Officials admit that terrorists in Syria receive charitable donationsOctober 9, 2013
From The Telegraph on Oct. 4:
Charity millions ‘going to Syrian terror groups’
People giving money to help millions of refugees from the civil war in Syria are inadvertently supporting terrorism, the charity watchdog has warned.
Some of their cash was “undoubtedly” going to extremist groups, said William Shawcross, the chairman of the Charity Commission.
Conditions on the ground in the midst of conflict made it difficult or impossible for charities to know where aid ended up, he said.
The Disasters Emergency Committee, which represents 14 of Britain’s biggest charities, has raised £20 million since the launch of its Syria Crisis Appeal in March. Its members include the British Red Cross, Oxfam and Save the Children.
But it said it was unable to guarantee that no cash was falling into the hands of terrorists.
The Charity Commission is so concerned that it has issued guidance to fund-raising bodies.
“A lot of money is raised that goes to Syria, some of it undoubtedly goes to extremist groups … It is very hard for all organisations to determine that,” Mr Shawcross said.
The commission said it was up to charity trustees to ensure that donors’ generosity, intended to benefit those in need, was not diverted to terrorists.
“There is a risk that funds raised in the name of ‘charity’ generally or under the name of a specific charity are misused to support terrorist activities, with or without the charity’s knowledge,” the commission said.
It warned that “individuals supporting terrorist activity might also claim to work for a charity and trade on its name and legitimacy to gain access to a region or community”.
Peter Clarke, a former head of anti-terrorism at the Metropolitan Police who sits on the board of the commission, said that donations could fall into the wrong hands once the money arrived in Syria or surrounding countries.
“Once you get into these very difficult, dangerous areas it is hugely difficult for charities to track the final destination of their funds,” he told The Telegraph…
The claim that money falling into terrorist hands is wholly “inadvertent” is political correctness or excessive politeness. In some cases, “charities” are defrauding donors by telling them that the money is going toward “moderate” dissidents in Syria which, yes, is an “inadvertent” donation to terrorism on the part of individual donors. But in other cases, the donors know fully well to whom they are giving zakat for the express purpose of aiding al-Nusra Front fighters. Somewhere in the charitable pipeline, somebody is making a conscious decision to fund terrorism. It is not an accident.
But even if it were completely accidental, shouldn’t all aid from British-based charities be suspended until the Charity Commission can develop something stronger than “guidance” for vetting charitable transfers?