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Yasin Abdullah Ezzedine al-Qadi (also known as Shaykh Yassin Abdullah Kadi or Yasin A. Kahdi) (b. 23 Feb 1955) is a Saudi Arabian businessman listed by the United States government as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.[1] One of more than 39 people and entities suspected of giving financial support to the September 11 attacks,[2] he has been defended by friends and associates as a philanthropist.[3]

A multi-millionaire from Jeddah, Qadi trained as an architect in Chicago, IL.[4] He is the son-in-law of Sheikh Ahmed Salah Jamjoom (1923 - 2010), a former Saudi Arabian Finance Minister and Minister of Commerce with close ties to the Saudi royal family.[5][6][7]

The UN placed sanctions against Qadi in 1999 and 2000, when he was named by United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1267 and 1333 as a suspected associate of Osama bin Laden's terror network, al-Qaeda.[8]

On 12 October 2001, the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which oversees Counter Terrorism Sanctions, ordered his assets in the United States to be frozen [9] on suspicion of links to the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings and the September 11 attacks.[10][11] The European Union has also applied sanctions to Qadi.,,[12][13][14]

In response, Qadi's lawyers brought two lawsuits now considered landmarks in international law: Kadi I (2008) and Kadi II (2010). The case for which he is best known, a 2008 decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Kadi & Al Barakaat Int’l Found. v. Council of the E.U. & Comm’n of the E.C. (Kadi I), "challenges the core framework of UN terrorist sanctions and forces UN member states to tackle difficult legal questions or else face possible collapse of the UN’s terrorist sanctions regime."[15]

Although FBI Special Agent Robert Wright Jr. has called Qadi one of Osama bin Laden's "chief money launderers" based on evidence gathered in the 1990s,[16][17] Qadi's listing as a terrorist has been overturned by several European courts, with the result that he has been delisted (removed from terrorist blacklists) by Switzerland (2007),[18] the European Union (2008 and 2010),[19][20] and the United Kingdom (2008 and 2010).,[21][22]

The legal reversals may be attributed in part to a change of U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia in early 2009. On 29 May 2009 The New York Times reported "The Obama administration is supporting efforts by the Saudi royal family to defeat a long-running lawsuit seeking to hold it liable for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Justice Department, in a brief filed Friday before the Supreme Court, said it did not believe the Saudis could be sued in American court over accusations brought by families of the Sept. 11 victims that the royal family had helped finance Al Qaeda. The department said it saw no need for the court to review lower court rulings that found in the Saudis’ favor in throwing out the lawsuit."[23]

The U.S. government’s change in policy came less than a week before President Obama was scheduled to meet in Saudi Arabia with King Abdullah as part of a trip to the Middle East and Europe intended to reach out to the Muslim world."[23]

On 12 September 2010, the Wall Street Journal announced that Saudi Arabia would fund "the largest U.S. arms deal ever" -- an order for advanced aircraft worth more than $60 billion. "The administration plans to tout the $60 billion package as a major job creator —- supporting at least 75,000 jobs.",.[24][25]

The next day, on 13 September 2010, Yasin al-Qadi "succeeded in having dismissed in their entirety the civil claims brought against him in the United States on behalf of the families of the 9/11 victims."[26] U.S. District Judge Daniels ruled that the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had no jurisdiction over Qadi, who is a Saudi Arabian citizen.[26]

In addition to Qadi, several Saudi billionaires and members of the Saudi Royal family were also released from liability in the "$3 Billion suit." Khalid bin Mahfouz and his son Abdulrahman bin Mahfouz, Qadi's business partners at the National Commercial Bank, were dismissed from the 9/11 case "for lack of personal jurisdiction."[27]

On 19 March 2012, Judge John D. Bates in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia dismissed Qadi's 2009 lawsuit against officers of the U.S. Treasury, finding that OFAC had provided "sufficient reason to believe" that Qadi provided support to terrorists or people associated with them.[28]

On 5 October 2012, the UN Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against al-Qaeda granted Qadi's petition to be removed from its blacklist.[29][30]

Contents

Early Life and Family[edit]

Present Saudi Arabia

Qadi was born to a successful businessman of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia[4][6] in Cairo, Egypt, on 23 February 1955.[31][32] He has five sisters and no brothers.[33]

Around 1977, he earned a bachelor's degree in architectural engineering from Alexandria University in Cairo, Egypt,[33] and subsequently moved to Chicago, IL, where he worked for an architectural firm from July 1979 to February 1981.[4]

Yasin al-Qadi married a daughter of Sheikh Ahmed Salah Jamjoom sometime before 1981.[5][unreliable source?],[6][7] He and his wife have seven children,[33] including a son who is a U.S. citizen.[6]

Tied to Muslim Brotherhood[edit]

Yasin al-Qadi is “tied to the Muslim Brotherhood,” says Victor D. Comras, one of five counterterrorism monitors selected by the UN Security Council to assemble reports for the Al Qaeda/Taliban Sanctions Committee.[34] Comras and several other counterterrorism experts have examined Qadi's business ties with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in great detail.[35][36][37][38][39][40]

Dr. Ahmed El-Kadi (Al-Qadi), head of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States between 1984 and 1994, told the Chicago Tribune in September 2004 that his family, the El-Kadi or Al-Qadi family of Cairo, were “early Brotherhood members.”.[41]

The Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt worked with German intelligence in World War II, they were recruited by British Intelligence in the late 1940s, and they have been supported by the Central Intelligence Agency since the early 1950s, according to several sources.,,,,[42][43][44][45][46][47][48] In 1955, the CIA evacuated many members of the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, after a failed attempt to assassinate Gamal Abdul Nasser, Egypt's socialist Prime Minister.,[42][49] The fact that Yasin al-Qadi's family moved from Cairo to Jeddah may therefore be significant.

Yasin al-Qadi’s business dealings with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, notably Suleiman Beheiri,[50] Youssef Nada,[46] and Abdurahman al-Amoudi, have been well-documented in several lawsuits filed after the September 11 attacks.[51][52][53]

Prosecutors and scholars have alleged that members of the Muslim Brotherhood played key roles in founding the al-Qaeda terrorist network.,,[42][48][54] Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, Osama bin Laden’s mentor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s deputy, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the September 11 attacks, all were members of the Muslim Brotherhood.[55]

Meets with Osama bin Laden[edit]

In an October 2001 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Qadi said that he met with Osama bin Laden at religious gatherings in the 1980s, but "he said the encounters were unremarkable at a time when bin Laden's battle against the Soviets in Afghanistan attracted U.S. government support and donations from Mosques around the United States."[4]

In a December 2008 interview with the New York Times, Qadi added that he once met Osama bin Laden in Chicago. He gives the date as 1981.[56] Qadi told the Times that Bin Laden "came to Chicago to recruit American-trained engineers for his family’s construction business. As Mr. Kadi remembers it, he put Mr. bin Laden in touch with a group of engineers, several of whom were eventually hired."[57]

Intrigued by this interview, Steven Coll, a biographer of the Bin Laden family, tracked the story down and discovered that the date of the visit was 1979. Osama "was here for two weeks in 1979, it seems, and he visited Los Angeles and Indiana, among other places."[58]

Specifically, Osama "met with his spiritual mentor of the time, the Palestinian radical Abdullah Azzam." Azzam was making a fund-raising tour through several American cities.[58]

The date coincides with Qadi's arrival in Chicago in July 1979.

