The recent I Files website by Jonathon Swift described Anwar as chameleon. In Chapter 4, they described Anwar's Wahabi link with Terrorist:
The Saudis funded Anwar both directly and through the increasing number of third parties through which he was tied – universities, NGOs, and banks with significant ties to the man who, it was believed, would be Finance Minister within a year.
The growth came through some of the canniest and most blatantly corrupt financial dealings Malaysia has ever seen. He was always careful to leave the direct wealth accumulation in the hands of proxies in and out of Government – except in Bumiputra shares, an oversight that would cost him dearly at a critical time.
His involvement in Communist funding was more extensive than one would think, but we believed it was quite accidental – the Saudis had no love for the militant atheists in Moscow, and even less for the rival insurgents they had planted against the Saudis throughout the world. His name, his front companies, his personal banking arrangements – all arose more from his omnipresence than any sort of explicit association with the Russians.
But the new details were quite something to behold.
One name recurred again and again, one I’d not to that point seen connected to Anwar: Saleh Abdullah Kamel, one of the wealthiest men in Saudi Arabia. The Americans were some of the least trustful allies the Saudis had – quite the statement, to be sure – and they were diligent trackers of the wealthiest of the wealthy. Saleh Kamel had founded Al Baraka Bank, the largest source of Islamic finance in the world, and had generously spread his wealth around – with a catch.
His money went exclusively to Saudi proxies and their causes. Anwar was a direct recipient of a great deal of his largesse, and had been since his ABIM days. Saleh Kamel would become important again later in the I-Files, but at the time the extent of his fingerprint was already remarkable. Anwar’s radical charities in other countries, his charities here – all of which of course paid him some sort of management fee – and his every project at home received some amount of Saleh Kamel’s largesse.
All of this would be remarkable enough, but even then, those of us who did wetwork against the Soviets knew Al Baraka and Saleh Kamel from another source: He funded the mujahedeen in Afghanistan, or more accurately, the mujahedeen who truly believed in the Saudi vision. He funded the madrassas in Pakistan and the unreachable parts of Afghanistan that would birth the Taliban a mere handful of years later – even then, we were aware of some of the danger he posed.
Al Baraka would later be Osama bin Laden’s and al Qaeda’s first choice in banks, a fact that have never seemed to bother Anwar or Saleh Kamel – and certainly did not slow Anwar down from joining the board of Al Baraka on leaving prison. He even proudly boasts of it to this day.
Anwar understood the importance of maintaining a good relationship, and so worked to keep his patron happy. In 1994, while Finance Minister, Anwar privatised Bank Islam (which Anwar himself had founded), selling 2.89 million shares to Joint Arab Malaysian Investment, which already controlled 5.27 million shares. JAMI’s largest shareholders were Al Baraka and Saleh Kamel; Anwar’s longtime associate Kamaruddin Mohd Nor, several Saudi-controlled companies, and a handful of Anwar front groups were the remaining major shareholders. JAMI saw hundreds of millions off of the deal through off-books transactions.
As Finance Minister, Anwar always made certain that Al Baraka and Saleh Kamel received their share – they, and a mysterious figure we would come to know as ‘Mr Ten Per Cent.’
The relationship has always been symbiotic. Anwar has over the years taken “consulting fees” for “introducing” foreign firms to Al Baraka and other Saudi enterprises; for example, in the last decade, he took $25,000,000 from the Hong Kong firm Pearl Oriental to “solicit investments” from Al Baraka.
It’s good to be the king; or, failing that, the Finance Minister.
There was more, and it filled in more gaps that we’d never imagined existed from Anwar’s early days. Ahmad al-Haj Totonji, the Iraqi who had apparently brokered Saudi funds to Anwar during his ABIM days, and Dr Abdul Hamid A Sulayman, his superior – and Anwar’s appointment as second Rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia – helped fund Anwar’s first American project, the International Institute of Islamic Thought. The Institute was not only a way for Anwar to help internationalise Saudi teachings under the cover of working with the more moderate factions of the Muslim Brotherhood, it was also a channel for Saudi funds into Anwar’s coffers.
The IIIT would be a money channel for funds to pour into other groups and enterprises Anwar controlled through surrogates over the decades. Over tea and spread manila folders in 1999, some colleagues and I estimated he’d made somewhere on the order of £30 million off of IIIT’s several ventures, in funds nominally dedicated to spreading a moderate and tolerant version of Islam.
By now, Anwar’s closet extremism and his Saudi ties were no surprise; his ties to the advocates of violent jihad, however, were a bit jarring. The files also suggested that the Saudis had taught Anwar the value not merely of front companies, but of dealing with banks who could be trusted to be discreet, and who could maintain anonymous accounts indefinitely. The size of those accounts was an outright mystery.
TIDAK HARAM MENCABAR NAJIB & MUHYIDDIN
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