Qatari financier exploited UN loopholes to facilitate terror funding

Khalifa Al-Subaiy

Saudi Gazette report

In a startling revelation, the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday brought to the fore how lenient monitoring and loopholes have allowed blacklisted terrorists gain access to bank accounts.

The report highlighted how a Qatari financier accused of helping to fund the Al-Qaeda leadership, including mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, is circumventing United Nations sanctions to tap into his frozen bank accounts.

Khalifa Al-Subaiy, who was added to the UN terror blacklist in 2008, has been able to withdraw up to $10,000 a month for “basic necessities” despite an asset freeze, the report claimed.

Home countries can apply for an exemption so proscribed individuals can cover basic expenses such as food and rent. However, exemptions procedure is "too loosely structured and lacks oversight," the report added.

UN officials accuse some member states like Qatar of failing to monitor designated terrorists in their countries and preventing them from obtaining funds. They also say the procedure lacked the requisite oversight.

The UN has publicly alleged that a series of disclosures showed Al-Subaiy, a former Qatar central bank official, continuing to finance terrorists and their activities through 2013.

"I would be hard-pressed to find someone more prominent than him in the whole terrorism financing side," said Hans-Jakob Schindler, a senior director at the Counter Extremism Project and former adviser to the UN Security Council, told WSJ.