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Charities in Europe “hijacked” by terrorists

September 23, 2010

Europol says that more money than ever is being donated to Islamic charities and being used to finance terrorism.  The Daily Express says the public is being “duped” and that the charities are being “hijacked.”  But how can it be a “hijacking” when one of the Koran’s stated purposes of zakat is for fighting in the cause of Allah?

Or perhaps the Daily Express means that secular and Christian Europeans are making donations in zakat drop boxes because they actually think that their money will go towards causes like Pakistani flood relief, Palestinian orphans, and poverty reduction in the third world.

At least the news is a somewhat encouraging sign that Europe is acknowledging the problem.

TERROR GROUPS HIJACK CHARITY CASH

Sunday September 5, 2010

By Ted Jeory

UNSUSPECTING members of the public are being duped into donating cash to charities that are fronts for terror groups.

Europol, an arm of the European Union that gathers information from national police forces, says “substantial” amounts of money innocently donated to apparently good causes is ending up in the pockets of terrorists.

Even raffles are being used to con people, Europol believes.

It is also highlighting an increasing trend by terrorists to use women. A spokesman for Europol told the Sunday Express: “Women are involved in propaganda, support and financial activities. Men are more likely to be involved in actually perpetrating violence.

“Women are also used as cash couriers and they sometimes smuggle documents and take care of administrative matters.”

In a report detailing trends in terrorism and extremism in the EU, Europol says Britain is the number one target for terrorists.

It identifies Islamic extremism as the biggest threat, with the growing power of radical youth groups of particular concern.

In trying to combat the threat, EU police forces want to cut the lifeline of illegal funds, which also come from organised crime. The EU Terrorism report for 2010 says: “Illegal sources for the financing of terrorism cover a wide range of criminal activities including fraud, counterfeit products, drug smuggling, kidnapping, human trafficking and extortion.

“Alongside criminal activities, funds can also be derived from legitimate sources. Charitable organisations continue to be misused by individuals who misappropriate voluntary contributions destined for genuine purposes to fund terrorist activities.”

Financing terrorism was one of the most common reasons for arrest in the EU-wide battle against extremism last year, according to the report.

Rob Wainwright, the British director of Europol, which the Sunday Express last week revealed could become an FBI-style force with the power of arrest, said: “In some cases it is difficult to differentiate between criminality and acts of terrorism. Terrorism is not an ideology but a set of criminal tactics which deny fundamental principles of democratic societies.”

Although Britain’s Charity Commission works with the Serious Organised Crime Agency if there is a suspicion of illegal activity, it admits being unable to monitor how individual charities’ funds are spent.

The problem is more acute if the cash is sent abroad. Last year, a trustee of a northern-based charity was arrested in Bangladesh after the country’s police found an arms cache in an Islamic school for which he had been raising funds.

A Charity Commission spokeswoman said yesterday: “We carry out risk-based monitoring where appropriate as part of our case work. Where allegations of criminality arise, these will be for the police and law enforcement agencies to assess.”

Meanwhile, Europol is also concerned about the rise of far-right extremism against Islam after it emerged last week that football hooligans have formed a group called the European Defence League.

Police fear it could hijack Champions League matches to stage its protests.

Yup, let’s be “fair” and worry about soccer hooligans while millions of dollars are flowing from Western Islamic charities into the pockets of Hamas and the Taliban.

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