UK Funds Terror Connections: Islamic Relief Worldwide

download (6)by Samuel Westrop:

The large number of links between Islamic Relief Worldwide and extremist terror groups suggests that buried beneath the cover of a charity lies a structured pro-terror group with an anti-Western agenda.

Islamic Relief Worldwide [IRW] is the poster-child of an exemplary Islamic charity. Headquartered in the UK, and given tens of millions of dollars by Western governments, the United Nations and the European Union, IRW consists of a “family of fifteen aid agencies” which “aim to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people.” New information, however, indicates that IRW — which counts Islamic Relief UK and Islamic Relief USA as its most important branches — is an extremist organization with a pro-terror agenda. IRW has worked with a significant number of organizations linked to terrorism.

IRW’s accounts show that it has partnered with a number of organizations linked to terrorism and that some of charity’s trustees are personally affiliated with extreme Islamist groups that have connections to terror.

In 2006, the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs designated IRW itself a terrorist front, and claimed that:

“The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure. The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population.”

In May of 2006, Israeli police arrested IRW’s Gaza coordinator, Ayaz Ali. The Israeli government stated Ali had assisted Hamas-related institutions and groups such as Al Wafa and Al Tzalah, both of which are designated terror organizations in Israel. According to the Israeli government, Ali also said that he had cooperated with local Hamas operatives in Jordan:

“Incriminating files were found on Ali’s computer, including documents that attested to the organization’s ties with illegal Hamas funds abroad (in the UK and in Saudi Arabia) and in Nablus. Also found were photographs of swastikas superimposed on IDF symbols, of senior Nazi German officials, of Osama Bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as well as many photographs of Hamas military activities … Ali admitted that he was aware that several of the organizations supported by the IRW in Judea, Samaria and Gaza were indeed identified with Hamas.” [Author's emphasis]

For several years, IRW has supported the Islamic University of Gaza, where, during 2008, rockets and explosives were produced for use by Hamas. One of the most senior Hamas leaders, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin,founded the university in 1978, and sixteen of the university’s lecturers and teachers are elected Hamas members of the Palestinian legislature.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

For more on IRW see Money Jihad’s Posts Tagged ‘Islamic Relief Worldwide’

Islamist Charity Linked to State Dept Has Bank Account Closed

UBS currently has 64,000 employees in 57 countries, including the UK

by: Ryan Mauro

Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), a charity based in the United Kingdom, is complaining that counter-terrorism regulations have compelled the British bank UBS to close its account and to block its customers from donating to IRW. As RadicalIslam.org reported, IRW has strong Islamist links and its CEO, Abed Ayoub, has served as an adviser to the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.

IRW says that UBS is acting out of a fear of being fined by the British government. It mentions that its main bank, Barclays, was fined for its business in Iran and Sudan. IRW’s finance director, Haroun Atallah, warned that these counter-terrorism regulations will “increase the risks of radicalization” and act as a “recruiting sergeant” for terrorist groups, repeating a theme commonly used by Islamists under scrutiny.

In 2006, the Israeli government arrested IRW’s project coordinator for its Gaza office for allegedly funneling money to Hamas. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’ ideology among the Palestinian population.”

IRW has an American branch called Islamic Relief USA that also has strong Islamist connections. Its fundraisers regularly featured incendiary Islamists. Americans for Peace and Tolerance first noticed that IRUSA’s president and chairman of the board, Mohamed Amr Attawia, was listed as the New England director of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood in a 1991 phone directory.

Shockingly, IRUSA has been publicly embraced by the Obama Administration. IRUSA CEO Abed Ayoub, who is also a governance committee member of IRW, joined the State Department’s Working Group on Religion and Foreign Policy in November 2011. He has also been a part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid since April 2010. The group’s website has two pictures of Ayoub with Vice President Biden.

Click here for RadicalIslam.org’s entire report on Islamic Relief USA.

Ryan Mauro is RadicalIslam.org’s National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.

