Dr. Shaw Promotes Valuable D.C. Counterjihad Conference


Dr. Leslie Shaw, PhD

 

John R. Houk

© April 12, 2018

 

I received an unsolicited email from a Dr. Leslie Shaw, an Associate Professor teaching at the Paris campus of ESCP Europe (acronym for: École supérieure de commerce de Paris). This Is a business college located at various metropolitan cities across Europe.

 

I’m not sure how Dr. Shaw discovered me, but I’d like to believe it was one of the three blogs I post at. The nature of the email was to inform the date of a Counterjihad Conference to be held at Washington DC. The Conference stand is “to break the taboo and tackle head-on the campaign being waged by political Islam to make Western business Sharia-compliant.” The Conference is sponsored by the Forum on Islamic Radicalism and Management (FIRM).

Dr. Shaw’s email is actually a forward from him to FIRM Europe (and probably other recipients not listed) on 3/28/18. Here is the forwarded portion of the email sent to me by Dr. Shaw:

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

On Thursday 26 April 2018 Forum on Islamic Radicalism and Management is hosting a conference at the US Capitol to break the taboo and tackle head-on the campaign being waged by political Islam to make Western business Sharia-compliant.

 

In France corporates are gradually overcoming a reluctance to discuss this issue out of fear of accusations of Islamophobia but in the USA the core value of religious freedom is being used by Islamists as an instrument to stifle debate.

 

The conference will include speakers from France, the UK, Belgium, Hungary and Israel as well as from the USA.

 

Admission is free. Participants may make a donation towards the cost of organizing this event, the goals of which are to raise awareness of and explore ways to combat the encroachment of political Islam in the corporate sector.

 

Details in the attachments and links:

 

https://firmeurope.com/events

 

https://firm.eventsmart.com/events/islamic-radicalism-workplace-2/

 

This event is the second in a biannual series that will alternate between Paris and Washington. The next conference will be held at the National Assembly, Paris on 15 November 2018.

 

Best regards,

Leslie Shaw
Associate Professor
—————–
Paris Campus/République

79 avenue de la République – 75543 Paris Cedex 11 – France

 

Dr. Shaw sent two PDF promo attachments with the email. Thanks to the magic of conversion software, below is the text of those PDFs. After the two PDFs, I’m cross posting a Clarion Project interview with Dr. Shaw the FIRM sponsored conference, Political Islam in the Workplace. 

 

JRH 4/12/18

Please Support NCCR

***********************

FIRM

London Center for Policy Research

American Center for Democracy

 

PRESENTING A GROUNDBREAKING CONFERENCE

 

Political Islam in the Workplace

Thursday 26th April 2018

 

On Thursday 26 April 2018 at the United States Capitol, Washington DC from 3pm to 9pm FIRM, London Center for Policy Research and American Center for Democracy are hosting the world’s most informed experts on Islamic radicalism and executives from flagship corporates.

 

They’ll be coming together in one room for America’s first Political Islam in the Workplace conference.

 

A wide range of topics will be covered;

 

  • from religious accommodation to detection of radicalization

 

  • from lethal attacks on soft targets to lawfare against employers

 

  • from micro-financing of jihad to security and protection of employees and customers and everything in between!

 

We’re curating an incredible group of people who are working tirelessly to find solutions to the global scourge of Islamic radicalism. Admission to hear them speak and ask them questions is by registration and we’re vetting every prospective attendee to make sure we have the right people in the room.

 

This event is a unique opportunity for lawmakers and professionals from the public and private sectors to learn from leading experts on this crucial topic, share experiences, exchange best practises and better equip themselves to deal with the security, legal and HR challenges posed by the growing threat of Islamic radicalism to free enterprise and democracy.

 

To apply

 

  1. Go to our website – https://firmeurope.com/

 

  1. Submit your email

 

  1. Click registration link on Events page

 

All conference attendees will receive a copy of our report.

 

++++++++++++++++++

London Center for Policy Research

FIRM

American Center for Democracy

 

Political Islam in the Workplace

 

03:00 – 03:30 | Registration

 

03.30 – 04.00 | Welcome and opening address

 

  • Eli Gold

 

  • Leslie Shaw – Islamic Radicalism in the Workplace Survey Results

 

04.00 – 05 :30 | Panel 1 – Political Islam and the Workplace

 

  1. Rachel Ehrenfeld – The Islamist Economic Warfare against the West

 

  1. Pierre Spain – Islamist Infiltration of Labor Unions at Paris CDG Airport

 

  1. Herbert London – Political Correctness and An Inability to Recognize the Threat

 

  1. Philippe Chansay-Wilmotte – Freeing Business from the Shackles of Political Islam

 

 

05:30 – 06:30 | Dinner and networking break

 

06:30 – 08:00 | Panel 2 – Managing the Threat

 

  1. Zoltán Ladányi – A Blueprint for Regulating Religion in the Workplace

 

  1. Joseph Trindal – Addressing Radicalization as another Insider Threat in Sensitive Job Categories

 

  1. Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin – The Workplace Jihadi’s Inside-Out World

 

  1. Frank Figliuzzi – Lessons Learned: Case Studies from the Corporate World

 

 

08:00 – 08:15 | Keynote

 

  • To be announced

 

08:15 – 08:30 | Closing remarks

 

  • Eli Gold

 

  • Leslie Shaw

 

Speakers

 

  • Philippe Chansay-Wilmotte – Lawyer at Brussels Bar with extensive experience working for governments, including Islamic governments.

