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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Radical Islamists seek meeting with Treasury Secretary to demand unfreezing of Kind Hearts terror funds on "humanitarian grounds"

Radical Islamists seek meeting with Treasury Secretary to demand unfreezing of Kind Hearts terror funds on "humanitarian grounds"

February 28, 2006

MIM: The radical Islamist MO of brazening is epitomised by the Kind Hearts statement written by their lawyer Jihad Smaili (who happens to be the brother of KH founder and president and former GLF fundraiser Khalid Smaili , who admits their funding of Hamas - but dismisses it as 'a minor technical issue'.

"Other than being associated with Hamas pursuant to the above language,
the government has failed to officially allege anything else.."

In an even more perverse flight of fancy Smaili writes that Kind Hearts is "prepared to agree " to the distribution ofundswhich they earmarked for terrorism, and wants their employees, which presumably include KH director Khalid and Jihad Smaili KH's lawyer, and Zulfiqar Ali Shah the South Asia coordinator, to receive their salaries and use the money to fund their case against the government's closure of their Jihad enterprise!

In order to make the government appear to be villians who are withholding money from desperate Pakistanis Smaili suddenly becomes a philanthropic altruist and 'requests' that the funding go to earthquake victims, since it can no longer be used to fund terrorism!


"In accordance with its kindhearted nature, KindHearts ...is prepared to agree to
the distribution of the funds currently held by our Government, except
for those funds that will be expended on payment to employees for past
services provided and for upcoming legal fees, ...However, KindHearts requests that special consideration be
given to the refugees in the earthquake ravaged areas of Pakistan since
the overwhelming majority of frozen funds were earmarked for projects
therein..."

The South Asia coordinator of Kind Hearts, Zulfiqar Ali Shah, recently fundraised in the United States together with two members of Tablighi Jammat - a Muslim missionary group which is linked to Al Qaeda. The Muslim coalition is disingenuously seeking the release of the frozen funds and assets on "humanitarian grounds" claiming it is vital to Pakistani earthquake victims. Pakistan is not desperate for funding and turned down aid which was offered by Israel because it did not want to be seen taking money from Jews. It was also widely reported that earthquake funding was not only being appropriated by terror groups, but that such groups were heavily involved in "relief" efforts . The United States protested to Pakistan - since they did not want to be working side by side with radical Islamists, nor give them the ability to funnel funds and supplies to their cohorts. In one instance which was documented by the BBC, clerics obstructed food distribution to Muslims who were trapped in mountain villages in the days following the earthquake, because they objected to them being given food during the fast of Ramadan

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Sent:
Tuesday, February 28, 2006 1:03 PM Subject: ISLAM-INFONET: Muslim Coalition Seeks Treasury Meeting on Charity Closures
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MUSLIM COALITION SEEKS TREASURY MEETING ON CHARITY CLOSURES
Treasury secretary asked to address concerns about due process

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/28/06) - The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a coalition of national Muslim organizations,* wrote today to Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snow to request a meeting to discuss growing concerns "about the continued targeting of Muslim charities without due process of law."

AMT's letter said government closures of Islamic charities, such as the recent shutdown of Ohio-based KindHearts, have impaired the ability of American Muslims to carry out their religious obligation to help the needy in this country and overseas. The government froze KindHearts' assets, most of which were earmarked for earthquake relief in Pakistan and for KindHearts new South Asia Division.

KindHearts officials say they had no prior notice of the government's action, despite the fact that a U.S. Senate Finance Committee probe of U.S. Muslim charities, including KindHearts, ended without any charges or even allegations of wrongdoing.

SEE: Statement by KindHearts

SEE ALSO: Leaders Vigorously Rebut U.S. Allegations (Toledo Blade)

In its letter, AMT stated: "As leading American Muslim organizations, we note that although we understand the political climate of our country and support our government's efforts to thwart terrorist financing; we find it unfair that our government has yet made another extrajudicial decision to effectively wipe-out more than five years of humanitarian assistance to the world's needy by the mere stroke of a pen. The immediate effects of KindHearts' closure have already been felt in orphanages, schools, shelters, and medical centers around the world."

