Treasury Department Designaton of Benevolence International Foundation

by U.S. Treasury Dept.
November 19, 2002

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IPT Backgrounder:

The Benevolence International Foundation (BIF) began operating in the United States in the early 1990s.[1] Founded in Saudi Arabia in the late 1980s as Lajnat al-Birr al-Islamiah (LBI), it was renamed upon incorporation in the United States.[2] Sheik Abedl Abdul Galil Batterjee, a wealthy Saudi Arabian, founded LBI. BIF provided support for the Mujahadeen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, as well as to facilitate the immigration of Jihadists into the conflict zone. After the war in Afghanistan ended, BIF helped al Qaeda establish its presence in the Sudan, Bosnia and Chechnya, providing support for the Mujahadeen in those conflicts as well. [3] BIF was shut down By the U.S. Government in December of 2001, as part of a crackdown on terrorist financing after the September 11th attack by al Qaeda.[4] The United States Treasury Department designated BIF as a financier of terrorism on November 19, 2002, along with two closely linked but separately incorporated entities Benevolence International Fund (Canada), Bosanska Idealna Futura (Bosnia), and their branch offices.[5] BIF worked with the Holy Land Foundation, a charity that had its assets frozen by the U.S. government for its alleged support of Hamas.[6]

[1] BIF, Articles of Incorporation, 1992.

[2] BIF, Articles of Incorporation, 1992.

[3] USA v. Arnaout, et al. NDIL 02-CR-892. "Government's Evidentiary Proffer Supporting the Admissibility of Co-Conspirator Statements," January 6, 2003 at p. 48, 58.

[4] BIF v. Ashcroft, "Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Stay Proceedings," (N.D. Il. May 9, 2002); "Feds Close Two More Muslim Groups," CBS News, December 14, 2001.

[5] "Treasury Designates Benevolence International Foundation and Related Entities as Financiers of Terrorism." US Treasury Department Press Release. PO-3632. Office of Public Affairs. Nov. 19, 2002.

[6] "All Eyes on Palestine," Benevolence, December 2000.