The Humanitarian Forum (THF) claims to “inspire western and eastern humanitarian leaders to work better together, drawing from our diversity, local knowledge and global expertise.” The Humanitarian Forum comprises, however, individuals and groups connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and charities widely reported to have links with terrorism.
THF was founded in 2004 after “Oxfam, The British Red Cross and Islamic Relief began discussions with a range of European organisations and governments, to find ways of integrating Muslim organisations into the international field of humanitarian relief and development cooperation. The discussions resulted in a London conference, where a number of humanitarian actors came together with other stakeholders, including the US Embassy, DFID, the FCO, the Charity Commission and international NGOs.”
The Muslim Charities Forum is a coalition of charities who are also members of the Union of Good, designated by the US Treasury Department as a terrorist entity for its role in “facilitating the transfer of funds to Hamas”. Human Appeal International, Muslim Hands, Muslim Aid and the Humanitarian Relief Foundation – all members of the Muslim Charities Forum – are all accused of belonging to the Union of Good.
The Human Care Foundation Worldwide (also known as Human Care Syria) is funded by Human Appeal International, a charity accused by a number of government agencies of having close links with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Its Chairman, Hamza al-Sibaai, is also an official of British Solidarity for Syria, which is in partnership with a Syrian organisation called Watan. Watan’s President is Moaz Sibai, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Syrian National Council. Walid Saffour, the UK Ambassador of the Syrian National Coalition (of which the Syrian National Council is a member) and “Head of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in the UK”, was formerly a Trustee of the Human Care Foundation Worldwide. His wife, Elham Makansy Saffour, is a current Trustee. His daughter, Kinana Saffour, is a Secretary.
THF lists a number of charities under its umbrella, which it claims constitute its “Advisory Group”:
Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)
In 2004, 2007 and 2009, IRW accounts revealed donations of tens of thousands of pounds from the Charitable Society for Social Welfare (CSSW), a charity founded by Al Qaeda terrorist and “Bin Laden loyalist” Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani. In 1998, the Al Qaeda terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki, eventually killed by a U.S. drone strike, served as Vice President for CSSW’s San Diego branch.
During a terrorism trial in 2004 in the U.S, Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Brian Murphy testified that CSSW was a “front organization to funnel money to terrorists.”
In 1999, Human Concern International, a charity that Osama bin Laden told an Egyptian interviewer in 1995 was funding an al-Qaeda charitable front called Blessed Relief, gave IRW a $50,000 donation. IRW continues to refer to Human Concern as a partner. In 2008, Human Concern granted IRW a further £25,000.
Human Concern has also funded the Global Relief Foundation — an organization shut down by the American Government — which stated it had been laundering money for al-Qaeda and was linked to the Taliban. Similarly, in 2009 another funder of the Global Relief Foundation, the International Development and Relief Foundation, gave IRW just under £200,000.
Further, in 2008, IRW’s accounts revealed a donation of £13,437 from the Yemeni Al-Eslah organization — a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood whose leaders include Sheikh al-Zindani, whom the US Government has designated a “Global Terrorist.”
The same year, the UK-based charity Human Appeal International gave IRW £34,081. A 1996 CIA report claimed Human Appeal International was one of a number of Islamic charities used as conduits for funds to terrorist organizations, and tied it to the Saudi-based Muwafaq, an Al-Qaeda front group. The FBI, in 2003, claimed there was a “close relationship between Human Appeal International and Hamas.” In February 2005, Hamas’s website had already openly announced the receipt of funds from HAI.
The Islamic Cultural Centre is part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s European network and hosts the European Council for Fatwa and Research, of which former IRW director Issam Al-Bashir is a leading member. The head of the council is Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who believes Hitler was “divine punishment” for the Jews and is a supporter of suicide bombings.
IRW officials are closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood (see full report here).
Over the past few years, IRW has given the Humanitarian Forum hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations.
Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH)
The IHH was founded in 1995, partly in response to the Bosnian conflict. According to the Wall Street Journal, a 1995 Bosnian intelligence report reveals that two men who directed the IHH’s Sarajevo office were graduates of the Bosnian Army’s 7th Muslim Brigade, which also “served as an umbrella for several hundred foreign Mujaheddin known at the time for their Islamist fervor.”
The CIA’s 1996 declassified report, International Islamic NGOs and Links to Terrorism, stated that the IHH was involved with extremist Islamist groups in Algeria and Iran. A 2006 report by the Danish Institute for International Studies also claimed the IHH recruited terrorists to fight in Bosnia and Chechnya.
Today, the IHH operates in 120 countries with an annual budget of around $100 million. The IHH, however, is a banned terror group under Dutch, German and Israeli law. The charity is a member of the Union of Good, a coalition of charities that manages the financial support required by Hamas for both its terrorist and political activities.
A leading French anti-terrorism magistrate, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, has claimed that the IHH officials were in contact with Al Qaeda members and that the that charity played an “important role” in an attempt to bomb the Los Angeles Airport.
