Remember all you’ve heard about how suicide bombings are the last, desperate result of a poor, oppressed people that lacks even the money to buy conventional weapons? Well, forget it. From the Times Online, with thanks to JS:
HSBC, one of Britain’s biggest banks, has been accused of channelling tens of millions of pounds to suicide bombers.
It will be alleged in a court action that an account at a subsidiary of the bank in Saudi Arabia was used to collect and pass funds to organisations which then used the money to help Palestinian suicide bombers and their families. A former Citibank subsidiary will also be accused.
Among the groups that received the funds is Hamas, whose supporters have carried out scores of suicide bombings against Israelis.
Money was raised through public appeals in Saudi Arabia with one stating: “Our Palestinian brothers are facing the Israeli war machine and they are defending the third sacred place in Islam — the blessed al-Aqsa mosque.
“They don’t have weapons. Only a few days passed since the al-Aqsa intifada began and already there are lots of martyrs, wounded and orphans.”
According to documents seen by The Sunday Times, the appeals directed donations to a special account, called Account No 98, in at least eight banks in Saudi Arabia including HSBC’s subsidiary.
These accounts were set up at the instigation of the Saudi authorities who required the banks to pass the money on to a fund administered by Saudis. From there it was distributed to organisations including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and also to designated international terrorist organisations.