How a Qatari financier helped blacklisted terrorists by using UN loopholes

Among those sanctioned, but gaining access to their accounts, is Qatari financier Khalifa al-Subaiy, who the US says provided significant financial support to Al-Qaeda and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 June 2019

How a Qatari financier helped blacklisted terrorists by using UN loopholes

  • UN officials accuse countries such as Qatar of not sufficiently monitoring blacklisted terrorists living within its borders
  • The UN has publicly alleged that a series of disclosures showed Al-Subaiy, a former Qatar central-bank official, continuing to finance terrorists and their activities through 2013

DUBAI: Lenient monitoring and loopholes within the United Nations’ Security Council sanctions procedures have allowed blacklisted terrorists with Al-Qaeda and Daesh gain access to frozen bank accounts, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Among those sanctioned, but gaining access to their accounts, is Qatari financier Khalifa al-Subaiy, who the US says provided significant financial support to Al-Qaeda and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Al-Subaiy, who was added to the UN terror blacklist in 2008, has been withdrawing funds up to $10,000 from frozen accounts for “basic necessities.” Home countries of blacklisted individuals apply for UN exemptions to sanctions that allow access to small amounts of money in order to pay for living expenses and food.

However, the exemptions procedure is “too loosely structured and lacks oversight,” the report added.

FASTFACT

 

● Khalifa Al-Subaiy, 54, a former official at Qatar’s central bank, was added to the UN terror blacklist in 2008.

● He is allowed to withdraw up to $10,000 at a time from accounts that are supposed to be frozen.

● Al-Subaiy has been financing terrorism since 2003.

UN officials accuse countries such as Qatar of not sufficiently monitoring blacklisted terrorists living within its borders.

“Exemptions are granted to virtually anyone who asks and for amounts that are sometimes seen as unjustifiably large; requests don't adequately detail needs as required; and there are no spending audits,” the report by the WSJ read.

The UN has publicly alleged that a series of disclosures showed Al-Subaiy, a former Qatar central-bank official, continuing to finance terrorists and their activities through 2013.

In January 2008, a court in Bahrain convicted Al-Subaiy in his absence of financing terrorism and being a member of a terrorist organization. Two months later he was arrested and imprisoned in Qatar, but released after only six months.

In June 2008, while in prison, Al-Subaiy was designated by the US for providing financial and other support to Al-Qaeda. Nevertheless, he lives openly in Doha while financing Islamist terror groups in Iraq and Syria.

“I would be hard pressed to find someone more prominent in the whole terrorism financing side,” said Hans-Jakob Schindler, a senior director at the Counter Extremism Project.


Iran seizes new boat near vital oil shipping lane

Updated 6 min 26 sec ago

Iran seizes new boat near vital oil shipping lane

  • A naval patrol of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps intercepted the vessel carrying 250,000 liters of fuel near the Strait of Hormuz
  • It is the second such seizure this month, after a boat suspected of smuggling fuel was detained, earlier this month

TEHRAN: Iran has seized a boat suspected of being used to smuggle fuel and arrested its 11 crew members near a vital oil shipping lane, state television reported on Monday.
A naval patrol of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps intercepted the vessel carrying 250,000 liters of fuel near the Strait of Hormuz, state TV’s website said, citing a commander of the force.
“This boat was sailing from Bandar Lengeh toward United Arab Emirates waters before it was seized 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Greater Tunb island,” Brig. Gen. Ali Ozmayi was quoted as saying.
“The boat’s 11 crew members have been arrested,” he added, without saying when it happened or giving their nationality.
State television broadcast footage from the deck of a trawler-sized vessel with open hatches showing tanks full of what appeared to be fuel.
It is the second such seizure this month, after a boat suspected of smuggling fuel was detained and its 12 Filipino crew members arrested in the Strait of Hormuz on September 7.
The news of the latest incident comes with tensions brewing in the Gulf after weekend drone attacks on two major Saudi oil installations that the United States has blamed on Iran.
Arch-enemies Tehran and Washington have been locked in a tense standoff since the US in May 2018 unilaterally pulled out of a multilateral accord that limited the scope of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The escalation has been accompanied by ships being mysteriously attacked, drones downed and oil tankers seized in the Strait of Hormuz — a chokepoint for a third of world’s seaborne oil.