Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), a charity based in the United Kingdom, is complaining that counter-terrorism regulations have compelled the British bank UBS to close its account and to block its customers from donating to IRW. As ClarionProject.org reported, IRW has strong Islamist links and its CEO, Abed Ayoub, has served as an adviser to the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.
IRW says that UBS is acting out of a fear of being fined by the British government. It mentions that its main bank, Barclays, was fined for its business in Iran and Sudan. IRW’s finance director, Haroun Atallah, warned that these counter-terrorism regulations will “increase the risks of radicalization” and act as a “recruiting sergeant” for terrorist groups, repeating a theme commonly used by Islamists under scrutiny.
In 2006, the Israeli government arrested IRW’s project coordinator for its Gaza office for allegedly funneling money to Hamas. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’ ideology among the Palestinian population.”
IRW has an American branch called Islamic Relief USA that also has strong Islamist connections. Its fundraisers regularly featured incendiary Islamists. Americans for Peace and Tolerance first noticed that IRUSA’s president and chairman of the board, Mohamed Amr Attawia, was listed as the New England director of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood in a 1991 phone directory.
Shockingly, IRUSA has been publicly embraced by the Obama Administration. IRUSA CEO Abed Ayoub, who is also a governance committee member of IRW, joined the State Department’s Working Group on Religion and Foreign Policy in November 2011. He has also been a part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid since April 2010. The group’s website has two pictures of Ayoub with Vice President Biden.
Click here for ClarionProject.org’s entire report on Islamic Relief USA.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org's National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.