Evidence against Arafat mounting


AP reports that that an Israeli accountant has come forward about having helped Arafat manage a secret $300 million slush fund.

Former Israeli envoys to peace talks with the Palestinians were involved in the illegal transfer of $300 million US to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat through a secret Swiss account, one of the envoys said Thursday. [. . .]

The money was transferred from an official Palestinian Authority account on the West Bank of the Jordan River by Arafat and one of his top aides, said Ozrad Lev, a former assistant to one-time top Israeli envoy Yossi Ginossar. He said he could no longer live with the secret.

Lev, an accountant, said he and Ginossar helped open and manage the Swiss account. [. . .]

“The money could have been used for personal needs, to form a shelter for Arafat and senior Palestinian officials, to pay salaries or even, and I really hope not, for illegal activities,” Lev said.

The money was transferred by Rashid to an unknown destination some time last year, Lev said.

Arafat has issued the standard denials, but among the documented evidence that Lev presented are papers with Arafat’s signature and copies of his passport. The truth is, the money simply vanished. So as the world cries about the “poor, starving, underfunded Palestinians”, remember that Arafat simply made $300 million in foreign money disappear. Anyone have three guesses where it went? I think you’ll only need one, and it wasn’t to install a new swingset in the park.

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1 Lent 12.07.02 at 2:03 AM

There is a long history of Arafat’s thievery. His involvement in the drug trade while in Lebanon, his blowing up of banks in Beirut (on one occasion blowing up a wall of a church to get to a bank vault). Here’s more:

Arafat’s Legacy: A case study in terror funding.
By Rachel Ehrenfeld – October 30, 2002

The U.S. approach to curtail money flow to terrorists is inadequate,” an Independent Task Force on Terrorist Financing, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, concluded earlier this month. The verdict came on the heels of Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus’s statement: “I’m getting the feeling that we really don’t know the magnitude of the problem.”
The fight to stop terrorist financing worldwide can benefit immeasurably from a close look at how these operations have evolved. The model used by today’s terrorist groups is, after all, hardly new. In fact, it dates back more than three decades to what was to become the prototype for many of today’s terrorist organizations: the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

From its inception in 1964 until the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO was classified as a terrorist organization with connections to international criminal organizations, drug cartels, other terrorist groups, and rogue states. Yet, throughout that entire time, it continued to receive financial and political support from the Soviet Union and its satellites in Europe, Latin America, and Africa; from members of the Arab League; and from other third-world countries.

This legitimization — which was accompanied by financial backing — allowed the PLO not only to continue its terrorism and criminal activities with impunity, but also to fund a worldwide propaganda campaign, win great popularity, and increase its influence.

Nor did the PLO’s transformation into the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1993, as a result of the Oslo Accords, impede the organization’s illegal activities. On the contrary, it enhanced them. Now granted legitimacy by the entire world, the PA abused this status to expand its illegal activities.

With the current intifada, the PA has undergone another change, incorporating religion into its political rhetoric and adding jihad to its agenda. As a result, like al Qaeda, the PA has gained even more support, both financially and politically, from the Arab/Muslim world. In fact, in the first year of the current intifada alone, the amount of money officially donated to the PA jumped by 80 percent, from $555 million to $1,002 billion.

A well-oiled system that often had other political priorities, in combination with corruption and hypocrisy all over the world, have made illicit funds — including funds for terrorism — easy to launder and to hide. Offshore banking centers from Monaco, Nauru, and Cyprus to Hong Kong and the Bahamas, as well as major international financial organizations, were used not only to launder the money, but also to invest it. At the forefront of the money-laundering activities was the PLO. Similar money-laundering techniques — including the misuse of charitable organizations — are now employed by al Qaeda, and many of the countries that support the PLO seem to be accommodating bin Laden’s organization, too.

The use of the illegal drug trade as a weapon was developed by the former Soviet Union as part of its unconventional warfare doctrine. The PLO simply added illicit drugs to its arsenal as another excellent source of funding. Other terrorist organizations — such as the IRA, the Basque ETA, Colombia’s FARC, and radical Muslim organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda — have understandably followed suit.

The official decision to use the drug trade for funding was made in 1983, under the chairmanship of Yasser Arafat, six months after the PLO was expelled from Lebanon, at a secret emergency session of the Finance Committee in Algiers. Sallah Dabbagh, the PLO’s then-treasury chief, declared at the time: “…the entire future of the PLO operation for liberation may hinge on our exporting more drugs throughout the world.”

For decades, the West has turned a blind eye to the PLO’s fundraising endeavors, allowing it to continue operating both legitimate and illegitimate businesses. These ventures, in turn, laundered money for the organization that used the revenues to further the PLO’s terrorist agenda. Their example surely did not escape bin Laden when he set out to create the financial infrastructure of al Qaeda. Indeed, U.S. and British law-enforcement agencies have by now detailed how al Qaeda has also been reaping huge profits from the illicit drug trade and other criminal activities. Last September, U.S. authorities presented evidence that illegal drugs operations in America were funding a host of Middle East terror organizations linked to both Palestinian groups and al Qaeda.

Like the PLO, al Qaeda also has large investments in legitimate businesses from construction to honey production, and h


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