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The Terror Finance Flotilla
Weekly Standard ^ | May 31, 2010 4:20 PM | BY JONATHAN SCHANZER

Posted on 05/31/2010 5:39:39 PM PDT by Ooh-Ah

The convoy of ships allegedly trying to bring aid to the Gaza Strip was organized by a group belonging to an officially designated terrorist organization.

The Turkish organizers of the Gaza Strip-bound flotilla that was boarded this morning by Israeli commandos knew well in advance that their vessels would never reach Israeli waters. That's because the organizers belong to a nonprofit that was banned by the Israeli government in July 2008 for its ties to terrorism finance.

The Turkish IHH (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi in Turkish) was founded in 1992, and reportedly popped up on the CIA's radar in 1996 for its radical Islamist leanings. Like many other Islamist charities, the IHH has a record of providing relief to areas where disaster has struck in the Muslim world.

However, the organization is not a force for good. The Turkish nonprofit belongs to a Saudi-based umbrella organization known to finance terrorism called the Union of Good (Ittilaf al-Kheir in Arabic). Notably, the Union is chaired by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who is known best for his religious ruling that encourages suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. According to one report, Qardawi personally transferred millions of dollars to the Union in an effort to provide financial support to Hamas.

In 2008, the Israelis banned IHH, along with 35 other Islamist charities worldwide, for its ties to the Union of Good. This was a follow-on designation; Israelis first blocked the Union of Good from operating in the West Bank and Gaza in 2002.

Interestingly, the Union of Good may not only be tied to Hamas. Included in the Israeli list of 36 designees was the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO). In 2006, both the U.S. government and the United Nations designated the IIRO branch offices in Indonesia and the Philippines for financing al Qaeda. French magistrate Jean-Louis Brougiere also testified that IHH had an "important role" in Ahmed Ressam's failed "millennium plot" to bomb the Los Angeles airport in late 1999.

The U.S. government, it should be noted, also views the Union of Good as a terrorist organization. On November 12, 2008, a press release from the U.S. Treasury announced the umbrella group's leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT), stating that the group was "created by Hamas leadership to transfer funds to the terrorist organization."

"Terrorist groups such as Hamas continue to exploit charities to radicalize vulnerable communities and cultivate support for their violent activities," said Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey.

According to Treasury, Hamas's leadership actually created the Union of Good in 2000—just after the launch of the armed campaign against Israel—as a means to transfer funds to Hamas. At the time of designation in 2008, the Treasury believed that the Union of Good was transferring "tens of millions of dollars a year" to Hamas-controlled entities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

As the Treasury release explained, "The Union of Good acts as a broker for Hamas by facilitating financial transfers between a web of charitable organizations—including several organizations previously designated… for providing support to Hamas—and Hamas-controlled organizations in the West Bank and Gaza. The primary purpose of this activity is to strengthen Hamas' political and military position in the West Bank and Gaza."

It gets worse. The Treasury, drawing from declassified documents, stated unequivocally that the Union of Good "compensated Hamas terrorists by providing payments to the families of suicide bombers. One of [the charities], the Al-Salah Society, previously identified as a key support node for Hamas, was designated in August 2007... The Society employed a number of members of the Hamas military wing and supported Hamas-affiliated combatants during the first Intifada."

Then there's the leadership. Apart from the aforementioned Qardawi, Union of Good's top officials include Hamas members, as well as Yemeni national Abd al-Majid al-Zindani, who was designated by the U.S. Treasury as a terrorist in 2004 for providing support to al Qaeda.

Thus, the convoy of ships allegedly trying to bring aid to the Gaza Strip could never be characterized as a "peace flotilla." With ties to Hamas and other dangerous groups, the IHH can only be described as a dangerous organization. Its members only underscored this fact when they attacked Israeli naval personnel with iron bars and knives, ultimately leading to the regrettable deaths this morning on the Mediterranean Sea.