Coll gives as his source a 2009 biography written by Osama's first wife, Najwa Bin Laden.[59]

The Mecca Project[edit]

While training at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Qadi worked with the design group developing a master plan and contract documentation for the Mecca Campus of the King Abdulaziz University.[60]

At this time, in 1979, Osama bin Laden was a student at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, and Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and future founder of Al Qaeda, taught at KAU, renting a nearby flat from the bin Laden family.[61]

King Abdulaziz had granted the Bin Laden family's construction firm exclusive rights to construct all roads and buildings in the holy cities of Medina and Mecca.[62] While Qadi was in Chicago working on plans for KAU's Mecca campus, Osama was helping his family firm construct a road from the Grand Mosque at Mecca to a new palace.[61]

On 20 November 1979, hundreds of Islamist radicals and students from several countries seized at gunpoint Islam's holiest shrine, the Grand Mosque of Mecca, with nearly 100 pilgrims inside. They used Bin Laden family trucks to smuggle their people and weapons inside of the mosque,[63] and according to Wall Street Journal reporter Yaroslav Trifimov's book, The Seige of Mecca, Americans were deeply involved in the events, both inside and outside the mosque.[64]

The Grand Mosque Seizure is sometimes cited as the birth of Al Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden reportedly cited the bloodbath that followed as a major reason for his decision to turn against the House of Saud.[64]

Soviet tanks, attack helicopters and more than 115,000 Russian troops began arriving in Afghanistan on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1979, prompting U.S. President Jimmy Carter, on 8 January 1980, to call the Soviet war in Afghanistan "the gravest threat to world peace since World War II."[65] By 1982, when Yasin al-Qadi returned to Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden and his mentor, Abdullah Azzam, had already left to begin their jihad against the Soviets.

Operation Cyclone[edit]

The war of the Afghan mujaheddin against Soviet invaders during the 1980s attracted the secret support of the CIA, as vividly portrayed in the 2007 film Charlie Wilson's War, and several sources indicate that Qadi's role as a fund-raiser began when the Saudi Royal family and Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, then head of Saudi intelligence, agreed to partner with the CIA in a massive effort to support Muslim freedom fighters in Afghanistan.

Milt Bearden reports in his book The Main Enemy that National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, in 1980, secured an agreement from King Khalid of Saudi Arabia to match U.S. contributions to the Afghan effort dollar for dollar and that CIA Director William J. Casey kept that agreement going throughout the Reagan administration.

This secret program became known as Operation Cyclone.

The U.S. intelligence community threw its full weight behind Operation Cyclone.,[66][67][68] It was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken.[69] Funding began with $20–30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987.[70] Over the course of the 1980's, the CIA spent more than $3 billion smuggling weapons to the mujaheddin.[66]

How Qadi, an architectural engineer, became involved in this massive fund-raising effort becomes clear when one considers the social position of his powerful father-in-law. Dr. A.S. Jamjoom was not only a former finance minister and minister of commerce, but also listed in 1979 as a member of the executive committee of the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN)[71] and chairman of the World Anti-Communist League's Saudi Arabia chapter.[72]

The World Anti-Communist League worked closely with its American network, headed by Gen. John K. Singlaub, Sen. John McCain, and beer baron Joseph Coors Sr., to provide financial support for the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.[73] In 1981, WACL and the Heritage Foundation helped found the Committee for a Free Afghanistan (CFA),[74][75] and WACL voted to give financial support to the mujahedeen rebels in Afghanistan at its 1984 and 1985 conventions.[76]

Two of Gen. John Singlaub's associates, Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard Secord and Lt. Col. Oliver North, cemented the U.S.-Saudi relationship by helping to push through Congress a controversial $8.5 billion weapons package. In return for five U.S. AWACS surveillance planes and 400 stinger missiles, Saudi Arabia agreed to open a secret bank account in Switzerland that was used to fund covert operations.[77] "In 1984 and 1985, the Saudi government funneled more than half a billion dollars to CIA bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands," reports Tim Weiner in his book on the Pentagon's black budget, Blank Check. "Between $500 million and $525 million was invested in the Afghan resistance. At least $32 million was earmarked for the Contras and hidden from Congress. The money for the two causes was commingled in a single CIA account in Switzerland."[78]

In other words, Yasin al-Qadi's network for covert fund-raising in the 1990s began as an off-shoot of a joint CIA-Saudi Arabian network established in Switzerland during the 1980s -- a Black budget network strongly associated with Arms trafficking and the Iran-Contra affair.

By the mid-1980s Saudi Arabia's efforts to fund and support the Afghan Arabs worked hand-in-hand with the covert fund-raising efforts of the CIA, the ABN, and the WACL. The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), one of the main banks used to move the money, was brought into the United States with the help of President Jimmy Carter's budget chief, Bert Lance, and BCCI's operations chief in Saudi Arabia, Khalid bin Mahfouz, later became the employer and business partner of Yasin al-Qadi.

As the English-speaking son-in-law of Ahmed Jamjoom and a Jamjoom group vice-president who often made business trips to the United States, Yasin al-Qadi was positioned very near the center of Operation Cyclone.

1984: Foundation of the MAK[edit]

In 1984, Osama bin Laden's mentor, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, founded the Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK) or "Services Office" in Pakistan. Between 1985 and 1989, Azzam made many trips to the United States to raise funds for the charity, which was also known as Al-Kifah, "The Struggle." Eventually, Al-Kifah opened more than 30 branches throughout the U.S., gathering millions of dollars in donations from thousands of Muslim-Americans in many cities to support the Afghan war against the Soviet Union.[79]

Muwafaq, a charity which Yasin al-Qadi formed in 1991, operated under the "umbrella" of Al-Kifah and the MAK. The Muwafaq Foundation and its relationship to the MAK are mentioned prominently by the UN Security Council's Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee in its 2009 "Narrative Summary of Reasons for Listing" Qadi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist:

"Yasin Abdullah Ezzedine Qadi has acknowledged that he is a founding trustee and directed the actions of the Muwafaq Foundation. The Muwafaq Foundation historically operated under the umbrella of Makhtab al-Khidamat (QE.M.12.01), an organization founded by Abdullah Azzam and Usama Muhammad Awad bin Laden (QI.B.8.01), and the predecessor to Al-Qaida (QE.A.4.01). Following the dissolution of Makhtab al-Khidamat in early June 2001 and its absorption into Al-Qaida, a number of NGOs formerly associated with Makhtab al-Khidamat, including the Muwafaq Foundation, also joined with Al-Qaida."[80]

1986: Invests in BMI Inc.[edit]

Around 1986, Yasin al-Qadi became one of the principal investors in BMI Inc., a Shariah-compliant investment bank based in New Jersey.[81][82]

On 19 March 1986, Soliman S. Biheiri,who was then an Egyptian citizen visiting the United States on a tourist visa, registered the articles of incorporation for Bait ul Mal, Inc. (BMI Inc.) in Secaucus, NJ.[83] According to the corporate records and his deposition testimony in a 2003 lawsuit, Biheiri was the president and sole director of BMI Inc. from 1985 until the company’s closure in October 1999.[84]

BMI was originally described in the western press as an investment bank with customers in both the US and abroad “focusing its resources in real estate and construction projects in the New Jersey, Boston and Washington D.C. area.” Initially, it attracted “mostly overseas investors from the Middle East.”[85][86]

For example, in 1989 Biheiri raised $2.1 million for the development of 57 homes in Barnaby Hills, a "neighborhood of green lawns and brick colonials just 10 miles from the White House."[87]

Since 2001, prosecutors have called Soliman S. Biheiri, president of the bank, “the U.S. banker for the Muslim Brotherhood.".[88][89]

In addition to Yasin al-Qadi, the list of BMI investors between 1986 and 1999[90][91] included:

According to court documents, BMI was “used as a financial conduit for al-Qaeda and Hamas supporters. The FBI discovered the true principals behind BMI were actually Yassin al-Qadi and Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook.”[103]

Qadi says that his investment in BMI was “passive” and “entirely innocent.” He claims that he was not aware of a relationship between BMI and Marzook.[104]

Hamas, the Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah or "Islamic Resistance Movement" was first formed as a charity in 1987, a year after the creation of BMI Inc. It was created as an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt during the First Intifada, and it did not form its military wing until 1992.

