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Protecting Charitable Organizations - E

Additional Background Information on Charities Designated Under Executive Order 13224

 

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E

Elehssan Society

U.S. Designation Date: May 4, 2005

Background: The Elehssan Society, including all of its branches, operates as a charitable front for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The PIJ has been named a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the U.S. Government and is also named on the European Union’s list of terrorist entities. PIJ maintained operational activity in 2004, claiming numerous attacks against Israeli interests. On February 25, 2005, PIJ, claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack in Tel-Aviv that killed five and wounded over 50.

As of late 2003, Elehssan cooperated with PIJ to distribute funds to families of PIJ prisoners and deceased members, and was informed by PIJ when entitlements were sent. Information available to the U.S. government shows that Elehssan maintains lists of PIJ-associated families who are to receive compensation- including the families of PIJ suicide bombers. As of 2005, information available to the U.S. government shows that PIJ continues to fund activities via the Elehssan Society. Notably, in 2005 PIJ funds were provided to Elehssan Bethleham and in 2004, information shows that PIJ provided funds to Elehssan in Gaza and Lebanon. In mid-2002, Elehssan received hundreds of thousands of dollars from abroad that were deposited into accounts in the West Bank.

AKAs: Elehssan Society
Elehssan Society and Birr
Elehssan Society Wabirr
Birr and Elehssan Society
Bir Wa Elehssan Society
Ihsan Charity
Jami’a Al-Ahsan Al-Khariyyah
Al-Ahsan Charitable Organization
Al-Ihsan Charitable Society
Al-Bir and Al-Ihsan Organization
Al-Bar and Al-Ihsan Societies
Al-Bar and Al-Ihsan Society
Al-Birr Wa Al-Ihsan Wa Al-Naqa
Al-Birr Wa Al-Ihsan Charity Association
The Benevolent Charitable Organization
For Additional Information: http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/js2426.htm

 

G

Global Relief Foundation

U.S. Designation Date: October 18, 2002

UN Designation Date: October 22, 2002

Background: The Global Relief Foundation (GRF), also known as Fondation Secours Mondial (FSM), and its officers and directors have connections to, and have provided support for and assistance to, Usama bin Laden (UBL), al Qaida, and other known terrorist groups. Rabih Haddad, a senior GRF official who co-founded GRF and served as its president throughout the 1990s and in the year 2000, worked for Makhtab al-Khidamat (MK), the precursor organization to al Qaida, in Pakistan in the early 1990s. In addition, GRF provided financial and other assistance to, and received funding from, individuals associated with al Qaida, including Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi. Zouaydi is a suspected financier of al Qaida’s worldwide terrorist efforts and was arrested in Europe in April 2002. Spain’s Interior Ministry has described transfers totaling about $600,000 from Zouaydi and his partners to al Qaida-related organizations, including GRF. GRF has admitted receiving funds from Zouaydi, including over $200,000 to Nabil Sayadi, Head of FSM, GRF’s Belgium office. GRF and FSM personnel had multiple contacts with Wadih El-Hage, UBL’s personal secretary when UBL was in Sudan. El-Hage was convicted in a U.S. district court in May 2001 for participating in a conspiracy to kill United States nationals, which conspiracy included, among other acts, the UBL-directed 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Documents recovered from a search in Kenya indicated that El-Hage was in contact with GRF after he returned from visiting al Qaida leadership in Afghanistan in February 1997. GRF acknowledged that El-Hage and Nabil Sayadi were in contact during this period. GRF also dealt with officials of the Taliban, which at the time was an entity subject to U.S. sanctions pursuant to United States E.O. 13129 (prohibiting trade and most transactions with the Taliban because it provided a safe haven and base of operations for UBL and al Qaida) and subject to international sanctions pursuant to UNSCRs 1267 and 1333. In November 2001, during the air strikes in Afghanistan, a GRF medical relief coordinator traveled to Kabul and engaged in dealings and negotiations with Taliban officials until the collapse of the Taliban regime. A set of photographs and negatives discovered in 1997 in a trash dumpster outside of GRF’s office in Illinois depicted large shipping boxes displayed under a GRF banner. These boxes contained sophisticated communications equipment valued at $120,000. GRF has stocked and promoted audio tapes and books authored by Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, who was co-founder, with UBL, of MK as well as spiritual founder of Hamas; these tapes and books glorified armed jihad. Despite Azzam’s terrorist background, GRF enthusiastically promoted Azzam’s materials to the public. GRF published several Arabic newsletters and pamphlets that advocated armed action through jihad against groups perceived to be un-Islamic. A GRF newsletter requested donations “for equipping the raiders, for the purchase of ammunition and food, and for their [the Mujahideen’s] transportation so that they can raise God the Almighty’s word . . .” GRF also received $18,521 from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) in 2000. HLF, a Dallas, Texas based Islamic charitable organization, was designated under E.O. 13224 on December 4, 2001, and under the European Union’s Regulation (EC) No. 2580/2001 on June 17, 2002, for its ties to terrorism. See also Taibah International (Bosnia).

