Financing Terrorism

Spotlight on Global Jihad (July 15-21, 2021)

Syria: Idlib region – 10 soldiers were killed and several others were wounded in exchanges of artillery fire between the Syrian army and the rebels. Iraq: One noteworthy attack this week was a deadly attack carried out by ISIS operatives on the eve of Eid al-Adha in a crowded open market in a Shiite neighborhood in east Baghdad. Africa: ISIS announced the resumption of hostilities between its operatives and the joint forces of Mozambique, South Africa and Portugal in the Palma region, northeast of Mozambique. Afghanistan: ISIS operatives continued to attack government and Taliban targets.
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The Palestinian Authority (PA) found a creative way to continue transferring monthly payments to Palestinian terrorist prisoners, the wounded and the families of shaheeds

On July 6, 2021, a ceremony was held in the headquarters of the PA post office bank in Ramallah, attended by the Palestinian minister of communications, inaugurating a new method that will enable the PA to make its monthly payments to Palestinian terrorist prisoners, the wounded and the families of shaheeds. Payments will now be made through ATMs which will be distributed to post office branches in Judea and Samaria.
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The attack on a senior lecturer of the Islamic University of Gaza during Operation Guardian of the Walls emphasized once again the connection between the university, which enjoys EU funding, and Hamas.

On the morning of May 12, 2021, the IDF attacked a location in the western part of Gaza City where senior Hamas figures had gathered, including Bassem Issa, brigade commander in Hamas' military-terrorist wing. Fourteen people were killed, all of them Hamas operatives, some of them holding high-ranking positions. One was Dr. Jamal al-Zebda, who held a PhD in mechanical engineering. He studied in the United States and was a senior lecturer in the IUG's engineering faculty. He also developed weapons for Hamas' military wing and headed the rocket development program under the direct supervision of Muhammad al-Deif, the commander of the military wing. Jamal al-Zebda tutored an entire generation of engineers at the IUG, recruited many of them to the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades' weapons' development program, especially the aspects dealing with rockets and UAVs (al-Akhbar, May 22, 2021). His son, Usama al-Zebda (who held American citizenship), also an engineer, joined him in serving Hamas. He was killed in the same attack.
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The Palestinian Authority examines alternatives for continuing to make payments to prisoners and families of shaheeds after the option of the Bank of Independence is no longer on the agenda

On June 1, 2020, the Palestinian Authority (PA) authorized the establishment of a government banking institution without connections to the global banking system. It was supposed to be called the Bank of Independence for Development and Investment, and the PA would use it to make payments to the prisoners, released prisoners and families of shaheeds. However, about half a year later, establishing the bank has hit a dead end and in effect been abandoned.
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Changes in Palestinian Monetary Authority senior personnel, apparently in view of the Palestinian Authority’s plans to circumvent the problem of making payments to terrorists and the families of shaheeds

On January 1, 2021 an order given by the IDF Commander of the Central Command went into effect banning the banks in Judea and Samaria from providing banking services to Palestinian prisoners, released prisoners and the families of shaheeds receiving payments from the Palestinian Authority (PA). Following the order, the Bank of Palestine, the largest Palestinian bank, began closing accounts of prisoners and shaheed families. (Filastin al-A'an, January 5, 2021).
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Financing Terrorism

A terrorist organization must have sources of financing to finance and carry out all of its activity and goals. Without financing sources, it will be difficult for the organization to exist and carry out its goals. Without financing, the organization will not be able to handle, support and equip its operatives, and prepare and maintain a reasonable infrastructure for its activity.

Terrorist financing can be divided into two main goals: financing a focused act of terrorism with a clear goal. In this case, the financing activity will be limited in scope, amount and time. The other type of goal is a broader goal of establishing, maintaining, and cultivating the terrorist infrastructure, organizational structure, purchasing, ongoing expenses, payment of salaries and more. In this case, the financing activity is not limited in time, ceiling or financial scope.

Most of the money for terrorism financing comes from terror-sponsoring countries, among which Iran is prominent (and is involved in the financing of terrorism carried out by Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad). Terrorist organizations have additional sources of financing, such as revenues from criminal activity (Hezbollah), the sale of oil products, and the collection of taxes from the population (ISIS). Other organizations finance terrorism with funds obtained from sources such as donations, charities, commercial profits, etc., which were diverted to terrorism financing.

In recent years there has been growing recognition of the importance of thwarting terrorist financing channels as part of the effort to thwart terrorist activity. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the international struggle against terror financing gained momentum, and it was decided to integrate the international struggle against terrorism into the struggle against terrorism financing and even to streamline it through legislation and counterterrorism activities. However, as the struggle against terrorism financing increases, the methods of terrorism financing become more sophisticated and diverse, making it more difficult to monitor the sources of terrorism financing and to cope with them.