A new report released on Wednesday revealed that the Obama administration knowingly provided an Islamic terrorist-financing organization with hundreds of thousands of dollars despite the fact that the group had been designated as a terrorist-financing organization for a decade by the U.S. government.
Obama officials approved the release of well over $100,000 even after they were informed that the Khartoum-based Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA) was affiliated with Osama bin Laden and Maktab al-Khidamat (MK), which eventually became al-Qaeda.
ISRA, also referred to as the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), received a $200,000 taxpayer-funded grant from the Obama administration, which released at least $115,000 to the terrorist-financing organization. National Review reports:
According to the U.S. Treasury, in 1997 ISRA established formal cooperation with MK. By 2000, ISRA had raised $5 million for bin Laden’s group. The Treasury Department notes that ISRA officials even sought to help “relocate [bin Laden] to secure safe harbor for him.” It further reports that ISRA raised funds in 2003 in Western Europe specifically earmarked for Hamas suicide bombings.
The 2004 designation included all of ISRA’s branches, including a U.S. office called the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA-USA). Eventually it became known that this American branch had illegally transferred over $1.2 million to Iraqi insurgents and other terror groups, including, reportedly, the Afghan terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
National Review notes that in July 2014 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) approved $723,405 of U.S. taxpayer funds to go to World Vision Inc., and that out of that money, “$200,000 was to be directed to a sub-grantee: ISRA.”
World Vision had informed the USAID in 2014 that ISRA was on the designated terrorist organization list and subsequently had to wait for an assessment from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before they could receive the money.
OFAC confirmed in January 2015 that ISRA was a designated terrorist organization and rejected World Vision from obtaining “a license to engage in transactions with [ISRA].” National Review adds:
Despite OFAC’s ruling, in February, World Vision wrote to OFAC and Obama-administration official Jeremy Konyndyk (who then served as director of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance) to apply to OFAC for a new license from USAID to pay ISRA “monies owed for work performed.” According to Larry Meserve, USAID’s mission director for Sudan, World Vision argued that if they did not pay ISRA, “their whole program will be jeopardized.”…
…Then, incredibly, on May 7, 2015 — after “close collaboration and consultations with the Department of State” — OFAC issued a license to a World Vision affiliate, World Vision International, authorizing “a one-time transfer of approximately $125,000 to ISRA,” of which “$115,000 was for services performed under the sub-award with USAID” and $10,000 was “for an unrelated funding arrangement between Irish Aid and World Vision.”
While the Trump administration has focused on destroying Islamic terrorism, those groups thrived under the Obama administration.
“[In 2014], when the U.S. first began its campaign against the terror group, ISIS had a presence in seven countries,” The Hill reported in 2016. “That figure rose to 13 in 2015, and today the White House document shows that ISIS is operating in 18 countries.”
The Obama administration also killed a massive investigation into Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Islamic terrorist group, allowing them to “become one of the biggest transnational organized crime groups in the world,” veteran DEA supervisory agent Jack Kelly told Politico.
Obama tried to downplay his failure to contain terrorism by claiming that under his administration, “the number of terrorist incidents [had] not substantially increased.”
Left-leaning Politifact rated Obama’s statement as “mostly false.”