Spanish call centers and halal butcher’s shops fund jihad

Quick halal food in Spain

MADRID – There is a network of at least 250 call centers, halal butcher’s shops and grocery stores in Spain funding jihadist operations in Syria and Iraq. To send donations to the Islamic State (ISIS) or the Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al-Nusra, the network uses the “hawala” informal money transfer system. The system avoids inspection by the authorities and moves the savings of over 150,000 Muslims, estimated at 300 million euros per year, Spanish daily El Pais quoted intelligence services as saying. The hawala circuit is based on trust between a network of family members and those from the same country to send money to other parts of the world without leaving physical traces of it.

It is used by Syrian, Tunisian, Algerian and especially Pakistani immigrants. Investigators say that there are about 300 hawala terminals and clandestine “offices” in Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida, Bilbao, Santander, Valencia and Madrid used by the network to support the “jihadist cause.”

It is also the channel through which payments to jihadists of Spanish nationality get to Spain from camps in northern Syria. Intelligence services estimate that there are about 100 youth – mostly of Moroccan origins – that have joined ISIS, including about 15 that have been killed in suicide operations against the Syrian regime under Bashar Al-Assad…

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