Most Australians Demand Higher Power Prices
THE problem with being a self-appointed ‘fact checker’ is, that when you don’t check facts, you risk being just another discredited propaganda mouthpiece.
And when that fact checker is part of the ABC, well, one can only assume like many of the publicly-funded broadcaster's arms, it starts out with a predetermined position, and works backwards to pick and choose the information to mold it’s agenda.
Take, for example, the ABC's FACTCHECK; Does halal certification fund terrorism?
Their so-called investigation was prompted by Pauline Hanson’s claim on the Nine Network's Today program that halal certification was a money-making racket.
"It is a profit money-making racket. The money goes into Islamic organisations and has been connected to the Muslim Brotherhood in France and actually also in Canada,” she said.
The ‘Fact Check' report was a light surface scratch of a complex scam.
For example, on their primary question, ‘Does halal certification fund terrorism?’
The facts say ‘ YES’.
Fact Checker says, ‘NO’.
You can read the Fact Check report here:
Now, there’s a world of information available to you if you bother to look. But if you choose to look away from a problem, or somewhere else, and then proclaim, ‘nothing to see here’, that doesn’t mean the problem doesn’t exist. It just means you’re in denial.
Let’s take a look at the evidence.
Pauline Hanson referred to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a proscribed terrorist organisation by some governments, but not by the Australian government. Countries that do classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation are, Russia, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. There are cases where funds from Halal certification has been funnelled to the Muslim Brotherhood, but for the purpose of this exercise, we will look only at terrorism as classified by the Australian government.
Hamas is listed as a terrorist organisation by the Australian government, in particular the Hamas militants.
You can see this on the Australian government National Security page here:
In the US, France and Canada it has been proven that halal certification schemes have funded proscribed terrorist organisations.
According to publicly available information, the Canadian halal certifier MAC (Muslim Association of Canada) funnelled $14.6 million to the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN) Canada (an Islamic front charity), which in turn contributed to terrorist organisations including Hamas. These scams have now been broken up and the ringleaders charged.?The Canadian government has subsequently classified IRFAN as a terrorist entity.
The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), the main Muslim Brotherhood organisation in Canada owns the halal certification agency. For over ten years, MAC has been an important contributor to IRFAN-Canada, the Hamas fund collector in the country.
Hamas is involved in a program aiming not only at the elimination of the state of Israel but also at the destruction of Western civilization.
In a speech given on October 2011, its leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar stated that “This (Western) civilization will not be able to withstand the great and glorious Islam.” The Canada Revenue Agency revoked IRFAN-Canada’s charity status in April 2011 after having concluded that it financed the terrorist organisation Hamas.
You can read this in detail here:
On April 29, 2014, Steven Blaney, Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness announced that the Government of Canada has listed IRFAN-Canada as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code.
The listing process requires extensive analysis of intelligence and/or criminal information. Between 2005 and 2009, IRFAN-Canada transferred approximately $14.6 million worth of resources to various organizations associated with Hamas.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) revoked IRFAN-Canada's charitable status in 2011. CRA's findings indicated that IRFAN-Canada provided resources to operating partners that were run by officials of Hamas, openly supported and provided funding to Hamas, or have been listed by various jurisdictions because of their support for Hamas.
You can find this on the Canadian government website here:
That one case alone answers in the affirmative, that yes, halal certification funds terrorism.
In the US, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is a major halal certifying body. ISNA is listed by the US Administration in court documents as an unindicted co-conspirator with links to the Muslim Brotherhood and their various front groups.
The Justice Department designated ISNA as “an un-indicted co-conspirator as part of its successful 2007 trial of those accused of coordinating fundraising efforts for Hamas in the United States through the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation, (listed as a terrorist organisation in the United States).
Among the founders of the Holy Land Foundation is Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, a political leader of Hamas, who provided substantial funds to the Holy Land Foundation in the early 1990s, before Hamas was designated a terrorist organization. HLF reported Marzook's donations on its tax returns. Marzook was deported from the US to Jordan in 1997. He was indicted n August 20, 2004, by a US federal grand jury in Chicago. He and two other individuals were charged with a 15-year conspiracy to raise funds for terrorist attacks against Israel.
The judge’s (Judge Solis) ruling reads: “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the association of ISNA, with the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), and with Hamas”.
Key evidence presented at the trial were checks written to known Hamas terrorists and deposited into ISNA accounts from where they were passed on to Hamas. Shukri Abu Bakr, now serving a 65-year sentence following his conviction on multiple counts of providing material support to Hamas, admitted to working from inside ISNA’s headquarters as he served as Hamas’s top operative in the United States.