1988: Inherits millions[edit]

The Wall Street Journal states that Qadi inherited "several million dollars" in 1988.[6] In 2005, the New York Times estimated that Qadi’s net worth "exceeds $65 million." [105]

But Victor D. Comras, one of five monitors selected by the UN Security Council to assemble reports for the Al Qaeda/Taliban Sanctions Committee, has called Qadi a billionaire.

“Prior to 9/11, Al Kadi’s business empire extended globally, “ says Comras, “including business interests and investments in Saudi Arabia, throughout the Middle East, the United States, Southeast Asia, Turkey, Albania, and other countries in Europe. He also reportedly had holdings in South Africa, and other areas of Africa. Some of these, such as his interest in the Boston firm PTECH, only came to light after 9/11.”[106]

1989: Meets Bin Laden in Pakistan[edit]

On 15 February 1989, Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving a power vacuum in Kabul, the capital. During the ensuing power struggle and civil war, Osama bin Laden and his mentor, Abdullah Azzam, argued over where the next front in global jihad should be, a debate that ended on 24 November 1989 when Azzam was killed by a bomb blast that left bin Laden in charge of the MAK.

Yasin al-Qadi told the New York Times in 2008 that he met with bin Laden in Pakistan around this time. “They came together in Pakistan in the late 1980s as enthusiastic backers of the Afghan rebels in their war with the Soviet Union and became large investors in Sudan in the early 1990s.”[107]

Upon returning to Jeddah from Afghanistan, Bin Laden “was greeted as a hero by the Saudi populace.” Bin Laden “was in great demand to give speeches and interviews, and made clear in his statements his continuing dedication to jihad against the perceived enemies of Islam."[108]

In other words, Qadi maintained contact with Osama bin Laden during a key period when Bin Laden was looking for some way to transform the MAK’s Afghan network into a world-wide financial base supporting global jihad—a network better known as al-Qaeda.

1990: Strategy meetings with Prince Turki[edit]

Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, head of Saudi intelligence, says he met with Bin Laden in late 1989 or early 1990.[109] Bin Laden requested the meeting and it is possible that Yasin al-Qadi attended the meeting, because he reports last speaking with Bin Laden at about the same time, 1990.[107]

Bin Laden told Prince Turki that “they were going to form a group that will, in their view, protect Muslim interests throughout the world.” Bin Laden proposed “to bring his Mujahedeen, as he called them, to liberate the then-Marxist regime in Yemen.” [110]

These plans were disrupted on 2 August 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait.

August 1990: U.S. troops arrive in Saudi Arabia[edit]

With Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Yasin al-Qadi and his associates in Jeddah became deeply divided by a political debate over how to respond. Should American troops be called in?

According to a 2011 lawsuit that names Yasin al-Qadi as one of its main defendants (Lloyd's Syndicate 3500 v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), leaders of an emerging reformist movement known as the “Awakening Sheiks” (including professors from several Saudi universities) warned that the actual goal of the United States was to invade Saudi Arabia, under the guise of helping to “defend” the Kingdom from Iraq.

“In the view of these members of the Ulema, the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait was itself organized by the United States as a predicate for the occupation of the Muslim world.” [110]

The Awakening Sheiks asked King Fahd not to admit U.S. troops, because Saudi troops were adequate to meet any threat from Iraq—a view strongly supported by Osama bin Laden. At the height of the security risk, Bin Laden “used his prominence and his family’s close ties to the House of Saud to secure a meeting with a senior member of the Saudi royal family, in this case Prince Sultan, the Saudi minister of defense.” [111]

“Accompanied by several Mujahedeen commanders and veterans of the Afghan jihad, Bin Laden laid out a detailed plan of attack, indicating where trenches and protective measures would be constructed along the border using Saudi bin Laden Group’s earth-moving equipment. Again making clear his continuing role as the organizer of a jihadist army, bin Laden assured Sultan that he could amass 100,000 mujahideen quickly to defend the Kingdom, drawing primarily on the veterans of the Afghan jihad.” [112]

But Prince Sultan “rejected Bin Laden’s plan out of hand, as did Prince Turki, with whom bin Laden also met.” [112] Against the advice of several advisors, King Fahd decided to admit nearly 540,000 U.S. and coalition troops to the Kingdom, home of some of Islam’s most sacred shrines.

The lawyers in Lloyd’s Syndicate 3500 v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2011) argue that it was this rejection, the August 7, 1990 "occupation" of Saudi Arabia by U.S. combat troops, and the subsequent refusal by the Saudi royal family to remove U.S. troops in 1991, that motivated Osama bin Laden, several members of the Saudi royal family, and some highly placed ministers within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia itself to fund the September 11 attacks.[113]

The emergence of Yassin al-Qadi as a supporter of Saudi charities and a financial supporter of Muslim "freedom fighters" throughout the 1990s may be directly related to these events.

March 1991: U.S. troops stay in Saudi Arabia[edit]

In March 1991, as the United States pulled out of Iraq, the worst nightmares of the “Awakening Sheiks” came true: The Americans decided to leave more than 20,000 troops in Saudi Arabia for vague “security reasons,” at the supposed invitation of King Fahd and the royal family.[114]

After 1991, the threats, fatwas and declarations of war issued by Osama bin Laden all have a common theme: A demand for immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia. In 1998, bin Laden will release a statement:

"For more than seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples."[114]

Yasin al-Qadi's political position with regard to the U.S. "occupation" of Saudi Arabia becomes clear when he emerges in 1991 as the right-hand man of Khalid bin Mahfouz, a billionaire banker who became notorious that year for heading BCCI, "the world's most corrupt financial empire."[115]

June 1991: Muwaffaq Ltd. formed in the Isle of Man[edit]

In June 1991 Muwaffaq (sic) Ltd was set up in the Isle of Man, "a tax haven where 'non-resident' firms can avoid paying tax and revealing financial information. Its backers were named as a group of Saudi investors from Jeddah."[116]

In a December 2001 legal petition filed by Qadi and his lawyers, he denied that the Muwaffaq Society was related to the Muwafaq Foundation that he established with five trustees in 1992.[117]

1991: Loan Linked to Hamas[edit]

In 1991, Qadi loaned $820,000 to the Quranic Literacy Institute (QLI) of Oak Lawn, IL, a group formed to disseminate the Koran and Muslim texts. Al-Qadi told the Chicago Tribune he made the loan because of his friendship with the literacy institute's president, whom he met at a Sunday lecture in the Chicago area.[118]

Qadi said the money was intended to allow the institute to make a land investment, which would yield profits that would support its charitable work.[118]

But the FBI alleges in a 1998 affidavit that al-Qadi laundered his money through a DuPage County real estate deal to yield $107,000 that went to a small band of Hamas activists based in Illinois.[119]

This group allegedly chose Muhammad Salah, a Jerusalem-born used-car dealer and grocery clerk living in Bridgeview, IL, to deliver the money to Hamas, a Palestinian organization that "funds West Bank medical clinics and Gaza Strip meal programs, while its website takes credit for a 'glory record' of 85 attacks against Israeli citizens and soldiers."[118]

In January 1993, Israeli police arrested Salah as he tried to cross a Gaza Strip checkpoint and held him for questioning. "They charged Salah with passing out more than $100,000 to Hamas military cells in several West Bank and Gaza cities. Israeli authorities confiscated $96,400 more from Salah's East Jerusalem YMCA hotel room."[118]

Salah told Israel he knew nothing about Hamas military activity and was distributing cash as a humanitarian activity.[118]

May 1992: Establishes Muwafaq Foundation[edit]

Muwafaq, the controversial charity that is at the center of many of the lawsuits against Qadi, "was established by Constitution and Declaration of Trust dated 31 May 1992," according to court documents.[120]

The articles of incorporation say the official objectives of the charity included famine relief, the provision of cash for education and publishing books and videos.[120]

"The charity's formal structure is very blurred," says a 2001 article by The Guardian. "In May 92 it described itself in documents with a new structure as the Muwafaq Foundation based in Jersey, but focused on Pakistan, with offices in Islamabad and Peshawar."[116]

The Island of Jersey, located in the Channel Isles off the coast of Britain, has company secrecy laws and tax haven status that prevent police from tracing transactions, and it "does not have a charities commission, as the UK mainland does, requiring charities to register and submit accounts."