* The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), is an umbrella organization represented by the: American Muslim Alliance (AMA), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Student Association û National(MSA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), Project Islamic Hope (PIH), United Muslims of America (UMA)

- END -

CONTACT: Agha Saeed, 510-299-9313, E-Mail: aghaksaeed@yahoo.com

-----

gov/press/releases/js4058.htm

February 19, 2006
js-4058

Treasury Freezes Assets of Organization Tied to Hamas

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today blocked pending investigation accounts of KindHearts, an NGO operating out of Toledo, Ohio, to ensure the preservation of its assets pending further investigation.

"KindHearts is the progeny of Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, which attempted to mask their support for terrorism behind the façade of charitable giving," said Stuart Levey, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. "By utilizing this specialized designation tool, we're able to prevent asset flight in support of terrorist activities while we further investigate the activities of KindHearts."

This action was taken pursuant to E.O. 13224, which is aimed at denying financial and material support to terrorists and their facilitators.

Following the December 2001 asset freeze and law enforcement actions against the Hamas-affiliated Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) and the al Qaida-affiliated Global Relief Foundation (GRF), former GRF official Khaled Smaili established KindHearts from his residence in January 2002. Smaili founded KindHearts with the intent to succeed fundraising efforts of both HLF and GRF, aiming for the new NGO to fill a void caused by the closures. KindHearts leaders and fundraisers once held leadership or other positions with HLF and GRF.

Support to Hamas in Lebanon

KindHearts officials and fundraisers have coordinated with Hamas leaders and made contributions to Hamas-affiliated organizations. Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) Usama Hamdan, a leader of Hamas in Lebanon, reportedly phoned a top fundraiser for KindHearts during a September 2003 KindHearts fundraiser. During the call, Hamas leader Hamdan reportedly communicated to the fundraiser his gratitude for KindHearts' support. The KindHearts fundraiser reportedly also provided advice to Hamdan, telling him not to trust the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Information developed from abroad corroborates connections between KindHearts and Hamas in Lebanon. As of late December 2003, KindHearts was supporting Hamas and other Salafi groups in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Haytham Fawri was identified as a KindHearts official who reportedly collected funds and sent them to Hamas and other Salafi groups. Haytham Fawri is believed to be a reference to Haytham Maghawri, who has served as KindHearts' manager in Lebanon, and is one of a number of HLF officials indicted by a federal grand jury in Dallas, Texas on charges of providing material support to Hamas. From 1998 -2000, during his tenure as Social Services Director for the HLF, Maghawri approved fifty wire transfers by the HLF in the amount of $407,512 USD, to nine zakat committees identified as being owned, controlled, or directed by Hamas.

According to the information source from abroad, KindHearts began working secretly and independently in the camps in Lebanon after the closure of the offices of the Sanabil Association for Relief and Development (Sanabil), a Hamas-affiliated entity in Lebanon that was named an SDGT in August 2003. KindHearts reportedly attempted to maintain a distance from Hamas to avoid drawing attention to its support for the terrorist organization. In early 2003, KindHearts president Smaili complained that scrutiny by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials was making it almost impossible for KindHearts to assist Hamas.

Between July and December 2002, KindHearts sent more than $100,000 USD to the Lebanon-based SDGT Sanabil, according to information available to the U.S. Financial investigation revealed that between February 2003 and July 2003, KindHearts transferred over $150,000 USD to Sanabil. KindHearts deposited the funds into the same account used by HLF when it was providing funds to the Hamas-affiliated Sanabil, according to FBI analysis.