AKA: Fondation Secours Mondial

For Additional Information: http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/po3553.htm

Goodwill Charitable Organization (United States)

U.S. Designation Date: July 24, 2007

Background: The Goodwill Charitable Organization (GCO), a fundraising office established by the Martyrs Foundation in Dearborn, Michigan, is a Hizballah front organization that reports directly to the leadership of the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon. Hizballah recruited GCO leaders and has maintained close contact with GCO representatives in the United States. GCO has provided financial support to Hizballah directly and through the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon. Hizballah's leaders in Lebanon have instructed Hizballah members in the United States to send their contributions to GCO and to contact the GCO for the purpose of contributing to the Martyrs Foundation. Since its founding, GCO has sent a significant amount of money to the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon. Also designated on this date was Ahmad al-Shami, who has worked for the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon and has been in frequent contact with GCO. Money raised by GCO was sent to al-Shami in Lebanon to be distributed to the Martyrs Foundation. Hizballah leadership placed Ahmad al-Shami in his position at the Martyrs Foundation in Lebanon.

For additional information: http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/hp503.htm

H

HAMAS-related Charities:

General Background: The U.S. designated HAMAS as a terrorist organization pursuant to Executive Order 12947 in 1995 and as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. HAMAS was also designated a “specially designated global terrorist” under E.O. 13224 in 2001. HAMAS is a terrorist organization that has intentionally killed hundreds of innocent civilians and continues to kill and maim with the aim of terrorizing a civilian population. HAMAS was formed in 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. HAMAS activists have conducted many attacks – including large-scale suicide bombings – against Israeli citizens and military targets. In the early 1990s, they also targeted U.S. citizens, suspected Palestinian collaborators and Fatah rivals.

During 2002, more than 370 persons – including 10 US citizens – were killed in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by acts of terrorism. HAMAS was responsible for carrying out more than 50 of these attacks, including shootings, suicide bombings, and standoff mortar-and-rocket attacks against civilian and military targets. The group was responsible for the most deadly Palestinian terrorist attack of the year – the suicide bombings of a Passover gathering at a Netanya hotel that killed 29 Israelis, including one dual US-Israeli citizen. HAMAS's bombing of a cafeteria on the Hebrew University campus, which killed nine, including five US citizens, demonstrated its willingness to stage operations in areas frequented by Westerners, including US citizens.

In addition, HAMAS's rejectionist policies and terrorist actions are aimed at derailing the peace process in the Middle East. On April 30, 2003, the U.S. government released the roadmap for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, which constitutes a crucial step in international efforts to actively support movement towards peace in the region. HAMAS, however, has since the mid-90s purposefully worked against all regional peace efforts by engaging in suicide attacks and other acts of the most violent type of terrorism. On June 8, 2003 and June 11, 2003 HAMAS claimed responsibility for attacks against Israelis. The organization also took credit for four suicide bombings in a 24-hour period during the weekend preceding May 20th, 2003.

HAMAS Fundraising

HAMAS raises tens of millions of dollars per year throughout the world using charitable fundraising as cover. While HAMAS may provide money for legitimate charitable work, this work is a primary recruiting tool for the organization's militant causes. HAMAS relies on donations from Palestinian expatriates around the world and private benefactors located in moderate Arab states, Western Europe and North America. HAMAS uses a web of charities to facilitate funding and to funnel money. Charitable donations to non-governmental organizations are commingled, moved between charities in ways that hide the money trail, and are then often diverted or siphoned to support terrorism.