Officials on the island told the Guardian that Jersey "does not appear to maintain any public record of the Muwafaq Foundation." They said "if it was structured as a financial trust, it would not require to be registered at all." [116]

1993: World Trade Center bombing[edit]

In March 1994, a year after the World Trade Center bombing of 26 February 1993, prosecutors questioned Abdo Mohammed Haggag, the personal secretary and speech writer for "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel-Rahman[121] and an "informant for Egyptian intelligence.".[122] Haggag revealed that Osama bin Laden had been paying for Abdel-Rahman's living expenses since Abdel-Rahman moved to the U.S. in 1990. Haggag claimed the money was funneled through Abdurahman Alamoudi and his organization, the American Muslim Council.[123][124]

At that time, Alamoudi was a business associate of Yasin al-Qadi, both as a co-investor in BMI Inc. and as a co-investor in Ptech, a Boston, MA, software company that was just being launched in 1994.

“Investigators tried to prove Alamoudi was a terror middleman but could not find ‘smoking gun’ evidence," according to the New York Post.[125][126]

1993: Al Qaeda moves to Boston[edit]

In late March 1993, Newsweek reported that “virtually every principal figure implicated in the World Trade Center bombing” that took place in February 1993 has a connection to the Al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn, New York.[127]

In April 1993, the Al-Kifah charity, which had more than 30 branches in cities throughout the U.S., closed down its Refugee Center in Brooklyn and moved its operational headquarters to the Al-Kifah branch in Boston, where it re-incorporated, sharing the same website and street address as Al-Kifah's Boston office, under a new name: Care International (not connected to the large charity of the same name based in Atlanta, GA).[128]

In less than a year, two of the long-term employees at Boston's Care International branch became long-term employees at Ptech, Inc., a small Boston, MA software launched with money from Yasin al-Qadi.[100][128][129]

1994: Invests $5 million in Ptech Inc., aka GoAgile[edit]

In 1994, Qadi contributed $5 million of the $20 million raised to start a software firm called Ptech Inc., in Quincy, MA, a suburb of Boston.[100][130]

The firm was founded by Oussama Ziade, Hussein Ibrahim, and James Cerrato.[131] The stated goal of the company was to market enterprise architecture to government agencies. Ptech's "idea was to help complicated organizations like the military and large companies create a picture of how their assets -- people and technology -- work together."[100]

John Zachman, considered the father of enterprise architecture, later says that Ptech could collect crucial information from the organizations and agencies with which it works. “You would know where the access points are, you’d know how to get in, you would know where the weaknesses are, you’d know how to destroy it.” [132]

"A number of Ptech employees and investors will later be suspected of having ties to groups that have been designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations."[100][131][133][134]

1996: A founder of Dar Al-Hekma College[edit]

In 1996, Qadi became one of the original founders and financial supporters of the Dar Al-Hekma Private College for Girls, a "path-breaking Saudi women's college" based in Jeddah.[135] At the time of the September 11 attacks, he was serving as the Secretary-General of the college, according to the Jeddah-based newspaper Arab News.[136]

According to an official list of Dar Al-Hekma College administrators available at Archive.org, other "Establishers" of the college include:

  • Sheikh Mohammed Salem Bin Mahfooz (the brother of BCCI banker Khalid Bin Mahfouz, who helped Qadi found the Muwafaq charity in 1992, Mohammed served as head of the National Commercial Bank from 1994 to 1996)[137][138][139]
  • Saudi Bin Laden Group (the construction business of the Bin Laden family)
  • Mr. Yahya Bin Laden (an older brother of Osama bin Laden)
  • Mr. Kais Ibrahim Julaidan (a relative of Al Qaeda founder Wa'el Hamza Julaidan)
  • Mr. Zuhair Hamed Fayez (a friend and "long-time associate" of Yasin al-Qadi)
  • Mr. Yaseen Abdullah Kadi
  • Mr. Saleh Ali Al-Turki (president of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce)
  • Mr. Abdullah Saleh Kamel (the name of billionaire Saleh Abdullah Kamel appears on The Golden Chain list of purported Al Qaeda sponsors).

Qadi is no longer listed on the Dar Al-Hekma College website, but his associate Zuhair Fayez remains chairman of the board of trustees.[140][141]

1997: Ptech begins to market services to U.S. government[edit]

FAA Washington D.C.

In 1997, Ptech, the Boston, MA software firm which Qadi helped to launch in 1994, gains government approval to market its services to “all legislative, judicial, and executive branches of the federal government.”[142]

Ptech begins working "for many government agencies, eventually including the White House, Congress, Army, Navy, Air Force, NATO, FAA, FBI, US Postal Service, Secret Service, the Naval Air Systems Command, IRS, and the nuclear-weapons program of the Department of Energy."[142][143][144][145]

For instance, Ptech will help build “the Military Information Architecture Framework, a software tool used by the Department of Defense to link data networks from various military computer systems and databases.”[144]

PTECH is reportedly the company that developed the FAA’s National Airspace System, newly in operation on the morning of September 11.[146] The PTECH computer chief who created and installed the new FAA software was Felix Rausch, former Deputy IT Chief of the White House, and overall IT Chief of INTERPOL.[146]

1998: Funds Al-Iman University[edit]

In 1998, Qadi donated money toward the construction of housing for students at Al-Iman University in Sanaa, Yemen.[147] The university’s name is also translated as Iman Universityor Al-Eman.

A 2010 New York Times profile of the university[148] indicates it is run by Muslims who follow Salafist practice, that is, a strict and puritanical form of Islam practiced by the Salafi (“ancestors” or first Muslims ). Al-Iman is “not a typical college,” says Glenn R. Simpson of the Wall Street Journal. “Its curriculum primarily concerns the study and propagation of radical Islam.”[149]

Al-Iman’s founder, Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, is a leader of the Yemen chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the U.S. Department of Treasury listed him as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist associated with al-Qaeda in 2004. .”[150]

The Treasury Department has accused Zindani of “actively recruiting for al-Qaeda training camps.”[151] Zindani has been sanctioned by the UN as well.

January - August 1998: Linked to Maram[edit]

Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, b. 1958 in Sudan, an alleged founder of al-Qaeda, was arrested and extradited to the United States in December 1998

According to Glenn R. Simpson of the Wall Street Journal, Qadi's bank records show that, between January and August 1998, he transferred $1.25 million from his Geneva bank account through an associate to an alleged al-Qaeda front company in Turkey known as Maram.[152] Founded as a travel agency and import-export business, the company Maram was reportedly established by Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, said to be one of al-Qaeda’s founding members and to have a history of moving money and shopping for weapons for the organization.[153]

Heavy surveillance of Maram began when Salim started shopping for equipment that could potentially have been used to make a nuclear weapon.[153] He was arrested on 15 September 1998 near Munich, Germany.