Jonathan Schanzer is a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Israel; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: antisemite; antisemitism; antizionism; flotilla; gaza; islamofascism; israel; leftistantisemitism; liberalantisemitism; obamahatesjews; propalestinianwar; turkey; waronterror

1 posted on 05/31/2010 5:39:39 PM PDT by Ooh-Ah
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To: Ooh-Ah

It does not matter. It will never matter. It is too late. Israel probably handled this in the wrong way. It is what it is. Public opinion has been formed.


2 posted on 05/31/2010 5:53:25 PM PDT by silentknight
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To: Ooh-Ah

GOD BLESS ISRAEL and all who are rightous that stand with Israel!. Israeli Flag Pictures, Images and Photos
3 posted on 05/31/2010 5:54:01 PM PDT by ncfool (The new USSA - United Socialst States of AmeriKa. Welcome to Obummers world.)
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To: Ooh-Ah

Guess these then are enemy combatants.

Three Bay Area residents in flotilla raided by Israelis are unharmed (California Activists)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2524893/posts


4 posted on 05/31/2010 5:59:21 PM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: ncfool
Amen!

Israel has got to do what must be done to survive.

No nation in history has failed to resist attack by mortal enemies, due to fear of disapproval by nations who have nothing to lose, and lived to tell about it.

5 posted on 05/31/2010 6:05:03 PM PDT by Publius6961 (10% of muslims, the killer murdering radicals, are "only" 140,000,000 of 'em)
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To: Ooh-Ah

As a proud American and Christian I will always stand with Israel. Israel’s enemies will be the ones destroyed. If Israel wasn’t scared of public opinion it should’ve taken care of the whole flotilla. People who support Arab terrorists don’t deserve to live.


6 posted on 05/31/2010 6:16:38 PM PDT by citizenredstater9271
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To: Ooh-Ah

You can let the Turkish government know what you think of their sponsorship of this flotilla by emailing contact@turkishembassy.org...they are not taking phone calls...


7 posted on 05/31/2010 6:56:53 PM PDT by dunblak
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To: Ooh-Ah; All

I thought the whole thing was a set-up .. a ploy to get Israel to shoot at them .. and I was right .. because within moments the Turks were complaining to the UN that Israel had committed an act of “terror”.

But .. even on FOX, the reporter had video of the flotilla BEATING THE ISRAELI SOLDIERS. The flotilla came armed just like Israel knew they would; and then ended up stealing the side arms of the soldiers and used them against the soldiers. The flotilla also came armed with KNIVES and several of the soldiers were stabbed several times.


8 posted on 05/31/2010 7:34:56 PM PDT by The Final Harvest (God Bless Our Troops Who Have Given the Ultimate Sacrifice!)
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To: Ooh-Ah

I just found this little jewel:

http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/05/figures-obamas-pal-bill-ayers-top-bundler-jodie-evans-are-top-activists-in-gaza-flotilla-group/

Someone please post it....as I SUCK at threads. Thanks!


9 posted on 05/31/2010 7:45:47 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (I don't have a 'Cousin Pookie'.)
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To: Ooh-Ah

10 posted on 05/31/2010 8:57:58 PM PDT by M. Espinola (Freedom is never "free")
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To: Ooh-Ah

“peace flotilla.” With ties to Hamas and other dangerous groups..... Its members only underscored this fact when they attacked Israeli naval personnel with iron bars and knives,....”

This hardly passes a smell test from the get-go, and looks a lot more like a “peaceful” provocation to draw Israel into a response in which the media message will be to its detriment. Just like civil disobedience was exploited in the 60’s. Pretty grandiose copy-cat sting, these clever Palis are sure diverting a lot of energy into anything but forming a stable governance for their people.


11 posted on 05/31/2010 10:47:22 PM PDT by corvus
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To: SJackson; Nachum

PING


12 posted on 06/01/2010 7:47:50 AM PDT by Ooh-Ah
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To: RushIsMyTeddyBear

So Obama’s buddies are in on it. I am not surprised.

This should be major news by now.


13 posted on 06/01/2010 7:57:33 AM PDT by dforest
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