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11/2/02 - TERRORIST FRONT GROUP EXPOSED - 2002-11-07

The United States continues to identify and cut off financial support for the al-Qaida terrorist network. An important source of al-Qaida funding is the Global Relief Foundation, or G-R-F, which poses as a Muslim charitable organization. The U.S. has frozen the financial assets of the G-R-F, also known as Foundation Secours Mondial. Its operatives are subject to criminal prosecution. The U.S. has also referred the G-R-F to the United Nations for inclusion on the U-N list of terrorist groups and supporters whose assets member states are required to freeze.

The Global Relief Foundation and its officers and directors have connections, and have provided financial support, to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. While the U.S. and its allies were fighting the Taleban regime in Afghanistan, the G-R-F provided assistance to the Taleban. Rabih Haddad [rah-bee hah-dahd], a founder of the G-R-F and its leader during the 1990s, worked for Maktab al-Khidamat [mahk-tahb ahl-huh-dee-maht], or M-A-K, an international terrorist group. M-A-K founder Abdullah Azzam [ahb-duh-lah ah-zahm] served as mentor to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Azzam has also been a leader of the Hamas terrorist group.

The G-R-F has stocked and promoted audio tapes and books authored by Azzam calling for violence and terror. It has published newsletters and pamphlets advocating suicide bombing and other acts of terrorism. A 1995 G-R-F publication reads "God equated martyrdom through JIHAD with supplying funds for the JIHAD effort. All contributions should be mailed to G-R-F." Another newsletter requested donations for what it called "God's cause." The donations, the newsletter explained, "are disbursed for equipping the raiders, for the purchase of ammunition and food."

G-R-F personnel had multiple contacts with Wadih El-Hage [wah-dee el-HAH-juh], one-time personal secretary to Osama bin Laden. El-Hage was convicted in May 2001 for his part in the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The G-R-F has admitted to receiving funds from Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi [gah-lehb kahl-ah-juh zoo-eh-dee], an al-Qaida financier arrested in Europe in April 2002.

Raising money to commit murder and mayhem and calling it charity undermines legitimate Muslim charities. Diverting money to terrorists that was given in good faith for charitable purposes defrauds Muslim contributors. By taking action against the G-R-F and other terrorist front groups, the U.S. seeks to encourage and support the good work of Muslim charities everywhere.