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US crackdown on hawalas has severe consequences for Somalia

The decision by the US government to target two named hawala networks and shut down their offices worldwide threatened to cut off the vital flow of remittances to Somalia. Aid agencies warned that the loss of support from families overseas would aggravate and already-desperate situation, increasing the prospects of famine. In the USA, hawala offices were raided in four states.

The US Treasury published the names of two hawalas in connection with the efforts to identify ands stem the flow of funding to al Qaeda. One of these networks is al-Barakaat, the most significant channel for remittances to Somalia. The Treasury declaration says it has offices in the Gulf states, Sweden, Canada as well as several US states. The other is al Taqwa, which has offices in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy and the Caribbean. Hawalas are the informal banking system based on trust used by Arab and South Asian migrant communities around the world to transfer remittances (see Traces #15).

President Bush alleged that the hawala networks were used to arrange arms shipments, to provide cash for operations and secure telephone connections. The authorities claim that al-Barakaat skims of five per cent of the takings to pass on to al Qaeda, amounting to $25 million a year. Bush said that "the entry point to these networks may be a small storefront operation … but follow the network to its centre and you discover wealthy banks and sophisticated technology, all at the service of mass murderers." U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill labelled al-Barakaat "the quartermasters of terror". US authorities say that the founder of al-Barakaat, Ahmed Nur Ali Jim'ale, met Osama bin Laden during the war against the Russians in Afghanistan and became a close associate. He is now based in Dubai, from where he denied any connection to al Qaeda. Al-Barakaat has 60 offices in Somalia and 127 offices in 40 other countries. Its hawala money transfer services are used by residents in the Gulf and South Asia, as well as Somalia. Most of its business in the USA is remittances from Somali immigrants, usually in small amounts. The Treasury had been investigating al-Barakaat since 1999 because of its suspected links to Al Qaeda.

Al Taqwa has offices in the tiny tax haven of Campione, on the eastern shore of Lake Lugano. It is part of Italy but surrounded by the Swiss canton of Ticino, and has avoided close scrutiny from both Italian and Swiss authorities because neither has complete authority. Campione is only 2.1 km long and no more than 1 km wide. In addition to offering offshore banking services it has a large casino, ideal for laundering money.

Together with the posting of the hawalas' names, police raided office in five states. Hawala premises were entered in Minneapolis, Seattle, Columbus (Ohio), Boston and northern Virginia. A man was arrested in Dorchester, near Boston. Filing cabinets and records were taken from the business. The assets of 62 companies and individuals in the USA and abroad were frozen. Al-Barakaat's offices were specifically singled out by Treasury officials; four other hawalas in Columbus were not raided, for example. But a prominent Somali businessman in the city pointed out that Barakaat means 'blessed', and was a common name to give such businesses. It did not imply any connection with al-Barakaat in Dubai.

A week after his Columbus offices were raided, hawala operator Hassan Hussein promised to reopen under a new name and continue to serve the Somali community, thought to number 30,000. In the past year, the business had been used by up to 5000 families a month, involving sums as small as $50. Hussein claimed that he earned $30,000 in commission in 2001. He also stated that he would request that the Treasury release $127,000 in sequestered funds. This money represents the remittances of Somali families destined for their relatives in Somalia.

Soon after 9/11 a new law was passed in the USA requiring all hawalas to register with the Treasury Department by December 31st. They will also be required to report all suspicious cash transfers. Although this law was first passed in 1994 it was never enacted. Businesses that fail to comply can be fined up to $5000 a day. The Treasury recognises that most hawala transactions are legal and above board, but it also expects some businesses to avoid registration and attempt to stay underground.

Canada also froze the assets of al-Barakaat as requested by the US authorities. The RCMP also arrested Liban Hussein, a Canadian citizen born in Somalia, after he turned himself in to the authorities. His brother had been arrested in Dorchester. Hussein was wanted by the US in connection with the Dorchester offices of Barakaat North American Inc. He has a house in suburban Ottawa. Because the hawalas do not take deposits and charge no interest they are not covered by Canada's usual financial institution regulations.

Al-Barakaat's offices in Dubai and Britain were also shut down, and others had been raided in Kenya before the US clampdown. In London, al-Barakaat Money Remittance and Albarakat Money Transfer and Telecom served the Somali community from its base in Clapham. A week later, in mid-November, Ethiopia's government announced that it was closing all Somali remittance companies, not just Barakaat's, and posted armed cards at their offices. It also requested that all Somalis remaining in the country should obtain identity cards.

