Another Muslim “charity” in hot water. We’ll see just how “transparent” the new organization will be, but I don’t tend to put much stock in what Al-Jubeir says. From Reuters, with thanks to Nicolei:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia on Wednesday said it was dissolving a Riyadh-based charity suspected of funding al Qaeda and will fold its assets into a new group that will channel all Saudi charitable contributions abroad.
In addition to winding down the Riyadh-based Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Saudi and U.S. officials said they would seek to block the assets of its local branches in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and the Netherlands.
The steps are designed to ensure Saudi charitable funds, which U.S. officials have long believed have helped to fund “terrorist” groups, do not get into the hands of militants.
Saudi Arabia has long practiced appeasement with terrorist groups but attacks within Saudi Arabia itself may shake up that unofficial policy.
U.S. and Saudi officials said the new entity — the Saudi National Commission for Relief and Charity Work Abroad — would help keep charitable donations out of the wrong hands.
“We do this in order to ensure that the charity of our citizens goes to those who need it and that we know where funds go when they leave Saudi Arabia,” Adel Al-Jubeir, an adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, said at a news conference.
Jubeir said the new entity would operate with transparency and provide quarterly reports on how funds are spent. …
Jubeir said at its peak Al-Haramain raised $40 million to $50 million a year and he roughly estimated the new entity that will funnel all Saudi charity abroad could raise $100 million a year, spiking higher when there are natural disasters.
To block their assets, Washington added the Al-Haramain affiliates in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and the Netherlands to its list of people or groups believed to have committed, threatened or supported “terrorism.”