The informal banking system, which has roots in middle-age Islamic beliefs, is notoriously hard to supervise, which makes the exact extent of terrorism financing almost impossible to calculate, a senior Swedish terrorism researcher noted.
So-called hawala banks were used to finance notorious Swedish-born Islamist and Daesh* terrorist Michael Skråmo, who in 2014 took his wife and four children to Syria and joined the outlawed Islamist group, Swedish terrorism watchdog Doku reported, noting that terrorist networks in other parts of the world may be financed using the same or similar channels.
According to a receipt obtained by Doku, a 24-year-old man from Gothenburg sent money to Daesh figure Waleed Ahmed Zein who was described by the US Treasury as a “dangerous terrorist” and arrested earlier this year. At present, Waleed Ahmed Zein is being prosecuted for having transferred over $150,000 to Daesh in Syria, Libya and Africa. According to Doku, the roughly $895 sent to Zein was intended for Skråmo. The transfer occurred via Dahabshiil, a corporate chain with offices in more than 120 countries.
Magnus Ranstorp, a senior terrorism researcher at the National Defense College, confirmed that using hawala for terror financing was “not uncommon.” He confirmed instances of contacts sending money directly to Daesh via the hawala system. The exact amount of money transferred is difficult to track down, due…