What About That Points of Light Grant to ‘Terrorists’?

by Eliana Johnson

Over on the homepage, I have a piece about what appears to be Michelle Nunn’s campaign plan, which was posted online — I assume unintentionally — several months ago.

The document assesses Nunn’s vulnerabilities, among them grants that the Points of Light Foundation, for which she has served as CEO since 2007, has made to “terrorists.”

On Nunn’s watch, the Points of Light Foundation has given a total of over $33,000 to Islamic Relief USA, a charity that says its goal is alleviating “hunger, illiteracy, and diseases worldwide.” Islamic Relief USA is part of a network of charities that operates under the umbrella of Islamic Relief Worldwide: On its website, it says that it is a legally separate entity from its parent organization, but that they share a “vision, mission, and family identity.”

Their ties are closer than that, though: Ryan Mauro at the Clarion Project noted several months ago that Islamic Relief USA administers grants with Islamic Relief Worldwide. The organization’s 2008 financial report says that “the majority” of Islamic Relief USA’s charitable programs are “administered through approved and monitored grants with Islamic Relief Worldwide.” Islamic Relief USA’s 2009 financial report shows that it incurred over $20 million in grant expenses in collaboration with Islamic Relief Worldwide; in 2010 the number rose to nearly $22 million.

What does that matter? Because Islamic Relief Worldwide has close ties to Hamas, which the U.S. and many other Western countries have designated as a terrorist organization. In June, Israel banned Islamic Relief Worldwide from operating in the country because, according to Israeli officials, it was funneling cash to Hamas. In 2006, they arrested Islamic Relief Worldwide’s Gaza coordinator, Ayaz Ali. He’d been working to transfer funds and supplies to Hamas. Ali also admitted to cooperating with local Hamas operatives while working in Jordan. On his computer, Israeli officials found photographs of “swastikas superimposed on IDF symbols,” and of Nazi officials, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

In my piece, I detail some of Islamic Relief Worldwide’s ties to Islamic Jihad, another terror group.

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