Al-Barakaat is the biggest hawala operation in Somalia. It is estimated that 80 per cent of the $140 million of remittances the bank handles every year are destined for Somalia. It also acts as a deposit bank for businesses. The remaining 20 per cent is channelled to Kenya, Ethiopia and over 25 other countries. The bank was founded in the late 1980s but took off in 1991 after the Somali state collapsed, leaving an institutional vacuum in which there was no formal banking system. The bank's headquarters are in Dubai, though most transactions end up in Somalia. Al-Barakaat also owns Somalia's largest telecommunications business, as well as a water company and a postal service. Together, these companies were the country's biggest employer.

Somali families are accustomed to receiving $100-200 a month from relatives, many of whom are in the USA. A spokesperson for Save the Children in Somalia estimated that half of all families relied upon funds from relatives abroad. In the absence of a central banking system, Al-Barakaat and around eight other money transfer businesses are the only lifeline for tens of thousands of such families. Al-Barakaat was also forced to suspend its international telecommunications service after AT&T and British Telecommunications cut off its international gateway. The half a billion dollars a year in remittances far outweighs aid and earnings from livestock exports.

UN officials declared that the economy was on the verge of collapse. Remittances had already declined by 50 per cent after September 11, even before the subsequent restrictions on money transfers from the USA. In addition, there is a ban on livestock exports to the Gulf States because of Rift Valley Fever, and a long-running drought. The UN estimates that 780,000 people are affected by food shortages in Somalia and that the country needs 56,000 metric tonnes of food to cope until the next harvest in 2002. In December the United Nations agencies working in Somalia responded to the crisis by launching a joint appeal for $84 million of aid. In 2001 the UN received only 20 per cent of the $130m it had asked for. Aid officials explained that they were asking for less despite conditions being worse, in recognition of political circumstances. The UN acknowledges that the perception of Somalia as a country without government or organization was dissuading donors from providing food and aid. The transitional government has little control outside the capital, Mogadishu.

Somalia's transitional President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan condemned the US decision. Clan elders in the breakaway country of Puntland, still officially part of Somalia, also issued a statement supporting hawala banks. The statement praised them for stepping into the breach after the country's formal institutions had collapsed.

Since 1992, over 325,000 Somali refugees have returned home from Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Yemen and other countries, according to a representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Somali Office. By the end of 2001 the UNHCR hopes to have repatriated 50,000 refugees, mostly from Ethiopia.

Funds for Somali food crisis drying up since attacks on US: UN official, Robert Holloway Agence France Presse 19.10.01; Somalia: Puntland clan leaders defend activities of local banks, BBC Worldwide Monitoring 23.10.01; Somalia: remittances halved, Africa Research Bulletin 1.11.01; Somalis need way to send money, Charles Pope and Sam Skolnik Seattle Post-Intelligencer 9.11.01; Closing down bank 'will hit Somalis', Edward Alden, Robert Shrimsley and Mark Turner Financial Times 9.11.01; Somalis left in the lurch by US decision to freeze main bank, Anthony Morland Agence France Presse 10.11.01; Somali elders in Mogadishu add to denials of terrorism links, Anthony Morland Agence France Presse 11.11.01; Bank of England Freezes Accounts Held by Dubai-Based Money-Transfer Group, Jat Gill and Annunziata Rees-Mogg Sunday Business 11.11.01; Barakat pleads innocent to US 'terror' claim, Mark Turner Financial Times 12.11.01; Where's proof of bank's terrorist links? Hassan asks US, Anthony Morland Agence France Presse 12.11.01; Somali leader reacts to US closure of remittance bank, BBC Worldwide Monitoring 13.11.01; Remittance banks broke the law, says Ethiopia, justifying closures, Agence France Presse 15.11.01; Barakat telecoms gateway cut off, Mark Turner Financial Times 16.11.01; Shutdown of Remittance Firms Hits Somalia's Economy, Xinhua 27.11.01; Somalia; UN Agencies Launch Assistance, Africa News 3.12.01; US closure of Somali remittance bank strikes even desert dwellers, Agence France Presse 5.12.01; Somali money transfer services seek to restore flow of money, Associated Press 7.12.01; Somalia food situation 'deteriorating fast', says UN food agency, Agence France Presse 13.12.01; Fighting terror attacking the financial network, Michael Kranish and Scott Bernard Nelson The Boston Globe 8.11.01; Cash movers branded as financiers of terrorism, William Hall, Mark Turner and John Willman Financial Times 8.11.01; Police raid business sites allegedly aiding Bin Lade, The Miami Herald 8.11.01; Columbus money firm aided Somalis, colleague says, Ted Wendling and Stephen Koff, The Plain Dealer 9.11.01; 'Hawala' broker plans reopening, Ted Wendling The Plain Dealer 14.11.01; Treasury Department says some underground money brokers won't register, Marcy Gordon Associated Press 15.11.01; U.S. seeks Ottawa man suspected of aiding terrorists, Tim Naumetz, Jim Bronskil and Rick Mofina The Vancouver Sun 10.11.01; Ottawa hawala owner surrenders to RCMP, The Gazette 13.11.01; Immigrants lack lifeline as assets are frozen, Paul Weinberg Inter Press Service 3.12.01


