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.
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.