In early February, the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, designated World Human Care, an Indonesia-based group claiming to be a charitable organization, for its financial support of the terrorist group Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia, or MMI. The group was sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, which targets terrorists, leaders, and officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.
MMI, an umbrella organization for a number of Indonesian terrorist groups, was formed in 2000. It has conducted attacks in Indonesia, but has also been linked to the al-Qa’ida-aligned Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in Syria. Both were designated by the United States as terrorist organizations for posing a threat to the United States or its interests.
World Human Care is MMI’s charitable organization front. While it has engaged in some legitimate humanitarian activities, World Human Care also raised funds that support violent extremist activity in Syria. For example, in early 2016, World Human Care transferred money to Syria and although a certain amount went toward humanitarian needs, much of it was earmarked for weapons and fighters. World Human Care is also known to have sent funds and equipment to a foreign terrorist fighter operating in Syria.
As a result of these designations, all property under U.S. jurisdiction in which World Human Care or its subsidiaries have any interest is blocked and American citizens are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with this organization.
Legitimate humanitarian organizations provide essential humanitarian assistance, including emergency aid, to those in need. Their work is priceless, and each year, they are responsible for saving millions of lives. World Human Care’s actions are particularly repugnant not only for their support of terrorism, but because they undermine the work and besmirch the reputation of genuine humanitarian aid providers worldwide. Their use of humanitarian work as a cover for terrorism puts aid workers everywhere in danger, and could be the cause of life-saving assistance failing to reach those who most desperately need it.
“The United States is taking this action to expose and disrupt MMI’s deceptive efforts to use a humanitarian organization as cover for raising and transferring illicit funds,” said State Department Spokesperson Ned Price in a written statement. “We will continue to work with foreign partners to protect legitimate non-profit organizations from abuse by terrorist groups and expose terrorist financing under the guise of humanitarian aid.”