Today, the US Treasury designated three charities in Bosnia as terrorist entities, accused of funneling money to al-Qaeda. One of these charities is the ?Al-Haramain and Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa Charity Foundation,? which is closely tied to designated terrorist Wa?el Julaidan. According to the website of the Saudi governmental charity the Muslim World League, a charity of the same name, ?Al-Haramain & Al-Aqsa Mosque Foundation,? is a ?Body? of the Muslim World League. If this is the same organization as designated by the Treasury, it would not be the first time that a subsidiary of the Muslim World League has been designated a terrorist entity. The Rabita Trust, another subsidiary of the Muslim World League whose secretary general was also Wa?el Julaidan, was designated as a front for al-Qaeda in October 2001 for providing logistical and financial support to al-Qaeda.
Below is the entire press release by the Treasury.
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Molly Millerwise
May 6, 2004
Treasury Designates Bosnian Charities Funneling Dollars to Al Qaida
In another step today to halt the flow of terrorist dollars that have tainted the charitable community, the U.S. Department of the Treasury Department designated three Bosnian charities under Executive Order 13224. The U.S. is asking the United Nations' 1267 Sanctions Committee to add these entities to its consolidated list of terrorists tied to al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden and the Taliban.
"Today's action continues the international drumbeat to expose the terrorist nodes used to support the infrastructure of hate," said Juan Zarate, the Treasury Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Executive Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes. "Unfortunately, we have seen the vulnerabilities of charities in countries like Bosnia, where there is not only a need for charitable giving but also a susceptibility that such institutions will be co-opted by terrorist sympathizers."
The United States previously designated Bosnian-operated charities that were funneling dollars for terrorist-related activities, including the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF), the Global Relief Foundation (GRF) and the Bosnian branch of Al-Haramain Foundation (AHF), including its director and Vazir, an alias for the organization.
Today's action by the Treasury Department designates the following entities:
Information shows this non-governmental organization had close ties and shared an office with GRF and was chiefly sponsored by the Bosnian branch of AHF. Individuals working for Al Furqan have been involved in multiple instances of suspicious activity, including surveillance of the U.S. Embassy and U.N. buildings in Sarajevo. Although Al Furqan ostensibly ceased operations in 2002, two successor organizations, Sirat and Istikamet, continue to act on behalf of Al Furqan in Bosnia.
Dzemilijati Furkan; Dzem'ijjetul Furqan; Association for Citizens Rights and Resistance to Lies; Dzemijetul Furkan; Association of Citizens for the Support of Truth and Suppression of Lies; Sirat; Association for Education, Culture and Building Society-Sirat; Association for Education, Cultural and to Create Society-Sirat; Istikamet; In Siratel.
Put Mladih Muslimana 30a
71 000 Sarajevo, BiH
ul. Strossmajerova 72
Muhameda Hadzijahica 42
Al-Haramain & Al Masjed Al-Aqsa Charity Foundation
According to information, the Bosnian branch of this entity has significant financial ties to al Qaida financier Wa'el Hamza Julaidan who was designated by the Treasury Department on September 6, 2002. Al-Haramain & Al Masjed Al-Aqsa Charity Foundation also provided financial support to Al Furqan.
Al Haramain Al Masjed Al Aqsa; Al Haramayn Al Masjid Al Aqsa; Al-Haramayn and Al Masjid Al Aqsa Charitable Foundation
Hasiba Brankovica No. 2A
Taibah International - Bosnia Branch
Information shows this entity has significant ties to GRF, which initially operated in Bosnia under the auspices of Taibah. A former employee of Taibah International was a member of Ayadi Chafiq Bin Muhammad's network, who was designated by the Treasury Department on October 12, 2001.
Taibah International Aid Agency; Taibah International Aid Association; Al Taibah, Intl.; Taibah International Aide Association
Avde Smajlovic 6
26 Tabhanska Street
No. 3 Velika Cilna Ulica
No. 26 Tahbanksa Ulica
Executive Order 13224 provides means to disrupt the support network for terrorism. Under this order, the United States government may block the assets of individuals and entities who provide support - financial or otherwise - to designated terrorists and terrorist organizations, who are owned or controlled by designated terrorists, who act for or on the behalf of designated terrorists or who are otherwise associated with designated terrorists. Blocking actions are critical to combating the financing of terrorism.
When a blocking action is put into place, any assets that exist in the U.S. financial system at the time of the orders are frozen, and U.S. persons are prohibited from transacting or dealing with individuals and entities who are the subject of the blocking action. Blocking actions serve additional functions as well, including serving as a deterrent for non-designated parties who might otherwise be willing to finance terrorist activity; exposing terrorist financing "money trails" that may generate leads to previously unknown terrorist cells and financiers; disrupting terrorist financing networks by encouraging designated terrorist supporters to disassociate themselves from terrorist activity and renounce their affiliation with terrorist groups; terminating terrorist cash flows by shutting down the pipelines used to move terrorist-related assets; forcing terrorists to use alternative, more costly and higher-risk means of financing their activities; and engendering international cooperation and compliance with obligations under U.N. Security Council Resolutions.
To date, the U.S. and our international partners have designated 368 individuals and organizations as terrorists and terrorist supporters and have frozen approximately $139 million and seized more than $60 million in terrorist-related assets.