16 million dollars for this. “But one Al Qaeda-backed group has selected officer recruits while another extremist cell siphoned off cash in a protection racket. It also emerged that a number of employees on the payroll of the Free Syrian Police were either fictitious or dead. And its officers have stood and watched as women were stoned to death.”
But…but…they were “vetted moderates”!
“£12m foreign aid project axed in ‘cash for jihadis’ storm: Al Qaeda-backed group selected recruits for Syrian police force set up using taxpayers’ money,” by John Stevens, Daily Mail, December 3, 2017:
A £12million foreign aid project was halted last night amid fears some of the money has gone to jihadis.
The British taxpayers’ cash was handed over to set up a civilian police force in Syria.
But one Al Qaeda-backed group has selected officer recruits while another extremist cell siphoned off cash in a protection racket.
It also emerged that a number of employees on the payroll of the Free Syrian Police were either fictitious or dead.
And its officers have stood and watched as women were stoned to death.
Boris Johnson pulled the plug on the project yesterday. Back in April however the Foreign Secretary announced it would receive an extra £4million on top of the £8million awarded since 2014.
Much of the money was handed over in bags of cash.
Britain is one of six countries funding the community-led policing scheme in opposition-held regions of Syria.
A Panorama investigation tonight will raise grave concerns about the way it is run by Adam Smith International, a foreign aid contractor which has been accused of making excess profits from handouts to the poor.
One police station at Koknaya near Idlib in north-western Syria was supposed to have 57 officers. But documents obtained by Panorama suggest that when ASI staff visited in September 2016 they could not find a single policeman.
The company said it used cash to fund the police because there was no practical alternative and that on subsequent visits the officers were accounted for.
It said it had identified only a few examples of dead officers staying on the payroll.
But its documents also revealed that some police in the Aleppo area were made to hand over cash to an extremist group.
The report – dated July 2016 – warned that a fifth of salaries were being diverted to Nour Al Din Al Zinki ‘to pay for the military and security support that Zinki provides to the five stations in areas under its control’.
Officers worked with the group even though it is accused of atrocities including beheading prisoners.
ASI said it had strict guidelines to ensure detainees were treated fairly and that payments to the police stations involved were stopped in August 2016.
The Panorama documentary discovered evidence that the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda – Jabhat Al Nusra – chose recruits at a station in Idlib province. The Free Syrian Police has provided support for Al Nusra courts that hand out extreme punishments.
Its officers were present when two women were stoned to death near Sarmin in December 2014.
ASI said the policemen who attended the stoning were not formally under the force’s control and have since been removed.
It claimed that at the station where Al Nusra picked officers, only six people with alleged links to extremist networks were employed from a headcount of 3,400 policemen.
On the diversion of funds, it said there was evidence that only $2,000 had fallen into the hands of extremists and none of it came from British taxpayers.
Tory MP Crispin Blunt said the Free Syrian Police should not be supporting extremist courts.
He said: ‘The idea that British taxpayers’ money was associated with that would of course be wholly abhorrent.’…