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Yassin Qadi and the International Failure of the Sanctions Regime
Yesterday's Wall Street Journal (available by subscription only) carried an important story on Yassin Qadi, the designated terrorist financier, and his ongoing ability to end-run the international sanctions by investing in Turkey.

Qadi, who denies any ties to funding al Qaeda, has, according to reporting by Glenn Simpson, used his close friendship with Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other founders of the Islamist party, the Justice Development party, for protection and access.

The main allegation against Qadi centers on his donations to Muwafaq Foundation, which the United States and United Nations listed as a terrorist-supporting entity and which the CIA alleges specialized in purchasing and smuggling arms for Islamic radicals.

The weaknesses that allow Qadi to end-run international sanctions are the same ones that allow other designated terrorist financiers such as Yousef Nada and Idriss Nasreddin to continue to flourish.

In these cases, the assets of the designated person are liquidated, restructured and nominal control given to a third party, persons or entities not designated. And then business goes on a usual.

The failures point to several glaring holes in the sanctions regime which must be addressed if there is to be any effectiveness to the sanctions. Or else the sanctions should be scrapped, because as they currently stand they do almost nothing and there is no penalty for the governments and individuals that violate them.

Part of the problem with Qadi, as with other designated individuals living there, is that the government of Saudi Arabia has no interest in even going through the motions of pretending to enforce the internationally-binding agreements to which they are signatories.

Another problem is that these individuals tend to be very well connected, as witnessed by Qadi's close relationship with a senior adviser to the Turkish prime minister.

"Mr. Qadi, whose business empire is based mostly in Saudi Arabia, is a longtime partner of Turkish businessman Cuneyd Zapsu, as well as other key Justice and Development Party figures. Over the past year, Turkish media and opposition
leaders have disclosed that Turkey's financial police investigated the activities of Mr. Qadi and alleged al Qaeda supporters in Turkey. That led them to delve into the relationships of Mr. Qadi and other Saudis with senior Justice
and Development figures, including Mr. Erdogan. "

But, as Simpson reports, the investigations died, the senior investigator was fired and life goes on.

Qadi was also a close business associate of Wa'el Julaidan, one of the two people Saudi Arabia officially asked be placed on the UN sanctions list, and alleged logistics officer and founder of al Qaeda, along with Osama bin Laden. Of course, Julaidan lives in comfort, as the Saudi's have argued that they are dealing with him in a more "culturally appropriate" manner than putting him on trial or actually taking any action against him.

This case also shows how so many strands of the _wahhabi_ groups, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic banking structures, overlap and intersect through the same group of people. Often they intersect with radical Islamist terrorist structures as well.

Using the blunt instrument of UN sanctions to parse out the nuances of this larger ball of wax is not the best way to go. However, it is currently the only instrument available. Without institutional UN support (there is very little), and a true international commitment to honor the sanctions (there is even less), it might be better just to put the instrument away.
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