Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hamas Give Hezbollah A Run For Their (Counterfeit) Money

Soccer Dad left a comment on one of my posts--Palestinians Are No Better With Money Than Their Leaders, about the Palestinian Arabs from Gaza were able to spend $130 million in 2 days in Egypt. Soccer Dad notes:
Maybe there's a reason for this.
See Snapped Shot and Elder of Ziyon.
Both note that apparently Hamas has been busy manufacturing counterfeit Egyptian currency.

That rang a bell. Sure enough, David Frum wrote back in August, 2006:
Perhaps you saw the images in your newspaper or on television:

"A Lebanese man counts U.S dollar bills received from Hizbollah members in a school in Bourj el-Barajneh, a southern suburb of Beirut, August 19, 2006. Hizbollah handed out bundles of cash on Friday to people whose homes were wrecked by Israeli bombing, consolidating the Iranian-backed group's support among Lebanon's Shiites and embarrassing the Beirut government. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (LEBANON)"

This scene and dozens more like it flashed around the planet. Only one thing was missing -- the thin wire security strip that runs from top to bottom of a genuine US$100 bill. The money Hezbollah was passing was counterfeit, as should have been evident to anybody who studied the photographs with due care.

Care was due because of Hezbollah's history of counterfeiting: In June, 2004, the U.S. Department of the Treasury publicly cited Hezbollah as one of the planet's leading forgers of U.S. currency.

Looks like Hezbollah may find themselves with some competition.

And that would not be limited to counterfeiting. In October 2005, Rachel Ehrenfeld testified in Canada on terror financing:
Since the mid 1980s, Hizballah has used illicit drugs as a major funding source and weapon against the West. An official Iranian fatwa ruled: “We are making these drugs for Satan America and the Jews. If we cannot kill them with guns, so we will kill them with drugs.”

...In Lebanon’s Beka’a Valley, Hizballah controls approximately 13,000 acres that produce at least 300 tons of hashish annually, most of which is exported to Europe. This high-quality Lebanese hashish grosses Hizballah $180 million annually. Hizballah run laboratories refining tons of heroin, are estimated to bring in some $3 billion annually. Hizballah also smuggles arms. However, one smuggled Kalashnikov wholesales for $500, while one kilo of heroin wholesales for $3,000- $5000.
Hamas is just following in Hizballah's footsteps, albeit on a smaller scale. For example, in September 2005, Gazans also took advantage of the border with Egypt to bring in drugs and guna:
Many Palestinians were reported to have exploited the open border to smuggle large amounts of weapons and drugs into the Gaza Strip. Others, particularly wholesale merchants, are said to have brought cheap cigarettes, food, livestock and electrical appliances.
Counterfeiting another country's currency, manufacturing drugs, and importing illegal weapons--the kind of thing one expects to find among terrorists, not legitimate governments.

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