Al-Qaeda’s British Funding

April 9, 2019 Middle East , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , UK

Reuters photo



Ricardo Swire



Al-Qaeda is a militant Middle Eastern jihadist network, with a goal to establish a caliphate or global Muslim state under Sharia (Islamic Law). In 1996 Osama bin Laden, founder and primary bankroller, issued an edict of jihad against America and its allies. The proclamation remains al-Qaeda’s three cornerstones. It embraces unity of the world’s Muslim population under Sharia, the liberation of “holy lands” from the “Zionist-Crusader” alliance and alleviation of economic/social injustices the other goals.


The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated Al-Qaeda operated a US$30 million yearly budget prior to the 9/11 terror strike. In May 2011 American Special Forces descended on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound where compelling financial metadata was discovered. Following bin Laden’s death al-Qaeda laid the groundwork for a new fundraising strategy, based on drug trafficking and kidnapping, to bolster operational finances.


During 2013 internal security forces in Mali confiscated receipts from intercepted propaganda trips, fresh produce and tea purchases that resembled al-Qaeda’s corporate structure. In October 2015 an American drone strike killed a senior al-Qaeda financial officer who had successfully revived the Islamic militant group’s finances, via his fundraising network headquartered in Iran. Donations were transferred from Persian Gulf locations to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


Recently a two year combined Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HRMC)/Metropolitan Police Special Branch investigation climaxed with revelations of a British-Asian network that utilized an illegal Value Added Tax (VAT) scheme, plus mortgage and credit card frauds to rob British taxpayers. The UK based cash was recycled to finance the 7/7 London Bombing and provide routine support to Osama bin Laden.


Two years before the London terrorist attack HRMC agents found links between the British-Asian gang and one terrorist. Senior HMRC administrators declined to use this intelligence to prosecute or neutralize the network. The British-Asian gang channeled one percent or £80 million of al-Qaeda’s profits to Pakistan and Afghanistan. In total the British-Asian syndicate misappropriated no less than £8 billion of British public funds.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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