Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Funding Terrorism | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Whenever a terrorist group is caught in any Arab country, we soon discover that this group had the privilege of large amounts of money to their name. This requires for the identification of the sources that fund terrorism and that there be a stop to these means of funding terrorism. The first important step would be official supervision through accredited accountable authorities of charitable organizations around the world. We cannot deny the benevolent role that such organizations carry out however; we cannot allow and risk these organizations to be penetrated by terrorists. In addition, I believe that it would cause no harm to such associations to be supervised as long as they are charitable and not political. In fact, associations that resist official supervision risk arousing suspicion from others.

Charity work in Arab countries should be supervised. All efforts should be exerted stating the basic rule that charity is to be directed primarily at the natives of that country as millions of dollars is donated to distant countries whilst poverty continues under our noses, especially amongst modest families.

We all remember during the so-called “Afghan Jihad” that millions of dollars were spent by the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on certain authorities that had connections with some groups in the Gulf region. Some of these Afghan authorities had already been suspected as they were affiliated to international terrorist groups. I can even recall statements made by some Gulf ambassadors in Pakistan at the time who welcomed a delegation from a Gulf charity organization that brought with it two million dollars in sacks for an Afghan group that was led by an alleged drug dealer!

In Iraq, there is organized recruitment for mercenaries by terrorist groups, the main aim of which is the denouncing of others as infidels. Some of the mercenaries who have been arrested have admitted that they transported weapons and explosive-laden vehicles for large sums of money in return and this is another reason that charity funding should be monitored so that it will not be used for terrorism and sabotage.

There is an ethical justification for the supervision of collecting funding and that is that people donate their money for humane reasons. Terrorist associations should never be allowed to exploit the kindness of some people to serve their own political goals.