A three-page memo produced at the trial fingered both Abu Baker and ISNA as working together for the “coordination and accounting” of Hamas’s deadly suicide bombing campaign that killed and wounded thousands of Israelis between 2000 and 2003, during the so-called “2nd Palestinian Intifada.”Al-Imdaad Foundation – a South African charity, the British branch of which has previously partnered with Viva Palestina, the pro-Hamas charity established by George Galloway and that included Hamas activists among its staff.
In France, researchers of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre documented ties between one of the largest certification organisations UOIF (Union des Organisations Islamiques de France) and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as radical clerics involved in jihad campaigns.
The report states: “Furthermore, the UOIF participates directly in the financing of Hamas, through a French-registered charitable organisation, the CBSP (Palestinian Charitable and Relief Committee)”.
Much of the funnelling of funds to terrorists is done via Islamic charities, or Not For Profit Organisations (NPOs).
A number of Islamic charities are either proscribed as terrorist organisations or are accused of ties to terrorism.
You can see some of these here:
In Australia, an entry in the annual report of the halal certifier, Islamic Council of Western Australia (ICWA), confirms using profits for “...ongoing donations to Syria. Because of the difficult civil conditions, the donations were made through ‘Al Imdaad’ (Islamic charity) to ensure that no recriminations could be directed at ICWA”.
You can read it here (last line):
Al-Imdaad Foundation has previously partnered with Viva Palestina, the pro-Hamas charity that included Hamas activists among its staff.
One of Al-Imdaad’s trustees, Qari Ziyaad Patel, has written and sung a nasheed (Islamic song) in praise of the Taliban.
In 2012-13, Al-Imdaad's British branch raisedover £400,000 for the IHH, a Turkish charity widely accused of funding terrorism that publicly supports Hamas. Al-Imdaad UK has also given over £50,000 (over $80,000) to the Zamzam Foundation, a Somali charity run by the Saudi funded Somali Muslim Brotherhood.
In addition, events organized by Al-Imdaad UK have included speakers such as Maulana Sulaimaan Ravat, a South African preacher who has propagated conspiracy theories that Jews overthrew Libya's dictator, Colonel Gaddafi, in order to steal Libya's oil reserves.
On September 16, 2014, The Sydney Daily Telegraph reported:
"Islamic State supporters are siphoning money from charities and using not-for-profit organisations as a guise to transfer funds from Australia to finance terrorism.
"Terror groups have turned to charities as a vehicle to move sizable funds because surveillance of financial transfers has increased significantly."
You can read more here:
Human Appeal International (HAI) is an Islamic charity established in 1984. It has 14 offices worldwide including local offices in Australia at Lakemba (Sydney), Coburg (Melbourne) and Mile End (Adelaide).
America’s CIA rang alarm bells about HAI nearly 20 years ago in 1996, reporting, “International Islamic charities have established a presence in nearly every country around the world that has a substantial Muslim population. Islamic activists dominate the leadership of the largest charities and prominent members of some smaller organisations have been identified as extremists.
In regard to Human Appeal International (HAI) the CIA states, "Support to Extremist/Terrorist Activities: Among other activities, this organisation probably acts as a fund-raiser for Hamas.”
In 2003 the US FBI outlined, "....a close relationship between Human Appeal International and Hamas”. The FBI further reported that HAI was a major recipient of funding from the outlawed 'Specially Designated Global Terrorist' (SDGT) entity, and the 'Holy Land Foundation' (HLF).
In February 2005 Hamas’ website openly announced the receipt of funds from HAI, and in September of that year HAI was implicated in the investigation of British Hamas fundraiser Ahmad Saltana.
The Gatestone Institute in the US, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council which analyses and reports on issues such as military and diplomatic threats to the United States and its allies, events in the Middle East and their possible consequences, and the transparency and accountability of international organisations.
The Institute reported in June 2013 on ‘charities’ that are linked to Hamas, based on various government sources.
Its report on HAI is as follows:
In 2005, a website belonging to Hamas reported that funds were transferred from Human Appeal's affiliated organisation in the UAE to IQRA and Rifdah, two Hamas front organisations based in the West Bank.
In 2004, documents obtained from the US Internal Revenue Service by Senator Charles Grassley revealed that the IRS considered Human Appeal International to be one of a number of charities "which finance terrorism and perpetuate violence."
Further, leaked State Department cables also revealed that staff from the Human Appeal UAE branch were funding terror groups, and that, "In 2003, there were indications that HAI was sending financial support to organisations associated with Hamas and that members of its field offices in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Chechnya had connections to al-Qaeda associates."
In 2008, the Israeli Government proscribed a number of Human Appeal's affiliated international branches as "bodies that are active abroad and which are responsible for raising very large sums for Hamas activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip."