Caribbean and Central America: the fall out from 9/11

Throughout the Americas there was heightened anxiety that the consequences of the terrorist attacks of September 11 would damage the region's already vulnerable economies. The World Bank's initial predictions were pessimistic but, although many countries reported falls in migrant remittances, others suggested that there would be no lasting impact.

Two weeks after the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center the World Bank announced that the attacks would aggravate the slow down in the world's economy. It estimated that the events of 9/11 would reduce economic growth in the industrialized world by 0.75 of a percentage point to 1.25 percentage points in 2002, and in developing nations by 0.5 of a percentage point to 0.75 of a point. By these calculations, as many as 10 million people who might otherwise escape poverty in 2002 will remain poor. Tens of thousands more face starvation. Between 20,000 and 40,000 children under five could die as a direct result. The World Bank reckoned that the world's poorest countries would be affected most, as well as those depending on remittances, tourism and foreign investment. This could involve Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.

Even without the attacks, the World Bank had estimated that world growth would slow to 2.6 per cent in 2002, the lowest level since 1993. Other analysts doubted that such precise forecasts could be made so soon after the attacks.

Initial reports from various Caribbean and Central American countries presented a mixed picture on the impact of 9/11 on remittances. In some countries declines were reported, but in others sources said that there was no lasting impact. The Inter-American Development Bank surveyed 1000 Latin American immigrants in the USA in December. The survey found that 56 per cent were sending less money home after 9/11; 26 per cent were earning less and 7 per cent had lost their jobs. Of those questioned, seven out of ten said that they did send money regularly.

In 2000 the Dominican Republic received $1.7 billion in remittances, 80 per cent of which came from the USA. There are fears that the flow will dry up in the wake of September 11, after which as many as 41 Dominicans were reported either dead or missing. It was feared that the economic slowdown would result in mass layoffs for Dominicans in the large American cities. According to the IADB annual are equivalent to almost two-thirds of the country's income from tourism. They are almost four times the value of the country's traditional primary exports; they exceed annual foreign direct investment; and they represent more than 11 times the value of development aid. Amounts increased 85 per cent between 1996 and 2000, and were still growing in the first six months of 2001. According to some estimates, there are 700,000 Dominicans in the New York-New Jersey region, but the exact numbers are uncertain. This region alone remits around $500 million a year.

Remittances from the estimated 930,000 Salvadorians living in the USA fell by more than $20 million after 9/11. In August they remitted $167m, but in September only $147m; this was still more than September 2001. The country's Central Reserve Bank anticipated an eventual recovery in remittances. In a deal between the American restaurant company Pizza Hut and the portal Terra.com, Salvadorans in the USA will be able to 'remit' pizzas to their relatives back home. Terra.com is owned by Spain's Terra Lycos, the world's third largest ISP.

Reports from Cuba also suggested that remittances - the island's biggest source of foreign currency - were down after September 11. Tourist receipts also declined, with visits down by as much as a third according to some estimates. In a survey conducted in Havana in the mid-1990s, 60 percent of the respondents said they had relatives living abroad.

The sums remitted by Ecuadorians in New York fell from $2.3 million to $1.5 million a day in the two weeks after 9/11. The Central Bank reported that remittances had been declining even before the attacks as the US economy slowed down. But it was also possible that post-attack construction could result in many immigrant workers finding employment again. According to official figures, 600,000 Ecuadorians live in New York, 100,000 in Los Angeles, 100,000 in Chicago and 60,000 in Washington, D.C. Over two million Ecuadorians live overseas.

Jamaican Senator Douglas Orne announced in December that, although remittances to the island had fallen for the ten days after the terrorist attacks, levels then recovered. He said that there was no evidence of any negative effect on Jamaica's economy. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson also said that there has been no negative impact on remittances to Jamaica, although passenger numbers were down by a third in the first weeks.