 

  • Rachel Ehrenfeld – Director of American Center for Democracy and Economic Warfare Institute.

 

  • Frank Figliuzzi – Chief Operating Officer, ETS Global Risk Management, Inc; NBC News National Security Analyst; Former Director, Corporate Investigations and Assistant Chief Security Officer, the General Electric Company; Former FBI Assistant Director of Counterintelligence.

 

  • Eli Gold – Senior Vice President, London Center for Policy Research; Senior Fellow, Soran University; Former President and Chairman, The Harbour League.

 

  • Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin – External Expert, Universidad de Granada; Psychoanalyst, Arabist, Counter-Terrorism Expert.

 

  • Zoltan Ladanyi – LPN Global Security Solutions.

 

  • Herbert London – President, London Center for Policy Research; Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; Former President, Hudson Institute; Professor Emeritus and former John M. Olin Professor of Humanities, New York University.

 

  • Leslie Shaw – Associate Professor, ESCP Europe Business School.

 

  • Pierre Spain – Corporate Director, Delta Air Lines (rtd).

 

  • Joseph Trindal – Director of Programs, Engility Corporation; Leading Department of Justice ICITAP and OPDAT programs; Former President, InfraGard National Capital Region; Former President and Chief Operating Officer, Akal Security.

 

+++++++++++++++++++

Is Islamism a Problem in America’s Workplaces?

 

By CLARION PROJECT 

March 29, 2018

Clarion Project

DAGENHAM, ENGLAND – JANUARY 13: An employee works on an engine production line at a Ford factory on January 13, 2015 in Dagenham, England. Originally opened in 1931, the Ford factory has unveiled a state of the art GBP475 million production line that will start manufacturing the new low-emission, Ford diesel engines from this November this will generate more than 300 new jobs, Ford currently employs around 3000 at the plant in Dagenham. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Workers at a Ford factory in the UK (Illustrative photo: Carl Court/Getty Images)

 

The first conference in the U.S. on the subject of Political Islam in the Workplace will take place in Washington, D.C. on April 26, 2018  The event is co-sponsored by Forum on Islamic Radicalism and Management (FIRM), London Center for Policy Research and American Foundation for Democracy. Clarion Project spoke to event co-ordinator Dr. Leslie Shaw of FIRM:

 

Clarion: Back in 2016, CAIR described this planned conference as Islamophobic. Can you comment on that?

 

Leslie Shaw: CAIR’s opinion is driven by sectarian self-interest and promotion of a socio-political agenda.

 

Clarion: But the conference focuses only on Islamic and not other forms of radicalism.

 

Shaw: We are looking at one segment of a wide phenomenon. Other forms of radicalism exist — Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, left-wing, right-wing, animal rights activists, anti-globalists, eco-warriors, neo-luddites — but Islamic radicalism poses a greater threat than all of the others put together.

 

Clarion: Why political Islam in the workplace specifically?

 

Shaw: There is a plethora of conferences on the subject of radicalism in general and Islamic radicalism in particular, but they are usually restricted to specialists in certain areas. I attended a conference in Brussels on April 22 on the challenge of jihadist radicalization in Europe. There were over 250 people there and over 20 speakers but not one person from the business world. We want to open the subject up to corporations, because they are in the front line.

 

Clarion: Can you explain how?

 

Shaw: Corporations are soft targets for terrorist attacks, but aside from the threat of violence, they are also easy prey for Islamists deploying nonviolent tactics in pursuit of their goals.

 

Islamist employees may not end up committing acts of terrorism, but their behavior is certain to generate significant workplace conflict that undermines productivity and workforce cohesion. A recent survey of over 1,000 French managers revealed that 65% had to handle faith-based problems on an occasional or regular basis, ranging from absenteeism through collective praying to refusal to work with a female colleague.

 

So, in addition, to the security dimension, it is also an issue for human resources. In France, for example, Islamic radicalism is a growing phenomenon among employees in the City of Paris, the Paris Airport Authority, the Paris Transit Authority and the public education sector. It is also a problem in private firms. The French government is currently seeking to partner with the private sector to deal with the threat.

 

You are getting the same thing in the USA with the explosion in lawsuits filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against employers. These are more often than not instigated by CAIR.

 

Clarion: Isn’t that a legitimate Civil Rights Act Title VII issue?

 

Shaw: I think the spirit of Title VII has been perverted to further a political and ideological agenda. When an employer hires a worker, he is buying that person’s time. In a manufacturing plant operating with a lean production schedule, you can’t have a worker walking off the assembly line at times determined by a third party. When you take a job, you follow the employer’s rules.

 

Clarion: But not all demands for religious accommodation are radical.

