The International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), a Saudi charity whose Indonesian and Philippine offices have been designated by the US. Treasury in connection with the financing of Al Qaeda, has registered a new office in the United States. According to Florida State records, the IIRO (U.S.A.) Inc. was registered as a non-profit Florida corporation in Hialeah, Florida on April 28, 2009. After being required by regulators to provide a street address rather than a PO Box, the office address for IIRO USA appears now to be located in a shopping mall and is likely some kind of mail drop. The Florida records identify the IIRO President as Adnan Khalil Basha who is the long-serving IIRO Secretary-General in Saudi Arabia and the IIRO U.S.A. registration document states that it is “intended, to be the US chapter of the International Islamic Relief Organization.”
IIRO in the U.S. had previously operated out of an office in Falls Church, Virginia by Dr. Sulaiman bin Ali Al-Ali, described by one media report as a “wealthy and influential figure in Saudi Arabia who, as a member of IIRO’s executive committee had solicited donations directly from the Saudi Royal family.” (This report also discusses earlier allegations that Dr. Al-Ali and IIRO in the U.S. had been involved with the financing of terrorism.) IIRO in the U.S. also had ties to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. According to U.S. law enforcement documents, a D.C. corporation known as Sana-Bell had been established to generate funds for the operations of a Virginia non-profit corporation known as the International Relief Organization (IRO) which was the U.S. arm of IIRO. Sana-Bell had the same Herndon, Virginia address as the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations funded by a Saudi Arabian banking family and led by the same individuals who founded and now head the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), an important part of the US Brotherhood. Yaqub Mirza, the SAAR Treasurer and also close to IIIT, was the Sana-Bell Secretary.
At the time the Sana-Bell was established, Mr. Ali received $10 million from IIRO in Saudi Arabia that was earmarked for dispersal to Sana-Bell that, in turn, was to invest the funds and use the income generated to operate IRO. According to a complaint in a civil lawsuit, during the years 1992 through 1998 Sana-Bell invested $3.7 million with a company known as BMI or one of its affiliates. BMI, short for for Beit ul Mal, or Treasury House, was a Secaucus, N.J., investment firm a headed by Soloman Biheiri, an Egyptian immigrant. Mr. Biheiri, who also served on the advisory board of the American Muslim Council, has been described by U.S. authorities as “the Muslim Brotherhood’s financial toehold in the U.S.” A U.S. Customs agent testified that Mr. Biheiri had close ties to global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Al Qaradawi who had been a guest in Mr. Biheiri’s home. U.S. authorities also stated “BMI made or conducted financial transactions with persons who were or are now Specially Designated Terrorists or Specially Designated Global Terrorists, including Yassin Kadi, Mousa Abu Marzook and Mohammad Salah”, the latter two important Hamas leaders.
In March 2002, a US government task force launched a series of raids in connection with terrorism financing that included many of the SAAR entities as well as the Muslim World League offices which were located at the same address as IIRO US. In 2006, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the Philippine and Indonesian branch offices of the IIRO as well as one of its executives in connection with fundraising for al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliates.
After appearing dormant since the 2002 raids, and its DC corporate registration revoked, the new IIRO presence in the US seems designed to preserve the organization’s ties to the Muslim World League (MWL), the IIRO’s parent organization. The registered agent for IIRO USA, is Malik Sardar Khan who listed a residential address in Miami and who also serves as IIIRO USA Secretary-Treasurer. Also registered at the same address is a Florida non-profit corporation known as MOTAMAR AL-ALAM AL-ISLAMI (Muslim World Congress), headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan and described on its web site as follows:
The World Muslim Congress (Motamar Al- Alam Al-Islami), which enjoys Consultative Status with the UN in New York through the ECOSOC and UNICEF and observe Status with the Jeddah-based Organisation of the Ialamic Conference (OIC), was founded in an assemblage of eminent leaders from the World of Islam held in Makkah in 1926.
Mr. Khan describes himself in his resume as a member of the Muslim World Congress (MWC) since 1978 and Councillor for the U.S. and Main Representative to the United Nations since 1988.
The President of both the MWC world organization and the US branch is Abdullah Omar Naseef who has held many important positions in Saudi Arabia including serving as Vice-President of the Kingdom’s Shura Council, President of King Abdul Aziz University, and most importantly as Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) from 1983-1993. In addition, the address listed for Dr. Naseef on the MWC web site belongs to the MWL in Mecca. The MWL 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 associated with the Brotherhood. The MWL, together with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), are Saudi organizations believed by US. 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.
It should also be noted that a directory of non-profit organizations lists Mr. Khan as associated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an important part of the US Muslim Brotherhood whose leaders have also enjoyed close relations with the MWL.
For a chart of the relationship between the above entities, click here.
(Additional Source: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA-v- SOLIMAN S. BIHEIRI Case No. 03-365-A DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF PRE-TRIAL DETENTION)
For a thoughtful analysis of the terrorist financing implications of this development, go here.