Support to Hamas in the West Bank

In addition to providing support to Hamas in Lebanon, KindHearts reportedly provides support to Hamas in the West Bank. An individual identified as integral to assisting KindHearts deliver aid to Palestinians in the West Bank, also reportedly was responsible for dividing money raised by KindHearts in the U.S to ensure that some funds went to Hamas. KindHearts founder and president Smaili told a Texas-based associate that his organization was raising funds to support the Palestinian Intifada.

Cooperation with U.S.-Based Hamas Leader

Mohammed El-Mezain, who coordinated KindHearts' fundraising, is a former HLF official indicted by a federal grand jury in Dallas, Texas on charges of providing material support to Hamas. Information indicates that SDGT Khalid Mishaal, Hamas' Secretary General based in Damascus, Syria, identified El-Mezain as the Hamas leader for the U.S. At the time, Mishaal advised that all financial contributions to Hamas from individuals in the U.S. should be channeled through El-Mezain.

Following the closure of HLF, U.S.-based Hamas leader El-Mezain transferred his fundraising skills to Kindhearts. El-Mezain assisted other KindHearts senior leaders in directing the coordination of KindHearts' fundraising strategy. During a 2003 Islamic conference, KindHearts leaders, including Smaili, met with El-Mezain to discuss KindHearts fundraisers. The leaders concluded that there would be only two fundraising dinners for KindHearts in September 2003 and thereafter, all fundraising efforts would target Friday prayers at mosques and Islamic centers throughout the U.S.

At a September 2003 KindHearts fundraising event, a KindHearts fundraiser spoke and encouraged the crowd to appreciate the efforts of the terrorist group Hizballah in supporting Hamas. The fundraiser then encouraged the crowd to give money and manpower as support against Israel. El-Mezain also spoke at this KindHearts fundraiser, encouraging people to donate to KindHearts.

In October 2003, El-Mezain spoke at an event held in Baton Rouge Louisiana where $500,000 was pledged. Though El-Mezain's speech reportedly focused almost entirely on raising funds for a new mosque in Baton Rouge, only a small amount was to be retained locally and the vast majority was to be sent to Hamas overseas.

Today's action freezes any assets KindHearts may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with the NGO.

-30-

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
Fax: 202-488-0833
E-mail: cair@cair-net.org
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

American Muslim News Briefs
Thursday, February 23, 2006

Statement by KindHearts

In the morning hours of Sunday, February 19, 2006, Federal Agents from
the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Bureau of Investigations,
seized the Headquarters Offices of KindHearts located in Toledo, Ohio.

Simultaneously with the seizure of the Office, Federal Agents went to
the homes of certain board members and a few employees and questioned
them with regards to KindHearts' operations in this Country and its
overseas offices.

Federal Agents also went to the home of KindHearts President Khaled
Smaili, where they served a search warrant and seized numerous items.
Khaled Smaili cooperated with the agents and answered all of their
questions after repeated request for the presence of his counsel was
denied.

Over One Million Dollars was seized from KindHearts' bank accounts. The
overwhelming majority of this amount was earmarked for earthquake
victims in Pakistan and for KindHearts new South Asia Division.

KindHearts had no prior notice to the Government action and was
surprised since only a few months ago the Senate Finance Committee,
chaired by Chuck Grassley, Republican from Iowa, had cleared KindHearts,
and 21 other Muslim organizations, from any wrongdoing. From the outset
of the Senate Finance Committee's commencement of investigation,
KindHearts made formal appeals for the opportunity to present its side
through testimony before the Committee. KindHearts further informed the
Committee that its books were open for review by the Committee at any
time. However, no invitation was extended.

After numerous requests from the Department of Treasury regarding the
specifics of its allegations against KindHearts, no information was
provided. The only accusation that KindHearts has been given notice of
is the following:

You are hereby notified that all property and interests in property of
Kindhearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development, Inc, including its
representative office and all other offices worldwide, are blocked
pending investigation into whether Kindhearts is subject to designation
pursuant to Executive Order 13224, issued by President Bush on September
23, 2001, for being controlled by, acting for or on behalf of, assisting
in or providing financial or material support to, and/or otherwise being
associated with Hamas.

