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U.S. Treasury Designates Charity for Aiding Hamas

Posted: November 17, 2008

The U.S. Department Treasury identified a Saudi Arabia-based charity as a terrorist entity that supports Hamas on November 12, 2008.


The Union of Good (UG), an umbrella organization that represents over 50 Islamic fundraising groups worldwide, was designated a terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224, which authorizes the U.S. government to block the assets of organizations and individuals that provide financial support to terrorist organizations.  According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, Hamas leadership founded the UG in 2000 shortly after the inception of the second Intifada with the purpose of facilitating the transfer of funds to Hamas.


The UG is linked with various Hamas-affiliated organizations and has transferred tens of millions of dollars to Hamas directly, who uses the money to support terrorism and the families of suicide bombers, according to court documents. The UG was banned in Israel in 2002, because of its links to Hamas.


Several of the primary charities under the UG umbrella are also designated as terrorist entities by the U.S. for providing support to Hamas and other terrorist organizations, including Australian based Al-Aqsa Foundation, the United Kingdom-based International Palestine Relief and Development Fund (Interpal), and the France-based Comite de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP). Another organization, the Al-Salah Society, was designated in August 2007 after it was discovered that the now defunct charity employed members of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamasís military wing, during the first Intifada.


Several of the UGís leaders and board of directors are linked to Hamas and other terrorist groups. The secretary general of the UG, Dr. Essam Yusuf (a.k.a. Essam Mustafa), is also the vice-chairman of Interpal, which was designated by the U.S. Treasury as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2003 for supporting Hamas. Yusuf also served on the Hamas executive committee with Hamas leader Khalid Mishaal, according to the U.S. Treasury.


According to the UGís Web site, the president of its organization is Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a radical Muslim Brotherhood ideologue and well-known Islamic scholar based in Qatar. Qaradawi, who has been banned from entering the U.S. since 1999 for his extremist views, has on numerous occasions declared his unwavering support for Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. For instance, Qaradawi issued a 2001 fatwa legitimizing suicide bombings, which is posted on Hamas's Web site in order to justify their terrorist attacks in Islam. In addition, during a July 2007 conference held in his honor in Doha, Qatar, Qaradawi praised suicide bombings against Israel and reiterated his support for terrorist groups.


In accordance with the UGís designation as a terrorist entity by the U.S. Treasury, all assets the UG holds under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen and Americans are prohibited from engaging in transactions with the UG.

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