Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Midwest Jihad Connections

In a reminder that it takes money to fight the enemy, a Federal Indictment goes after five individuals accused of raising Jihad money in the very heartland of our country.

5 sent money to Iraq: Five associates of a Missouri-based Islamic charity were indicted on charges that they illegally sent money to Iraq, the U.S. attorney's office announced Wednesday. The five men, associated with Columbia-based Islamic American Relief Agency-USA, are charged in a 33-count indictment that alleges they stole government and public money and falsely represented their fundraising goals to the public.

MissouriNet: The Agency was an Islamic charitable organization that was officially formed in 1985 and closed in October of 2004 when it was identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a specially designated global terrorist organization.

The Islamic American Relief Agency is not the only ostensibly charitable organization closed by the Treasury Department. About a year later Ohio based KindHearts is also put out of the charity business. Wisconsin blogosphere readers will remember last summer when candidate J.B. Van Hollen speaks about terrorist fund raising in Wisconsin and is greeted with reactions ranging from Polite Reserved Skepticism to Oh Yeah - Prove It to Liar Liar Pants on Fire. Maybe U.S. Attorney’s actually have some insight about the bad guys.

December 18, 2005: Kind Hearts for Terror: How can the United States allow Zufiqar Ali Shah, the ex president of the Islamic Circle of North America, and president CEO of the Universal Heritage Foundation, who has been linked to Jose Padilla, Sheik Abdur Rahman Al Sudais and Jerusalem Mufti Ikrima Sabri, to fundraise and control millions of dollars in donations when it was recently revealed that funding for earthquake victims had found it's way to the Kashmiri separatist terrorists aligned with the Taliban and Al Qaeda?

May 16, 2006: Zulfiqar Ali Shah: When the Toledo charity KindHearts was shut down this past February, for raising millions of dollars for Hamas, the group’s leaders got off scott free. One of those leaders was KindHearts’ President, Khaled Smaili. Another was KindHearts’ South Asia Director, Zulfiqar Ali Shah. Unlike Smaili, who has remained virtually silent since the closure, Shah has continued to bask in the spotlight. He now sits in his new digs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Religious Director of a large Islamic institution and the toast of the media.

Milwaukee is still part of Wisconsin and additional information about KindHearts and Zulfiqar Ali Shah can be found here and here. At the risk of offending multicultural sensitivities I do believe it is fair to say that all charities are not morally equivalent.