Sunday, April 14th, 2024

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2014: Obama Administration Approved Grant for Known Terrorist-Funding Organization in Sudan

2014: Obama Administration Approved Grant for Known Terrorist-Funding Organization in Sudan

The Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), also known as the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), was designated a terror-financing organization by the US Treasury Department in 2004.

Ten years later, in 2014, they were given $200,000 American tax dollars to fund their activities.

The Treasury Department had previously noted, according to National Review:

According to the U.S. Treasury, in 1997 ISRA established formal cooperation with MK. By 2000, ISRA had raised $5 million for bin Laden’s group. The Treasury Department notes that ISRA officials even sought to help “relocate [bin Laden] to secure safe harbor for him.” It further reports that ISRA raised funds in 2003 in Western Europe specifically earmarked for Hamas suicide bombings.

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Fox News claims that funds from the grant were released even after it was discovered that the money was going to support a known terrorist organization:

Further, an agency official acknowledged the prior administration allowed taxpayer money to flow to the group even after its designation was discovered.

Sam Westrop reports for NR: “The Middle East Forum has discovered that the Obama administration approved a grant of $200,000 of taxpayer money to an al-Qaeda affiliate in Sudan — a decade after the U.S. Treasury designated it as a terrorist-financing organization. More stunningly, government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization.” (Emphasis Added)

How could our government possibly justify the release of the remainder of funds AFTER catching the oversight?

Maybe it was not an oversight at all.

This group had grown its network to include affiliates within the United States after the 2004 terrorist classification.

The Islamic American Relief Agency, was dissolved after being linked to the Sudanese group as reports:

[WDMO] The Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) and several of its former employees and associates were indicted for illegally transferring funds to Iraq, falsely denying that an associate of Osama bin Laden had been an employee of IARA, and engaging in prohibited financial transactions for the benefit of U.S.-designated terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Former U.S. Congressman Mark Deli Siljander was also charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the case. According to a Department of Treasury press release, IARA was responsible for moving funds to terrorists in the Palestinian territories, “notably serving as a conduit to Hamas in one Western European country.” Mubarak Hamed, IARA’s former director, admitted he sent more than $1 million to Iraq in violations of U.S. sanctions. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and a tax violation for misusing the charity’s tax-exempt status and lying to the Internal Revenue Service. In July 2010, Siljander and Abdel Azim Elsiddig, a part-time fundraiser for IARA, pleaded guilty to conspiring to lobby for the Islamic African Relief Agency, the predecessor to the Islamic American Relief Agency, to remove it from a list of Islamic charities suspected of supporting terrorism. Siljander also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for lying to FBI agents and prosecutors about the purpose of the lobbying funds he had been paid by IARA. In January 2012, Siljander was sentenced to a year (12 months and one day) in prison and Hamed was sentenced to five years in prison. In July 2016, IARA pleaded guilty to transferring nearly $1.4 million to Iraq in violation of federal sanctions. In April 2017, IARA was sentenced for transferring nearly $1.4 Million to Iraq in violation of sanctions. The charity has been dissolved, and has divested itself of all its funds and property.

The since dissolved Islamic American Relief Agency was based in Columbia, Missouri and sprang up as an offshoot of ISRA according to an April 2017 article in The Kansas City Star:

The office in Columbia was part of an international organization based in Sudan.

It was closed in 2004 after being identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a “specially designated global terrorist organization.”

The agency was reconstituted so it could {SIC- not} be prosecuted criminally.

Last July, an IARA representative pleaded guilty on its behalf to conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, conspiracy to commit money laundering and obstructing U.S. internal revenue laws.

With Thursday’s sentencing, IARA has dissolved itself as a corporation, and its board of directors agreed to not form a new corporation to conduct the activities that IARA formerly conducted, according to federal prosecutors.

How much money did the organization raise from donors within our borders while it was still active?

The $200,000 grant is not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things.

But Americans deserve better than a single penny of their tax dollars funding terrorists.

Just another entry in a long list of Obama Administration crimes.

Dean Garrison is the Publisher of DC Clothesline and DC Dirty Laundry.

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