US embassy cable - 98JERUSALEM2378

ALLEGED OSAMA BIN LADEN CONNECTION TO PALESTINIAN BANK

Identifier: 98JERUSALEM2378
Wikileaks: View 98JERUSALEM2378 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Jerusalem
Created: 1998-08-25 15:14:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PTER EFIN KWBG KPAL JO SA
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 251514Z AUG 98
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5603
INFO AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 
AMEMBASSY AMMAN 
AMEMBASSY RIYADH 
S E C R E T JERUSALEM 002378 
 
TERREP 
 
E.O. 12958:  DECL: 1.6.X.1 
TAGS: PTER, EFIN, KWBG, KPAL, JO, SA 
SUBJECT: ALLEGED OSAMA BIN LADEN CONNECTION TO PALESTINIAN BANK 
 
1.  (U) CLASSIFIED BY ACTING PRINCIPAL OFFICER JERRY FEIERSTEIN, 
REASON 1.6X1. 
 
2.  (S) OSAMA BIN LADEN HAS CLOSE CONNECTIONS TO, AND POSSIBLY AN 
OWNERSHIP SHARE OF, AL-AQSA ISLAMIC BANK, A NEW BANK GIVEN 
PRELIMINARY APPROVAL BY THE PALESTINIAN MONETARY AUTHORITY (PMA) TO 
OPERATE IN PALESTINIAN AREAS, ACCORDING TO PROMINENT WEST BANK 
BUSINESSMAN AND BANKER YAHYA KADAMANI (STRICTLY PROTECT).  KADAMANI 
SAID AUGUST 25 THAT AL-AQSA IS JOINTLY OWNED BY THE JORDAN ISLAMIC 
BANK (JIB) AND BEIT AL MAL, A PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC FINANCIAL 
INSTITUTION.  JIB, IN TURN, IS OWNED BY A SAUDI SHEIKH NAMED 
SA'ADEH KAMEL, A FRIEND AND BUSINESS PARTNER OF BIN LADEN'S, SAID 
KADAMANI. 
 
3.  (S) THE PALESTINIAN RUMOR MILL HAS OFTEN CONNECTED BEIT AL-MAL 
TO HAMAS; A NUMBER OF BEIT AL-MAL BOARD MEMBERS, INCLUDING CHAIRMAN 
MAZEN SINOKROT, WERE DETAINED AND QUESTIONED BY THE GOI SOME MONTHS 
AGO, BUT LATER RELEASED WITHOUT CHARGE.  AL-AQSA ONLY RECEIVED 
APPROVAL TO OPERATE, ACCORDING TO KADAMANI, AFTER PMA GOVERNOR 
FOUAD BSEISO WAS WINED AND DINED ON SHEIKH KAMEL'S PRIVATE JET. 
KADAMANI DID NOT PROVIDE DETAILS ON WHAT ACTIVITIES AL-AQSA IS 
UNDERTAKING FOR BIN LADEN, IF ANY. 
 
4.  (S) COMMENT.  KADAMANI IS A LONG-TIME CONSULATE CONTACT AND IS 
WELL PLUGGED-IN TO PALESTINIAN FINANCIAL CIRCLES.  HE HAS ALWAYS 
BEEN VERY OPEN, AND IS SOMETHING OF A GOSSIP-MONGER.  WE DON'T TAKE 
KADAMANI'S REMARKS AS PROOF OF A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BIN LADEN AND 
AL-AQSA, BUT BELIEVE THEY ARE WORTH NOTING.  END COMMENT 
 
 
FEIERSTEIN 

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