U.S Justice Department Won’t Release Settlement In DMI Case


The Investigative Project is reporting on the failure of the U.S. Justice Department to release a copy of the settlement  of the case against the Islamic Investment Company of the Gulf (IICG). The report begins:

IPT News August 25, 2011 The Justice Department has agreed to end its investigation into an international financial network with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and a Saudi prince in a settlement in excess of $30 million, sources tell the Investigative Project on Terrorism. But DOJ officials refuse to release a copy of the settlement or make any comment on it. “Unfortunately, we’re unable to provide anything in connection with this matter,” DOJ spokesman Charles Miller wrote in response to a query Aug. 16. He did not contest the existence of the settlement with the Islamic Investment Company of the Gulf (IICG). Repeated attempts to obtain the settlement, or at least a clear explanation of why it cannot be released when most government settlements are a part of the public record, have been unsuccessful. “We will have no further comment,” Miller said Wednesday. Reports of a grand jury investigation into an IICG domestic affiliate called Overland Capital surfaced early in 2007. Though the grand jury was convened in Boston in September 2006, a terror-financing prosecutor from DOJ was leading the tax evasion probe into the bank, the Wall Street Journal reported. Overland Capital allegedly was controlled by the Dar al-Maal al-Islami Trust (DMI), an Islamic financial institution founded by Saudi Prince Mohamed al-Faisal and which had at least two influential Muslim Brotherhood figures on its board, the Journal reported. It described DMI as “the hub of a network of banks and investment funds across Europe and the Middle East that cater to Muslims interested in strictly following Quranic principles, such as a ban on collecting interest.” It cited records showing DMI held “an indirect 60 percent” share in Overland Capital.”

Read the rest here.

In a 2007 post, the GMBDW reported on accusations of terrorist financing against DMI in connection with a $1 trillion lawsuit brought by the families of the 911 victims. As noted at that time, although the connections between Mohamed al-Fasial and Brotherhood figures Qaradawi and Al-Turabi were known, generally unreported were further ties between al-Faisal and the Brotherhood including the business relationship between Muslim Brotherhood figure Youssef Nada, the former head of the now defunct Al-Taqwa Bank. According to Al Jazeera interviews with Nada, sometime around 1977 he was invited back to Egypt by the government in connection with the cement business when he was also contacted by Prince Al-Faisal who wanted Mr. Nada as his Egyptian partner in opening a bank in Egypt. According to Mr. Nada, the law at that time required that 50% ownership be held by Egyptians and he became the second largest Egyptian shareholder after the Ministry of Awaqf. In a private interview, Nada also stated that “After the first meeting I presented my resignation and I never went to Egypt.” Nada was also reported to have been a shareholder in a second bank chaired by Al-Faisal—the Faisal Islamic Bank in Sudan. In addition, the DMI trust and Al Taqwa were registered at the same address in the Bahamas belonging to an attorney who represented the interests of both, although confidential sources report that the attorney, now deceased, denied any relationship between the two entities. A French journalist has also reported that beginning in 1979, Nada was trying to find economic support for the new Islamic Republic of Iran and that in the 1980’s, a Muslim Brother residing in Switzerland tried to bring DMI nearly a billion dollars of Iranian capital although the Saudis, weary of the Shiite revolution, did not conclude the deal.

In spite of these historical links between DMI/Al-Faisal and the Muslim Brotherhood, further analysis is required to clarify any current operational relationships that might have existed between the two entities although preliminary evidence points to financing of Hamas rather than Al Qaida. In January 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported on accusations that a DMI affiliate known as the Faisal Private Bank had been the subject of U.S. federal probes into the financing of Hamas:

A DMI affiliate called Faisal Private Bank (Switzerland) SA, formerly known as Faisal Finance, has been named in two major terrorism probes. In one of these, the Justice Department alleges that Faisal Finance wired $665,000 to the account of a top Hamas leader, Mousa Abu Marzouk. (The source of those funds hasn’t been disclosed.) In the same prosecution, the Justice Department alleges that in 1993, a Saudi businessman used Faisal Finance to transfer $30,000 to an alleged Hamas leader in Chicago named Muhammad Salah, who is currently on trial in Chicago on terrorism-related conspiracy charges. The same Saudi businessman, Yassin Qadi, also used Faisal Finance for a $1.25 million transfer to an alleged al Qaeda front company in 1998, according to legal and bank records.

An earlier post has reported on the possible connections between the Al Taqwa Bank and Hamas financing based on offshore financial structures in Liechtenstein. Also requiring further analysis is the role of Islamic banking in the process of “Islamization” and the expansion of the global Muslim Brotherhood, arguably the most important functions of Islamic banking yet rarely mentioned in media reports on the subject.

(note: information on Youssef Nada and Al-Faisal partially drawn from “La vie secrète de Youssef Nada, ambassadeur de l’ombre des Frères musulmans” Le Temps Movember 20, 2002.)

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