Non-profit humanitarian agency World Vision United States improperly transacted with the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA) in 2014 with approval from the Obama administration, sending government funds to an organization that had been sanctioned over its ties to terrorism, according to a new report. (Look for Biden to follow suit if he successfully steals the election)
National Review (h/t Marvin W) Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) recently released a report detailing the findings of an investigation his staff began in February 2019 into the relationship between World Vision and ISRA.
The probe found that World Vision was not aware that ISRA had been sanctioned by the U.S. since 2004 after funneling roughly $5 million to Maktab al-Khidamat, the predecessor to Al-Qaeda controlled by Osama Bid Laden.
However, that ignorance was born from insufficient vetting practices, the report said. “Though it may not have known that ISRA was on the sanctions list or that it was listed because of its affiliation with terrorism, it should have. Ignorance can’t suffice as an excuse. World Vision’s changes in vetting practices are a good first step, and I look forward to its continued progress.”
“For decades, Islamic Relief has used its position as a leading provider of humanitarian aid to distract from its promotion of intolerant, extremist ideology, and its links to terrorism in the Middle East,” said Sam Westrop, author of the Forum report.
- In 2014, the United Arab Emirates designated Islamic Relief Worldwide as a terrorist organisation, due to its links with violent Muslim Brotherhood elements in the Middle East.
- In 2015, Egyptian prosecutors accused Essam El-Haddad – a founder of Islamic Relief and advisor to President Mohamed Morsi – of using Islamic Relief to fund the Muslim Brotherhood.
- In 2016, the banking giant HSBC shut down Islamic Relief’s accounts, following a similar decision made by UBS in 2012.
- In 2017, the Bangladeshi government banned Islamic Relief from working with Rohingya refugees.
- In 2017, the U.K. Charity Commission started investigating Islamic Relief’s promotion of extremist preachers.
The investigation was sparked by a July 2018 National Review article in which Sam Westrop, the director of the Middle East Forum’s Islamist Watch, detailed MEF’s findings that the Obama administration had approved a “$200,000 grant of taxpayer money to ISRA.” Government officials specifically authorized the release of “at least $115,000” of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization, Westrop wrote.
The proposed program sought to provide food security, sanitation equipment, and health services to areas hard-hit by conflict in the Blue Nile region of Sudan. USAID awarded World Vision a $723,405 grant for the program. The next month, ISRA agreed to provide humanitarian services to parts of the Blue Nile Region for World Vision.