Department of Treasury Letter authored by Director Robert W. Werner,
Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control, dated and served on Khaled
Smaili on Sunday, February 19, 2006.

In response to this general and vague accusation, KindHearts
unequivocally and completely denies that it was ever controlled, acted
for or on behalf of, assisted financially, provided any material support
to, or is associated in any way with Hamas. KindHearts goes further on
the record to state that it unequivocally and completely denies that it
was ever controlled, acted for or on behalf of, assisted financially,
provided any material support to, or is associated in any way with any
political entity, government, or any terrorist organization.

KindHearts reaffirms the goals and ideals of its Mission Statement and
states that it conducted itself throughout its existence with one
guiding mission in mind: to help alleviate the pain and suffering of any
and all needy individuals around the world through the generosity of its
donors, the kindness of its employees and volunteers, and through other
non governmental organizations.

Other than being associated with Hamas pursuant to the above language,
the government has failed to officially allege anything else. The
Government, has, however, made numerous statements to the media with
regards to information that the Government claims "links" KindHearts to
Hamas. KindHearts believes that these actions by the Government are
naked attempts to taint the general public's, and potential jurors',
opinion of KindHearts outside of the parameters of admissible evidence.
Although it is very difficult to address these allegations from the
media, KindHearts does state that it categorically denies that it has
ever violated any law, rule, regulation or standard of conduct set forth
by our Government.

In addition, KindHearts is hopeful that the Government will not resort
to its usual practice of hiding behind the veil of its own laws which
have questionable constitutional legitimacy, i.e. the use of secret
evidence and other extrajudicial mechanisms under the pretext of
national security pursuant to the USA PATRIOT Act. KindHearts only
requests that to which it is entitled to under our often envied
principles of freedom and democracy.

KindHearts notes that although it understands the political climate of
our Country, and our current Government's new stated policies on the
Middle East Peace Process, it finds it unfair that our Government made
an extrajudicial decision to effectively wipe-out more than 5 years of
humanitarian assistance to the world's needy by the stroke of a pen.
The immediate effects of KindHearts' closure have already been felt in
orphanages, schools, shelters and medical centers around the world.

In the early days of its existence, KindHearts reached out to the
Government and requested guidance with regards to entities and
individuals it can deal with without running afoul of the law. The
Government's response was to direct KindHearts to the Web listing of the
Office of Foreign Assets Control listing names of individuals/entities
that KindHearts could not deal with.=20

According to our Government's instruction, KindHearts was to check this
listing before dealing with any organization, entity, individual or
group. KindHearts put forth internal procedures for the implementation
of these oversight measures. KindHearts submits that it has never dealt
with any organization, entity, individual or group during anytime that
such organization, entity, individual or group was listed on the OFAC
Website.

KindHearts challenges the Government to present any evidence that would
establish otherwise. Subsequently, the Government issued Voluntary
Guidelines that were anything but practical or workable. That
notwithstanding, KindHearts developed internal checks and balances and
adopted the Voluntary Guidelines in its everyday business. The same was
the result when the Government recently updated/amended those
guidelines. Again, KindHearts challenges the Government to present any
evidence that KindHearts violated any of these even voluntary
guidelines.

It becomes increasingly clear that KindHearts has become yet another
victim of our overzealous government in a long line of Muslim
organizations that have suffered the same fate. At the end of the day,
unfortunately, the Government will do what the Government wants to do.

In accordance with its kindhearted nature, KindHearts hereby proposes to
the Government the following in an attempt to minimize the effects of
the Government's action on those victims around the word that count on
KindHearts for their everyday needs: KindHearts is prepared to agree to
the distribution of the funds currently held by our Government, except
for those funds that will be expended on payment to employees for past
services provided and for upcoming legal fees, to be spent under the
auspices and administration of the USAID Program (of which KindHearts is
a member) or any other NGO (United Nations, Red Crescent, etc.) on
KindHearts programs, or any other humanitarian program that it deems
justified. However, KindHearts requests that special consideration be
given to the refugees in the earthquake ravaged areas of Pakistan since
the overwhelming majority of frozen funds were earmarked for projects
therein.

