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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Suicide bombers supported by Arab Bank (New York Post)

"Secret documents known as "martyrs' kits" obtained by The Post provide a startling glimpse into the world of suicide bombers, who are recruited with promises that their families will be well taken care of financially.

These kits ensure that the families of Hamas, PLO and Palestinian Islamic Jihad killers get generous "charitable donations" from Saudi Arabia-based organizations and, while he was in power, Saddam Hussein.

The documents reviewed by The Post include a martyr kit for Maher Kamel Hbeishe, a Hamas fanatic who blew himself up on a Haifa bus Dec. 2, 2001, killing 15 Israelis and wounding 40.

Much of the kit's paperwork carries the corporate logo of the Arab Bank — the Middle East's most important and influential financial institution — and the numbers of the accounts through which his family was paid.

The cover on Hbeishe's file — in the records of Saudi relief committees — proclaims: "the martyrs receive reward from their Lord, they and their light."

Replete with florid Arabic tributes to dead terrorists, the paperwork explains the manner of death, making it clear that the bank knew exactly whom it was giving money to and why.

If the terrorist were successful, the family would receive $5,316; being wounded or captured would earn them a lesser amount.

Though small by Western standards, the payments are more than six times the West Bank's average annual income of $850.

To get its money, Hbeishe's family was most likely contacted by the so-called "social welfare arm" of Hamas and instructed to open up an Arab Bank account. Then representatives of Hamas would use the information in the martyrs' kit to provide the bank with the name of the attacker and the beneficiaries getting checks.

The Saudi charities — called relief committees — that provide the funding for the terrorists make no secret of their activities, even taking out full-page ads in newspapers. One such ad listed more than 1,000 individuals who had been wounded or captured by the Israelis during the intifada and whose families were eligible for benefits.

Every ad explicitly directs the family members to go to Arab Bank.