One significant method to cripple terrorism activity is a tight noose action on terror financing which has been going on in various parts of the world. Qatar has been known for its shameless action of financing terrorism militia. The embargo on this action levied on it two years, did not deter it from carrying on its activity. Instead, it found ways and means to spread its bilateral relational ties with other neighbouring nations like Sudan, Ethiopia and Iran.
Ebden Kaplan of the Council on Foreign Relations suggests that “A lower-profile but still crucial aspect of global anti-terror efforts involves unraveling the networks that have funded attacks from New York to Bali.” It is sad but shocking how “terrorists have proven adept at maintaining financial links intact.”
A recent incident of how blacklisted Al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorists and their supporters had used loopholes in UN sanctions enforcement procedures reveals our negligence in maintaining our own defenses within the system.
The terror militia could easily access bank accounts that are supposed to be frozen, Reuters and various other media reported this recently.
Amongst others, the most significance to come to light is Khalifa Al-Subaiy, a Qatari banker, who continues to function from Qatar, without any government control over him. It has been revealed that he was instrumental in providing financial support to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Subaiy has been withdrawing up to $10,000 at a time from his “frozen” account at Qatar National Bank, something which is completely unbelievable. This, it is said, he has been doing, supposedly, to meet essential living expenses, which actually has been utilized to finance terrorism.
It is ironical that a person with such a dubious background should at all be provided with banking facilities. Worldwide, today, opening a back account means a lot of checks and balances to be in place. It is a surprise that the Qatar Bank has let such a person indulge in terror financing without doing any background check on his credentials. Qatar National Bank has branches around the world. It can only be assumed that through this extensive global banking network Al-Subaiy had access to those countries in which the bank operates.
Terror Financing here is winning through two modes- one the loopholes in the UN sanctions and the other, carelessness in the banking systems.
It is high time that Qatar explains to the international community why it has allowed an individual on the UN sanctions list to have banking facilities through its most global bank, and give reassurances that he and other terrorists are no longer afforded such facilities. Over and above all this, the UN should have a system in place to ensure that those listed on their sanction list, does not indulge in dubious banking and find ways and means to finance their ulterior motives.
Terror financing is working only where money is easy to move and this is something that systematically needs to be combated by think tanks and concerned bodies worldwide.