 

Shaw: Our working definition of a radical is somebody whose determination to adhere to his principles or religion causes disruption in the workplace. A vegetarian should not apply for a job in a slaughterhouse and then file a Title VII complaint because it conflicts with his moral principles. A Muslim should not take a job in a brewery if it conflicts with his religion.

 

Clarion: Aren’t you concerned that such views could be branded as Islamophobic?

 

Shaw: The purpose of the conference is to debate these issues in an open forum. Any point of view can be countered by a rebuttal.

 

Clarion: You held a similar conference in Paris in November 2017. What was the response?

 

Shaw: Extremely positive. It was attended by senior executives from flagship European and U.S. corporations as well as delegates from the gendarmerie, national Police, military, intelligence, counter-terrorism and corporate security. People appreciated the fact that we tackled the subject in a direct manner.

 

Clarion: What differences do you see in the U.S. and European approach to the problem?

 

Shaw: In Europe, corporatations are gradually overcoming a reluctance to discuss these issues out of fear of accusations of Islamophobia, but in the USA the core value of religious freedom is being used by Islamists as an instrument to stifle debate.

 

Clarion: How can people access the survey you are conducting?

 

Shaw: The survey is not accessible to the public. It’s not an opinion poll. We are sending it directly to executives in various companies and sectors. If anybody wants to complete it, they can contact us at firm.europe@gmail.com. We vet them before sending the link to make sure they are bona fide corporate officers.

 

Clarion: How does one register for the conference?

 

Shaw: People can apply to attend by clicking here (our website https://firmeurope.com) All applicants will be vetted and we will send them instructions on how to register. The list of participants will be classified.

 

Clarion: What have you discovered while organizing this conference?

 

Shaw: Apart from analysts and the security community, people are scared of Islamic radicalism.  The academic and media establishment won’t touch it because of political correctness. Corporations are seeking help to mitigate the threat but behind closed doors. They won’t come out and discuss the issues in public. It is an Orwellian fear that plays into the hands of the global Muslim Brotherhood and its satellite organizations.

 

Clarion: Are you planning more conferences?

 

Shaw: Yes. The next one is on November 15, 2018 at the National Assembly, the French parliament. The conference will be a biannual event alternating between Paris and Washington.

 

Clarion: How will corporate attendees benefit from the conference?

 

Shaw: First, they will have the reassurance that they are not alone in facing the threat. Second, the conference will demonstrate that corporations can acquire tools to assess the risks, mitigate the threat, minimize the economic costs, vet personnel and potential hires, and shield themselves from litigation.

 

The business community has a right to openly, fearlessly and objectively discuss the real challenges posed by Islamic radicalism in the workplace and share their best practices and experience in dealing with it.

 

There is a lot of hysteria surrounding the subject of Islam, on both sides. We need to cast a real eye on what is going on and take steps to ensure that our socio-economic model and values remain intact.

 

Lawmakers have a key role to play in this process so that businesses are not at the mercy of religious pressure groups eager to hijack our freedoms for their own ends.

_____________________

Dr. Shaw Promotes Valuable D.C. Counterjihad Conference

John R. Houk

© April 12, 2018

_____________________

Is Islamism a Problem in America’s Workplaces?

 

The Clarion Project (formerly Clarion Fund) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to educating both policy makers and the public about the growing phenomenon of Islamic extremism. The Clarion Project is committed to working towards safeguarding human rights for all peoples.

 

More About Clarion Project on About Page

 

Funding Hamastan


Bloody Hamas Handout Demand toon

It is horrendously amazing how many Western NGOs, Western governments (via official government agencies) and the international bureaucratic apparatuses of the United Nations support the Islamic terrorist organizations of Hamas and the Palestine Authority (really controlled by the PLO [HERE, HERE and HERE). Hamas and the PA are nothing more Jew-Hatred organizations committed to the destruction of the Jewish Homeland and Jews in general. They are murderous cowards hoodwinking Multiculturalist power-brokers to unwittingly (or maybe even wittingly) to support the evil of murderous Jihad.

 

Rachel Ehrenfeld exposes this money trail of Western Jihad supporters which sadly includes American taxpayers due to the sympathies of Obama’s Left Wing Administration.

 

JRH 5/19/16

Please Support NCCR

********************

Funding Hamastan

 

By Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld

May 16th, 2016 9:18PM

American Center for Democracy

 

Since 1987, the Gaza-based terror group has kept itself in the international spotlight through acts of violence against the Jewish State of Israel. It was designated as terrorist by the Unites States in 1997. In 2006, under the guise of the “Change and Reform” party, it won the elections for the Palestinian Authority and in 2007, after violent confrontations with Fatah, took over the Gaza Strip. Since then, it has escalated its attacks against Israel.

 

Who helps finance Hamas ongoing terrorism against the ‘Zionist entity?’

 

Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood branch in Gaza, was established in December 1987, days into the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) first Intifada against Israel. This Sunni terrorist organization controls the Gaza Strip and imposes sharia on its constituents. Unlike the Islamic State (ISIS), which flaunts its radicalism – through their brutal abuse of women and children and indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, mostly other Muslims in Iraq and Syria, mega-attacks in Europe, and a sophisticated social media apparatus, – Hamas manages to portray itself as a victim.

