Posts Tagged ‘USAID’

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Hillary Clinton sued for funding terrorism

December 5, 2012

The U.S. finances terrorism by providing insufficient safeguards in the distribution of foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority and United Nations Refugee Worker’s Administration (UNRWA) according to a lawsuit filed against Hillary Clinton and other Obama administration officials.

Money Jihad has been making this point for years: why is it a crime when ordinary citizens send money to terrorists, but when the federal government does nobody bats an eye?

This lawsuit is about unlawfully disbursed aid to the Palestinian territories, but the same wrongdoing applies to U.S. negotiations with the Taliban.  If you and I communicate with the Taliban and give them money in order to incentivize a certain behavior, we’d be in prison. If the State Department does uses taxpayer money to help bribe the Taliban to sit across from them at the negotiating table, they get praised by the foreign policy “experts.”

In either case, what federal officials are doing is providing material support—money—directly or indirectly to a terrorist organization in violation of U.S. law.

From Shurat HaDin on Nov. 27:

Hillary Clinton sued by Americans over funding of Palestinian terror groups

Federal suit alleges that the US State Dept violated the Anti-Terrorism Act, and abandoned Congressional safeguards, transparency and reporting requirements  

Tel Aviv, Nov. 27, 2012: A group of 24 Americans living in Israel, including victims of terrorism, filed a lawsuit today against the US government over its funding of Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank and Gaza.

The civil action, filed in the district court of Washington DC, alleges that the US Department of State, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has ignored congressional safeguards and transparency requirements attached to US aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). In addition, the plaintiffs claim that the White House has not been complying with the regulations and reporting obligations governing presidential waivers which facilitate emergency funding to the Palestinians. As a result of this non-compliance, US funds have been flowing to terror groups like Hamas, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestine Liberation Front.

According to the lawsuit, Americans living in proximity to these Palestinian terror groups are in the class of individuals that Congress sought to protect through the safeguards and regulations that the White House, State Department and USAID are disregarding.

The suit asks the federal court to review the conduct of  the State Department and the safeguards on funds being distributed by USAID in its programs to the PA and to the United Nations Refugee Worker’s Administration (UNRWA) and seeks to suspend future American aid to the PA and UNRWA until all the Congressionally legislated regulations and reporting requirements are fully complied with.

Click here to view the lawsuit

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Norman Steiner of New York and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel Aviv.

Darshan-Leitner, the director of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, stressed that “once handed over, US funding of the PA and UNRWA is difficult to trace and the State Department has been lax in requiring the Palestinians to utilize bank accounts and other transfer methods that ensure transparency.” The founder of the Israeli counter-terror group added that “elements of the US Government, particularly the State Department and USAID, are breaking the law and must cease all funding of the PA immediately. US aid to the Palestinians is killing innocent people.”

Steiner added: “The American people are opposed to terror and do not want to fund it via their taxes. The ongoing non-compliance of the White House and State Department with Congressionally mandated protections cannot be allowed to continue.”

The United States Department of State, under the  Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, is prohibited from providing “material support” to proscribed terrorist groups. It is estimated that since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the United States State Department, via USAID has given over $4 billion to Palestinians, with portions of that funding illegally landing in the hands of terrorists. During the last four fiscal years, average aid has been roughly $600 million per year. Additionally, the United States gives approximately $200 million to the United Nations body UNRWA, each year, and during the fiscal years 2008 and 2009, UNRWA gave roughly $500 million of their funding to recipients in the West Bank and Gaza.

Under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the State Department is required to certify that the Palestinian government is committed to a peace co-existence with Israel before distributing funds, and ensure that no part of funding is used for Palestinian terrorism.  The plaintiffs allege that these crucial safeguards, transparency obligations and reporting requirements are being negligently ignored.

One of the lawyers handling the case is Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the director of Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, which appears on our blogroll.

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Muslim charity honcho embraced by Obama

October 30, 2012
Palestinian Arab from Jordan

Abed Ayoub, CEO of Islamic Relief USA

Ryan Mauro reports that the executive branch of the federal government has been consulting with Abed Ayoub, the chief executive officer of North America’s largest Islamic charity, Islamic Relief USA (IR-USA), for the past two years.

IR-USA serves as a conduit for zakat donations from Muslim Americans to fund programs overseas—a portion of which is transferred to Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), its British-based parent organization.  IRW has been implicated by Israel for funding Hamas, and at least one high-ranking source in the Department of Justice equates Islamic Relief with the infamous Holy Land Foundation—formerly America’s largest Muslim charity before its leaders were convicted on all counts of financing Hamas.

