The manager of a suspected radical mosque, along with three others, was arrested this week in northern France over allegations of fraud and embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of euros of foreign cash.
The manager of the Al Houda mosque in Grande-Synthe, 49-year-old Ouarab A., two of his two sisters and the treasurer of the mosque were taken into custody on Wednesday by local police in an operation of the departmental anti-fraud committee.
Ouarab allegedly tried to grab the weapon of an officer during his arrest,
According to investigators, at least €350,000 (£297,738/$363,181) in foreign cash is thought to have been embezzled by the mosque, which is said to follow the ultra-conservative Islamic ideology of Salafism, French broadcaster CNews reports.
The four arrestees are also believed to have committed social benefit fraud in the amount of around €70,000 (£59,569/$72,649), according to investigators, who allege that the fraudulent transfers were made through associations run by the mosque manager’s sisters, who are aged 46 and 47.
The Al Houda mosque, which is also home to an unauthorized Qu’ranic school, is said to have been purchased using the embezzled funds.
Berlin Police Raid More Islamists Accused of Coronavirus Help Fund Fraud https://t.co/P7OKPDHZhA
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 24, 2020
The case is just the latest to see radical Muslims accused of fraud and financial crimes in recent years.
During the Wuhan virus pandemic, for example, there were several reports of Islamists using coronavirus schemes to defraud Western governments, as in May 2020 when German police in Berin raided the homes of several Islamic extremists over fraud allegations.
These included a man who had been investigated for plotting a terrorist attack against the Berlin marathon.
Investigators said that Islamists had claimed cash for emergency financial aid for businesses affected by the coronavirus and the associated lockdown restrictions imposed on German residents. Some claimed aid for businesses that were not in operation at all.
Just a month later, Berlin police raided even more Islamists, suspected of engaging in benefit fraud. Some suspects were linked to the Ibrahim al-Khalil mosque, one of the main gathering points for Salafists in the German capital.
A Mosque in France has been shuttered for six months after authorities accused it of ‘inciting hatred’ and ‘advocating jihad’. https://t.co/96cfIpPnxo
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 29, 2021
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Former Goldman CEO Warns of Potential Recession: ‘Very, Very High Risk Factor’
Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein warned the United States could plunge into a recession.
“Do you think we’re headed towards recession?” @margbrennan asks Goldman Sachs Senior Chairman Lloyd Blankfein amid U.S. inflation.
“It’s definitely a risk…If I were a consumer, I’d be prepared for it, but it’s not baked in the cake.” pic.twitter.com/IehxU4wSo6
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 15, 2022
A transcript is as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think we’re headed towards recession?
LLOYD BLANKFEIN: We’re certainly heading — it’s a very, very high risk factor. There’s a path, a narrow path, but I think the Fed has very powerful tools. It’s hard to finely tune them and hard to see the effects of them quickly enough to alter it. But I think they are responding well. It’s definitely a risk. If I was running a big company I would be very prepared for it. If I was a consumer, I would prepared for it. But it’s not baked in the cake.
White House Claims Baby Formula Shortage a Top Priority Since February After Joe Biden Claimed Ignorance of Problem
The White House claimed President Joe Biden’s administration made the baby formula shortage crisis a top priority as early as February, even though the president claimed ignorance of the problem on Thursday.
“This is something he is focusing on very acutely and again I said 24/7 we’ve been working on this since we have learned about this back in February,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during the daily briefing about Biden, calling the issue “one of the presidents top priorities.”
Biden bristled when asked by reporters on Friday if he could have acted sooner to fix the crisis.
“If we had been better mind readers, I guess we could’ve, but we moved as the problem became apparent to us,” Biden said.
The president did not even personally mention the crisis until Friday, despite weeks of reports highlighting the problem.
“I’ll answer the baby formula question because, all of a sudden, it’s on the front page of every newspaper,” Biden grumbled on Friday.
He announced the launch of a new government website to help parents locate baby formula in stores, but it was beset by extremely long hold times and unhelpful information.
Jean-Pierre alluded to a comment from Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Bacerra claiming the Biden administration had been working on the issue since February and even as early as last year in 2021.
CNN: “You are satisfied with the government’s response throughout [the baby formula shortage]?”
HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra: “FDA has kept me apprised of this from LAST YEAR. We have been moving as quickly as we can” pic.twitter.com/5WRZa5chYg
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 16, 2022
“You’ve heard us talk about this, you’ve heard colleagues talking about what we have done since February,” Jean-Pierre said. “We’ve been working on this 24/7.”
Jean-Pierre refused to offer a timeline for when supplies of baby formula would return to normal.
“What I can say is there are a lot of dates floating around out there,” she said.
Joe Biden Botches Name of Hero Killed in Buffalo Shooting Aaron Salter Jr.
President Joe Biden struggled Monday with the correct pronunciation of the name of Aaron Salter Jr., a heroic ex-cop and security guard who died Saturday confronting the Buffalo mass shooting suspect.
“We pay tribute to all law enforcement officers and their families who understand what it takes, what’s at risk, to save and protect all of us,” Biden said. “That includes paying tribute to the Buffalo police officer Aaron Salder — Slater, excuse me — who gave his life trying to save others.”
Biden spoke about Salter during a Public Safety Officer Medals of Valor ceremony at the White House for law enforcement and public safety officials.
Salter was a Buffalo police officer for 30 years before retiring in 2022 and taking a security job at the Tops Friendly Market where the shooting took place.
Salter hit the alleged shooter with at least one round from his pistol, but it was blocked by the alleged shooter’s bulletproof armor. Salter was later shot and killed during the attack.
“You’re the heart and soul and very spine of this country and communities,” Biden continued, praising the public safety officials in the room.
During the ceremony, Biden also botched the name of Rep. Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat congressman from New York.
“Excuse me. You can call me ‘Bidden,’” Biden joked, mispronouncing his own name. “We’ve known each other so long and I still stumbled. I apologize.”
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