The political leadership of HAMAS directs its terrorist networks just as they oversee their other activities. HAMAS leader Yassin confirms this relationship, stating to al-Sharq al-Awsat on August 12, 2002: "When we make decisions on the political level and convey them to the military wing, it abides by it normally.” The intensity of this relationship is reflected in Yassin's words quoted by Reuters on May 12, 1998:

“We can not separate the wing from the body. If we do so, the body will not be able to fly. HAMAS is one body.”

Fundraising may involve community solicitation in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East or solicitations directly to wealthy donors. While some donors may be aware of the intended use of their donations, too many innocent donors who intend for their money to be used to provide humanitarian services here or abroad, are unwittingly funding acts of violence when these funds are diverted to terrorist causes.

HAMAS fundraising directly undermines the Middle East peace process. These funds allow the group to continue to foment violence, strengthen its terrorist infrastructure, and undermine responsible leadership. In order to generate and support momentum towards peace, to strengthen the ability of the new Palestinian leadership to take the actions it must take against HAMAS, the assets of groups like HAMAS must be frozen, as well as the assets of organizations raising funds for such terrorist groups.

See also Al Aqsa Foundation, Association de Secours Palestinien, Commité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Interpal (Palestinian Relief & Development Fund, Palestinian Association in Austria (PVOE), Sanabil Association for Relief and Development

Hilal Ahmar Society Indonesia (HASI)

The Hilal Ahmar Society Indonesia (HASI) is ostensibly JI’s humanitarian wing, which since 2011 has operated as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Indonesia. While not indicative of the activities of the charitable sector as a whole, the activities of HASI demonstrate how terrorist groups, such as JI, continue to abuse charitable giving to raise and use funds to support violent acts and provide cover for logistical requirements for their terrorist organization.
Since 2012, HASI has sent multiple groups of JI terrorist fighters to Syria for military training and has also helped raise funds and recruit for the terrorist group.

Since mid-2013, HASI has engaged in a number of activities to support the recruitment and travel of foreign terrorist fighters for JI to deploy to Syria. These deployments to Syria routinely included JI members that were sent for military training and to join Syrian fighters. In several instances, HASI supported the travel of JI officials, including senior JI leader Bambang Sukirno and JI operative Angga Dimas Pershada to Syria, both of whom have also have been designated as SDGTs today. One of HASI's recent deployments to Syria took place in May 2014.

JI has used HASI to raise funds, and together the two groups have cooperated on fundraising. As of 2013, HASI members participated in several fundraisers with JI in Indonesia that raised tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, JI officials have encouraged followers to provide material support for the fighting in Syria, including through contributing donations to HASI.
HASI also has ties to U.S. and UN-designated ANF.

HASI, which translates into English as, “Indonesian Red Crescent Society”, is not affiliated with the humanitarian group International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

For more information, see Treasury’s press release:  http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2651.aspx


The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development

U.S. Designation Date: December 4, 2001 and re-designated on May 31, 2002

Background: The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) was designated under Executive Orders 13224 and 12947 as a charity that provided millions of dollars of material and logistical support to HAMAS. HLF, originally known as the Occupied Land Fund, was established in California in 1989 as a tax-exempt charity. In 1992, HLF relocated to Richardson, Texas. It had offices in California, New Jersey, and Illinois, and individual representatives scattered throughout the United States, the West Bank, and Gaza. In the year 2000 alone, HLF raised over $13 million. HLF supported HAMAS activities through direct fund transfers to its offices in the West Bank and Gaza that are affiliated with HAMAS and transfers of funds to Islamic charity committees ("zakat committees") and other charitable organizations that are part of HAMAS or controlled by HAMAS members. Mousa Mohamed Abu Marzook, a political leader of HAMAS, provided substantial funds to the Holy Land Foundation in the early 1990s. In 1994, Marzook (who was named a Specially Designated Terrorist by the Treasury Department in 1995) designated HLF as the primary fund-raising entity for HAMAS in the United States. HLF funds were used by HAMAS to support schools that served HAMAS ends by encouraging children to become suicide bombers and to recruit suicide bombers by offering support to their families. HLF and several of its directors were indicted on criminal charges in July 2004.

For Additional Information: http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/po837.htm




Last Updated: August 21, 2007

 

 
Last Updated: 11/5/2014 3:11 PM