Wednesday, October 10, 2007

3 Saudis designated as Terrorist Financiers by US Treasury Department

Apparently the US government finally got into the act and had our Treasury Department designate a few Saudis as active al-Qaeda financiers. My first response to this is `only 3'?

The fact is that this is only the tip of the ice berg.

"The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) three individuals based in Saudi Arabia who have served as significant sources of financial and other support to individuals and entities in Southeast Asia previously named as SDGTs and listed pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1267.

"These three terrorist financiers were instrumental in raising money to fund terrorism outside of Saudi Arabia," said Stuart Levey, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. "In order to deter other would-be donors, it is important to hold these terrorists publicly accountable."

Abdul Rahim Al-Talhi, Muhammad `Abdallah Salih Sughayr, and Fahd Muhammad `Abd Al-`Aziz Al-Khashiban were designated for providing support to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), an al Qaida-affiliated terrorist group responsible for multiple bombings, kidnappings and other terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia.

Today's action was taken pursuant to Executive Order 13224. E.O. 13224 is aimed at financially isolating terrorists and their support networks. Designations made under this authority freeze any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit transactions by U.S. persons with the designees. This action under E.O. 13224 also implements yesterday's decision by the UN 1267 Committee to include these three persons on its Consolidated List of persons and entities associated with al Qaida, the Taliban, or Usama bin Laden. This UN decision obligates UN member countries around the world to freeze the assets of the designees.

Identifying Information

The three individuals who have been designated have been known by a variety of name spellings and aliases. Those can be found on the website of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC),

Abdul Rahim Al-Talhi

ADDRESS: Buraydah, Saudi Arabia
DOB: December 8, 1961
POB: Al-Taif, Saudi Arabia
NATIONALITY: Saudi Arabian
PASSPORT: F275043, issued 05/29/04, expires 04/05/09

Abdul Rahim al-Talhi (al-Talhi) was designated under E.O. 13224 for providing support to the ASG. Al-Talhi is an al Qaida-affiliated financier, a loyal colleague of Usama bin Laden, and a member of a Saudi Arabia-based donor network funding terrorists and supporting extremist activity.

Al-Talhi provided financial and other assistance to the ASG in the Philippines for many years. In the early 1990s, al-Talhi visited the Philippines with the goal of financing the ASG in its fight against the Philippine government. By the mid-1990s, al-Talhi was providing the ASG with financial assistance derived from donors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. In addition, al-Talhi regularly supplied al Qaida ideological and training materials, including the al Qaida operations manual, to Philippine contacts.

In the late 1990s, Muhammad `Abdallah Salih Sughayr, who was also designated today, was selected to succeed al-Talhi as the principal backer of the ASG and its affiliates in the Philippines. Al-Talhi remained active, however. As of early 2003, al-Talhi was assisting Sughayr in obtaining financial support from Saudi Arabia-based extremist donors. As of December 2006, al-Talhi had helped groom ASG leaders.

Muhammad `Abdallah Salih Sughayr

DOB: August 20, 1972
Alternate DOB: August 10, 1972
POB: Al-Karawiya, Saudi Arabia
NATIONALITY: Saudi Arabian

Muhammad `Abdallah Salih Sughayr (Sughayr) was designated today under E.O. 13224 for supporting the ASG. Sughayr has a history of providing support to terrorist groups in Southeast Asia and has been identified as one of the major financial supporters of the ASG. Recent information indicates that he continues to be active in transferring funds to the Philippines.

In the late 1990s, unidentified Saudi extremist donors wishing to provide financial and ideological support to the ASG network in the Philippines selected Sughayr to be their principal conduit. Sughayr was to succeed Al-Talhi, a Saudi national and al Qaida-affiliated financier who had recently left the Philippines. Sughayr, however, continued to receive support from Al-Talhi. From 1998 to 2003, Sughayr ensured continued financial and ideological support to the ASG and its affiliates in the Philippines. He also facilitated unspecified weapons and ammunition shipments to the ASG and provided advice and assistance to the group. In addition, he recruited foreign fighters to fill out ASG ranks and gave specialized training in guerilla operations to the ASG.

In one instance in June 2004, Sughayr was made aware of certain ASG financial needs and deposited an unspecified sum of money into an account and alerted a possible ASG associate the deposit had been made. Also in 2004, Sughayr planned to send money for weapons to an ASG member. Sughayr was arrested by Philippine authorities in 2005 and subsequently deported to Saudi Arabia.

Fahd Muhammad `Abd Al-`Aziz Al-Khashiban

DOB: October 16, 1966
POB: `Aniza, Saudi Arabia
NATIONALITY: Saudi Arabian

Fahd Muhammad Abd Al-`Aziz Al-Khashiban (Khashiban) was designated today under E.O. 13224 for supporting the ASG, including ASG's leadership. In the early 2000s, Khashiban gave then-ASG leader Khadaffy Janjalani approximately US $18,000 to finance a planned ASG bombing operation targeting either the U.S. or the Australian embassy in Manila. Philippine authorities disrupted this plot before its completion, but Khashiban continued to routinely provide money to the ASG."

Now, here are few interesting bits we can extrapolate from all this verbiage.....

First of all, none of these characters is going to be extradited to the US or restricted back home in any significant way. The only effect this will have is to freeze assets directly connected with these three individuals in certain countries around the world..painful, but not deadly. Second, it's obvious from Sughayr's speedy `deportation' from the Phillipines that the Saudi government put major pressure on, and that he has high level political protection back in the Kingdom.

All the increased scrutiny will do is force the pro-jihad Saudis to find other front men to funnel cash through. And given the higher visibility as terrorism enablers given to huge Saudi `charities' like the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), Al-Haramain, and the Muslim World League (MWL), more of that money will come from clandestine networks and individuals rather than being funneled through these `charities'.

And of course, none of this addresses the billions of dollars the Saudis have spent on creating jihad friendly mosques and madrassahs throughout America through their front group, the Islamic Society of North America to radicalize the younger generation of Muslims....

The present occupant of the White House is a bit too chummy with our `eternal friend' the Saudis to tackle doing much of anything about that.


Anonymous said...

We all know and Bush knows too, that Saudi is a major fundraiser for terrorism. Most of the forgien fighters in Iraq are all from Saudi. Yet Bush is raising his sword towards Iran. Bush and his family have a close buisness relationship with Saudi Arabia. The Bush Family has made millons off the relationship if not billons. Read the book "Paramedic to the Prince" it will open your eyes to the real Saudi Arabia. We invaded the wrong country.

Freedom Fighter said...

Actually, Anonymous, we invaded Iraq to protect the House of Saud and Bush's other pals in the UAE:

J O S H U A P U N D I T: Between Iraq and a hard place - Why we went, how it got so screwed up and where it's going , Part 1

All Best,