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Senate inquiry finds that Obama administrator knowingly funded al-Qaida branch

The non-profit humanitarian agency World Vision United States improperly agreed with the Islamic Enlightenment Agency (ISRA) in 2014 with the approval of the Obama administration, and sent government money to an organization approved over its ties to terrorism, according to a new report. Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) recently released a report outlining the findings of an investigation his staff began in February 2019 into the relationship between World Vision and ISRA. The investigation found that World Vision was not aware that ISRA was. approved by the US since 2004 after drawing about $ 5 million from Maktab al-Khidamat, the predecessor of Al Qaeda, which is controlled by Osama Bid Laden. However, the ignorance was born out of inadequate investigative practices, the report reads: “World Vision works to help people in need around the world, and the work is admirable,” Grassley said in a statement. ‘Although it may not have known that ISRA was on the sanctions list or that it was listed because of its involvement in terrorism, it should have been. Ignorance cannot be sufficient as an excuse. World Vision’s changes in selection practices are a good first step, and I look forward to their continued progress. ‘The investigation was sparked by an article in National Review of July 2018 in which Sam Westrop, the director of the Islamic Guard of the Middle East Forum, outlined the MEFs. findings that the Obama administration approved a $ 200,000 allocation of taxpayers’ money to ISRA. Government officials specifically approved the release of “at least $ 115,000” of this grant, even after learning that it was a designated terrorist organization, Westrop wrote. According to the Senate, World Vision, the United Nations International Development Agency (USAID) has submitted a grant application to run its Blue Nile Recovery program on January 21, 2014. The proposed program sought to provide food security, sanitation equipment and health services. areas hit hard by conflict in the Blue Nile region in Sudan. USAID awarded World Vision a $ 723,405 grant for the program. The following month, ISRA agreed to provide humanitarian services to parts of the Blue Nile region for World Vision, according to the report. The two organizations also collaborated on several projects in 2013 and 2014. World Vision only discovered that ISRA was approved after discussing the Evangelical Humanitarian Nonprofit Cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on a separate humanitarian project in Sudan . In conducting a routine investigation of World Vision and its partners, IOM discovered the ISRA-sanctioned status and reached out to the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) compliance team to confirm it. Following the confirmation of OFAC, IOM accepted World Vision’s offer to co-operate, the Legal Division of World Vision was notified in September 2014 of the possible status of ISRA as a sanctioning entity and immediately made all payments to the organization discontinued while investigating. The non-profit organization sent a letter to OFAC on 19 November 2014, requesting clarification regarding the status of ISRA and requesting that, in the event that the ISRA obtains a temporary license, a temporary license be granted be to finalize the existing contract of the organizations. Two months later, the Treasury responded and confirmed that ISRA was being approved and denied the request for a license. to work with the organization because it would be ‘contrary to OFAC policy’. A month later, World Vision filed another request for a license to do business with ISRA to pay them $ 125,000 for services rendered, so that it does not face legal consequences and possible eviction from Sudan. On May 4, 2015, the Obama administration’s State Department recommended that OFAC grant World Vision’s request for the license to transact. The next day, OFAC granted the license to pay ISRA $ 125,000 for services rendered, and later sent a “warning letter” to the non-profit organization to make him aware that the collaboration with ISRA apparently violated the Global Terrorism Sanction Regulations. violated. investigates ‘found no evidence that World Vision deliberately sought to circumvent US sanctions by having a partnership with ISRA.’ “We also found no evidence that World Vision knew ISRA was an approved entity before receiving notification from the Treasury,” the report said. ‘On the basis of the evidence before us, however, we conclude that World Vision had access to the relevant public information and should have known how, but failed to do so, to properly ISRA as a sub-beneficiary to veterinarian which led to the transfer of US dollars from taxpayers to an organization with an extensive history of supporting terrorist organizations [sic] and terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden. The report calls World Vision’s system for awarding prospective sub-beneficiaries “boundlessly negligent” and says that the organization has “ignored investigative procedures at the elementary level. World Vision spent weeks after being informed by IOM of ISRA’s sanction status. examined the report and could not come to a conclusion and relied on ‘what can only be described as a flawed logic’, the report reads. The report accuses World Vision of trying to evade the blame, noting that IOM ISRA was able to quickly vet and determine their status as a sanction. “If World Vision had used the same due diligence and similar methods used by IOM, taxpayers would not have exchanged hands with an organization known to fund terrorist organizations,” he said. While World Vision has introduced additional screening methods, “the staff of the Finance Committee has reservations” about the ability to avoid similar situations in the future, the report said. “World Vision has a duty to ensure that funds raised by the U.S. government or donated by Americans do not ultimately support terrorist activities,” he says. ‘As far as this Committee in particular is concerned, World Vision’s attempt is to pass the blame on to the federal government for their own inability to properly veterinarian a subcontractor. A more robust and fundamentally sound system of display and investigation is needed to restore public confidence that contributions to World Vision do not fund illegal organizations. ‘ was used by ISRA for humanitarian purposes, and that money inevitably helps their terrorist activities, “it concludes. World Vision said in a statement that it” takes our compliance obligations seriously and shares Sen. Grassley and the purpose of the committee for good stewardship. ” We appreciate the recognition that the committee staff’s report to the chairman ‘found no evidence that World Vision knew ISRA was a sanction before it was received by the treasury,’ ‘he said. “Terrorism is contrary to everything that World Vision stands for as an organization and we strongly condemn any act of terrorism or support for such activities.”