On occasion, the IHH’s claims to be a solely humanitarian organization are shown to be nothing more than a façade: the IHH’s own website contains a tribute to Shamil Basayev, the Chechen terrorist responsible for the Beslan school siege, in which 350 people were murdered, including 186 children.
In January 2014, Turkish counter-terrorism police raided the offices of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a leading Turkish charity, as part of a wider operation against operatives accused of links to Al Qaeda. One employee of the charity was detained and a large amount of electronic data was seized.
The IHH has given the Humanitarian forum over £6000 of donations per annum over the last few years.
Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation
The Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation (also known as the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, and by several other names) was established by order of former Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on 5 March 1979. Its leaders report directly to the current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. According to Iranian dissidents, the Foundation is coordinated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) elite Qods Force for the purposes of indoctrination and recruitment into the Iranian intelligence services. The American Enterprise Institute has written that the Foundation’s “offices in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, and the Comoros Islands likely provide cover for IRGC operations,” while the Foundation’s Lebanese branch is designated as a terrorist entity by the US Treasury Department for its role in helping to “fund and operate Hezbollah youth training camps” in Lebanon.
World Assembly for Muslim Youth (WAMY)
WAMY, founded in 1972, is a Saudi youth organization that US government agencies and officials claim has helped spread Islamic extremism around the world and has sponsored terrorism in places such as Bosnia and Israel.
The Saudi Government funds WAMY. The US Government has accused the organization of having links to Bin Laden. WAMY was named in the lawsuit filed by the survivors of the victims of September 11, who accused the group of supporting al-Qaeda. Further, law enforcement officials in India and the Philippines have also accused WAMY of financing terrorism in their countries. In 2003, Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin thanked the World Assembly for their continued financial support.
Ali al-Ahmed, a Saudi Arabian commentator who is the executive director of the Saudi Institute, said in an interview in March 2004 that WAMY is not only deeply anti-Semitic, but also anti-Shia.
WAMY has a long history of producing extreme anti-Semitism and anti-Shia publications.
WAMY distributed the booklet The Difference Between The Shiites and the Majority of Muslim Scholars in both English and Arabic. The booklet claims that Jews conspired to create division within Islam, and planted the “Jewish ideas” which became Shi’a Islam. The author claims: “The Jewish conspiracy (among others), represented by Abdullah Bin Sabaa, first influenced Muslims who were less knowledgeable about Islam and later on, spread to the rest of the Muslim community.”
Another book: A Muslim’s Relations with Non-Muslims, Enmity or Friendship, authored in Arabic by Dr. Abdulla Al-Tarekee, is also distributed by WAMY, and claims,
“The unbelievers, idolaters, and others like them must be hated and despised… We must stay away from them and create barriers between us and them.” (page 28)
“Qur’an forbade taking Jews and Christians as friends, and that applies to every Jew and Christian, with no consideration as to whether they are at war with Islam or not.” (page 37)
Islamic Views is an Arabic language book produced by WAMY and printed by the Saudi Government’s Armed Forces Printing Press. Under the heading ‘The Prophet asks for Jihad’, Islamic Views states:
“The Prophet Mohammad fought against the infidels and the Jews till he triumphed over them and conducted himself about twenty invasions and he sent tens of regiments led by his companions for Jihad…Damn from Allah to the Jews who made graves of their prophets as Masjid.”
In 2011, WAMY gave the Humanitarian forum over £6000.
Oxfam, in collaboration with the East London Mosque, organized an exhibiton on the 17th January 2014 titled: ‘Gaza: Through my Eyes’, with Ibrahim Hewitt, a trustee of Hamas-linked Interpal who has called for the killing of homosexuals. The event as due to take place in the East London Mosque, which a number of critics consider to one of the most extreme platforms of hatred in Europe.
After considerable pressure was applied by Stand for Peace and Left Foot Forward, the event was cancelled. Oxfam, however, could not have been unaware of their prospective partners’ associations, which have been comprehensively documented before.
Ibrahim Hewitt has referred to the “so-called Holocaust”, [Blood on the Holy Land: Report on the Visit by a Delegation of British Muslims to Occupied Palestine]. Further, in a pamphlet written by Hewitt, he advocates the killing of apostates and adulterers, and demands that homosexuals suffer “severe punishments” for their “great sin”. [ Ibrahim Hewitt, What does Islam Say?, The Muslim Educational Trust, April 2004 ]
International Islamic Charitable Organisation (IICO)
The Kuwait-based International Islamic Charitable Organisation is, accoridng to a leaked CIA report, a key supporter of terrorism. The Global Muslim Brotherhood Watch publication notes that as late as 2008, the IICO branch in the USA was registered to the same address in Virginia as the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), an important part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. In 2008, directors and advisors of IIIT attended a general Assembly meeting of the IICO.
