On Sept. 11, 2001, at 8:45 a.m., I was on the phone with the European Wall Street Journal editor. We were discussing my op-ed on what, at that time, the editor described as an exotic subject: financing terrorism. The paper planned to run it the next day.
The TV’s regular morning chatter in the background suddenly changed, and a frightened voice announced that a plane had hit the World Trade Center, disrupting our conversation. I rushed to my window, which had a clear view of downtown Manhattan and the World Trade Center, and saw smoke rising in the distance, quickly turning into thick, black clouds engulfing the Twin Towers. Soon, the sky turned black, and the buildings disappeared altogether.
I called the editor back — it was still possible to get a connection to Europe — and after describing the horrors I was witnessing, I suggested a new lead for the op-ed. I knew instinctively that this was no accident but a terror attack.
My op-ed, “Evil’s Unwitting Helper,” appeared on the morning of Sept. 12, 2001. I wrote that “terrorism does not happen in a political vacuum. The policies pursued by Western nations impact directly on both the means available to terrorists and the motivations driving their evil agendas. It is imperative that we assess what has gone wrong and begin to set those policies right.”
This disaster was the reason for my writing the book “Funding Evil, How Terrorism is Financed — and How to Stop It,” which detailed the many ways used to fund terrorism and demanded to stop the paymasters who make terrorists’ activities possible so that the horror of September 11 never happen again.
It took some time for the U.S. government to confirm that al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist organizations have been raising money through charitable organizations, fundraising in mosques, and revenues from legal businesses such as used-cars sales, honey manufacturing, clothing stores, groceries, and mining, as well as and illegal businesses, such as drugs, arms, and human trafficking, to mention but a few. Today, as before, they are often still beneficiaries of states that provide money, arms, training camps, and haven.
Since the radical Islamist terrorists’ goal, as Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda that attacked the U.S. declared in 2001 and as Ayatollah Khamenei affirms today, is to harm America (“the Big Satan”) and its ally, Israel, (the Small Satan”), the idea that any U.S. administration would fund such groups seems preposterous.
But years of investigations into radical Islamist terrorist financing resulted in many examples of different U.S. administrations’ — mostly Democrats — complicity.
In 2015, the Obama administration negotiated with the Islamic Republic of Iran the “very bad deal” known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran was supposed to stop its development of nuclear weapons and was rewarded in advance with at least $150 billion, of which at least $1.8 billion was in cash. Then-Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that some of the money “will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,” he said and added, “I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.”
Iran continued increasing its uranium enrichment as part of developing nuclear weapons. It also used the money to fund its terrorist affiliates in the Middle East and Africa, expanding its influence in North and South America and increasing efforts to attack Israelis and Jewish targets worldwide.
In its efforts to renew the “very bad deal” with Iran, the Obama-influenced Biden administration agreed to unfreeze $6 billion of Iranian assets and release Iranians held in U.S. prisons for violating Iranian sanctions as a ransom for releasing five Americans held hostages by Tehran. Qatar, a major funder of Hamas and other Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups, brokered the deal.
When Biden entered office, he reversed President Trump’s policy of withholding aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it stopped paying Palestinians to kill Israelis. During his 18 months in office, Biden gave more than $1 billion to the PA.
The U.S. funding of Palestinian terrorist groups began in 1993, with the Clinton administration legitimizing and supporting Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO — an umbrella group — including Fatah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and HAMAS, all dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state, in place of Israel), which until then were on the FBI’s most-wanted list.
The excuse for the funding was Arafat’s promise to stop the PLO’s terrorist activities. This promise, which was never kept, also gifted the PA land in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip. The PA did not use tens of billions of dollars in aid to create a functioning state but launched terrorist attacks against Israel. It also used the money for vicious blood libels against the Jewish state.
Despite this, the U.S., joined by the UN, the European Union and nations, Arab states, the World Bank, and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), many based in the US, such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The Open Society Foundations, the Ford and Tides foundations, to name but a few, never stopped funding and supporting the Palestinians, who also killed many Americans.
On Aug. 30, 2021, the Biden administration intentionally and dishonorably withdrew from Afghanistan, “gifted” the Afghan radical Islamist Taliban that enabled al-Qaeda training camps, whose “graduates” attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11, at least $85 billion worth of weapons and piles of cash. How and when would radical Islamists and other U.S. enemies use some of the money and the weapons gifted to them over the years and by the Biden administration? How many of those have already invaded Biden’s borderless America?
*The article was first published at PJ Media on September 13, 2023, & RealClearPolitics on September 14, 2023.