An Iraqi father and son face two to 12 years of imprisonment for financing ISIS terrorists between February 2015 and April 2016 from Poland, according to Polish authorities.
The spokesman of the minister-special services coordinator, Stanisław Żaryn, stated that the investigation into the two Iraqi men was conducted by officers of the Wrocław unit of the Internal Security Agency (ABW).
The investigation was concluded with an indictment against the Iraqis who had been detained by the ABW in June 2020. The indictment was directed to court by the State Prosecutor’s Office.
The Wrocław Prosecutor’s Office accused the two Iraq citizens of transferring funds to the “combatants of the international terrorist organization defined as the Islamic State (ISIS)”. The prosecutor noted that the crime was committed between February 2015 and April 2016.
The Iraqis were to have sent funds to combatants in Syria using the “hawala” system, which is a characteristic method of financing terrorism.
“The main feature of the ‘hawala’ system is the swiftness of conducting transfers, anonymity, transferring small sums at a time, lack of any formality and being completely invisible to the official banking system. The transactions are conducted immediately after receiving the money by a liaison and giving a password,” the Prosecutor’s Office explained.
The Prosecutor’s Office noted that in such cases, the liaison immediately orders the release of funds in a different country through social media, phone calls, fax and other unassuming methods. The money does not venture through any banking system. The “hawala” method was also involved in the financing method for the pilots responsible for the World Trade Center attacks in September 2001.
According to investigators, the detained Iraqis received money transferred from relatives in Germany twice. Then, as part of “hawala”, they forwarded the money to a specific terrorist and his wife.
Żaryn explained that according to the investigation, the Iraqis transferred money for ISIS between March and May 2016. The money, which came from ISIS combatants families in Europe, was transferred to Poland through Western Union. The accused then transferred funds to ISIS members in Iraq.
The Prosecutor’s Office received information that the terrorist financed by the Iraqis had changed his faith to Islam in 2011 and in 2013 travelled to Syria through Turkey where he joined ISIS. In mid-2016, information was received that the combatant had died in Iraq. The man’s wife was detained in Germany in 2018 and sentenced for participation in a terrorist organization.