The IICO lists a number of terror-association groups as its partners, such as the Muslim World League (MWL), a Saudi-based international organisation that promotes a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the MWL has provided financial support to a considerable number of terrorist organisations, including Hamas, the Abu Sayyaf group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Jemaah Islamiyya and al-Qaeda. In 2008, the MWL organised an “interfaith” conference at which a number of extreme anti-Semitic speakers were present, including Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who told the conference that he would “never sit with a Jew on one platform”.
Other IICO partners include the World Islamic Council for Dawah and Relief, and Egyptian umbrella group for Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda-linked groups; and the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, a designated terrorist entity in the USA.
IICO board members include the ‘spiritual leader’ of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf Qaradawi, who, in 2009, expressed gratitude for Hitler having “managed to put Jews in their place . . . Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the (Muslim) believers.”
Qatar Red Crescent
In June 2013, the Lebanese army apprehended a Jordanian national with “ties to radical jihadi groups fighting in Syria”. The man “confessed to providing armed groups in Syria with cash and weapons”.
According to the Al Akhbar newspaper, the suspect confessed to receiving around $2.2 million from Khaled Diab, a Qatar Red Crescent official. He was then to hand the money over to a Lebanese cleric, who helped acquire 30 RPG launchers for $900,000 and 300 shells for $300,000, which were then transferred to Syria.
Qatar Charitable Foundation (a.k.a Qatar Charity)
The Qatar Charity is the largest charitable organization in Qatar. In 1993 Osama bin Laden named the charity as one of several groups used to fund al Qaeda’s overseas operations. In 1995, after a failed attempt by al Qaeda operatives to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Bin Laden complained that Qatar Charitable Society funds had been used in that operation and that he was concerned that al Qaeda’s abilities to use charities to fund operations might be compromised as a result. Qatar Charity is also accused of funding Chechen Islamists and the Bangladeshi jihadist organization Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
The Qatar Charity is operated in northern Mali when it was overrun by Islamist groups, including al Qaeda’s affiliate in North Africa. The Washington Institute notes [emphasis added]:
These jihadists were not only well armed, but also well funded: The U.N. news agency IRIN reported in October that displaced Malians were risking a return to the north because of economic opportunities. The Islamist groups, the report stated, “removed taxes on many basic goods, say traders in the region, provide erratic electricity and water services at no charge, and have fixed the price of some basic foods.”
Qatar Charity was part of that mix in Gao, one of the Malian cities that fell under Islamist control. IRIN reported that 35-year-old Moussa Toure returned to Gao, where Qatar Charity paid him twice the salary that he made previously. Because of such efforts, Maliweb, an independent Malian news source based in the United States, accused Qatar Charity of being a major financier of “the terrorists in northern Mali.” Although Qatar Charity has its defenders, the focus of its charitable efforts and the manner in which they coincided with Islamist attempts to bolster the economy provide reasons for suspicion.
The few remaining members of the advisory group without reported links to terror include the Red Cross (which gave the Humanitarian Forum £30,000 in 2012), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Britain’s Department for International Development.
Dr. Hani El-Banna, the co-founder of Islamic Relief, is the founder and President of the Humanitarian Forum. Banna was formerly a trustee of Muslim Aid, a London-based charity which was previously a “partner organization” of the Al-Salah Islamic Association. The U.S. Government has officially designated Al Salah a terrorist entity. A number of Bangladeshi commentators have accused Muslim Aid of funding the violent Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami, while El-Banna was involved.
In an interview with Emel magazine, El-Banna expressed his admiration for Islamist figures Hassan al-Banna (no relation) and Sayed Qutb, the ideological founders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qutb famously authored a pamphlet entitled ‘Our Struggle with the Jews’ – an anti-Semitic tract described by the New York Review of Books “as extreme as Hitler’s.”
Abdul Wahab Noorwali, another key IRW official, is another trustee of the Humanitarian Forum. Noorwali is also the Assistant Secretary General of the aforementioned anti-Semitic, anti-Shia and pro-terror World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a position he has held for the last 12 years. Noorwali was involved with the distribution of WAMY’s publications.
In an interview with Middle East Newsfile, Noorwali said:
“Saudi Arabia’s support has been enormous since the establishment of WAMY in 1963. The Kingdom provides us with a supportive environment that allows us to work openly within the society to collect funds and spread activities. It also provides us with protection abroad through Saudi embassies and consulates, in addition to financial support.”
Another trustee at the Humanitarian Forum is Huseyin Oruc, who is also a representative of the Turkish charity IHH. The IHH helped to organize the Gaza flotilla and has been designated a terrorist organization by the Dutch Government. In 2012, Oruc helped to organize a protest movement called the Global March to Jerusalem, which was backed by a number of key Hamas individuals and organizations.
Sulaiman Shamsaldeen and Ibrahim Hassaballa are also trustees of the Humanitarian Forum, and both have been Director Generals of the International Islamic Charitable Organisation. As mentioned above, US security services have accused this Kuwait-based charity of being a key financial supporter of terrorism.