The UAE system had been a concern of U.S. policymakers long before the
9/11 attacks, and they directly raised their concerns with UAE officials.
The UAE had no money-laundering law, although at U.S. urging in 1999 it
started drafting one, which was not finalized till date.
The country's notoriously lax banking laws, poor control over its
legendary gold brokers and low taxes have made money-laundering a $30
billion-a-year business in the UAE.
Money-laundering became particularly important after the August 1998 East
Africa bombings increased worldwide scrutiny of the formal financial
system. Bin Ladin turned to an established hawala network a money transfer
system which did not keep detailed records in standard form, operating in
Pakistan, in Dubai, and throughout the Middle East to transfer funds
There is little question that the near-total lack of regulation and
oversight of the financial industry in the UAE and Pakistan before 9/11
allowed these activities to flourish. (9/11
Commission Report in PDF)
According to SAS
Organization, money flows in the terror business are more complicated,
money laundering investigations cannot cut drug traffickers off from their
source of money, which is their customer base. Since terrorism per se
expends money, rather than making it, it is conceivable that controls on
money movements could constrain terrorist operations.
International terrorism, like drug dealing, involves moving money around,
but the sums are of different orders of magnitude. The September 11
actions are estimated to have cost about half a million dollars, which is
roughly nine minutes' revenues in the US cocaine market. The direction of
flow is also different.
The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report said the area of
Afghanistan used to cultivate opium poppies reached 30,750 hectares in
2002. "The size of the opium harvest makes Afghanistan the world's leading
opium producer," the report said.
The Boston Globe, 9/26/01, reported "Cargo planes fly twice a week between
the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, Mr bin Laden's Afghan base, with
boxes of dollar bills." This report describes linkages among
narcotics-trafficking, weapons-trafficking, and terrorist activities of
groups active in or directly connected with countries in Western Europe.
Smart Reasons to STOP Port Deal!
The BCCI Banking Scandal
The chapter on BCCI banking
scandal describes in detail
the heinous crimes UAE did
for every major terrorist
service in the world.
The Bank of England shuts
down Bank of Credit and
Commerce International (BCCI),
this bank expedited the
heroin shipments, financed
organizations and laundered
money generated by illicit
drug, arms trafficking and
other illegal activities,
Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al
Nahyan, the founder of
United Arab Emirates, the
UAE President and Emir of
was the person behind Bank
of Commerce and Credit
International (BCCI). (The
BCCI banking scandal).