 

Why? Because unlike impatient ISIS, whose agenda is to eliminate all infidels to create now the global Islamic Caliphate, Hamas, which prioritizes the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel, has been the recipient of direct and indirect support of some Muslims states, as well as supposedly Western-oriented organizations such as the European Union the United Nations, and even the United States. These are joined by international Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated and anti-Israeli groups and the international media. They use the guise of humanitarian aid, to assist the Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza politically and financially.

 

The arrival of the Internet in the late 1990s introduced a new, easily-accessible vehicle for Hamas to portray the people it exploits in Gaza as victims of Israeli retaliations rather than its own twisted ideology. The terrorist organization learned that posting photos of wounded children and crying mothers has a considerable effect in the ‘hearts’ and minds’ battle in gaining the support of the international community. Thus, far from safeguarding its own citizen’s rights Hamas’ strategy has become the maximum extraction of civilian casualties from among its constituents.

 

Hamas Islamist indoctrination campaigns are so successful that not only the suppressed Muslims in Gaza are ready to carry out attacks against Israel, but even the brutalized Christians that remain in the Gaza Strip, are complaining not against Hamas for banning Christmas and forcing submission to sharia, but against “Israeli occupation.”

 

Last month marked the celebration of the Annual Palestine Festival for Childhood and Education in Gaza throughout the Hamas-run territory’s school system, most of which is operated and funded by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).  The events included young veiled girls and boys in military uniforms, simulating stabbing attacks on Israelis, killing IDF soldiers and ‘heroically’ releasing Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails.

 

These events were sponsored by the Ramallah-based Bank of Palestine, UK-based Interpal Fund, and the Hamas-controlled University College of Applied Sciences in Gaza, whose funders include the World Bank and European Commission.  While many in the free world would find this link between international aid and a celebration of hatred alarming, it is the norm rather than the exception in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, where democratic principals [sic] are quashed and wanton hatred of Israel propagated.

 

The Hamas government receives funding from an array of sources, though lately fewer are doing so publically. Directly, it receives contributions from the international Muslim community, international NGOs, such as the BDS groups, and online. A good example of indirect funding is the $50 million announced by the U.S. “to provide basic humanitarian assistance and create jobs. The money will be distributed by the U.S Agency for International Development in partnership with Catholic Relief Services.” At the same time, Sweden also announced additional $8 million to UNRWA “for all Palestinian refugees.”

 

Hamas also receives aid through its own political adversary, the Palestinian Authority (PA), itself the recipient of international aid second only to Syria. (Palestinians are the recipients of highest per capita assistance in the world”). Funding comes from numerous international bodies, including The European Commission (EC)UNRWA; the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund UNICEF; the United States Aid Agency (USAID), and the World Bank. These and others fund the PA to re-allocate funds to Hamas-ruled Gaza, as humanitarian aid, to create jobs, housing projects, and also in support of “good governance,” programs that failed under the PA, and funded Hamas since it took over in 2007. While there are efforts to stop aid from reaching Hamas, according to last month’s Congressional Research Service (CRS) report: “Since 2007, USAID could not “reasonably ensure” that its money would not wind up in terrorist hands.” Moreover, “UNRWA makes publicly available the names of all recipients of UNRWA contracts of annual aggregate value of $100,000 or more.” There is little doubt that Hamas is exploiting this big financial loophole to support the construction of its expanding tunnel-infrastructure under the border with Israel, for training and buying weapons, and to increase the hate-propaganda it designed to guarantee the supply of cannon-fodders for war against Israel. [***As blog editor I adjusted an editing glitch on the part of ACDemocracy for better continuity. Unless ACDemocracy fixes that glitch their webpage will appear to have an unfinished sentence circa this paragraph.]

 

Estimates of how much money flows into Hamastan are varied. However, as events such as the Annual Palestine Festival for Childhood and Education, and the continuing tunnel- construction rather than rebuilding Gaza’s shattered infrastructure shows, much of the funding that goes to Gaza directly and through the PA, aid Hamas’s terrorist agenda against Israel, rather than improving the lives of Gazans.

____________________

* Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is Director of New York-based American Center for Democracy, and author of “Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It”, 2011

 

* A different, unedited version of this article was published by Israel Public Diplomacy Forum

 

Copyright © 2013 | The American Center for Democracy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

 

About ACD

 

OUR MISSION

 

The ACD is dedicated to exposing threats to our free speech rights, political and economic freedoms and national security.

 

ACD is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

 

OUR DISTINCTION

 

ACD fills an important gap created by inadequate risk assessments of our cyberspace, GPS & UTC. We use our Threatcon programs, our multidimensional Terrorist Finance Network Tracker (TFNT), and our experts to better inform government, public and private sectors’ policy makers.

 

CONNECTING THE DOTS

 

  • ACD’s synergistic approach to connect the dots on emerging threats is facilitated by extensive multidisciplinary global research in various languages. We publish our knowledge-based analysis and use the information to offer special tools to help prevent and mitigate such threats.

