“Most notably, Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally, has for many years openly financed Hamas, a group that continues to undermine regional stability. Press reports indicate that the Qatari government is also supporting extremist groups operating in Syria. To say the least, this threatens to aggravate an already volatile situation in a particularly dangerous and unwelcome manner…”
“…Traditional terrorist financing sources have also helped fuel the ongoing conflict in Syria. Over the past few years, charitable fundraising networks in the Gulf have collected hundreds of millions of dollars through regular fundraising events held at homes or mosques and through social media pleas. These networks then use couriers, wire transfers, hawalas, and exchange houses to move those funds to Syria, often to extremists.
Certainly much of the private fundraising in the Gulf related to Syria is motivated by a sincere and admirable desire to ease suffering, and the funds are used for legitimate humanitarian purposes. The Asad regime’s ongoing brutality in Syria has led to a dire humanitarian crisis – certainly the most pressing in the world today – and the need for humanitarian relief is undeniable.
Constraining this flow of funds is particularly challenging in an era when social media allows anyone with an Internet connection to set himself up as an international terrorist financier. We see this activity most prominently in Kuwait and Qatar, where fundraisers aggressively solicit donations online from supporters in other countries, notably Saudi Arabia, which have banned unauthorized fundraising campaigns for Syria.
In that vein, Treasury recently designated prominent terrorist financiers Abd al-Rahman bin ‘Umayr al-Nu’aymi (Nu’aymi) and Muhammad `Abd al-Rahman al-Humayqani (Humayqani). Nu’aymi is a Qatar-based financier who secured funds and provided material support for al-Qa’ida and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen. Humayqani is a Yemen-based fundraiser who used his status in the charitable community as a cover for funneling financial support to AQAP…”
“…Newer groups are also translating territorial control into revenue. ISIL generates a portion of its extortion-derived proceeds from Iraqi and Syrian oil resources, while its al-Qa’ida-linked rival, al-Nusrah Front, has also exploited local natural resources to raise funds.”
[Emphasis in bold is Levant Report’s]