The Al Taqwa Bank was a financial institution incorporated in 1988. It was based out of the Bahamas, Switzerland and Lichtenstein and run offices in Kuwait, UAE, Malta and Lugano, Italy.
Al Taqwa Bank was suspected to have links to Islamic terror networks related to Al Qaeda and was cited by the Bush administration as a major source of funds for the operations of Osama Bin Laden.
The Al Taqwa (Arabic for "Fear of God") network of financial companies was set up in 1988 by prominent members of the Muslims Brotherhood. The chairman and co-founder was Youssef Nada. Later, Swiss Islamic convert Ahmed Huber, a vocal admirer of Hitler, was hired because the company needed at least one Swiss citizen on its board.
Another co-founder was Francois Genoud, one of the key managers of Nazi assets after the Second World War, who later attained notoriety as the publisher of Goebbels ' diaries.
Al Taqwa Bank was targeted early on by the United States because of its alleged links to terrorism. The USA also targeted it because its allegedly terror-related funds indirectly filter through the banking system of the United States, through its use of correspondents accounts. Al Taqwa Bank holds such accounts with the Swiss Banca del Gottardo, which in turn holds correspondent accounts with Citibank and Bank of New York.
In 2001, authorities in the Bahamas cancelled Al Taqwa's bank license there due to new laws designed to crack down on money laundering. Later that year, after The 9/11, Al Taqwa offices in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, along with the homes of Youssef Nada, Ahmed Huber, and one other Taqwa director, were raided by law enforcement agencies after being put on the Bush administration's "terrorist financiers" watch list.
Jordan accused the Al Taqwa bank of providing financial aid to the Jordanian organizations of Khader Abu Hoshar and Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who were involved in the JORDANIAN MILLENNIUM Plot.
Italian intelligence also finds links between Al Taqwa and the Milan Mosque. The Italian Intelligence told a Swiss prosecutor that Al Taqwa Bank “comprises the most important financial structure of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terrorist organizations.”
Under international restrictions and economic pressure of USA Al Taqwa bank was closed in early 2002.
Neither Al Taqwa Bank nor its’ board of directors have ever been charged in any criminal case by the United States or any other government.
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