Financing Terrorism: Front Organizations

Terrorists can’t carry out operations without money and support. So where do they get money and support from? One of the ways terrorist organizations obtain funds and support is through the use of charity organizations and front companies.

Some front companies are unknown for the simple reason that these organizations are fronts, meaning they are fraudulent businesses that give the appearance of being legitimate. These front organizations can be very dangerous because they can direct a large amount of money and resources to terrorist organizations. There is evidence that many terrorist organizations, including Hizbullah, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS, have benefited from front companies and illegitimate charity organizations.

According to Martin Rudner, a political scientist at Carleton University, Hizbullah has received funds from Bonyad-e Shahid (the Martyrs Foundation), a charitable front organization. The US Treasury Department has also explained that the Global Relief Foundation, another charitable front organization, has provided support to al-Qaeda. ISIS has also received support from front organizations in Spain. In fact, Spanish journalist Itxu Díaz has explainedthat Spanish police have been investigating alleged front companies and their involvement in laundering money to ISIS after discovering that criminal gangs have been shipping weapons and Islamist uniforms from Spain to Syria.

More information about front organizations and terrorism can be found at the US Treasury Department’s website.

Image: Lachlan Donald Money Laundering


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