A Washington D.C. lobbying firm closely linked to Hillary Clinton was paid handsomely by a sharia-compliant Bengali bank tied to terrorism, government records show.
Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd., which was founded in 1983, paid The Podesta Group $390,000 starting last year to lobby the Senate and House on “international banking issues,” according to disclosure forms filed with the Senate.
[dcquiz] The bank, which operates in compliance with Islamic banking laws, signed the agreement with the Podesta Group last March 6. The relationship, which ended late last month, went unreported in the press until now.
The Podesta Group has perhaps the strongest ties to Hillary Clinton of any high-powered lobbying outfit. It was co-founded by two brothers and longtime Clinton cronies, John and Tony Podesta. John Podesta is Clinton’s campaign chairman. Tony Podesta is a major bundler for her campaign. He has raised more than $130,000 for the Democratic party nominee this election cycle. Podesta’s ex-wife, Heather Podesta, has also bundled six-figures worth of donations for Clinton.
Islami Bank Bangladesh (IBB) decision to hire the Podesta Group was part of a ramped up effort to limit reputational and financial damage it sustained after the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations published a report in July 2012 tying the group to Islamist terrorist groups.
The subcommittee found that IBB “provided an account to a Bangladeshi accused of involvement with a terrorist bombing, and had been fined three times…in connection with providing bank services to ‘militants.’”
Several of the bank’s top officials are members of Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamic fundamentalist group that fought against Bengali independence in 1971. One of the bank’s directors is Mir Quasem Ali. He was sentenced to death in Bangladesh in 2014 after being convicted on war crimes charges for his role in the 1971 independence fight.
IBB also has ties to Jamaat-ul-Mujahedin Bangladesh, a fundamentalist group which has carried out scores of bombings in Bangladesh.