Forged Iraq art used to fund terrorism -UK police





Criminal gangs in Iraq and the Middle East are selling forged art works on auction Web site eBay and in antique markets in Britain to help fund terrorism, British police said on Wednesday.

The extent of the scam was not clear but the items, purportedly Iraqi or heirlooms from the region, could each sell for up to a couple of thousand pounds (dollars), according to London police's Arts and Antiques Unit.

"Archaeological stuff is being exported by the ton-load from Middle Eastern countries and (the money) is going back into the Middle East area and some will inevitably end up in the hands of terrorists," Detective Constable Ian Lawson told reporters.

"We know for a fact there is a terrorism link.""There's a trend where items are faked in Iraq and brought into the UK," he said.


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Barrie Lambert - 11/24/2006

Leaving aside the problem of the valuation of fake art works, et al,
this is yet another example of the kind of highly speculative report British police forces seem increasingly fond of making to link pretty much every activity to what I believe George Bush and his advisors refer to as The Long War and the more sensible amongst us as The Loony War.

Take this statement:"(the money) is going back into the Middle East area and some will inevitably end up in the hands of terrorists," Detective Constable Ian Lawson told reporters. Note that "some will inevitably end up in the hands of terrorists" without the obvious qualifier that some money from pretty much any class of transaction - drugs, children's toys, clothes, securities, gambling, etc, in a modern money based entreprenuerial economy will "inevitably end up in the hands of terrorists" because that is the way the economic system works.

Any mention of how much money flows back to "terrorists"? And what forms do these "terrorist" and purely criminal activities take, and how are they distinguished? No.

"We know for a fact there is a terrorism link." Right, but why do you say that you there's a terrorist link? Is this assertive PR or is there some real evidence to back this statement up? If there is real evidence, don't we need to have an indication of its quality to support Detective Constable Ian Lawson's PR moment? Or is it all just fluff in the ether?

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