Many Islamic charities in the United States and around the world have been shut down for funding terrorism, including what was once the largest Islamic charity in the United States, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), as well as the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF), and many others. This is because the charitable giving required of Muslims, zakat, can be given to fund jihad, a meritorious activity according to Islamic law.
When Qatar’s royal family was looking for advice on charitable giving, it turned to a well-regarded professor named Abd al-Rahman al-Nu”aymi. The 59-year-old educator had a stellar rÃ©sumÃ© that included extensive fundraising experience and years of work with international human rights groups.
But one apparent accomplishment was omitted from the list: According to U.S. officials, Nu”aymi also was working secretly as a financier for al-Qaeda, funneling millions of dollars to the terrorist group’s affiliates in Syria and Iraq even as he led campaigns in Europe for greater freedoms for Muslims.
While working as fundraisers and activists, gulf officials funneled money to terrorists, officials say.
Nu”aymi was one of two men identified by Treasury Department officials last week as major financial backers of al-Qaeda and its regional chapters across the Middle East. Although U.S. officials routinely announce steps to disrupt terrorist financing networks, the individuals named in the latest case are far from ordinary. Both men have served as advisers to government-backed foundations in Qatar and have held high-profile positions with international human rights groups. The second man, a Yemeni, is heavily involved in his country”s U.S.-backed political transition.
Their alleged dual roles “” promoting humanitarian causes and civil rights while simultaneously supporting extremist groups “” reflect a growing challenge for counterterrorism officials attempting to monitor the torrents of cash flowing to Islamist rebel groups in Syria, current and former U.S. officials say….