A few months later, in December 1998, Qadi reportedly transferred shares in the company to two other men. One was Wael Hamza Julaidan, a Saudi businessman said to be a founder of al-Qaeda (the US officially designated Julaidan a financial supporter of al-Qaeda in 2002).

The other transferee was reported to be Mohammed Bayazid, another alleged founder of al-Qaeda.[153]

On 20 December 1998 Salim was extradited to the United States, where he was charged with participating in the 1998 United States embassy bombings.[154] In 2010, USA Today reported that he is an inmate of the ADX Florence facility in Florence, Colorado (reg.nr. 42426-054), sentenced to life without parole for stabbing a federal prison guard in the eye.[155]

Suspect in 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings[edit]

Aftermath of the 7 August 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya

In 1998, Qadi came under investigation by FBI Agent Robert Wright, Jr., head of the FBI's Terror Finance Unit, for potential ties to the 1998 United States embassy bombings. Wright told ABC news in December, 2001, that his supervisors at FBI killed the investigation and forbid him to file criminal charges.[156]

The 1998 United States embassy bombings were a series of attacks that occurred on August 7, 1998, in which 223 people were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the United States embassies in the East African capitals of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya.

More than 4,000 people were injured.

The date of the bombings marked the eighth anniversary of the arrival of American forces in Saudi Arabia.[157] The attacks were linked to local members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, brought Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri to the attention of the American public for the first time, and resulted in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation placing bin Laden on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

FBI Agents Richard Wright and John Vincent told ABC News they had begun an investigation of bin Laden's connections to the embassy bombings, and their investigation led to a financial network in the Chicago area. "The agents say some of the money for the attacks led back to the people they had been tracking in Chicago and to a powerful Saudi Arabian businessman, Yassin al-Kadi."

Qadi was "one of 12 Saudi businessmen suspected of funneling millions of dollars to al Qaeda and who had extensive business and financial ties in Chicago."[156]

Wright later published the story of his frustrated investigation in a book titled Operation Vulgar Betrayal.

1999 - 2001: Ptech, the FAA and 9/11[edit]

Ptech, the Boston software firm which Yasin al-Qadi helped to found and to fund in 1994, played a key role in the events of September 11, 2001.[158]

According to their own business plan for Ptech’s 1999 contract with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Ptech software team began working two years prior to 9/11 to identify potential problems or weaknesses in the FAA’s emergency response plans.[158]

Specifically, Ptech was paid by the Federal Aviation Administration to find weaknesses in the FAA’s response plans for events like the terrorist hijacking of a plane over U.S. airspace.

The September 11 attacks in 2001 killed up to 3,000 people.

Suheil Laher was Ptech’s chief software architect.,.[159][160] “When he wasn’t writing the software that would provide Ptech with detailed operational blueprints of some of the most sensitive agencies in the U.S. government, he was writing articles in praise of Islamic holy war.”[161] He was “fond of quoting Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden’s mentor and the head of Maktab al-Khidamat, which was the precursor of Al Qaeda.”,[162][163]

Laher and the Ptech team were “given access to every process and system in the FAA dealing with crisis response protocols.” This included examining key systems and infrastructure to analyze the FAA’s “network management, network security, configuration management, fault management, performance management, application administration, network management and user desk help operations.”[164]

Their work was overseen by Hussein Ibrahim, Ptech's vice president and chief scientist. Along with Yasin al-Qadi, Ibrahim was an investor in BMI Inc., the Secaucus, NJ called a "who's who of designated terrorists.".[165] In fact, Ibrahim "served as vice president and then president of BMI Inc. from 1989 to 1995," and according to the Wall Street Journal and other news reports Qadi brought Ibrahim into Ptech to serve as Qadi's representative on Ptech's board of directors.,,[166][167][168][169]

According to Newsweek, Qadi's lawyers conceded, in 2002, that "it is possible a Qadi representative continued to sit on the company's board until recently."[170]

As researcher Indira Singh points out,[171] Ptech was specifically analyzing “potential interoperability problems between the FAA, NORAD and the Pentagon in the event of an emergency over U.S. airspace.” In other words, “Ptech had free reign to examine every FAA system and process for dealing with the exact type of event that was to occur on 9/11.”[158]

Ptech’s software was running on the critical systems responding to 9/11 on September 11 itself. “The software was designed for the express purpose of giving its users a complete overview of all data flowing through an organization in real time.” [158]

According to Michael C. Ruppert,[172][173] “a rogue agent with access to a Ptech backdoor into the FAA’s systems could have been inserting fake blips onto the FAA’s radars on 9/11” and there is reason to believe that this did happen. “That scenario would explain the source of the phantom Flight 11 that the FAA reported to NORAD at 9:24 a.m., well after Flight 11 had already hit the World Trade Center.”[158]

The 9/11 Commission later said they were unable to trace the source of the false Flight 11 report.[158]

Blocked by Executive Order 13224[edit]

On 23 September 2001, Executive Order 13224 blocked 27 foreign individuals, groups and entities that the United States “has determined to have committed or to pose a significant risk of committing or providing material support for acts of terrorism.”.[174]

Yasin al-Qadi’s name appears on the list’s second tranche, a supplemental list of 39 more individuals designated on 12 October 2001.[175][176][177]

Listed as terrorism suspect by U.S., UN and EU[edit]

On 9 October 2001, the U.S. Department of Treasury sent out advanced copies of its new list of blocked individuals, prior to mass distribution to U.S. financial institutions on 11 October. An advanced copy was sent to the Swiss government’s Finance Administrator in Berne, Switzerland with a request for legal cooperation from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.”[178]

On 12 October 2001, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) officially put Qadi on its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. His U.S. assets were immediately frozen. The decision was announced in a Treasury press release.[179]

On 15 October, OFAC sent a letter to Qadi notifying him of his listing and the asset freeze, and advising him of his rights to request reconsideration.[180]

Qadi was added to the UN list shortly afterward. Saudi Arabia "supported the addition of the Jeddah-based terrorist financier, Yasin al-Qadi, to the UN's consolidated list in October 2001," according to an official press release of the U.S. Treasury.[181]

On 20 October, responding to the UN listing, the EU added Qadi to their list and froze his assets in EU countries.

On 26 October 2001, Qadi appeared for the first time on the U.S. Federal Register as a blocked person.[1]

”Not found guilty of anything”[edit]

Yasin al-Qadi was never formally charged with a crime by the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“As is customary in such cases, Washington has presented no direct evidence linking Mr. Kadi to terrorism,” the New York Times reported in 2008. “But it has made public a dense labyrinth of associations and business and personal ties that it says establishes Mr. Kadi’s relationship with Mr. bin Laden and his allies.”[182]

“We have not found Mr. Kadi guilty of anything,” Adam J. Szubin, director of OFAC, told the Times. “But we have found that he is a supporter of terror.”[183]

"The post-911 credo became one of pre-emption and acting on suspicion,” says Marieke DeGoede in her 2012 book Speculative Security: The Politics of Pursuing Terrorist Monies. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) uses its new powers to freeze assets "during the pendancy of an investigation," which means, effectively, that the government is able to stop the operations of charities suspected of being terrorist fronts “without any formal determination of wrongdoing." [184]

Qadi, who has repeatedly claimed that he has given no support to terrorism, told the Times that the result was a legal paradox. When no criminal charge has been brought and the evidence on which the charges are based has been classified, “there is no way to defend yourself.” [185]

December 2001: Appeals listing and asset freeze[edit]

In December 2001, Qadi filed a challenge to the EU listing and asset freeze in the European Court of First Instance (General Court). His appeal was based on a claim that he had been denied fundamental due process.[186]

