The Investigative Project is reporting that a settlement has been reached between the KindHearts charity and the U.S. Treasury Department which settle litigation over the attempt to freeze the charity’s assets. According to the IP report:
May 2, 2012 The U.S. Treasury Department and an Islamist charity considered ‘the progeny’ of a Hamas-financing network in America have settled litigation over government attempts to freeze the group’s assets.The agreement, announced by the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday, amounts to a do-over for both sides. Ohio-based KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development agrees to shut down operations in exchange for a release of its remaining assets by the government. KindHearts closed down ‘because further charitable work would be best pursued under other auspices,’ the agreement says. Charity officials are free to launch a new organization ‘to engage in charitable activity in the Middle East or elsewhere’ but Treasury takes no position on its operations. KindHearts opened its doors in January 2002, one month after the Treasury Department froze the assets of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. ‘The purpose of creating the Holy Land Foundation was as a fundraising arm for Hamas,’ U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis said in 2009, during a sentencing hearing for five former charity officials convicted of illegally routing more than $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group. The Treasury Department froze KindHearts’ assets in 2006, finding it, too, sent money to Hamas-affiliated organizations in the Middle East. But the government suffered adverse court rulings that it violated KindHearts’ due process rights in the way it carried out the freeze. The settlement, which was signed in late November, comes ‘without any admission of liability or wrongdoing by either Party’ but requires the government pay $330,000 in attorney’s fees. KindHearts filed a public notice of its dissolution, around the time a judge in Ohio was notified a settlement had been reached. The agreement lists four recipients to which KindHearts will send its money – the United Nations World Food Programme, the U.N. Children’s Fund, U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees and Mercy Corps. A mosque, Masjid Saad, can accept the charity’s physical assets.
For the ACLU announcement, go here.
A post from January had reported that KindHearts had been dissolved. An earlier post reported on a 2009 ruling by a federal judge that the Treasury Department had acted unconstitutionally when it froze the assets of KindHearts.
Investigative research posted on GMBR detailed some of the links between KindHearts, the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas:
- KindHearts and the Holy Land Foundation Foundation (HLF) as well as the Global Relief Foundation were strongly connected. The founder and CEO of KindHearts is an individual identified as Khaled Smaili who established KindHearts from his residence in January 2002. According to the Treasury Department, Mr. Smaili was a former official of the Global Relief Foundation, designated by the U.S. government a terrorist organization for its support of both Hamas and Al Qaida Other KindHearts leaders and fundraisers also once held leadership or other positions with HLF and GRF according to the government. HLF and its leaders were later convicted of financing Hamas.
- The KindHearts fundraising coordinator was identified as Mohammed El-Mezain convicted in the HLF trial providing material support to Hamas. According to the Treasury Department, Mr. El-Mezain spoke and encouraged donations at a September 2003 KindHearts fundraising event at which a “KindHearts fundraiser spoke and encouraged the crowd to appreciate the efforts of the terrorist group Hizballah in supporting Hamas. The fundraiser then encouraged the crowd to give money and manpower as support against Israel.”
- KindHearts listed the IAP, said by the government tobe a “mouthpiece” for Hamas in the U.S., as its “Fundraiser Organizer” in its tax filings and th IAP displayed an ad for KindHearts on its website. According to one organization, IAP distributed an email from KindHearts CEO Khaled Smaili. The ties between the IAP and the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas are discussed in a Hudson report on the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
- According to its spring 2004 newsletter, KindHearts presented the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation with its “Mosque of the Year” award in recognition of their members’ tremendous support” and KindHearts President Khaled Smaili presented the award to Mosque Foundation President Osama Jammal.The newsletter stated that “this community as a whole donated $195,000 for KH to fund its relief efforts for the innocent victims of home demolitions in Rafah Refugee Camp, Gaza.” The Chicago Tribune has documented extensive connections of the Bridgeview mosque to support of Hamas terrorism.