another charity branded terrorist
- The following article appeared on page A14 of the Friday, May 30, 2003
edition of The Arizona Republic and is credited to John Mintz of The
Washington Post. Apparently the Treasury Department thinks it has the
authority to shut down organisations without a hearing. Interesting that
this article doesn't mention any real evidence.
U.S. TAGS CHARITY AS TERRORIST FUND-RAISER
Washington--The Treasury Department on Thursday designated the Al-Aqsa
Foundation a terrorist financing organization after concluding that the
Muslim charity funnels money to the Islamic Reistance Movement or Hamas,
which organizes suicide bombings of Israelis.
The declaration freezes the group's assets and means that financial
institutions in this country must block any deals involving the group,
which is based in Germany. The British government took the same step
The Al-Aqsa Foundation is not known to operate in this country, but has many
offices in Europe, Asia and Africa. None of its executives could be reached
for comment Thursday. In the past they have denied having any ties to Hamas.
They have said their organization is a charity that helps Palestinean orphans
Germany shut down Al-Aqsa's headquarters in Aachen last July, saying it
supported Hamas, and authorities in the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland
have taken action against it in recent months.
Juan Zarate, Treasury's deputy assistant secretary for terrorism, said one
reason for the recent actions is concern that Hamas, which has sponsored
several suicide bombings lately, will derail negotiations between Israelis
and Palestineans under the U.S.-sponsored "road map" to peace.
"The Europeans are taking seriously the corruption of charities" after U.S.
and Israeli officials made the point that money spent by groups such as
Hamas and Al-Aqsa on charity work is mixed with funds they spend on bombings,
The Treasury Department said in a statement Thursday that one of Al-Aqsa's
leaders in Germany, Mahmoud Amr, is "an active figure in Hamas."
In January, the head of the foundation's office in Yemen, Sheikh Mohammed
Ali Hassan Moayad, was arrested by German police on charges of supporting
terrorists after a year-long FBI sting operation. The FBI said that he sent
$3 million to Hamas and other militant Palestinean groups.