 

  • ACD’s Threatcon, offers individually tailored programs of briefing and scenario gaming to encourage government, public and private sectors to cooperate in preventing and mitigating the risks to our political and economic freedoms and to our national security.

 

  • ACD’s Terrorist Finance Network Tracker (TFNT), a unique anti money laundering (AML) system, is using a multidimensional approach to build and regularly update a comprehensive database identifying operational and financial networks of transnational radical Islamic groups.

 

“Lean and agile, ACD/EWI is always ahead of the next threat: cyber attacks, market manipulation, the use of legal structures to inhibit free speech and stifle debate”- Richard Perle, former Assistant Secretary of Defense

 

OUR IMPACT

 

ACD Initiatives: READ THE REST

 

Saudi Arabia: The Golden Chain and The Missing 28 Pages


Golden Chain

There are a lot of voices on both the Left and Right side of aisle calling for Obama to declassify the infamous 28 pages of a report that may link Saudi Arabia in some fashion or another to the al Qaeda attack on American soil on September 11, 2001. The Saudis are now saying they either don’t want the declassification or at the very least not allow the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) Bill to become law. JASTA would allow surviving victims of the 9/11 attack to sue Saudi Arabia in civil court for any culpability in financing the al Qaeda attack.

 

Authors Millard Burr and Rachel Ehrenfeld of the American Center for Democracy (ACD) have posed further incrimination against Saudi Arabia that beyond the 28 pages. Evidently a Bosnian police raid on a Muslim charity group in Sarajevo turned up some evidence of fund raising for Usama (or Osama – depending who you read) bin Laden’s al Qaeda. That Burr and Ehrenfeld suggest that evidence points to numerous Saudi families of wealth that were sugar-daddies to al Qaeda. Al Qaeda called these sugar-daddies the Golden Chain. The problem: The U.S. Government has made much of that evidence classified just as the 28 pages. Here is a teaser paragraph from the Burr-Ehrenfeld essay:

 

How much of the Sarajevo material remains classified and unpublished is debatable. However, like the missing Congressional report, substantial material that covers the genesis and expansion of al Qaeda in the 1990s has never been released. What we do know is that one note taken from the Sarajevo hoard that surfaced at the trial is a bin Laden note saying: “we took very huge gains from the country’s people in Saudi. We were able to give political power to the Mujahideen, gathering donations in very large amounts…”

 

Just think if there are some names on the 28 classified pages that are also on the Golden Chain. That could finally reveal just how involved the Saudi government or policies that can be associated with wealthy Saudis that are today considered legitimate global business partners. A civil trial could then open some cans of worms that the Intelligence communities of both the USA and Saudi Arabia that might lead to some criminal investigations. AND there you have it – My guess is neither the U.S. Government nor the Saudis want those cans of worms opened. What do you think?

 

Bosnia-Herzegovina map 1-1995

 

Just a brief aside: I heard on Fox News that Obama might declassify some of those 28 pages today. However, Google is fairly silent on the today thing. Google searches do point to former Senator Bob Graham reporting that a partial declassification of the 28 pages (e.g. AP, Fox News and Esquire) Hmm … Do you think the U.S. Intelligence community might be pressing Obama on what the public can see?

 

JRH 4/24/16

Please Support NCCR

*********************

Saudi Arabia: The Golden Chain and The Missing 28 Pages

 

By Millard Burr and Rachel Ehrenfeld

April 23, 2016 6:32PM

American Center for Democracy

 

Bin Laden Golden Chain al Qaeda list - Arabic

Arabic UBL-al Qaeda writing discovered at Bosnia-BIN office

 

The American media, which continues to concentrate on a bill making its way through Congress that would allow American citizens to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for losses suffered as a result of the 9/11 attacks, paid no attention to the Golden Chain.

 

The victims claim that the release of the 28 pages missing from the 9/11 Commission Report is of crucial importance to their case. Those pages, they say, would show the interrelationship that ties the hijackers to the Saudi regime itself and therefore would offer a damning indictment of the Kingdom. But President Obama, like President Bush before him, refuses to make it public. And the Saudi Royal Family that vehemently denies funding al Qaeda threatened that if the 28 pages are released, they would sell more than $750 billion of Saudi investments in the U.S.

 

Of equal if not of greater importance than the missing 28 pages, is the forgotten investigation of the Bosnia-BIF office. Crucially, among the boxes and files was found a note ostensibly written by Osama Bin Laden that lists a “Golden Chain” of twenty Arab plutocrats who were and remain suspected of financing international terrorism, including the funding of al Qaeda.

 

—-

 

The Golden Chain was established about the time of al Qaeda’s founding in 1988. Bin Laden’s notes on efforts to recruit wealthy Saudi Arabian families who could fund his group were also found at Sarajevo. Much of the information derived from the Sarajevo came to light during the 2003 trial of an al Qaeda financier, Enaam Arnaout, in Chicago.

