The recent spree of terrorist attacks around the world has indicated an upsurge in terrorist activity and a renewed boldness on the part of Islamic Jihadists since 9/11/2001—Nigeria, Kenya, Paris, twice Brussels and the Ivory Coast.
Not to speak of North and East Africa, and the Middle East, the hot bed and training ground of ongoing jihadist activity.
A nation does not need to offend these Jihadists in any way in order to be attacked. Originally, it was believed that the oil-thirsty wars the West had waged in the Middle East were the hatchery for the chicks that are now coming home to roost. In Paris, a newspaper published a cartoon of the prophet
Mohammed, which was considered derogatory. Not necessarily. For if that were the case, then why Nigeria? Why Kenya? Why the Ivory Coast? Why the Middle East itself? Northern Nigeria, where the attacks in that country began, is predominantly Muslim. So is the Middle East.
And so from all indications, this is no longer just about retribution. It is about Islamizing the entire world. The group terrorizing Nigeria has renamed itself The Islamic State in the West African Peninsula. This indicates not just random attacks but a program; an agenda. The execution of a plan.
But whose plan? Who is behind this? Surely the one known leading figure behind Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, is dead. So who is behind Al Qaeda and the group that calls itself the Islamic State?
Let’s draw a profile. First, it has to be someone (or some entity) with a lot of money. Second, let us not forget that war is perhaps the most lucrative business in the world. There’s a whole value chain, if you will, and everyone benefits — from weaponry and ammunition manufacturers to arms dealers (wholesale and retail); diamond dealers; NGOs collecting money in the name of peace building; peacekeepers and those who pay them; and lest we forget, international aid organizations lining up to loan money (at a very handsome fee) to incoming regimes needing to clean up the mess. Everyone benefits, that is, except for the people on the ground in the thick of the conflict.
But let’s stay on course, shall we? Who is fueling terrorist activity? There’s a saying: “Follow the money.”
It’s very simple.
Harry Greaves (peace be to his ashes) said it best in his column, Let’s Lecture, published weekly in the Daily Observer until his untimely demise. In the October 14, 2015 edition entitled “PEPs Beware!”, he wrote:
“Many officials in government are of the mistaken notion that if they steal public money and salt it away in a bank outside of the country, they are home free. Not quite. The only fool proof way to steal public funds without detection is to dig a large hole in the ground and bury it. But if you transfer money through the international financial system, you create a paper trail.
“Every US dollar transaction, no matter where it originates or terminates, passes through New York and the Federal Reserve system. And don’t think you can conceal your deception by putting the money in an account of a relative or close friend… There is a legal principle called tracing. If ill-gotten gains can be traced to you, they can be confiscated…
“…The US government keeps tabs on the financial dealings of people known as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)… It can be a lawmaker, a cabinet minister, the son, brother or sister of a president, or the president…
“…The point is that after you leave office, you can be brought to book. And Uncle Sam is a bitch,” Greaves wrote. “The US government will tolerate your peccadilloes while you are useful in promoting their national security interests. Then when you are no longer useful, they can turn on you on a dime. Go ask the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos or Mobutu Sese Seko!”
So if it is indeed this easy to follow the financial paper trail, it should be that easy to end not only terrorism but every other ghastly war in the world!
But alas! Too many people would have too much to lose. As a result, the political will suddenly goes missing in action.
The strange part about all this, of course, is that yes, a few Western countries have been targeted; but by far the people most affected by terrorism around the world are Muslim nations themselves! Yet we hardly see or hear Muslims speaking out against terrorism in terms of emphatically and categorically stating that it is not part of Islam.
It is said that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to sit by and do nothing. Perhaps it is fear. But what is there to fear when you are dying anyway? If you die, let it mean something.
And so we find that the political will is missing both on the part of the victims as well as those who have the power not just to stop it but to uproot it altogether.
Of course, the powers that be will have us believe that the only way to end it is to produce more guns and go after them in the middle east. That only perpetuates the problem, adds fuel to the fire and of course, enriches the value chain.
This is not a war game. This is a brain game. If we can trace the funding, we can dry it up. And if we can dry it up, we can uproot it.
Tell that to the United Nations Security Council.