U.S. Treasury Designates Two “Hamas” Charities

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The U.S. Treasury Department has announced that it has designated two Lebanese charities controlled by Hamas as terrorist organizations. According to the announcement

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated two Lebanon-based charities controlled by Hamas.  Al-Waqfiya Al-Ri’aya Al-Usra Al-Filistinya Wa Al-Lubnanya (‘Al-Waqfiya’) has been designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 for being controlled by, acting for or on behalf of, and providing financial support to Hamas. The Al-Quds International Foundation (‘Al-Quds’) has been designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 for being controlled by and acting for or on behalf of Hamas. Today’s actions freeze any assets Al-Waqfiya or Al-Quds hold under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with these parties. E.O. 13224 targets terrorists, terrorist organizations, and individuals and entities owned or controlled by or acting for or on behalf of designated terrorists or terrorist organizations, and those providing financial, material, or technological support or financial or other services to designated terrorists or terrorist organizations, or for acts of terrorism. ‘The Treasury Department will continue to work to disrupt Hamas’s efforts to radicalize vulnerable communities and undermine regional stability,’ said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. ‘Today’s action represents another step in our effort to ensure that charitable fronts are not used to finance terrorism.’ The Beirut-based Al-Waqfiya and Al-Quds exist to support the families of Hamas fighters and prisoners and to raise money for programs and projects in the Palestinian territories intended to spread Hamas’s influence and control.  Al-Waqfiya, a central component of the Union of Good, which was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 in November 2008 for supporting Hamas, was established by Hamas in 2000 to financially support the families of Hamas terrorists.  The organization has been run by senior Hamas leadership for years, and several senior Hamas leaders play a dominant role within the organization. Al-Waqfiya has facilitated the collection of money on Hamas’s behalf, and has used its ties with money-changers and merchants in the Middle East to transfer funds to Hamas in Gaza.  When delivering funds to Gaza, Al-Waqfiya obscures the sources of the money so that donations appear as innocuous charitable contributions.  Portions of funds sent by Al-Waqfiya to Hamas were used by Hamas military operatives, and have financed the Hamas infrastructure in the Palestinian territories. Al-Quds was established in 2001 in Beirut by members of Hamas in order to raise funds for Hamas projects in Jerusalem through the cover of charity.  Hamas’s leadership runs all of the foundation’s affairs through Hamas members who serve on the Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors, and other administrative committees. All documents, plans, budgets, and projects of Al-Quds are drafted by Hamas officials.  Several senior Hamas officials, including Specially Designated Global Terrorists Musa Abu-Marzuq and Usama Hamdan, served on Al-Quds’ Board of Trustees.  Representatives at an Al-Quds conference were told to consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Hamas in their respective countries.”

In fact, it would be appropriate to characterize the two charities as controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood rather than Hamas. Islam Online, formerly closely associated with Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, described the Al Quds International Institution (AQII) as a non-profit organization established in Lebanon in 2001 with a permanent headquarters in Jerusalem and says that the board of trustees features a “cohort of Arab and Muslim figures, who seek to keep Al-Quds cause alive and pass it on from one generation to another.” It should also be noted that the Secretary-General of AQII is Mohammad Akram al Adlouni who was the likely author of a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood document calling for the destruction of the Western civilization at the hands of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. A post from March 2011 reported that Qaradawi was to lead a delegation to the eighth annual Jerusalem Foundation (aka Al-Quds Foundation, AQII) conference to be held in Khartoum. Previous posts discussed the sixth and seventh Al-Quds conferences and a report from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) discusses the critical role played by the Al-Quds conferences in the planning for the Gaza flotilla involved in a violent altercation with Israeli forces last June.

The Union of Good is a coalition of Islamic charities headed by Youssef Qaradawi and described in a NEFA Foundation report as follows:

The Union of Good is a coalition of Islamic charities that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. It is headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, and most of the trustees and member organizations are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. The Union of Good was banned by Israel in 2002 and was recently designated a terrorist entity by the United States, although neither Youssef Qaradawi nor any of the Trustees were similarly designated. Despite the fact that action has been taken against some of its member organizations in Europe, many of its other European member organizations continue to operate. Further, the Union of Good itself does not appear to be under investigation in Europe. 

Interestingly, none of the charity leaders were designated by the U.S. In 2008, the Union of Good (UOG) was so designated without mentioning Qaradawi.

The Hamas charter states that it is ” is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and an early media report indicated that shortly after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives were present to review Hamas military formations . In 2007,  a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and in 2008, an Israeli TV station reported that Muslim Brotherhood “representatives” had traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the open border to meet with Hamas. Hamas is supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood and a NEFA Foundation report has documented the Hamas fund-raising activities of the Union of Good, a coalition of Islamic charities linked to the Brotherhood that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. Previous posts have also discussed the worldwide campaign orchestrated by the global Brotherhood against Israeli actions in Gaza during the 2008-2009 conflict with Israel.

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