Jihad M. Smaili, Esq.
Jihad M. Smaili, Esq., L.L.C.
South Wing, Western Reserve Building
1468 West 9th Street, Suite 330
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
(216) 685.9500
(216) 685.9685 (facsimile)
www.smaililaw.com
www.smaililawfirm.com

----------------

MIM: Straight out of the Islamist playbook: Charity as front for terror funding: MAS director Mahdi Bray tells the "poor American Muslims" that the Satanic American government is taking their 'charitable' donations and 'violating their Constitutional rights'.

Dear brothers and sisters; your government is stealing from poor American Muslims and calling it a war on terrorism. They are violating your Constitutional rights and calling it the spread of democracy. Is it not your duty to God and country to break the silence? Now is the time to speak.

http://www.masnet.org/takeaction.asp?id=3225

KindHearts Vs. Hardhearts

Date Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2006


From the Desk of the Director

By Mahdi Bray, Executive Director, MAS Freedom Foundation


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful

February 28, 2006

KINDHEARTS VS. HARDHEARTS

A Case of Religious Freedom and Theft

The recent government closure and freezing of assets of Kind Hearts, a Muslim Ohio-based charity, is yet another encroachment on the religious freedom of American Muslims by its own government. U.S. law enforcement officials say they have frozen Kind Hearts' assets because the organization allegedly has connections to Hamas, which has been designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization.

Let's get a few things straight. Firstly, the act of giving charity (Zakat) is more than simply a commendable action; it is the fourth of five pillars of the Islamic faith. Secondly, when you freeze the assets of Muslim charities for alleged criminal activities without providing lawful means to dispense those assets to intended recipients, you violate the First Amendment rights of American Muslims who donated the money. Let's be clear: the money we give to charities to assist the needy is mandated by our lord Allah (SWT).

Thus, the government freezing of these funds without allowing a lawful fiduciary process for their transfer, violates the principle of freedom of religion as guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. American Muslims do not give Zakat to support terrorism and criminal activities. They give it to alleviate the suffering of the poor, orphans and widows, those who suffer from sickness, and for the victims of catastrophic disasters.

The investigation of Muslim charities, which is highly politically motivated, should not impede a lawful transfer of funds to those recipients for whom Muslims donated the money in the first place. The government breaches our constitutional rights when it stops our religious obligation of Zakat from reaching its source. It is high time that Muslims stop being so complacent about their charitable religious responsibilities.

Let's call a spade a spade. The government interruption of Muslim charitable giving, and their refusal to release the funds to the needy, while claiming such activities are being investigated for terrorist ties, are not just unacceptable; they're illegal. Even more despicable is taking money from starving women and children, the elderly, the sick and the destitute. As Allah said in the Holy Qu'ran, "Woe to those who are neglectful of their prayer and want only to be seen of men and refuse to provide the neighborly deeds."

Dear brothers and sisters; your government is stealing from poor American Muslims and calling it a war on terrorism. They are violating your Constitutional rights and calling it the spread of democracy. Is it not your duty to God and country to break the silence? Now is the time to speak.

The Freedom Foundation is the public affairs arm of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a national grassroots religious, social, and educational organization. MAS is America's largest grassroots Muslim organization with over 50 chapters nationwide. Learn more at www.masnet.org. Support our work at MAS Freedom Foundation. Make A Donation.

____________________________________________

MAS Freedom Foundation

1050 17th Street NW, Suite 600

Washington, DC 20036

Tel.: (202) 496-1288, Fax: (202) 463-0686

URL: http://www.masnet.org/index_publicaffairs.asp

Email: MAS4freedom@aol.com

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