UK: 'Muslim Aid' investigated for terrorism financing
Muslim Aid reject the allegations, though they don't really go into details:
Muslim Aid today rejected the false allegations made in an article in the Sunday Telegraph quoting unknown foreign security sources. A Spokesperson for Muslim Aid said: “ We strongly rebut the baseless allegations made in the Sunday Telegraph in relation to our work through bona fide partners. We regret that the newspaper has persisted with these libellous allegations. Muslim Aid is in communication with its regulator, the Charity Commission and is also considering the position with its lawyers. In all its dealings Muslim Aid seeks to act ethically, transparently and fully in accordance with its legal and charitable obligations. We will not allow this kind of sensationalist and misleading journalism to deter us from pursuing our charitable objectives around the world. ”
A charity praised by Gordon Brown and the Prince of Wales has been placed under investigation by the Charity Commission following claims it had channelled hundreds of thousands of pounds to groups linked to a banned terrorist organisation.
According to its own accounts, Muslim Aid paid £325,000 to the Islamic University of Gaza, where leading Hamas figures teach, and £13,998 to the al-Ihsan Charitable Society, designated by the US government as a "sponsor of terrorism" and a front for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group.
Security sources also claim that Muslim Aid has helped channel a further £210,600 to six other organisations in the Gaza Strip since July 2009, all of which they say are also linked to Hamas.
Despite repeated approaches for comment over more than a week, Muslim Aid has refused to deny these claims.
In a statement, the Charity Commission said: "We take very seriously allegations of links between charities and terrorist activity, and consider funding of terrorist organisations to be a 'zero tolerance' issue.
The Commission has opened an investigation into Muslim Aid in light of these allegations and is working with the charity to address the issues raised."
Muslim Aid is banned from the West Bank by the Israeli government, which says it is a member of the Union of Good, an alliance of charities that raise money for Hamas. Hamas is banned throughout the EU as a designated terrorist organisation.
Muslim Aid, based at the hardline East London Mosque, has close links to the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), a fundamentalist Muslim group based in the same offices.
Muslim Aid raised more than £24 million last year and has been given at least £830,000 of public money. It claims to serve humanity "regardless of political affiliation" and only supports lawful organisations.
However, one foreign security source said: "We are opening our eyes on them. In the past they were supporting the outer rim of Hamas societies in Gaza. Now they are supporting the core."
Source: Telegraph (English)