Despite the events of September 11 the Central Bank of Honduras also reported that remittances to Honduras increased in September, to $370 million. This was $100 million more than September 2000. There are around 650,000 Hondurans in the USA. The central bank of Guatemala said that 9/11 had not significantly affected remittances from the USA. Levels dipped in September but picked up again in October to $41.4 million.

The role of the Dominicans abroad in the island's economic development was discussed at a one day symposium in New York organised by the Rosie Douglas Foundation and sponsored by the Dominica Academy of Arts and Science and the Dominica Development Association of New York. The Foundation, named after the deceased former prime minister, is based in Maryland.

Attacks Take Heavy Toll on World's Poor, Warren Vieth Los Angeles Times 2.10.01; Ecuador: remittances shrink in wake of terror attacks, Kintto Lucas Inter Press Service 2.10.01; Insecurity in US threatens flow of remittances, Dalia Acosta Inter Press Service 10.10.01; Salvadorian remittances fell 12 percent in the wake of Sept. 11 attacks, AP Worldstream 15.10.01; Salvadorean expats may now remit pizzas too, Latin America Weekly Report 23.10.01; Jamaica Prime Minister Says Sept. 11 Had No Negative Impact on Remittances, Caribbean News Agency 25.10.01; Cuba suffers impact of Sept 11 attacks, Vanessa Bauza Sun-Sentinel 28.10.01; US-Honduran family remittances increase to $370 million thru Sept, EFE News Service 31.10.01; The hearts of Dominicans in two homelands at once, Elizabeth Llorente and Karen Mahabir, The Record 14.11.01; US dollar remittances rebound - Orane, The Gleaner 3.12.01; Guatemalan remittances still run high, Latin America Regional Reports 4.12.01; Symposium on Dominica's Development Set in New York, Caribbean News Agency 7.12.01; Reliance on Remittances, LatinFinance 8.12.01; Migrants Sending Less Money Home, Julie Watson Associated Press 17.12.01


Afghans in the USA react to the onset of war

The Afghan community in USA, noted for its low profile since the first refugees in 1979, reacted with mixed emotions to the American air assault on Afghanistan. There were efforts in the Bay Area, the main area of settlement, to set aside past differences and plan for a post-Taliban future.

The US assault on Afghanistan in pursuit of the Al Qaeda network accused of the September 11 attack began in the first week of October. Afghans in the USA reacted with a mixture of anxiety, fear and hope. Most Afghans in the country arrived as refugees after the Soviet invasion in 1979 and until 2001 they were a low-profile community. There are communities of Afghans in: the San Francisco Bay Area, especially around Fremont; Orange County and the San Fernando Valley in Southern California; Alexandria, Virginia; and Flushing, New York. California and Washington DC were the major initial destinations because this was where the refugee charities that assisted their settlement were based. The official number in the USA is 50,000, but Afghan sources claim that there are three to four times that number; the Afghan Coalition says there are 300,000. The preliminary results of the 2000 census recorded 7000 Afghans in the Bay Area, although a spokeswoman for the Afghan Coalition put the number at 42,000. After Fremont, the second largest Afghan population is in Flushing, New York, locally estimated at 30,000. The refugees included many from Afghanistan's professional and intellectual classes. They were followed by the merchant classes and then, in the mid-1980s, by poorer refugees. Numbers arriving in the USA declined rapidly in the 1990s.

In each of the areas of settlement, the country's ethnic divisions persist. For example, the majority in Alameda County, northern California, are Tajiks, historically supporters of the Northern Alliance, although a large minority are Pashtuns. Some supported the Taliban for bringing much-needed stability to Afghanistan, while others remain bitter opponents. When the fighting began, Afghan communities around the country met to assess the situation. Dozens of community groups in Northern California assembled in Alameda County in an effort to bury old differences and find an alternative to the Taliban and the Northern Alliance. 600 people gathered at a hall in Hayward under the auspices of the Worldwide Afghan Unity Foundation. Their second aim was to mobilize humanitarian resources for post-war reconstruction.

The groups meeting in Hayward only came together shortly after September 11, there being no previous history of co-operation among the region's many associations. Although there are formerly senior politicians and officials from Afghanistan living in the USA, they had not been active or prominent in intervening in the country's affairs. As reported in the press, Afghan Americans generally welcomed the installation of Hamid Karzai as Prime Minister in Kabul in December. Afghan Women's Associations were particularly optimistic because of the inclusion of two women in the interim government.