 

In March 2002, a search of the Benevolence International Foundation (the Bosanska Idealna Futura, or BIF) in Sarajevo, Bosnia, would provide the West with the most significant trove of information ever to be found on the Genesis and growth of the al Qaeda organization.

 

In fact, Bosnian investigators unearthed an intelligence mother lode: Not only did they seize weapons, false passports, plans for making bombs, jihadist videos and literature, their search also yielded material of great historic value. On a computer file titled “Tareekh Osama” (Osama’s History), there were found documents, letters, and photos relating to the birth and early days of al Qaeda, some of it in bin Laden’s handwriting. Included in the haul was an organizational chart, and notes on al Qaeda activity reportedly prepared by bin Laden, and his mentor Sheikh Abdallah Azzam. The file had been kept by Bin Ladin confidant Enaam Arnaout, who clearly obviously thought the BIF office in Bosnia was safe from intrusion. Ironically, before 9/11 Arnaout and the BIF were under investigation in the United States for operating the charity as a racketeering enterprise. One that provided material support to al Qaeda. Following 9/11, it seemed only a matter of time before Arnaout would be indicted.

 

Why the raid took place when it did, and who sponsored the raid (in Sarajevo and Washington), remains something of a mystery. As a result of the Dayton Accords, Bosnia-Herzegovina had been governed by a unique tripartite power-sharing arrangement since 1996; a rotating presidency allowed Muslim Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats to share power. Importantly, in 2002 Alija Izetbegović, the powerful Islamist Muslim Brother, was no longer first among equals. The West’s bete-noire had stepped down after serving as Chairman of the Presidency from October 1996 through October 2000. Thus, given the power structure that existed in Sarajevo in early 2002 (and in the aftermath of 9/11 2001), it is posited that the CIA either took part in or at least was instrumental in, the raid on the BIF location.

 

Incredibly, the trove of information discovered in that raid was given publicity in Bosnia itself. No effort was made by the Bosnia intelligence agency to tailor, redact, or eliminate information found in the Bosanska, and thus, the information itself proved to be a bombshell both inside and out of Bosnia. Unlike Washington where the most astounding intelligence is immediately classified secret and squirreled down some intelligence rat hole, the Bosnian services shared their find with the world. And in an order issued on 6 March 2003 by the Supreme Court of Bosnia, the computer files that had been seized were delivered to the U.S. Embassy. The documents were then translated into English. Later, some appeared in a trial of a BIF official Enaam Arnaout.

 

Included in the files were “scanned letters” between Arnaout and bin Laden (using their nom de guerre) and letters concerning other al Qaeda principals. The letters revealed that al Qaeda leaders were paid, and weapons for the group were purchased from funds provided by Muslim charities. There were also letters authorizing the purchase, and purchase orders for rifles, RPGs, mortars, and other weaponry, with instructions to distribute the weapons to camps operated by al Qaeda.

 

Other memoranda provided a chronology of events from the founding of al Qaeda in Khost to the movement’s activity in Peshawar, Pakistan, during its first months of existence. There were reports on al Qaeda activity in the various jihad on-going in Bosnia, the Sudan, and Chechnya. An article published in 1988 in Arab News outlined bin Laden’s activity and included a photo of Arnaout and Bin Laden walking together at “Masada”, an Arab-Afghan camp for mujahideen.

 

In the search of the BIF’s Sarajevo offices, “law enforcement authorities” discovered conclusive evidence that tied the BIF Chief Executive Officer Enaam Arnaout to al Qaeda, and to its leader Osama Bin Laden. One letter even allowed Arnaout to sign an authorization on bin Laden’s behalf. Though the Sarajevo documents remained secret for months, they included the minutes of an 11 August 1988 meeting during which bin Laden discussed the creation of what would then be known as the al Qaeda. It is recalled that in the decade following the founding of al Qaeda 1988 only a few hundred jihadists had been permitted to take the oath of allegiance (the baya’t) to Osama bin Laden. Arnaout was thus a member of a very select body of mujahideen.

 

The evidence unearthed in Sarajevo was sufficient to charge Arnaout with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Arnaout, who was born and raised in Syria and was a member of a Saudi family of Albanian heritage, was also an American citizen and had been a resident of the U.S. since 1992. Thus, in the end, there would be no escaping U.S. justice.

 

Concerning the BIF, a “charity” incorporated in the State of Illinois in March 1992, the arrest of Arnaout was soon followed by the closure of BIF operation in Canada and Bosnia, and then by most of its offices located overseas; namely, in Pakistan, Bosnia, Yemen, Sudan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Dagestan, Soviet Georgia, China, and Ingushetia (moved from Chechnya).

 

In December 2001, and shortly after 9/11 but before the indictment of Arnaout himself, BIF funds had been blocked in the USA, Canada, and Bosnia. At that time, it was reported that the US government had in its possession substantial evidence proving that the Arnaout-bin Laden intimate relationship dated from the mid-1980s. The relationship was in fact fixed well before the creation of the al-Qaeda organization in August 1988 in Khost, Afghanistan.

 

Given the evidence uncovered at the BIF office in Sarajevo (and, reportedly additional evidence of BIF’s terrorist ties discovered by Bosnian police in a later raid on local charities on 3 June), it was not surprising that Arnaout was soon indicated in the United States.

