The Many Failures of the International Body That Monitors Terror Financing

Originally founded to combat money laundering, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had its remit expanded in 2001 to monitor the funding of terrorism. At its most recent meeting in February, it took the commendable step of moving Iran from its “grey list” of states that deserve scrutiny to its “black list” of states that should be sanctioned for supporting terrorist groups. Noah Phillips writes that the facts that the Islamic Republic, which has systematically sponsored and participated in terrorism since its creation, had not already been on the black list, and that Pakistan—which has singlehandedly sustained the Taliban—remains on the grey demonstrates FATF’s ineffectiveness. And there are other offenders the body ignores entirely:

A host of countries with immense capital and robust terror affiliations have been blatantly disregarded by [FATF], which looks aside as they stir up terror without fear of condemnation. Most prominent among them is the Qatari regime. In true anti-Semitic fashion, Qatar doesn’t allow Israelis within its borders, and it maintains royal monetary and personnel ties to al-Qaeda, Islamic State, Hamas, Iran, and more. The emir of Qatar and his family have doled out billions in support of Hamas terror efforts in Gaza and millions to al-Qaeda, and several members of the royal family have been directly implicated in terror plots.

The Palestinian Authority similarly enjoys free rein to grow its “martyrs’ fund,” a governmental program to provide income to the families of terrorists, offering more cash according to length of prison sentence and a maximum if the martyr dies in the act of killing.

This practice, like others that promote terror against the state of Israel, warrants no mention by FATF. Neither Qatar nor the Palestinian Authority has ever been on the grey list, which is intended to monitor countries with developing terror-financial ties, let alone the black list. As it blatantly ignores the efforts of a host of nations to facilitate terror funding, FATF’s scope is severely narrowed. Major terrorist havens are unaffected by its policies.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: Hamas, Iran, Pakistan, Palestinian terror, Qatar, Terrorism

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism