Thursday, January 28, 2010

Al Qaeda raising billions, planning chemical strike

The United States and its allies may be on a drive to wipe off Al-Qaeda from the face of the earth, but records show that the most dreaded terrorist outfit continues to raise funds globally.

Records available with Indian security agencies show that the Al-Qaeda has raised $400 billion only through donations in the past year.

Intelligence Bureau officials say that the Al-Qaeda is using to their advantage the sympathy gained in the Arab world from their fight against the United States.

A major chunk of the donations has been coming in countries such as Kuwait, Qatar and Dubai. However, the last year has seen a large number of persons from Switzerland, Africa and Russia contributing towards the Al-Qaeda coffers.

The report states that the terrorist outfit managed to tap businessmen in these countries, who sympathise with the organisation and have never hesitated in funding the latter's operations.

The IB says that convincing these rich persons was not hard for them. The Al-Qaeda has several sub-organisations, which handle the collection of donations. Working on lines of a corporate set up, there are dedicated people who tap rich businessmen and collect funds from them.

The IB says that there has been a major shift in funding operations when compared to the previous years. Earlier, the outfit largely relied on drug trade to raise finances. But over the years, they have been finding it hard to do so owing to stepped up security on the Afghan borders from where a major chunk of the trade commences.

Thanks to the improved funding, the Al-Qaeda has managed to set up more wings in countries like Nigeria, Sudan, Yemen, Morocco, United Kingdom and the latest one in California.

The IB says that the Al-Qaeda is constantly trying to change its modus operandi and at the moment is concentrating heavily on carrying out a biological and chemical strike.

The growing activity of Al-Qaeda operatives in Georgia is an indicator of the outfit's changing focus. It is said that Georgia is the primary source for radioactive material. The country's open borders have proved to be a big advantage for the outfit.

Intelligence agencies believe that smuggling chemical weapons out of Georgia is as easy as buying a chocolate from a shop

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