Thursday, September 1, 2016


Hamas leadership in Tunisia.
A Tunisian news outlet, Al-Bilad, has reportedly announced that Hamas has opened offices in the country's capital, Tunis. Inasmuch as the Hamas "headquarters" in Turkey has been used to finance terrorist acts, both in the West Bank and in Europe, and to recruit and arm terrorists, it is reasonable to expect that the Tunis office, referred to as a headquarters, will not function as a diplomatic post.

This is extremely disturbing, for Tunisia, which has been the site of terrorist attacks that took a huge hit out of the country's precious tourist industry, does not need to facilitate the actions of a specially designated terrorist organization. There could also be assassination attempts made upon senior Hamas terrorists; this has occurred several times in the Middle East, and one wonders whether the Government of Tunisia has considered that Hams could be targeted in Tunis.

From a compliance standpoint, it raises risk levels for American banks whose clients include exporters to Tunisia, especially dual-use goods, which could easily be ordered by front companies, and delivered to Hamas, for further shipment. Also, there are other countries that have sanctioned Hamas, and compliance officers at banks in those nations should also pay close attention to what their clients send to Tunisia.

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