Where are they now?June 4, 2010
The Treasury Department has designated seven U.S. Muslim charities since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Critics of U.S. designation procedures love to point out that only one of those organizations involved has been convicted, but what of the others?
Al Haramain Islamic Foundation—The Saudi charity Al Haramain funded Somali and Bosnian Islamists, had ties to Al Qaeda, and helped fund the 2002 Bali bombing. Its U.S. branch in Oregon was designated by Treasury in 2004. Al Haramain’s parent organization was dissolved by the Saudi government and the United Nations also blacklisted Al Haramain. Legal charges in the U.S. were dropped because the two individuals who operated the charity fled to Saudi Arabia. The charity was shut down and its assets are sold. Therefore the government determined, “it would be an inefficient waste of resources to proceed against the shell corporation in this case until one of the individual defendants is apprehended.”
Benevolence International Foundation—BIF raised money to arm Al Qaeda. Treasury designated them in 2002. The “charity” has been shut down, and their CEO is serving time in federal prison for racketeering.
Global Relief Foundation—GRF was raided, shut down, and designated between 2001 and 2002. The charity helped fund the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa. Its founder Rabih Haddad was deported to Lebanon. Victor Cerda, a lawyer for the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, who handled the deportation hearing said, “By removing Haddad, a co-founder or president of the organization, and who had the ability to go around the country and raise funds … we think we made it more difficult for his organization to succeed. We are not saying he could not do that outside the country, we are saying it is more difficult to do that. He is removed from the United States, where he had personal contacts and the ability to go out and speak and shake hands and pitch a story, and he doesn’t have that option now.” Since the closure and deportation, GRF has tried to have its assets unfrozen and tried to sue the media for libel. The courts rejected GRF’s arguments and let the asset freeze stand.
KindHearts—KindHearts was designated by Treasury in 2006 for ties to Hamas. It’s the lovechild of the Holy Land Foundation and the Global Relief Foundation—a cynical attempt to pour old wine into a new bottle and expect that nobody will notice. Although U.S. District Judge James G. Carr recently criticized Treasury for delays in providing materials to KindHearts about the allegations against it, Judge Carr also wrote, “The materials provided to KindHearts give rise to some reason to believe that these allegations may be so.” Although the KindHearts case has been celebrated by CAIR, the ACLU, etc., as “evidence” of falsely accused Muslim charities, the allegations still stand and have not been disputed in court.
Goodwill Charitable Organization—GCO is a Hezbollah front group covered by MoneyJihad yesterday that funds suicide “martyr” bombings. Treasury designated GCO in 2007 and the FBI raided its offices. Probes and prosecutions of Hezbollah associates are ongoing in Miami, Egypt, and Bahrain.
Holy Land Foundation—We know how this one ended. HLF was found guilty on all 128 counts against it for funding Hamas, and CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator.
Islamic American Relief Agency—Formerly known as the Islamic African Relief Agency, IARA was designated by Treasury in 2004, and five of its leaders were indicted in 2007 for illegally funneling money to Iraq. One of those five pleaded guilty last month.
The evidence against some of these organizations comes from classified intelligence. Divulging intelligence sources and methods at trial could undermine future law enforcement efforts. A lack of convictions against these charities does not mean that they’re innocent.
To review, of the seven domestic Muslim charities designated by Treasury since 9/11, we have two convictions (the Holy Land Foundation’s leadership and Benevolence International Foundation’s CEO), one still under indictment (Islamic American Relief Agency), two with charges dropped after the charities were closed and their leadership either fled the U.S. or were deported (Al Haramain and Global Relief Foundation), and two pending resolution (GCO and KindHearts). But the charities’ apologists keep arguing that designations without convictions means they’re all innocent. Ha!