Al-Qaida is financing its worldwide terror operations by investing in blue-chip Australian stocks with the assistance of Beijing’s powerful Secret Intelligence Service (SIS).

Citing information from Britain’s MI6 and European intelligence services, Gordon Thomas, security correspondent for the London Sunday Express, writes that the bin Laden organization’s investment strategy includes “leading technology and defense corporations in Australia, Singapore and other Pacific Rim countries.” Billions, earned through illegal drug dealings with China’s SIS, are being laundered into the stock market through banks in Australia, Japan, Germany and Ireland.

The article appears in today’s Melbourne Sunday Herald.

Thomas cites Brian McAdam, a former Canadian Foreign Service officer who worked closely with the FBI to identify some 3,000 U.S. companies that are fronts for CSIS or have financial links to al-Qaida. “Only now are Western intelligence agencies becoming aware of the links that CSIS has with drugs, money laundering and the support it provides for terrorists. We are talking of billions of dollars,” said McAdam.

In 2003,
WorldNetDaily reported on McAdam’s work on “Project Sidewinder,” a study conducted by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police between 1994 and 1996. That research, according to Canada’s Asian Pacific Post, concluded that China is the most significant intelligence threat to the West – particularly North America – in the world today.

“It also examined the ability of elements of Asian Organized Crime to act in concert with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the People’s Republic of China to take control of sensitive Canadian industries and corrupt our politicians through direct and indirect donations,” the paper said.

The U.S. is continuing to seek cooperation from PLA Senior Colonel Xu Junping, who defected to the U.S. in December, 2000, while visiting New York City with a Chinese military delegation. According to Gordon, Xu described meetings with bin Laden where al-Qaida and SIS discussed their investment plan.

Al-Qaida has also been the beneficiary of the spying done by Richard Hanssen, the FBI employee who worked for the KGB. Hanssen sold the PROMIS software program, used by U.S. intelligence, to the Russians who, in turn, sold a copy to bin Laden. This has enabled the terror organization to both move money and cover its tracks.

Last week it was reported that the Treasury Department agency entrusted with blocking the financial resources of terrorists had only four full-time agents assigned to the task in 2003.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.