On 21 December 2001, Qadi’s lawyers also petitioned the U.S. Department of Treasury (OFAC) for reconsideration of his listing and asset freeze.[187]

Turkish protection[edit]

After September 11, 2001, Yasin al-Qadi moved many of his operations to Istanbul, Turkey and Switzerland. Forbes reported that Qadi is a friend of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and that through his friendship with highly placed Turks he was able to escape sanctions while living in Turkey.[188]

Cuneyd Zapsu, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Erdogan, reportedly donated tens of thousands of dollars to Qadi, and Zapsu's mother donated "a cool quarter million dollars."[189]

Erdogan is quoted as having once said "“I know Mr. Qadi. I believe in him as I believe in myself. For Mr. Qadi to associate with a terrorist organization, or support one, is impossible.” [189]

Business activity after 2001[edit]

According to counterterrorism expert Victor D. Comras, "Al Kadi is believed to have acted swiftly after 9/11 to restructure many of his business interests and, while retaining actual control, placed many of his own assets into the hands of nominal managers and directors."[190]

Comras says that, despite his designation as a global terrorist, Qadi continued do business as

  • Chairman, Saudi National Consulting Center
  • Officer, Quordoba Real Estate Co., Inc., based in Saudi Arabia
  • Chairman, Caravan Co., based in Turkey
  • Board member, Himont Chemical, Pakistan
  • Board member, Cariba Bank, Kazakhstan
  • Vice President, M.M. Badkook Co., Saudi Arabia[190]

Continues to work for National Commercial Bank[edit]

Qadi has stated in court records that he was "a member of the Islamic Banking Services Committee, which was formed by the National Commercial Bank in 1997 and on which I served until December 8, 2009. This is a committee responsible for the strategic development of Islamic banking services which was chaired by the CEO of the NCB. I served on this banking committee with other senior banking officials."[191]

In other words, Qadi continued to work until 2009 for the very same Saudi bank that had been accused by British intelligence and U.S. intelligence sources of transferring $3 million in "protection money" to Osama bin Laden back in 1999.[192]

November 2002: Named as a defendant in 911 lawsuit[edit]

On 15 August 2002, firefighters, rescue workers and more than 600 relatives of victims of the September 11 attacks filed a 15-count, $116 trillion lawsuit against Osama bin Laden, the Saudi Bin Laden Group, three Saudi princes, the government of Sudan, seven international banks, eight Islamic foundations, charities and subsidiaries, and many other defendants, including several individual terror financiers.[193][194][195]

Yasin al-Qadi was added to the list of defendants on 22 November 2002, along with 50 more people and organizations, bringing the total number of defendants to 186.[196][197] The amount of money sought was reduced to $1 trillion, but the number of plaintiffs soon increased to 2,500 after the suit was widely publicized.[198]

Technically, Qadi was part of the "Third Amended Complaint" in the case of Thomas E. Burnett, Sr., et al. v. Al Baraka Investment and Development Corporation, et al., originally filed in the District of Columbia by attorneys from the Motley Rice Law Firm.[199]

Informally, the case is called the "911 Lawsuit," and it is a landmark case that has been examined in great detail by legal scholars.[200] In 2005 the case was combined with several other lawsuits to become In re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, MDL 1570, filed in the Southern District of New York. The case thus grew to more than 6,500 plaintiffs, collectively called "9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism."[199]

December 2002: Brisard report given to UN Security Council[edit]

Expert investigator Jean-Charles Brisard presented a report to the UN Security Council in December 2002 entitled “Terrorism Financing: Roots and Trends of Saudi Terrorism Financing”[201] alleging that Qadi was “one of the main individual Saudi sponsors of Al-Qaeda.”

Al-Qadi denied the allegation as totally untrue. “I don’t have any connection, be it close or distant, with Al-Qaeda or its leader Bin Laden, either directly or indirectly,” Qadi told Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News, in an interview.[202]

March 2004: Delisting request denied by OFAC[edit]

On 12 March 2004, OFAC issued a 20-page unclassified memorandum denying Qadi’s request for reconsideration.[203][204]

OFAC determined that Qadi played "a significant leadership role" in the Muwafaq ("Blessed Success") Foundation, as one of six trustees, and the others "delegated . . . the running and the operation of the Foundation" to Qadi, who "was the driving force behind the administration of the foundation." He "effectively conceded that he directly supervised the individual country offices."[205]

OFAC relied on Qadi's involvement in Muwafaq and, in particular, activities claimed to have occurred in Bosnia, Albania, Sudan and Pakistan, to conclude that "Kadi financially supported terrorist activities, primarily through Muwafaq, but also through other Kadi-owned entities." It considered Qadi's "relationship with and financial transfers to, designated terrorists Abdul Latif Saleh, Wa'el Julaidan, and Chariq Ayadi -- who were all involved in Muwafaq." [206]

According to OFAC's findings, "Muwafaq gave logistical and financial support to Al-Gama'at Al-Islamiya, a mujahadin battalion in Bosnia that was designated as SGDT on October 31, 2001. The organization also transferred $500,000 to terrorist organizations in the Balkans in the mid-1990s." [207]

OFAC found that Muwafaq "was involved in arms trafficking from Albania to Bosnia," and concluded that "as of late 2001, Kadi had continued to finance institutions and organizations in the Balkans after Muwafaq had ceased operations there, including two entities that were designated as SDGTs in early 2002 -- the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society's Pakistan and Afghanistan offices, and the Bosnia-Herzegovina branch of the Al-Haramain Foundation."[208]

September 2004: Files complaint against Swiss prosecutor[edit]

On 21 September 2004, the Swiss Federal Criminal Court ruled unanimously in Qadi's favor with regard to complaints brought by Qadi's lawyers against the Swiss prosecutor, Deputy Swiss Attorney General Claude Nicati. The Swiss court ordered that Qadi's lawyers be given full access to Nicati's entire file, including all notes taken by Nicati of his meeting with Jean-Charles Brisard.[209]

“Brisard is the lead investigator for the US lawyers in the civil action brought in the US courts on behalf of the families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and cannot therefore be regarded as independent,” his lawyers said. “Of particular concern to Al-Qadi was his discovery that Brisard passed to US lawyers documents he received from Nicati’s file in his capacity as expert."[210]

On 27 March 2006, an extraordinary prosecutor appointed to investigate the matter concluded that Qadi's allegations were baseless and dismissed the action brought by Qadi. The prosecutor found that "there is no indication that the person you namely denounced, M. Jean-Charles BRISARD, or any of his assistants, had communicated information covered by the secrecy of the function he should have respected in the framework of the analysis mandate delivered to him by M. Claude NICATI [Deputy Attorney General of Switzerland] at the end of February 2004 in the case regarding your client."[211]

2004: Accused of using university to launder money[edit]

In response to a 2004 lawsuit brought by 911 families against Qadi in the Federal Criminal Court of Switzerland, Qadi denied that he knowingly used Al-Iman university as a front for laundering money to al-Qaeda. Qadi’s lawyers emphasized that the paper trail shows the money that he gave to Al-Iman University in 1998 did not buy arms, but was used to supply low-cost housing to students at a religious education facility.[212][213]

2005: Dar al-Hekma launches U.S. exchange programs[edit]

Founded and funded by Yasin al-Qadi and his associates in 1999, the Dar al-Hekma College for women began in 2005 to launch a series of student exchange programs with colleges located throughout the United States and Europe.[214][215]

Between 2005 and 2012, Dar al-Hekma’s proposals for student exchange were welcomed by six colleges in the United States and one in Switzerland, namely:

  • Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA (2005)[216]
  • The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, MA[217]
  • Teacher’s College, Columbia University, New York (2008)[218]
  • University of California, Berkeley (2008)[219][220]
  • University of Colorado Denver, College of Architectural Planning (2010)[221][222]
  • Franklin College, Switzerland (2011)[223]

Before September 11, 2001, the school published a list of its "Establishers and Trustees," which included "Yasseen Abdullah Kadi." After September 11, the list has only included school administrators, with the Establishers/Trustees omitted. "The current Trustees could not be identified."[226]

September 2005: EU denies request for delisting[edit]

In September 2005, the EU Court of First Instance (General Court) denied Qadi’s appeal, saying that compliance with EU law need not be considered because the UN Security Council has primacy. Qadi appealed to the EU Court of Justice.[203]

December 2005: Wins case in Switzerland[edit]

The Federal Criminal Court in Berne, Switzerland, "cleared Al-Qadi of any wrongdoing in a case stemming from the 9/11 attacks," his lawyers announced on Dec. 12, 2005.

