December 19, 2005 -- WASHINGTON - Muslim charities accused by the U.S. government of being fronts for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have major operations in Iraq, raising fears that support networks for the rebellion are growing and becoming more sophisticated, The Post has learned.
Information supplied to The Post by the counterterrorism research center the SITE Institute revealed that at least seven major charities that have been linked in the past to terrorists by the Treasury Department, FBI and other U.S. agencies have extensive operations in Iraq - and could be covertly supporting insurgent groups.
The charities in Iraq include some whose offices have been raided by the FBI in the U.S. during post-9/11 terrorism financing investigations and at least one designated by the Treasury Department as a terrorist front which had its assets frozen, according to Rita Katz, SITE Institute's director.
Daniel Glaser, the Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, confirmed in a recent interview with The Post that so-called terror charities are operating in Iraq and said he believes some are funneling money from international donors to terror cells inside Iraq.
"The international jihadist movement is clearly focusing more and more on Iraq, and the presence of charities that are part of the global financial network in Iraq is obviously of concern of us," Glaser said.