The Importance of Financing in Enabling and Sustaining the Conflict in Syria (and Beyond)

Western Asia in most contexts. Possible extens...

Western Asia in most contexts. Possible extensions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Vol 8, No 4 (2014) > Keatinge

by Tom Keatinge

Abstract

The availability, sources, and distribution of funding are critical issues to consider when seeking to address an on-going conflict such as the one we are witnessing across Syria and Iraq. In the Syrian case, whilst funds from states such as Russia, Iran, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Qatar support various elements, a key factor to consider in addressing extremist groups is funding provided by private donors, some of whom are attracted by the concept of ‘jihadi finance’, seeking the honour and reward of waging jihad by proxy. This article reviews the importance of financing for insurgent groups, focusing in particular on the highly influential enabling role played by private donor financing in the current conflict in Syria, as well as the sustaining role of the war economy as the conflict spreads. Finally, it considers whether, in its fourth year, this conflict can still be influenced by targeting sources of financing.

Keywords: Terrorism finance, Syria

Introduction

The Syrian conflict has drawn support in the form of weapons, spare parts, supplies, and fighters from across the globe. But most importantly, the conflict has been enabled by the ready and generous supply of financing provided by a broad array of states and private individuals and it is sustained by the development of a highly lucrative war economy. It is thus not an exaggeration to say that financing is extremely important to all parties in the conflict, and that the availability of financing has substantially influenced  the course the conflict has taken thus far. Continue reading

Cyber Warfare Simulation Launched by UK Banks and Financials

By April 22, 2014 08:17 GMT

 

UK Banks and Financials Launch Cyber Warfare Simulation Tests

UK Banks and Financials Launch Cyber Warfare Simulation TestsReuters

Around 20 British banks and financial firms will undergo a major round of cyber warfare simulations in a bid to test their resilience against hacking attacks.

The Bank of England (BoE) is set to oversee the exercise, like it has done before, say media reports.

The Financial Times said that Andrew Gracie, director of the UK’s special resolution unit within the BoE, will oversee the operation to test the resilience of Britain’s biggest financials to cyber-attacks.

The exercise is the latest in a long line of now-routine cyber warfare simulations to find weak spots in corporate anti-hacking processes and systems.

Thousands of staff from various banks and other financial firms will take part in the exercise as a war game scenario is played out. Continue reading

Russian ruble becomes Crimea’s second official currency

The Crimean parliament has announced the Russian ruble will become the second official currency of Crimea and will be circulating alongside the hryvnia until it is withdrawn in 2016.

The decision marks the first step in the peninsula’s economic integration with Russia, after Crimea’s citizens overwhelmingly voted for joining Russia in Sunday’s referendum.“The official currency unit of the Republic of Crimea is the Russian ruble, and until January 1, 2016, the Ukrainian hryvnia would be also the official currency,” the parliament’s official website says. Continue reading

Egypt’s Economy and the Fall of the Beblawi Government

March 4, 2014 Mohammed Samhouri عربي

No Egyptian government will be stable unless it successfully addresses the country’s many interrelated economic troubles.

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The unexpected resignation of the entire interim cabinet of Egypt on February 24 should serve as a reminder of just how acute and intricate the economic crisis is that faces the country since Mubarak’s ouster three years ago. The latest manifestation of this crisis came in the form of escalating waves of labor strikes that hit several parts of the country in recent weeks: doctors, pharmacists, public transport employees, low-ranking policemen, pensioners, post office employees, workers in the textile industry and

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The battle for the Libyan Investment Authority

by Chris Wright

Mohsen Derregia was plucked from nowhere to run the $60 billion fund of the Libyan Investment Authority. He found a mess that he spent a year trying to clean up. Now, as many of LIA’s investments are being reassessed, he’s on his way out. He tells an extraordinary tale of sovereign wealth in a conflict-torn country. Further reading Libyan Investment Authority: The KPMG reports Mena Q4 results: Gulf becomes safer; Morocco and Tunisia resist heightened global risks MENA: Arab Spring redraws banking map After the Arab Spring: Taking stock of economies in transition Sovereign wealth funds: The new rulers of finance You are a country emerging from a bloody revolution that has ended 42 years of stultifying dictatorship, and you have one crown jewel: a sovereign wealth fund, fed with national oil wealth, with perhaps $60 billion of assets.

So where do you go, in these liberated but uncertain times, to find the right man to run it? In Libya in 2011 you went, it turned out, to the University of Nottingham Business School. Mohsen Derregia became chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority in April 2012 following a process he describes today as “totally a freak accident”. Indeed, the appointment of an academic, who had left Libya to become a research fellow at Manchester Business School in 2001 before shifting to Nottingham in 2006, puzzled some in the MENA investment community and continues to do so today.

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IT executive at JP Morgan dies in fall from bank’s London HQ

J. P. Morgan & Co. Building panorama

J. P. Morgan & Co. Building panorama (Photo credit: epicharmus)

39-year-old employee pronounced dead at the scene in Canary Wharf

By Team Register, 29th January 2014

A man who died in a fall from JP Morgan‘s headquarters in London yesterday has been named as Gabriel Magee, a senior IT programmer at the firm.

The 39-year-old American had worked for the investment bank for ten years in both New York and London and was vice president in CIB Technology at the time of his death.

“We are deeply saddened to have lost a member of the JP Morgan family at 25 Bank Street today,” JP Morgan said in a statement. “Our thoughts and sympathy are with his family and his friends.”

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Hong Kong five-dollar coin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Hong Kong Crime Falls as Blackmail Doubles on Naked Chat

Banknotes of the Hong Kong dollar

Banknotes of the Hong Kong dollar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Eleni Himaras Jan 28, 2014 5:00 PM GMT+0100

Total crime in Hong Kong decreased 4 percent in 2013 from the previous year even as blackmail offenses more than doubled because of so-called naked chat cases, according to a government statement.

 

A total of 72,911 crimes were recorded, Commissioner of Police Tsang Wai-Hung said at a press conference yesterday, according to a government press release. Robbery, burglary, serious assault, theft, criminal damage, triad gang-related offenses and youth crimes all fell as deception, blackmail, serious drug offenses and homicide rose, he said.

Hong Kong’s crime rate of 1,015 per 100,000 people was higher than Singapore’s 584 and lower than Tokyo’s 1,387, New York’s 2,361, London’s 9,500 and Paris’s 10,455. Homicides doubled to 62 in 2013 from 27 in 2012 due to the October 2012 Lamma Island ferry collision that resulted in the two captains being charged with 39 counts of manslaughter in April.

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