Arrest of the Queen of ISIS sheds light on terrorist financing through Lebanese charities for refugees

By Christine Duhaime | January 30th, 2015

According to an article in the Washington Post, the arrest of Saja Hamid al Dulaimi, the ex-wife of the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has shed light on terrorist financing methods used by ISIS in Lebanon.

The Queen of ISIS was arrested in November 2014, attempting to enter Lebanon with her daughter, who is also the daughter of al-Baghdadi, using fake government identity issued in Syria by ISIS. Dulaimi is Iraqi.

According to the investigation of Dulaimi after she was arrested, it appears that she acted as a money mule for ISIS, transporting money from Lebanon to ISIS in Syria that had been sent to Lebanon by wealthy persons in the Persian Gulf, ostensibly for the aid of Syrian refugees. The funds were sent via wire transfers to charities in Lebanon and handed to Dulaimi, who made the physical transfers of cash to ISIS.

Dulaimi was living in a refugee camp on the Syrian border under fake ID and pretended to be a victim of terrorism. The camp, according to the article, is home to many other ISIS family members. Members of the Kurdish community have similarly said that former members of ISIS and their families are living in refugee camps under fake IDs so that they cannot be detected.

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