Saudi Arabia Bans Large Overseas Money Transfers By Charities


Middle Eastern media has reported that the last December, the Saudi Arabian government imposed a ban on the transfer by charities of large sums of money abroad without approval. According to a report in the TheNational newspaper:

The Saudi government has made progress in curtailing the flow of money for violent extremists from inside the kingdom, but concerns remain about continued donations from Saudi individuals and charitable groups, a recent US government report stated. Measures by the kingdom, including stricter monitoring of bank transactions and a ban on transferring charitable funds abroad without government approval, were noted as significant steps, in a report by the US Government Accounting Office (GAO). The Saudi government has also been increasing its efforts to prosecute people accused of funding militants, the GAO report noted. More than 40 people were arrested in 2007 for financially supporting terrorists, and 56 were detained in 2008, of whom 20 were prosecuted. Still, the report cited a US state department study made public in February that found that “Saudi individuals and Saudi-based charitable organisations continue to be a significant source of financing for terrorism and extremism outside of Saudi Arabia”……In December, the Saudi government closed what US regulators had regarded as a loophole in the 2003 Saudi ban on transferring money abroad without official approval by explicitly stating that the ban applies to large Saudi charities that work overseas.These charities include the Muslim World League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and the International Islamic Relief Organisation. “Moreover, Saudi officials told us that, as of July 2009, the Saudi government had not approved any transfer” of funds from any charity for activities outside the kingdom, though it has approved transfers of such humanitarian supplies as medical items and blankets, the report said.

The Muslim World League was established in 1962 as a means for the propagation of Saudi “Wahabbi” Islam. Muslim Brothers played an important role in its founding and, to date, the League has been strongly with the Brotherhood. The MWL, together with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), are Saudi organizations believed by U.S. government officials to have helped to spread Islamic extremism around the world as well as sponsoring terrorism in places such as Bosnia, Israel, and India.

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