Afghans found that once the war started, contact with their homeland was practically cut off. Even before September communication with Afghanistan was difficult or expensive; letters took weeks to arrive. The Taliban banned email. Afghan exiles in the Silicon Valley set up an Internet site to act as a link between the many activities among exile communities around the world. Founded in 1999, Virtual Nation was intended to be a gateway for the Afghan diaspora wanting to help in reconstruction. It was established in collaboration with the World Bank and five Afghan NGOs. The site lists potential opportunities for assistance in construction, engineering, education, health care and finance. Until October there was little interest in the project from Afghan communities. But 160 of 200 respondents to the site after the war started stated that they would be willing to return.

Although many Afghans are thought to be planning to return and take part in reconstruction, others argue that exiles should have no part in government; they chose to leave. Anecdotal evidence suggested that hundreds or thousands are returning from the USA to Afghanistan. In the first few weeks of October, it was reported that around 100 US Afghans journeyed to Rome to be near the exiled king in anticipation of discussions on the country's future. But some have been away for over two decades and may now be out of touch. With thousands of professionals in refugee communities in Iran and Pakistan, there is unlikely to be a shortage of skilled workers willing to participate in rebuilding the country. But for former lawyers, doctors and engineers forced to take lower-skilled positions in the USA the option of recovering their status and helping their country is attractive.

Bay Area Afghans cull support for post-Taliban government, T.T. Nhu and Lisa Fernandez San Jose Mercury News 10.10.01; Afghans in U.S. Thrust Into Spotlight, Nita Lelyveld and Jessica Garrison Los Angeles Times 11.10.01; Afghan Emigres Want a Role in Rebuilding, Eric Bailey and Nita Lelyveld Los Angeles Times 14.10.01; To Some Afghan Expatriates, Dreams of Glory, Hanna Rosin The Washington Post 14.10.01; In New York, a large Afghan exile community yearns for return to stability in homeland, Deepti Hajela AP Worldstream 15.10.01; Afghan-Americans gather in California to discuss future of homeland after military campaign, Deborah Kong The Associated Press 18.10.01;Expatriates in agony, Berny Morson Rocky Mountain News 29.10.01; Bay Area Afghan-American members dispute statistics, Jack Change Contra Costa Times 21.11.01; Afghanistan rebuilding efforts take to the Internet, R. Scott McIntosh Agence France Presse 18.12.01; To Afghanistan With Love; Exiles Leave Comfortable Lives Here to Help Rebuild Homeland, Nurith C. Aizenman The Washington Post 18.12.01; Cautiously Optimistic, Afghan Americans Say, Geoffrey Mohan and Nita Lelyveld Los Angeles Times; 24.12.01; Returning To The Homeland, Bart Jones Newsday 28.12.01


Afghans in Europe respond

There was widespread opposition to the US bombing campaign among Afghans living in Europe.

As many as four million Afghans have fled the country since 1979. At least two million are in Pakistan, despite around one million having returned after the end of Soviet occupation in 1992. Others made their way to Europe, settling in Germany, Britain and elsewhere.

There are around 100,000 Afghans in Germany, a fifth of them in Hamburg. Among the refugee community there was opposition to the US airstrikes and fears that one hardline regime could be replaced by another. But efforts to unite the country's Afghans have failed. The Council of Afghans in Northern Germany did not succeed in bringing together 52 different groups. While many oppose the Taliban, there is also opposition to the return of the exiled king and deep suspicion of Pakistan.

Britain's 30-40,000 Afghan exiles were also divided over events. Despite opposition to the Taliban, few support the US and UK bombing campaign. The UK refugee community's divisions reflect the series of revolutions and upheavals in the country, and, in contrast with the USA, their numbers are increasing every month as more refugees arrive. There was no single outflow and no shared experience of conflict and departure. The first arrivals in the early 1980s fled the Communist government. The second wave, in the mid 1990s, included many intellectuals, while the third phase included a wide range of people fleeing the Taliban. The formation of the Taliban government deepened divisions between Pashtuns, mainly from the south and identified with the regime, and other groups - Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks. But Afghans from different regions and with different identities are all more or less concentrated in one part of suburban west London, stretching from Harrow to Acton. This region holds dozens of different centres, societies and organisations. The oldest, the Society for Afghan Residents in the UK, was founded in 1982. Small numbers of recently arrived Afghan refugees have been dispersed by the government to provincial cities such as Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham.