The charges alleged that Al-Qadi gave money in 1998 ostensibly to construct student housing at Al-Iman University in Yemen while knowing that the funds may have ended up supporting Al-Qaeda’s plan to attack New York City.[227]

“I am very happy to know that my friend Al-Qadi has been cleared of all charges by the Swiss court,” Zuhair Fayez, a Jeddah-based architect, told Arab News on December 25. He described Qadi as a reputable businessman and said the individuals and agencies that falsely accused Qadi of funding terrorism must be held responsible for damaging his reputation and interests.[227]

2007: Zuhair Fayez acts as silent partner[edit]

In his 29 August 2007 Wall Street Journal article "Well Connected, A Saudi Mogul Skirts Sanctions" Glenn R. Simpson reported that Yasin al-Qadi skirted UN sanctions placed against him by transferring his investments in the Turkish BIM supermarket chain to Zuhair Fayez, a friend and silent partner who held the money in 2004 through an off-shore company called Worldwide Ltd. in the Isle of Man.[6]

Like Qadi, Fayez is a multi-millionaire architect from Jeddah. He owns a firm, Zuhair Fayez Partnership (ZFP), that has subcontracted on several projects with the Saudi Binladin Group, the construction firm run by the wealthy family of Osama bin Ladin.[228][229][230]

December 2007: Delisted by Switzerland[edit]

On 13 December 2007, based on the results of its own six-year investigation, a Swiss court decided to remove Qadi from its list of blocked terrorists. Arab News, a Saudi newspaper based in Jeddah, reported that Qadi was exonerated “on all charges” and said that his money in Swiss banks and the Geneva-based Faisal bank would be unfrozen.[18]

Switzerland is not a member of the European Union and therefore had no obligation to comply with the EU listing.[203]

September 2008: EU Court of Justice rules in favor of Qadi[edit]

In 2008 the European Court of Justice overturned sanctions against Qadi by individual European Union governments, on the grounds the EU nations had not offered those sanctioned a chance for a judicial review.[11]

On 3 September 2008, the EU Court of Justice (higher court) ruled in favor of Qadi, “saying UN agreements cannot have the effect of prejudicing constitutional principles agreed to in the treaty establishing the European Community. The court found the EU regulation allowing listing and asset freezes to breach fundamental human rights, since no evidence was communicated to Kadi, and the right of defense and effective judicial review were prejudiced. It gave EU authorities three months to remedy these defects, leaving the sanctions in place during that time.”[203][231]

According to Forbes Magazine none of the bodies that has sanctioned Al Qadi has made public any of the evidence upon which the sanctions are based.[188]

On 22 October 2008, Martin Scheinin, in a report to the United Nations Security Council, suggested greater openness and transparency for the reasons individuals and organizations were being sanctioned.[11] He stated:

"Leaving things as they are at the U.N. level ... is the least preferred option, as it would result in a wave of litigation and the credibility of the overall United Nations counterterrorism framework would be at risk."

November 2008: EU Commission renews listing and asset freeze[edit]

In October 2008, the EU Commission (sanctions agency) provided to Qadi’s attorneys a brief summary of the UN’s reasons for listing Qadi, and they gave Qadi an opportunity for comment. On 28 November 2008, the EU Commission renewed its listing and assets freeze against Qadi.[203]

December 2008: Partially delisted by UK Treasury[edit]

In December 2008, the UK Treasury removed Yasin al-Qadi from its list of persons designated as terrorists under its Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2001 (the "2001 Order"), but left Qadi on a second list of persons designated as terrorists under separate UK legislation, the Al Qaeda and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Order 2006 (the "2006 Order"), which contained different listing criteria.[232]

According to his UK attorneys at the Carter-Ruck firm, "this delisting followed a comprehensive review by the UK Treasury of the case against Mr. Kadi, including a review of the materials which had been used to support Mr. Kadi's original designation, after which the UK Treasury concluded that "the case against [Mr. Kadi) no longer meets the test set out in ... the Terrorism Order."[232]

January 2009: Kadi v Timothy Geithner et al[edit]

On 16 January 2009, Qadi filed suit against officers of the U.S. Department of Treasury (OFAC) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Yassin Abdullah Kadi v. Timothy Geithner et al., Civil Action No. 09-0108; and Kadi v. Paulson et al., a request for agency decision review assigned to Judge John D. Bates, Case 28-1331).[233][234]

The lawsuit and request for agency review challenged Qadi’s designation as a terrorist and the asset freeze. Qadi raised “constitutional claims regarding due process, free speech, and protection from unreasonable seizure of assets.” [235]

February 2009: Second challenge to EU listing and EU freeze[edit]

In February 2009, Qadi filed a new lawsuit with the EU General Court (formerly the Court of First Instance), challenging the EU’s 28 November 2008 decision to renew his listing and assets freeze.[203]

August 2009: UN clarifies reasons for listing Qadi[edit]

On 13 August 2009, the United Nations Security Council Committee concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities (the "Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee") posted additional information and a narrative summary of their reasons for listing Yasin Abdullah Ezzeddine Qadi.[236][237] The reasons included:

  • Al-Qadi's acknowledgement of his role as founding trustee and director of the actions of the Muwafaq Foundation, a foundation which historically operated under the umbrella of the Makhtab al-Khidamat, an organization which was the predecessor of Al-Qaida and which was founded by Usama bin Ladin
  • Al-Qadi's decision in 1992 to hire Shafiq ben Mohamed ben Mohamed al-Ayadi as head the European offices of the Muwafaq Foundation
  • The 1995 testimony of Talad Fuad Kassem, who said that the Muwafaq Foundation had provided logistical and financial support for a fighters’ battalion in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that the Muwafaq Foundation was involved in providing financial support for terrorist activities of the fighters, as well as arms trafficking from Albania to Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Al-Qadi's role as a major shareholder in the now closed Sarajevo-based Depositna Banka, where planning sessions for an attack against a United States facility in Saudi Arabia may have taken place
  • Al-Qadi's ownership of several firms in Albania which funneled money to extremists or employed extremists in positions where they controlled the firm’s funds
  • Evidence that Bin Laden provided the working capital for up to five of al-Qadi’s companies in Albania.