Hamas-Linked Fundraiser in Florida

By Ryan Mauro

On Sunday, June 16, a widely-exalted charity embraced by the U.S. government called Islamic Relief USA is hosting a “Palestine Benefit Dinner” in Orlando. A second fundraiser will be held in Fort Lauderdale the following day. The events feature the chairman of Americans for Palestine and a former official of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Islamic Relief USA says it belongs to the “family” of Islamic Relief Worldwide, a group tied to Hamas, but it has received little scrutiny.

Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) was birthed in the United Kingdom in 1984. Its creator is Hani Al-Banna, who previously served as a trustee in Muslim Aid. Joe Kaufman documents that one of Muslim Aid’s “partner organizations” was the Al-Salah Islamic Association, a group the U.S. government labeled a Hamas front. Al-Banna’s previous group was also involved with Muslim Brotherhood affiliates like Jamaat-e-Islami.

In 1999, IRW received a $50,000 donation from Human Concern International; a group the U.S. government says is linked to Al-Qaeda. IRW’s material continues to refer to HCI as a partner (page 18). The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report has more data on how top IRW officials are involved with the Muslim Brotherhood. One IRW official even used to be Sudan’s Minister of Religious Affairs.

According to the NEFA Foundation, IRW is one of the founders of a network of charities called the Union of Good that was created in 2000. It was blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2008 for its links to Hamas. The U.S. government said it was “created by Hamas leadership to transfer funds to the terrorist organization.” It is led by Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the top Muslim Brotherhood cleric who unequivocally supports Hamas and violent jihad.

In 2006, Israel arrested the project coordinator of IRW’s office in Gaza, Iyaz Ali for funneling money to Hamas. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made it clear that Ali was not acting as a rogue employee. “The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population,” it said.

Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) was incorporated in California in 1993. Kaufman reports that its Registered Agent is the former attorney for Wagdy Ghoneim, an extremist involved with Hamas fundraising. IRUSA’s website says it and IRW are “legally separate and independent affiliates (also referred to as ‘partner offices’), but its Facebook page says that it is “a member of the Islamic Relief Worldwide family.” If you go to IRUSA’s website and click on “Affiliates” under the “About Us” tab, you are informed about IRW.

IRUSA gives millions of dollars to IRW. As the Money Jihad blog shows, it gave $4.8 million in 2007, $5.9 million in 2008 and $9.4 million in 2009. There is every reason to believe that a large amount of the funds raised on June 16-17 will go to IRW. After all, IRUSA’s consolidated financial report from December 31, 2010 states, “The majority of IRUSA’s programs are administered through grants with Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), which is based in the United Kingdom.” On page 12, it says, “During 2010, IRUSA incurred $21,849,599 in grant expenses in collaboration with IRW.”

A 2009 report by Americans for Peace and Tolerance states, “Islamic Relief USA has partnered in funding foreign projects with the Holy Land Foundation and Kind Hearts, both designated terrorist entities.” The IRUSA website lists Mohammed Amr Attawia as its chairman of the Board of Director and is also on IRW’s Board of Trustees.  The same report points out that he was also Vice President of the Muslim American Society, a Muslim Brotherhood front and that “Holy Land Foundation trial exhibits identify Attawia as the American Muslim Brotherhood’s director for the New England region in the 1990s.”

A high-level Justice Department source mentioned Islamic Relief in a conversation with counter-terrorism reporter Patrick Poole in April 2011 about U.S.-based Hamas fronts. He said, “Ten years ago we shut down the Holy Land Foundation…Then the money started going to KindHearts. We shut them down too. Now the money is going through groups like Islamic Relief and Viva Palestina.”

The National Geospatial Agency is being sued for cancelling the security clearance of Mahmoud M. Hegab, who says the agency declined it because his wife works for IRUSA. The agency was concerned about her “current affiliation with one or more organizations which consist of groups who are organized largely around their non-United States origin.”

These facts have not stopped the U.S. government from working with IRUSA under both parties. The current administration has been particularly friendly to the charity. In April 2010, its CEO, Abed Ayoub, was appointed to the U.S. Agency for International Development Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid. He then was appointed to the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group in November 2011.

Read more at Front Page