Charity watchdog: Islamism poses deadlier threatMay 2, 2014
U.K.’s top charity regulator says that Muslim extremism poses the deadliest threat to the British nonprofit sector. Although it has taken Charity Commission chief William Shawcross two years to come to that conclusion, it’s better late than never. Shawcross is focused on the threat and the unknowns associated with the transfer of funds from Islamic charities in Great Britain to Syria and other conflict zones where al-Qaeda groups are ascendant. He’d be well-served by keeping his eye on the home front too.
The Charity Commission has a poor record of enforcement against front charities that funnel money to terrorist groups. A 2013 audit revealed that the Charity Commission is understaffed, passive, and unfit for duty.
From the BBC on Apr. 19:
Charity Commission warns of Islamic extremism threat
Chairman William Shawcross warned that while the issue is not currently widespread, it is growing.
Mr Shawcross told the Sunday Times the regulator is taking action against charities sending money to various groups in Syria.
He has asked the prime minister for measures to stop those with terrorism convictions from setting up charities.
Currently, those convicted of money laundering or terrorism are not automatically barred from doing so, or from becoming a trustee.
Mr Shawcross said: “It is ludicrous that people with convictions for terrorist offences are not automatically disqualified from serving as charity trustees.”
The regulator is currently investigating a number of charities raising funds for causes in Syria.
Mr Shawcross advised that agencies had to be vigilant.
“I’m sure that in places like Syria and Somalia it is very, very difficult for charities always to know what the end use of their aid is, but they’ve got to be particularly vigilant,” he said.
“The problem of Islamist extremism and charities… is not the most widespread problem we face in terms of abuse of charities, but is potentially the most deadly.
“And it is, alas, growing”…