections to bin Laden. Hassan Al-Turki went on to lead Hizbul Al-Shabaab, the Youth Movement wing of the ICU. Al-Shabaab announced that Hassan al Turki rejected support for ARS and declared his alliance to Al-Shabaab. Sheikh Hassan Al-Turki provides military training bases and recruits for the Al-Shabaab through his Ogaden sub-clan local communities, who support him. Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki, also known as Hassan Turki, has been associated with al-Qaida and has provided support for acts of terrorism. For these reasons, the Secretary made his designation. Because Hassan Turki has links to al-Qaida, the United States asked that the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee include him on its consolidated list maintained pursuant to relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, including 1267 and 1526.
Since Hassan Turki’s name was listed, all UN Member States are obligated to impose certain sanctions against him, specifically an arms embargo and a travel ban, as well as a freeze on his funds, other financial assets and economic resources and a prohibition on their nationals and any persons in their territories from making available to him any funds, other financial assets and economic resources. The International Crisis Group (ICG), an independent non-profit organization headquartered in Brussels, has identified Hassan Turki as a prominent figure in AIAI. An ICG paper entitled "Somalia: Countering Terrorism in a Failed State" noted that Hassan Turki was a former military commander in lower Jubba. The paper states that the fact that Al-Qaida had contact with members of AlAI is "unquestionable". It further noted that there is evidence that "Al-Qaeda had ties with the movement in Luuq from 1991 to 1996, and again in the lower Jubba region (Ras Kiamboni) in 1997, as Al-Qaeda was preparing to attack the US Embassy in Nairobi".

Al-Itihaad (AIAI) exerts considerable influence over Al Barakaat, a Somali-based business conglomerate and money transfer organization described by U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill as one of the "financiers of terror." Treasury agents, after the Bush administration accused Al Barakaat of moving funds for al Qaeda, have shut the organization down, raiding branches in Minneapolis, Seattle, Boston and Ohio, investigating two more Al Barakaat offices in Virginia and preventing the firm from operating outside Somalia. Administration officials also believe that the owner of Al Barakaat, Ahmed Nur Ali Jimale, has been a friend and supporter of Osama bin Laden since the 1980s, when both fought in Afghanistan against Soviet invaders, and that bin Laden provided seed money that helped found Al Barakaat in 1989.
On 3 June 2004, pursuant to Executive Order No. 13224, the United States designated domestically and froze the assets of Hassan Abdullah Hersi Al-Turki for engaging in activities on behalf of and in support of Al-Qaida through Al-Barakaat. The United States requested the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee to add the name of Hassan Abdullah Hersi Al-Turki to the consolidated list of entities/individuals subject to sanctions that UN member states are required to implement pursuant to UNSC Resolutions 1267, 1333, 1455 and most recently, 1526. Fri, 29 Feb 2008, Norway and Sweden probe six Somali's on suspicion of funding terrorism with cash sent ot Al-Shabaab. Security police in Norway and Sweden Friday continued their investigations against six men of Somali origin detained the day before on suspicion of funding terrorism abroad. A court in Stockholm on Friday remanded two men aged 37 and 42 in custody after closed door hearings on suspicion of funnelling "money to terrorist groups in Somalia" with the aim of using the money for terrorist acts. Security police spokesmen in both countries said suspicions included that funds were channelled to the militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab

"Donations" are solicitated via the offical Al-Shabaab website http://www.kataaib.net/ that is hosted in the USA by the Dotster Web Co, 8100 NE Parkway Dr # 300Vancouver, WA 98662, Phone (360) 449-5900 .............On-line report form.
A). In our view: Internet Censor - May 7, 2008, A Florida man's heart might be in the right place, but he is misguided in his bid to get a Vancouver Internet service company to drop a Somali-language Web site. Bill Warner, a Sarasota private investigator ( www.wbipi.com ), wants Dotster Inc. of...
B). Dotster under fire for Web content - May 6, 2008, Kataaib.net often praises leaders in al-Qaida in Somalia.
C). Should Dotster continue to host a Web site that frequently praises Islamic militants? - May 5, 2008, On one side: The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right to freedom of speech and expression, and law enforcement agencies...

On September 8, in an interview with the BBC Somali Service, Sheikh Hassan al-Turki, the self-described “elder” of al-Shabaab, endorsed the new administration in Kismayo, particularly the appointment of a mayor from Somaliland , arguing that the administration is founded on “Islam” rather than the clan-based formula of the T.F.G. He added that the local clans in Kismayo “would fight among each other” were clan representation to be applied. There are at least eight remittance companies (Hawala's) operating internationally and many smaller ones operating both inside and outside Somalia. The most significant companies are as follows:
Name of remittance company......Location of Headquarters
Amal Express ...........................Ras El-Khimah, United Arab Emirates
Al-Mustaqbal ................................Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Barwaqo Financial Services ..................Republic of Djibouti
Dalsan ....................................................Nairobi, Kenya
Dahabshiil .............................................Hargeisa, Somaliland
Kaah Express .........................................Nairobi, Kenya
Salama Money Express ..........................London, United Kingdom
Towfiq ....................................................Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The international type of remittance company (Hawala) is highly sophisticated. Reaching many parts of the world it conducts business through international banks and primarily deals in hard currencies. International operations use electronic communication equipment, i.e. mobile phones, faxes and e-mail to communicate and also make use of regulated financial institutions. Monies transferred from far away can be in the hands of the recipient in Somalia in less than 72 hours. Remittance transactions are almost always cash. There are three different classifications of cash management in remittance operations:
I. Dead cash – this is the cash that is collected by remittance agents on
a daily basis but has not yet been deposited in the banks. It is difficult
to estimate the amount of this cash.
II. Transit cash – this is cash that is transferred from a local bank
account in any given city around the world to the corporate central
bank account in a different city or country. It is a daily transaction by
the agents to the mother company accounts. Estimates for this
category range $2 million to $3 million per day.
III. Stand-by cash – this is cash that is held by the receiving agent in a
given country mainly in Somalia and or an east African country where
Somali refugees reside, or in countries where trade transactions are
conducted. The amounts are equivalent to that of transit transactions. From Norway approximately $10.6 million was remitted in 2007 to Somalia. In the United Kingdom approximately $15 million per month was remitted to Somalia in 2007 . Another reliable source estimates that in year 2007 the flow of remittance to Somalis in Kenya was approximately $4 million a month.

Bill Warner
Private Investigator