At 8:45 A.M. on September 11, I was on the phone with the editor at the European Wall Street Journal. We were discussing the op-ed about financing terrorism I had written for the paper, which was to run the next day. The TV’s regular morning chatter in the background suddenly changed, and an anxious voice announced that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. We hung up and I rushed to my window, which has a clear view of downtown Manhattan and the World Trade Center. At first, I saw smoke rising in the distance; before long a thick, black cloud had engulfed the Twin Towers. Later 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 outside my window, I suggested a new lead for the op-ed; I knew instinctively that this was no accident, but a terror attack.
This is how my op-ed titled Evil’s Unwitting Helper on the morning of September 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 is when the idea for writing my book: Funding Evil, How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop It, which demanded to stop those who make terrorists’ activities possible—the paymasters, so that horror like September 11 never happen again.
It took some time for the U.S. government to confirmed that al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist organizations have been raising money through charitable organizations, fundraisers in mosques, illegal and sometimes legal businesses, from used-cars sales to honey manufacturing to mining, to drug-trafficking, arms, and people smuggling, to mention but a few. They often are also the beneficiaries of states that provide money, arms, training camps, and safe haven. Since radical Islamists terrorists’ goal is to harm America, in 2001, the idea that any U.S. administration would fund such groups seemed preposterous
But years of investigations into radical Islamist terrorist financing offered many examples of different U.S. administrations’ — mostly Democrats’ — complicity. Funding Palestinian terrorist groups began in 1993, with the Clinton administration legitimizing and funding Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO — an umbrella group – including Fatah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, 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 alleged reason for the funding was Arafat’s promise to stop the PLO’s terrorist activities. This promise, which he and the PLO have been repeatedly violating, gifted the Palestinian terrorist with land in Judea and Samaria, and the Gaza Strip, which the Palestinians have used ever since not to create a functioning state, but to launch attacks against Israel. Despite this, the U.S., joined by the U.N., the European Union and nations, Arab states, the World Bank, and other international organizations never stopped sending billions of dollars to the Palestinians who killed Americans and continue their terrorism against Israel.
In May 2011, after the radical Muslim Brotherhood won the Egyptian election, President Obama stated that the participation of Egypt’s “religious” parties would create “the best foundation for lasting stability in Egypt… democratic political order.” Obama promised $1 billion “to support Egypt’s democratic revolution.”
But the Muslim Brotherhood’s creed is anything but democratic. They, like the Taliban, and the Mullahs in Iran, rule by enforcing sharia. Despite the growing opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood’s government oppression of civil rights and devastation of the country’s economy, the U.S. seemed determined to assist the Brotherhood. On March 3, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry visited Morsi and gifted him $250 million in U.S. aid, and an additional $250 million for “climate projects” from the World Bank.
On April 30, 2013, in Cairo, Morsi was given the opportunity to flaunt the latest “advances” “in Egypt’s process of democratic transition,” to a Congressional delegation, headed by Chairperson of Intelligence Committee Senator Dianne Feinstein (D- CA). Instead of calling his bluff, the delegation reiterated the “strength and depth of Egyptian-American relations.” The Americans further ensured Muslim Brother Morsi that the U.S. will not let him down, because “Egypt’s stability is key to the stability of the region.”
In 2015, the Obama administration, as part of its negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was supposed to stop Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, gave at least $150 billion to Tehran, 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. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.”
Two weeks ago, the Biden administration, which is mostly a replica of the Obama administration, “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.
It is hard to escape the conclusion that Democrat-led administrations are bent on funding U.S. enemies.
*This commentary, titled The Democrats Funding Islamist Terrorists was published on September 11, 2021, in American Thinker