The revelation of Mr. Ayoub’s involvement in lobbying U.S. officials on matters of diplomacy and foreign aid is disturbing but not surprising.  The State Department has previously issued press releases praising Islamic Relief’s operations, for example, in Haiti.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has also worked directly with IR-USA on food programs.

Yeesh.  From RadicalIslam.org on Oct. 24:

Exclusive: Islamist Adviser to the State Dept and USAID Exposed

Abed Ayoub, the CEO of Islamic Relief USA, a powerful charity with links to Hamas is an official advisor to the State Department and USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development), a RadicalIslam.org investigation has found.

Ayoub has been advising the Obama Administration since at least April 2010. He and his organization have been publicly embraced by President Obama and Vice President Biden.

Ayoub was born in a Palestinian refugee camp and raised in Jordan. After high school, he moved to Yugoslavia and Germany and ultimately ended up in California. He became a volunteer for the Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) and went on to become its CEO in 2008. He is a governance committee member of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), IRUSA’s parent group. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty.

Ayoub joined the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group in November 2011, specifically the Sub-Group on Faith-Based Groups and Development and Humanitarian Assistance, according to IRUSA’s press release. It says he will “take part in dialogue and provide input on relevant topics including the challenges and opportunities for partnership. The group also will identify model action programs or projects for collaboration between the U.S. government and NGOs.” The release says it will “meet through November 2012.” The timing and phrasing suggests that this isn’t the group’s expiration date and that the election will determine whether its work continues next year.

According to his bio, Ayoub was appointed to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid in April 2010, where he “provides advice, analysis and recommendations to USAID on the most pressing development issues in the world today.” He was reappointed to another two-year term in May…

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Do as feds say, not as feds do: Contractor slammed for bribing Taliban

October 5, 2010

The Obama administration has long supported a well-funded Taliban “reintegration” program.  Although the government of Afghanistan has delayed the implementation of the program, the U.S. has dedicated $100 million for the effort to bribe “non-ideological” Taliban away from the jihadist cause.

It’s okay when Pres. Obama, Sec. Clinton, Gen. Petraeus, and Amb. Holbrooke support it, but when an American contractor inadvertently does a similar thing, it’s time for an investigation and mass firings.  From Foreign Policy’s “Turtle Bay” on Sept. 30:

U.S. tax money goes to Taliban

A prominent U.S. contractor in Afghanistan may have inadvertently funneled millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer dollars to Taliban insurgents in the form of bribes and protection money, according to a review by the inspector general of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The suspected payments were allegedly made by Afghan subcontractors of Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), a company based in Bethesda, Maryland that carries out USAID reconstruction projects in some of Afghanistan’s most remote and risky war zones. Afghan representatives of the company in Jalalabad are also under investigation for charging kickbacks to Afghan companies in exchange for USAID contracts, according to the report.

A spokesman for the company said that it has fired 17 Afghan employees who operated at or near the company’s Jalalabad office, and restored greater international auditing and oversight over the operations.

“We’re doing outstanding, mission-critical development work right at the tip of the spear, and we’re proud of it,” said DAI President and CEO James Boomgard. “And DAI is leading the way in addressing those problems. Without giving up on our commitment to support U.S. Government efforts even in the most unstable regions of Afghanistan, we have, when necessary, closed down projects entirely, stopped working in problem areas, fired employees — and done so in a very public, very accountable way, not through the back door — and continually tightened monitoring and accounting procedures.”

The review began with an examination of the costs of a British security company, Edinburgh International, on three USAID projects operated by Development Alternatives. The report found “no indication that Edinburgh International had misused funds to pay the Taliban or others in exchange for protection,” noting that it had “employed a strong system of controls over cash transactions.”

However, U.S. and DAI officials “expressed concerns that insurgents may have extorted protection payments” amounting to as much $5.2 million in 2009 from Afghan representatives carrying out projects in remote areas under the USAID-funded Local Governance and Community Development program…

Read the rest here.

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USAID turns up nose at Pakistan

January 24, 2010

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah isn’t the only one with an accounting shitstorm, I mean sandstorm, on his hands.  Pakistan still has its own accounting embarrassment after embarrassment.

Most recently, the U.S. Agency for International Development says the lack of financial controls within Pakistan are so severe that the United States should not give foreign aid to Pakistan at this time.  From The Gov Monitor earlier this month:

As the United States prepares to drastically increase civilian aid in Pakistan, the agency in charge has asked for help training the local organizations that will spend that aid money, saying those organizations “do not meet the minimum standards for managing” U.S. government funds.

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