Daily Beast reporter Eli Lake picked up Friday on an overlooked angle behind a new terrorist designation by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Abdul Rahman Omeir al-Naimi "has provided money and material support and conveyed communications to al-Qa'ida and its affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen for more than a decade," a Treasury Department statement issued Wednesday said. That includes a $600,000 transfer earlier this year and Naimi's alleged oversight of monthly $2 million transfers to al-Qaida in Iraq.
This action, which freezes al-Naimi's assets and makes financial interactions with him illegal, likely comes as a shock to many who have worked with him, Lake reports. Al-Naimi is a history professor from Qatar and created a charity, al-Karama, which "has worked closely with the United Nations and American human rights groups, most notably Human Rights Watch."
"If the Treasury Department's allegations are correct," Lake continues, "the story of al-Naimi, who until Thursday was the president of al-Karama's board, illustrates how sometimes human-rights advocacy can also be used as political cover for jihadist networks."
Al-Karama is not directly implicated in the order, but it also designated Abdulwahab Al-Humayqani, the group's Yemen representative, for allegedly helping finance al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
We've seen this before in American charities which claim to advocate for a cause and help needy people, only to be exposed as terror supporters.
Sami Al-Arian, recently seen on Capitol Hill at a program advocating for the restoration of Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt, ran a charity that he insisted was only about telling the Palestinian story and aiding needy widows and orphans. But his defenders pretend this video, showing Al-Arian accepting an introduction as the head of "the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine," does not exist.
And this clip, which shows fundraising for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad being routed to Al-Arian's Islamic Committee for Palestine, hasn't stopped Islamist groups and academics from casting him as an innocent man done wrong by the government.
Similarly, guilty verdicts against the Holy Land Foundation and five former executives are decried as unjust, as the charity merely sought to provide help to needy Palestinians. But evidence persuaded a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that millions of dollars from the foundation found its way to groups controlled by Hamas. That included fundraisers featuring songs and skits praising Hamas and conference calls and speeches by Hamas leaders.
"The purpose of creating the Holy Land Foundation was as a fundraising arm for Hamas," presiding U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis said during a sentencing hearing.
Lake reports there were "signs" of al-Naimi's extremism, especially when it came to education and opportunity for women. Those signs are overlooked because few of the players care to see them, Human Rights Foundation CEO Thor Halvorssen told Lake. "The lack of due diligence regarding this organization by reputable groups in Europe and the United States is indicative of a deeper problem: choosing allies on the basis of agreeing with their conclusions as opposed to agreeing with their mission."