Yemeni businessman living in exile in Turkey since 2014 is linked to several Hamas-linked firms and organizations, including Trend GYO, a real estate investment firm that was sanctioned by the US government last year.
Hamid Abdullah al-Ahmar was the owner and chairman of Trend GYO until November 2022, which was shortly after the company was sanctioned by the US government in May 2022. for being “owned, controlled or directed” by Hamas.
In October, the US Treasury Department sanctioned additional Hamas agents to manage Trend GYO, which the Treasury Department called a “secret investment portfolio” worth hundreds of millions of US dollars. The sanctions were imposed after Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel on October 7.
Al-Ahmar, who no longer appears in Trend GYO’s official records, is chairman of the Al-Ahmar Group. The conglomerate operates 90 companies in various sectors including oil and gas, financial services, mobile phones and real estate development.
According to the LinkedIn page of an Al-Ahmar Group company, the conglomerate operates 6 businesses in Turkey, including US-sanctioned Trend GYO and Saba Investing Venture Capital, which is majority owned by Hamid al-Ahmar.
Trend GYO and Saba Investing report that they are located at the same address in Istanbul, according to their websites. In a June 2022 financial report, Trend GYO lists Saba Investing as one of its clients.
Al-Ahmar also founded and partially owns SabaTurk Foreign Trade Joint Stock Company, a Turkish investment firm that focuses on real estate, agricultural production, foreign trade and port management.
Relations with Hamas leaders and organizations
Kharon has discovered this al-Ahmar currently runs two organizations — Al-Quds International Foundation and Parliamentarians for Al-Quds — that support Hamas efforts, according to a review of corporate records, corporate websites and social media.
As of July 2023, al-Ahmar is the chairman of the Al-Quds International Foundation, a US-sanctioned Hamas front.
In a July 2023 social media post, al-Ahmar reported on a recent Al-Quds Foundation board meeting where he praised the “heroic resistance fighters in the occupied West Bank” and called for “enabling the resistance in Jenin and the entire West Bank with all necessary weapons and equipment.
The US sanctioned the Al-Quds International Foundation in 2012 “for being controlled by and acting for or on behalf of Hamas”.
According to the US Treasury Department, the organization was created in Beirut by members of Hamas and “exists[s] to support the families of Hamas fighters and prisoners and to raise money for programs and projects in the Palestinian territories designed to spread Hamas influence and control.”
Since 2016, al-Ahmar has been the president of the Parliamentarians for al-Quds, which organizes several events attended by senior Hamas leaders.
The latest event was held at its headquarters in Istanbul on October 14, following the terrorist attack on Israel. During the press conference, al-Ahmar and members of the organization defended Hamas’ attacks on Israel. Marwan Abu Ras, the US-sanctioned leader of Hamas, spoke at the event alongside al-Ahmar.
Founded in Istanbul in 2015. The Parliamentarians for al-Quds consists of about 1,500 members from several locations, including Palestine, Turkey, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, among others, according to its website.
Sanctioned Hamas leader Ahmad Youssef Abu Halabiye had been a member of the organization since 2017.
A global business enterprise
Al-Ahmar currently owns and operates more than 90 businesses in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
According to corporate records, al-Ahmar is the chairman and part-owner of Investrade Portfoy Yonetimi AS, a publicly listed company traded on the Turkish stock exchange founded in 2017.
Investrade Portfoy’s other owners include Investrade Co BSC Closed in Bahrain and Saba African Bank in Djibouti. Both are owned or controlled by the Al-Ahmar Group, a business conglomerate chaired by Hamid al-Ahmar.
Kharon ClearView users can explore the assets of Trend GYO, Al-Ahmar Group and Hamid al-Ahmar. Click here to view.
One of the most influential figures in Yemen
Born into one of Yemen’s wealthiest and most influential families, al-Ahmar was elected to the Yemeni parliament in 1993 as a member of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Islah) of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was later elected a member of the party’s Supreme Body (Shura Council), according to its website.
Hamid al-Ahmar is the son of Isla co-founder Abdullah Hussein al-Ahmar, who founded the Brotherhood-linked party in the early 1990s with Yemeni cleric Abdelmajid al-Zindani. A veteran of the Afghan jihad, Zindani was sanctioned in 2004 by the United Nations, the European Union and the United States for his “long history” of working on behalf of al-Qaeda and serving as a mentor to Osama bin Laden.
Since the ouster of Yemen’s longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011, Al Ahmar has been seen as a rising star in the country’s political future. A Newsweek profile at the time he was identified as a key player and potential future president of Yemen.
However, since the capture of Sana’a by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia in 2014, Al-Ahmar has lived in exile in Turkey, where he continues his political and business activities.