In July 2011, Human Appeal International was one of a number of charities honoured at a Hamas ceremony in Gaza.
Also in July 2011, Human Appeal hosted, along with the Palestinian Forum of Britain, an event with a number of radical hate preachers and Hamas supporters.
The Palestinian Forum of Britain is one of the UK's leading pro-Hamas organisations, whose spokesman is Zaher Al-Birawi, a man closely connected to the Hamas leadership.
One speaker at Human Appeal's 2011 event was Raed Saleh, a prominent supporter of Hamas, known for his anti-Semitic and anti-homosexual views. Saleh has claimed that 4,000 Jews skipped work at the World Trade Centre on 9/11, those who killed the "Martyr, Sheikh Osama Bin Laden" had "sold their consciences to Satan", and that the honour killing of girls is acceptable.
One of Saleh's poems includes the lines:
"You Jews are criminal bombers of mosques,?Slaughterers of pregnant women and babies.?Robbers and germs in all times,?The Creator sentenced you to be loser monkeys,?Victory belongs to Muslims, from the Nile to the Euphrates."
Saleh is best known for his frequent invocation of the 'blood libel' -- an ancient anti-Semitic claim that Jews kill children to use their blood to make matzah at Passover. Even a British court concluded that Saleh's comments were hateful of Jews.
Saleh was joined at the Human Appeal event by Ahmad Noufal (also spelled 'Nawfal'), a prominent figure in the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood who is "directly involved in sponsoring and organising Hamas terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians." In 2005, Noufal endorsed the French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy on Saudi television:
Roger Garaudy said: "If we take the number of gas chambers and the maximal daily capacity of an oven, and multiply them by the period, you Zionists claim the Holocaust lasted – even if we multiply the number of ovens by the maximal [capacity], the figure is grossly exaggerated. The number of those burned [sic] was 600,000. You added another zero, and turned it into six million."
In December 2011, Human Appeal hosted an event which featured the hate preacher Haitham al-Haddad as a guest speaker. Al-Haddad regards Jews as, "enemies of god, and the descendants of apes and pigs", and disregards any form of peace until "Allah's law [will] govern the whole earth, and for no other law to remain."
Haddad deems homosexuality a crime and supports the subjugation of women, telling them: "you must obey [your husband]." (end)
In Australia, Human Appeal International raises much of its funds through an annual concert called ‘Sounds of Light’, held at the end of each year at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Olympic Park, Sydney, Town Hall, Adelaide and Riverside Theatre, Perth.
A major ‘Gold’ sponsor of Sound of Light is Halal Helpline (www.halalhelpline.org). Gold sponsorship for the HAI Sounds of Light concert is $20,000.
Halal Helpline is an affiliate of Sydney-based Halal Certification Authority Pty Ltd.
Financing terrorism is an offence under the federal Criminal Code with a penalty of imprisonment.
According to the federal Attorney-General’s Department a person can be convicted of financing terrorism if they "donate to a charity and are aware there is a substantial risk that the donation will be used for terrorism purposes".
When the Australian federal Police or Crime Commission is asked if halal certification in Australia is linked to terrorism, journalists usually get the stock standard answer that, “We have no information to indicate there are links to terrorism financing from halal certification fees” or “we are not aware of any direct links between the legitimate halal certification industry and money laundering or the financing of terrorist groups,”
That doesn’t mean there isn’t evidence. It just means they haven’t looked due to the limited powers under govt legislation - or it’s impossible to follow the complex money trail designed by the terrorist funders to create a web of deceit.
David Chaikin, an expert on international financial crime at the University of Sydney Business School has said, “If money goes to an overseas charity, the problem we've got is that charity may give money to another charity and that's impossible to track,"
"I think it's a bit of a needle in a haystack."
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a global independent intergovernmental body that develops policies to protect the global financial system against money laundering and terrorist financing.
FATF recommendations are recognised as the standard for global anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF). The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) references FATF for its intelligence on terrorist funding.
The AIC is Australia's national research and knowledge centre on crime and justice under the watch of the Federal Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan.
The most recent report by an Australian government on the links between terrorists and non-profit organisations was over three years ago.
Julia Gillard was Prime Minister, Nicola Roxon was Attorney General and Jason Clare was Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice.
On February 10, 2012, Roxon and Clare released a report by the AIC on the risks of money laundering and terrorism funding by NPOs. It was pretty much just a rehash of the FATF warnings.
The AIC report contains no local information or scrutiny of any NPOs, because they’ve not been checked out. So of course our intelligence agencies will tell reporters they have ‘no evidence’ of links from halal certification to terror.
