KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development

A new charity aimed at "providing immediate disaster relief and establishing programs to improve the quality of life and foster future independence for those in need" opened its doors in Toledo Ohio in January 2002. About a month earlier, U.S. officials shut down the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), saying its money went to Palestinian charities controlled by Hamas.

KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development was nothing more than HLF's replacement, Treasury officials said when they froze KindHearts' assets in 2006. But unlike HLF, the government did not designate KindHearts as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity.

The asset freeze, officials argued, secured about $1 million in KindHearts' assets while investigators determined whether that label belonged. KindHearts sued, and a federal judge agreed that the move violated the charity's due process rights.

However, nothing in the ruling cleared KindHearts. The judge took issue with the way Treasury acted., He did not question the underlying principle that the U.S. can act against groups funding terrorists:

"The government has an indisputably important interest in preventing the flow of funds to overseas terrorist organizations. This is so, even if those organizations, at least for now, are not directly engaged in hostile acts against the United States or its citizens."

The Investigative Project on Terrorism has compiled a report on KindHearts' connections and fundraising and its overlap with HLF's network. It can be read here.