 

See UNITED STATES of America v. Enaam M. ARNAOUT, a/k/a “Abu Mahmoud”, a/k/a “Abu Mahmoud al Suri”, a/k/a “Abu Mahmoud al Hamawi”, a/k/a “Abdel Samia”, U.S. v. ARNAOUT, No. 02 CR 892, 231 F.Supp.2d 797 (2002), U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division. November 22, 2002, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, et.al., United States Attorneys.

 

The Trial

 

On March 2003 the Chicago trail [sic] of Enaam Arnaout was truncated just before it began == much to the dissatisfaction of most observers. Arnaout had been charged with racketeering conspiracy, providing material support to organizations engaged in violent activities, money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud. He faced a possible 90-year sentence. However, before the charges could be tried Arnaout pleaded guilty in federal court to a single count of illegally funding and supplying military assistance to mujahideen in Bosnia and Chechnya.

 

The federal case, which focused on the Arnaout-Bin Laden relationship, was blown to smithereens when a federal judge ruled that evidence was spotty at best. Prosecutors dropped all charges after Arnaout pled guilty to a single felony count. For reasons still not clear, the government settled for a penalty less than the twenty years that Arnaout could have received. As an editorial in the New York Sun put it, “The government’s decision to accept a plea to a single, and relatively minor, count [transpired] so as to avoid a risky trial.” Nonetheless, federal prosecutors were “unwilling to credit [Arnaout] for cooperating.”

 

True or false, and despite the congressional testimony of then-FBI Director Robert Mueller before a U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on 14 September 2006, the Arnaout imbroglio was not one of the FBI’s finest hours.

 

Indeed, in February 2006, a federal judge had reduced the Enaam Arnaout sentence from 11 years and four months to 10 years, after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that his original sentence was improperly enhanced.

 

The Golden Chain

 

The Golden Chain was established about the time of al Qaeda’s founding in 1988. Bin Laden’s notes on efforts to recruit wealthy Saudi Arabian families who could fund his group were also found at Sarajevo. Much of the information derived from the Sarajevo came to light during the 2003 trial of an al Qaeda financier, Enaam Arnaout, in Chicago.

 

How much of the Sarajevo material remains classified and unpublished is debatable. However, like the missing Congressional report, substantial material that covers the genesis and expansion of al Qaeda in the 1990s has never been released. What we do know is that one note taken from the Sarajevo hoard that surfaced at the trial is a bin Laden note saying: “we took very huge gains from the country’s people in Saudi. We were able to give political power to the Mujahideen, gathering donations in very large amounts…”

 

Within the Sarajevo trove, there was found the essential minutes of a meeting held on 11 August 1988 during which Bin Laden initiated actions that established a jihadist movement loyal to himself. A week later the organization was officially established, and a copy of the oath of allegiance taken by some 40 participants was included in the file. The minutes of that seminal conclave end on 20 August.

 

Also recorded were bin Laden’s “own statements on the efforts to recruit members from Saudi Arabia for his network and to raise money.” Also included in the Bosnia find was a letter on Saudi Red Crescent/Peshawar letterhead and with it a note added by Osama Bin Laden to his money-manager Wael Jalaidan citing “an extreme need for weapons.” (John Solomon, “Bosnia Raid Yields al-Qaida Donor List,” Miami Herald via AP, Feb. 19, 2003.)

 

Many questioned why bin Laden, a member of one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest family, searched for funds outside his fortune to fund al Qaeda. But Osama was not rich enough to fund the expensive jihad he had in mind. Though the bin Laden family was wealthy, Osama could not easily access the $300 million that some analysts felt he had squirreled away. His accounts were blocked in the United States and Saudi Arabia, and his family was watched closely and warned not to assist him financially. Still, during his stay in the Sudan (1991-1996) he probably invested more than $50 million (including $30 million deposited in the al-Shamal Bank). But when bin Laden departed the Sudan in 1996, he had little to show for his investments. By the admission of those al Qaeda members who knew him best, his personal wealth had been squandered. To carry out his jihadist agenda he had to continue to call on wealthy Gulf plutocrats, viz., the Golden Chain, to finance al Qaeda.

 

Included in the US government indictment of Enaam Arnaout on 9 October 2002 (02 CR 892) was an interesting memorandum, “Clarifying the Mujahideen’s situation to the world and keeping the spirit of Jihad alive.” (Exhibit 17, Department of Justice, “Government’s Evidentiary Proffer Supporting the Admissibility of Coconspirator Statements” in the case of USA v. Arnaout, USDC, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, filed 29 January 2003.) Of even more explosive power, however, was a memorandum that appeared as Exhibit 5: With regard to that piece of evidence the Justice Department noted: “Among the recovered files was a copy of a 1988 handwritten draft listing wealthy financiers of UBL’s mujahideen operation in Afghanistan, referred to within al Qaeda as the ‘Golden Chain.’” The information presented on lined paper and translated from the Arabic by the U.S. Department of Justice was headed by a verse in Arabic from the Koran: “And spend for God’s cause.” (“Government’s Evidentiary Proffer Supporting the Admissibility of Coconspirator Statements” in the case of USA v. Arnaout, USDC, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division) filed on January 29, 2003.)