Based on these reasons, the U.N. Security Council resolved to continue listing Yasin al-Qadi as a suspected supporter of al-Qaeda terrorists and the United States Department of Treasury has continued to classify Qadi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

January 2010: UK Supreme Court delists Qadi[edit]

On 27 January 2010, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (the highest appellate court for the UK) annulled the listing criteria of "the 2006 Order," the Al Qaeda and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Order 2006. In the case of Her Majesty's Treasury (Respondent) v. Mohammed Jabar Ahmed and Others [2010] UKSC2, the UK Supreme Court struck down the operative part of the legislation, and ruled that it must be quashed as being ultra vires (illegal).[232][238]

Thus Qadi's removal from a second UK list of persons designated as terrorists "was done as the result of the finding of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom that any such designation (as was done in Mr. Kadi's case in contravention of his fundamental rights) was illegal."[232]

September 2010: EU Court rules in Qadi’s favor, faults UN procedures[edit]

On 30 September 2010, the EU General Court once again ruled in favor of Qadi, “noting that the UN procedure, despite improvements in the establishment of an Ombudsman Office to make recommendations on delisting requests, lacks fundamental due process protections, including sufficient notice of the charges and denying ‘most minimal access to the evidence against him.’ " It said: “In essence the Security Council has still not deemed it appropriate to establish an independent and impartial body responsible for hearing . . . decisions taken by the Sanctions Committee.” (Paragraph 128).[203]

According to Qadi's solicitors at the Carter-Ruck firm, the ruling had the effect of striking down the European asset-freezing regulation that was imposed on Qadi on 28 November 2008, after Qadi had won his appeal to the European Court of Justice.[239]

September 8, 2011: Sued by Lloyd's of London for 'funding 9/11 attacks'[edit]

Qadi was among nine defendants sued by the Lloyd's of London insurance syndicate on 8 September 2011 in a "landmark legal case against Saudi Arabia, accusing the kingdom of indirectly funding al-Qa'ida and demanding the repayment of £136m [$215 million] it paid out to victims of the 9/11 attacks."[240][241][242]

Formally titled Underwriting Members of Lloyd's Syndicate 3500 v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia et al., the civil suit was filed in Pittsburgh (the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania)[243] by attorney Steven Cozen of Cozen O'Connor.[244]

“Absent the sponsorship of al Qaeda’s material sponsors and supporters, including the defendants named herein, al Qaeda would not have possessed the capacity to conceive, plan and execute the September 11th attacks,” according to the 154-page complaint.[245]

Yasin al-Qadi is listed along with the following defendants:

March 2012: U.S. Judge upholds terrorist label[edit]

On 19 March 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed Qadi’s 2009 lawsuit against the officers of the U.S. Department of Treasury (OFAC). Judge John D. Bates held that more than 2,000 pages of evidence gave OFAC sufficient “reason to believe” that Qadi provided support to terrorists or people associated with them.[251][252][253]

“It also left open the question of whether or not Qadi had sufficient financial ties to the U.S. to require due process protections, since it found that even if he did the OFAC reconsideration process is sufficient." [254]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Federal Register, Alphabetical List of Blocked Persons, U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
  2. ^ "Changes to List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons" (PDF Attachment), Special Alert, FDIC website, 22 October 2001
  3. ^ Gerth, Jeff and Judith Miller, "On The List: Philanthropist or Fount of Funds for Terrorists?" New York Times, 13 October 2001
  4. ^ a b c d Jackson, David et al. "U.S.: Money Trail Leads to Saudi," Chicago Tribune, 29 October 2001
  5. ^ a b Blackburn, Chris "Jamaat-i-Islam: A Threat to Bangladesh?" Secular Voice of Bangladesh website
  6. ^ a b c d e f Simpson, Glenn R. "Well Connected, A Saudi Mogul Skirts Sanctions," Wall Street Journal, 29 August 2007
  7. ^ a b Who's Who in the Arab World: 1981-1982 (University of Michigan: Publitec, 1981) p. 820 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "whos-who-arab-world" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  8. ^ UN Security Council Consolidated List "established and maintained by the Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) with respect to individuals, groups, undertakings and other entities associated with Al-Qaida," United Nations website
  9. ^ Thomas Jr., Landon "A Wealthy Saudi, Mired in Limbo over an Accusation of Terrorism," New York Times, 12 December 2008
  10. ^ name="Forbes2008-01-24" Richard C. Morais, Denet C. Tezel (2008-01-24). "The Al Qadi Affair". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-23.  mirror
  11. ^ a b c John Heilprin (2008-10-22). "UN expert wary of handling of suspected terrorists". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-10-22.  mirror
  12. ^ Marty, Dick, "United Nations Security Council and European Union Blacklists," Doc. 11454 Report, Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe, 16 November 2007, http://assembly.coe.int/documents/workingdocs/doc07/edoc11454.htm, provides hyperlinks to relevant documents, namely "Council Decision 2001/927/EC Establishing the List Provided for in Article 2(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism, 27 December 2001, "Council Common Position 2001/930/CFSP of 27 December 2001," "Council Common Position 2001/931/CFSP of 27 December 2001," etc.
  13. ^ Posch, Albert, "The Kadi Case: Rethinking the Relationship between EU Law and International Law?" Columbia Journal of European Law, 15 Colum. J. Eur. L. F. 1 (2009), http://www.cjel.net/online/15_2-posch/
  14. ^ European Union, "Consolidated list of persons, groups and entities subject to EU financial sanctions," Updated 13 October 2012, http://eeas.europa.eu/cfsp/sanctions/consol-list_en.htm
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  190. ^ a b Comras, Victor D. Flawed Diplomacy: The United Nations & the War on Terrorism. (Potomac Books, Inc., 2010), pg 98
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Bibliography[edit]

Cited in Footnotes

  • Blackburn, Chris "Jamaat-i-Islam: A Threat to Bangladesh?" Secular Voice of Bangladesh website
  • Gerth, Jeff and Judith Miller, "On The List: Philanthropist or Fount of Funds for Terrorists?" New York Times, 13 October 2001
  • Jackson, David et al. "U.S.: Money Trail Leads to Saudi," Chicago Tribune, 29 October 2001
  • Johnson, Jeff "Whistleblower Complains of FBI Obstruction," CNS News, 30 May 2002, APFN.org website
  • Morais, Richard C., and Denet C. Tezel (2008-01-24). "The Al Qadi Affair". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-23. mirror
  • Simpson, Glenn R. "Well Connected, A Saudi Mogul Skirts Sanctions," Wall Street Journal, 29 August 2007
  • Thomas Jr., Landon "A Wealthy Saudi Mired in Limbo Over an Accusation of Terrorism," New York Times, 12 December 2008
  • Who's Who in the Arab World: 1981-1982 (University of Michigan: Publitec, 1981) p. 820

Additional References

  • Bascio, Patrick, Defeating Islamic Terrorism: An Alternative Strategy (Branden Books, 2007) p. 50-51
  • Brisard, Jean-Charles and Guillaume Dasquié. Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2002)
  • Comras, Victor D. Flawed Diplomacy: The United Nations and the War on Terrorism

(Potomac Books Inc., 2010) p. 98

  • DeGoede, Marieke. Speculative Security: The Politics of Pursuing Terrorist Monies

(University of Minnesota Press, 2012) p. 133 ff.

  • Levitt, Matthew. Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (Yale

University Press, 2007), p. 168

  • Posner, Gerald. Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Saudi-U.S. Connection (New York: Random House, 2005).
  • Powis, Robert E. The Money Launderers. (Chicago: Probis Publishing Company, 1992).
  • Randal, Jonathan. Osama: The Making of a Terrorist (New York: Vintage Books, 2004).
  • Rubin, Barry. Guide to Islamist Movements (M.E. Sharpe, 2009). Vol. 1, p. 127
  • Truell, Peter and Larry Gurwin. False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, The World's Most Corrupt Financial Empire (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992)

Links[edit]

Category:1956 births Category:Counter-terrorism Category:European Union case law Category:International sanctions Category:Living people Category:Saudi Arabian people

fr:Yassin Abdullah Kadi et Al Barakaat International Foundation / Conseil et Commission (2008) tr:Yasin El Kadı