The AIC admits damningly:
"Australia has not conducted a similar examination of financial management in the non-profit sector, other than to produce guidelines that include best-practice approaches to mitigating risk of abuse (see Regulation of the non-profit sector)." (end)
In other words, “We haven’t bothered to look.”
The report found that smaller, local, community-based NPOs, especially informal ethnic and faith-based charities (i.e. Islamic) often fall outside the watchful regulatory eye of our government agencies and are especially likely to be used for financing terrorism.
The report says terror funding is undertaken by exploiting legitimate charities where funds raised for charitable purposes are diverted to individuals or groups associated with terrorism. Sham charities are common.
In a number of cases, the NPO collects funds intended for humanitarian aid or welfare relief, but a percentage is specifically intended for the financing of terrorists.
Many of the implicated “charities” form part of a complex web, moving funds between multiple accounts held by various charities, sister NPOs, companies (both legitimate and fictitious) and individuals.
Multiple conduits are used in the country of money origin and transferred across different jurisdictions, before eventually being transmitted to the intended recipient(s) – terrorists.
Funds are first deposited into the bank accounts of charities, or of individuals associated with charities, before being transferred, using cash deposits, wire transfers or other remittance schemes.
And that's how it's done.
Verdict: Fact Check’s claim doesn't check out.
Since this piece was written, AUSTRAC, Australia’s money laundering and terrorism funding tracker has appeared before the Senate Inquiry into Third Party Food Certification.
This is what AUSTRAC told the Senate inquiry on 24 September 2015:
Senator BERNARDI: But you do not really track it, in essence, do you? You do not follow the certification money through a group like AFIC into a mosque or a bookstore where there are extremist materials and theconversion of people and the inspiring of jihadis is taking place.
Mr Robertson (AUSTRAC National Manager of Intelligence): The answer to that is: no, we do not follow those funds, particularly, for those entities who are engaged in halal certification. Our work has not taken us there. The monitoring of transactions that we do and the other information that we have received have not required us to prioritise that. There are other elements of the funding of all the things that present that current threat, which we do focus on, but the halal certification has not been one of those.
Senator BERNARDI: Let me give you an example: Human Appeal International. It is an international organisation that has ties to Hamas. Hamas is not a proscribed organisation in Australia, but the Hamas brigades are. You can track the money from Human Appeal International that sends out to Hamas. Is that right? They have to send it to an end recipient, so you know that it is going to Hamas or whatever their organisation is.
Mr Robertson: If Human Appeal International has a bank account in Australia and they send funds, yes, we would see where that money was.
Senator BERNARDI: But you cannot then track what Hamas does with the funding?
Mr Robertson: Based on what is reported to us, no.
Senator BERNARDI: If a halal certifier boasts about supporting an organisation like Human Appeal International, which is directly linked to Hamas and has personnel on their international body that are linked to Hezbollah, which is not a good group of people, it is not too long a bow to draw and say, 'The profits of halal certification are linked to organisations that are not acting in Australia's interests?
Mr Robertson: That is when AUSTRAC does not have that investigative mandate in terms of an agency.
Senator BERNARDI: I can find this out through a Google search, effectively. We have a bloke (Mohammed El Mouelhy of Halal Certification Authority Pty Ltd) who is boasting and is contributing to a charity which is directly linked to those types of organisations. How can you not conclude that the profits of halal certification, which this man openly boasts runs into millions of dollars for him, are contributing to extremist organisations?
Mrs Jamieson (AUSTRAC Acting General Manager, Compliance): We look at the financial transaction reports that come in. As we said, halal certification, the business, does not fall under our legislation. So we revert back to the transaction reports that we then receive, which are the international funds transfers. Mr Robertson has explained to you what we do with that information when we receive it.
Senator BERNARDI: Once again, I come back to this: have you specifically looked at the use of funds by organisations that conduct halal certification?
Mr Robertson: The answer to that is no, we are not looking specifically at the use of those funds…. we do not have any active work against those movements of funds.
Senator BERNARDI: I have learned not to rely on ABC Fact Check. ABC Fact Check said,
'A spokesman for AUSTRAC told Fact Check it had no information to indicate that there are links to terrorism financing from halal certification fees.’
That may be entirely accurate but it is because you have not investigated halal certification fees and the use of that.
Mr Robertson: Again, for clarity, we do not conduct the investigations per se—and I know it is terminology. On the basis that a third party outside of AUSTRAC has not been able to refer us to information that provides that evidence to look at it—and our own detection and monitoring systems of what we know about how terrorism financing occurs has not surfaced that information—the short answer is no.
You can read more here: http://zanettisview.com/story/why-austrac-cant-investigate-the-halal-terror-tax/788