 

The Golden Chain memorandum, it included twenty-five names, including twenty very wealthy Saudis. (N.B: at the time of the discovery only two names on the list remained unidentified.) Of the twenty Saudis, six were bankers, and they were tied to the big three of Saudi banking: the National Commerical [sic] Bank of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh Bank, and Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corp. Ther[e] twelve Saudi businessmen on the list, and the bankers owned or controlled sixteen of the top 100 Saudi companies. The list included eight individuals charged by the families of victims of 9/11 with being complicit in aiding and assisting al Qaeda. Also included were the names of two former government Ministers.

 

After each name, there was a second name, in parenthesis, of the al Qaeda operative who received money from the donor. “Osama” appeared after seven entries. The donors [sic] names included Saudi Arabia’s most prominent citizens including the bin Laden family, the al Rajhi, Sharbatly, al Naghi, bin Mahfouz, and Adel Faqih. The corporate net worth of the Golden Chain, as calculated more than a decade later accounted for more than $85 billion, or approximately 42% of Saudi Arabia’s GDP.

 

Whether or not bin Laden personally wrote the Golden Chaim memo, it is indisputable that he was in a position to know the family fortunes of the individuals named. In some cases, they were allied directly or tangentially with his family. They included Saleh Kamel, head of third largest Saudi company, and Suleiman Abdulaziz al Rajhi, head of 4th largest Saudi commercial bank. The “bin Mahfouz” family was in charge of Saudi Arabia’s most important bank. Also on the list, Abdel Qader Faqeeh (Adel Faqh) head of Savola Group, the 13th largest Saudi company. Mohammed al-Issa was head of the powerful al-Issa group, itself the 20th largest Saudi Company. Issa himself was a board member of the Saudi Research & Marketing Company (along with Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Abdullah Bin Khaled bin Mahfouz, among others.) He was also Deputy Chairman of the Arab Cement Company whose shareholders included the Binladin Group, the bin Mahfouz and the al Rajhi, and whose chairman was Turki Bin Abdulaziz al Saud. That the individuals listed would be asked to assist Osama bin Laden in his jihadist mission is not surprising. It was all one big happy family.

 

Wael Julaidan, the al Qaeda moneyman and former Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, and of the well-funded Rabita Trust of Pakistan, was charged with collecting donations from four wealthy individuals. Mohammad al-Amin Khalifa, Osama’s wealthy brother-in-law, was another collection agent, who was known to have close ties to bin Laden’s two money men, Julaidan, and Yasin al-Qadi.

 

As could be imagined, the list which included such luminaries as “bin Mahfouz,” created a furor in Saudi Arabia, where the memorandum appeared to implicate a score of the Kingdom’s wealthiest citizens. Nearly all were either indirectly or directly involved in the Royal Family’s charity organizations as founders or board members.

 

Years later, following the September 2001 attacks on the U.S., the “9/11 Commission” issued a report in which a chapter devoted to “The Foundation of the New Terrorism, acknowledged that Osama bin Laden sought financial assistance from wealthy Muslims in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and that “the eventual success of the jihad in Afghanistan depended on an increasingly complex, almost worldwide organization.” Unfortunately, the report was long on implication and short on names.

 

The Golden Chain list included names of persons who were friendly to the Afghan-Arab movement and later to bin Laden himself. The Golden Chain gained importance after 1990 — when Osama bin Laden escaped house arrest in Saudi Arabia and a year later emerged in the Sudan. Indeed, the name al Qaeda came into vogue and the need for funding expanded after Osama move to the Sudan and al Qaeda’s expanding activities first in Somalia, and later in the Balkans.

 

Why then should anyone believe that any individual whose name appears on the Golden Chain memorandum, and who, like Khalid bin Mahfouz, claims he “never knowingly made any donation to al Qaeda or any organization or person acting on al Qaeda’s behalf or to any other terrorist organization,” is telling the truth?

 

It is unknown if any of those whose names appeared on the Golden Chain memo has ever been interrogated, charged with a crime, or chastised by the Saudis. It is safe to assume that In the Dessert Kingdom, where jihad is paramount and ‘silence is golden,” the Golden Chain members have little to worry about.

________________________

Copyright © 2013 [Blog Editor: I wish people would keep their copyright up to date] | The American Center for Democracy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

 

About ACD

 

OUR MISSION

 

The ACD is dedicated to exposing threats to our free speech rights, political and economic freedoms and national security.

 

ACD is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

 

OUR DISTINCTION

 

ACD fills an important gap created by inadequate risk assessments of our cyberspace, GPS & UTC. We use our Threatcon programs, our multidimensional Terrorist Finance Network Tracker (TFNT), and our experts to better inform government, public and private sectors’ policy makers.

 

CONNECTING THE DOTS

 

  • ACD’s synergistic approach to connect the dots on emerging threats is facilitated by READ THE REST