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Qatar ‘Charity’ Linked to Terror Funding Hires U.S. Lobbyists

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A “charity” foundation linked to the funding of Hamas, Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations has hired a lobby group with connections to Congress.

The Belew Law Group is now registered to lobby for the Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammed al-Thani Charitable Foundation, a Qatari charity that was banned by Israel in 2008 for financing Hamas.  The Washington Post notes the U.S. named the foundation’s founder, Abd Al-Rahman al-Nuaimi, a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” for funneling millions of dollars to Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria and providing communications for Al-Qaeda.

The U.S. designated Hamas as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997.

The Belew group’s head, Wendell Belew, was employed for 10 years as the chief counsel to the House Budget Committee from 1976-86. The Belew group previously represented the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation (AHIF), a Saudi-Arabian charity that provided financing to Al Qaeda.

AHIF, which is no longer functioning, funded a number of groups that funneled money to terrorists including a suspect in the 2002 bombing of a hotel in Kenya and the the Al Qaeda cell responsible for the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassies in East Africa.  The charity, in its day, also had branches in Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania and Pakistan.

The phenomenon of terror groups hiring U.S. lobbying firms is not new. The Raben Group, for example, worked for Islamic Relief Worldwide which has been linked to the providing of financial aid to Hamas. Brown Lloyd James represented Muammar Gaddafi as well as Ama Assad, the wife of Syrian President Bashar, who facilitated a glowing interview for her with Vogue magazine at the same time as her husband brutally suppressed anti-government protesters.

The PR firm“liaised between the Office of the First Lady and the Vogue editorial team on the scheduling of interviews and photo shoots," according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org