The United Kingdom's Charity Commission has denied what is calls "public allegations" that a London-based charity, which has funded Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad through another charity, has links to terrorist groups, according to a report the commission released Friday.
The Commission found that the charity in question, Muslim Aid, provided thousands of pounds to the Al-Ihsan Charitable Society in 2002 and 2003. The Society was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the U.S. Treasury in May 2005, and designated by the UK in June 2005. Although Muslim Aid "set aside" £13,998 for the Society in March 2005, "these were not subsequently paid," and, as a result, Muslim Aid "had not illegally funded the Al-Ihsan Charitable Society." Payments made to the charity by Muslim Aid prior to its UK designation date were determined to be inconsequential.
Al-Ihsan Charitable Society has documented links to the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Under Secretary of Treasury Stuart Levey told a 2005 Senate hearing. "The Elehssan Society [Al-Ihsan Charitable Society] served as the fund-raising arm of PIJ in Gaza and the West Bank and distributed funds to the families of PIJ prisoners and suicide bombers," Levey said.
Britain's Charity Commission, however, did not adequately investigate other allegations against Muslim Aid, including documented information that the group funneled money to six organizations linked to Hamas since July 2009, according to a column by Andrew Gilligan in London's The Telegraph Friday. Two of those groups are The Islamic Society and the Islamic Centre of Gaza, which were both named part of Hamas' "social infrastructure" and unindicted co-conspirators during the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development trial.
Gilligan noted that Muslim Aid is a member of the Union of the Good, designated by the U.S. Department of Treasury in 2008 as an "organization created by Hamas leadership to transfer funds to the terrorist organization."
Additionally, Muslim Aid is tied to the pro-Hamas Islamic Forum of Europe and the East London Mosque (ELM), and is located on their premises. According to Gilligan, Muslim Aid paid at least £555,000 to the ELM and £40,000 to the ELM's school, the London East Academy.
The UK Charity's Commission clearance of Muslim Aid is not the first time the commission has dismissed a group's ties to terrorist organizations. The commission has repeatedly cleared the UK Charity Interpal of supporting Hamas. Interpal was designated by the U.S. Treasury for its support to Hamas in 2003. The Commission also cleared the UK-based organization Viva Palestina for its support of Hamas in March of this year. Viva Palestina, under the leadership of former British MP George Galloway, has delivered millions of dollars to the Hamas regime in Gaza since its first convoy to region in March 2009.