After the end of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan some Afghans fled to Russia. The community of former military men, engineers, politicians and officials, numbering some 50,000, is centred on Moscow. The majority are illegal immigrants, unable to gain access to schools and hospitals. They also accuse local police of blackmailing them by demanding payment to ignore their illegal status.

Over 1000 Afghan exiles meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan, in late October called for an end to the bombing. The meeting also recommended the return of the former king, Zahir Shah, and argued that the country's problems could only be solved by Afghans themselves.

Divisions among Britain's Afghan communities reflect history of a homeland ravaged by war, Ian Burrell The Independent 1.10.01; Exiles Bemoan Attacks on Homeland, Carol J Williams Los Angeles Times 9.10.01; Britain's Afghan community concerned but carries on as airstrikes target homeland, Mara D Bellaby The Associated Press 13.10.01; Summit of Afghan exiles demands end to U.S. raids, Kathleen Kenna Toronto Star 26.10.01; Cut off from home, exiles wait for better day Afghans in Uzbekistan, Ellen Barry The Boston Globe 4.11.01; Exiled Afghans wracked by fears for families back home, Mohammad Bashir Agence France Presse 7.11.01; Afghan exiles in Moscow look anxiously homeward; Harassed and beaten, most long for return, Douglas Birch The Baltimore Sun 29.11.01; Afghans Looking Homeward From Exile With Wary Eyes, Douglas Frantz The New York Times 16.12.01; Afghan Refugees in Iran Learn to Keep School a Secret, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson Los Angeles Times 25.12.01


Expatriate workers' fears after 9/11

American and European expatriate workers in Gulf and Asian countries faced heightened anxieties after 11 September and the onset of war in Afghanistan. Some US firms repatriated workers and embassies advised citizens to take extra security precautions.

Foreign workers in Indonesia, particularly Westerners, experienced another wave of insecurity in the wake of 9/11. Ever since the fall of the Suharto regime in 1997, expatriates have faced gradually increased security measures. The US and UK governments issued travel warnings to their nationals in September. The American embassy sent non-essential staff home, while Nike and Mattel repatriated their staff. The US embassy advised Americans to stay off the streets unless necessary. Australians were warned not to travel to Indonesia, although Bali was not included in this warning. Security firms based in Jakarta reported increased business. It is estimated that the country's tourist trade has lost 1.3 million visitors since September 11th.

The Front of Islamic Defence (FPI) has pledged to send out gangs hunting for American business workers in Jakarta and hunt tourists elsewhere in the country. It demanded that the government cut diplomatic ties with the USA. There have also been anti-American protests.

Across the Gulf states Western expatriates were on alert after the start of the bombing campaign in Afghanistan. There are more than 100,000 Americans and Europeans in the Gulf. In Kuwait, the murder of a Canadian aircraft technician as he and his Filipino wife were leaving a fast food restaurant increased alarm. A German family was also firebombed. It was reported that in the region's many expatriate residential compounds, families were stocking up on supplies in preparation for being confined to their homes. Others reported an increased level of abuse and harassment in public. The US and Canadian embassies advised nationals to increase their personal security.

There were also security alerts among Americans in other Asian countries, including Malaysia, where six suspected Islamic militants were arrested on terrorist charges. The US embassy stepped up security in Thailand and advised US citizens to keep in close touch. Embassy officials also recommended that American tourists register with them. In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the US embassy closed its doors to the public. There have been daily protests outside the embassy in Manila since the war began.

In October, five Yemeni nationals were murdered in three separate attacks in California, Virginia (USA) and Canada. In addition an Egyptian was murdered in Los Angeles, a Sikh Indian killed in Arizona and a Pakistani murdered in Texas. There were hundreds of reported attacks on Arab-owned businesses and Arab individuals in the weeks after 9/11.

On the brink of war, Stuart Millar The Guardian 6.10.01; Trouble brews in Indonesia as militants demand cutting of US ties - Australians in the crosshairs, Chris Griffith Courier Mail 9.10.01; Nike pulls expatriate employees from Indonesia, The Associated Press 10.10.01; Five Yemenis killed in US and Canada in post-Sept 11 reprisals: official, Agence France Presse 11.10.01; American expats in Asia hunker down in face of Moslem backlash, Deutsche Presse-Agentur 11.10.01; Air strikes on Afghanistan, Ashraf Fouad And Mariam Isa The Independent 12.10.01; North Americans brace for violence, Aaron Sands The Ottawa Citizen 12.10.01; Security services thrive on expatriates' fears in Indonesia, Deutsche Presse-Agentur 21.10.01

 

 

 

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