State Dept.: Hamas still raising funds in SudanMay 16, 2014
The U.S. State Department has repeated its claim that Hamas uses Sudan as a source of financing in its new report on activities by state sponsors of terrorism covering the 2013 time period.
Although the State Department did not name specific financing operations, press reports in 2013 indicated that the Hamas front company known as Hassan & Abed International for Roads & Bridges operates in Khartoum. Last year it was also alleged that Malik Obama, the President’s brother, raised funds for Hamas through a Sudan-based organization. More recently, a leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood visited the Sudanese capital amidst questions about Sudan’s role in regional weapons trafficking.
Excerpts from the State Department’s report follow (emphasis mine):
Elements of al-Qa’ida (AQ)-inspired terrorist groups remained in Sudan. The Government of Sudan has taken steps to limit the activities of these elements, and has worked to disrupt foreign fighters’ use of Sudan as a logistics base and transit point for terrorists going to Mali, Syria, and Afghanistan. However, groups continued to operate in Sudan in 2013 and there continued to be reports of Sudanese nationals participating in terrorist organizations. For example, regional media outlets alleged one Sudanese national was part of an al-Shabaab terrorist cell that attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in September. There was also evidence that Sudanese violent extremists participated in terrorist activities in Somalia and Mali.
In 2013, Sudan continued to allow members of Hamas to travel, fundraise, and live in Sudan.
The UN and NGOs reported in 2013 that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is likely operating in the disputed Kafia Kingi area, claimed by Sudan and South Sudan, in close proximity to Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). At year’s end, the United States continued to engage the Government of Sudan, the AU, and the UN to evaluate these reports.
The kidnapping of foreigners for ransom in Darfur continued, although no U.S. citizens were kidnapped in 2013. These kidnappings have hindered humanitarian operations in Darfur. Abductees have been released unharmed amid rumors of ransoms having been paid.
In 2013, the United States continued to pursue justice for the January 1, 2008 killing of two U.S. Embassy employees. At the end of the year, the Sudanese Supreme Court was deliberating on an appeal filed by defense attorneys of the three remaining men convicted of the two murders, requesting that their death sentences be commuted…
The Government of Sudan has made some progress in opposing terrorist financing, although members of Hamas are permitted to conduct fundraising in Sudan…
The report goes on to say that Sudan’s central bank “circulates” the names of sanctioned individuals to Sudanese banks. The report doesn’t go as far as to say that the banks are actually closing accounts or freezing the assets of designated terrorists. Doesn’t sound like much progress to me.
The government of Sudan hasn’t come out with an outright denial of the allegations, but rather says that the U.S. report “lacks credibility.”