This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1673

Kind Hearts (for terror) 'charity' closed in connection with three Muslims in Toledo arrested for planning attacks on US troops

Arrested men who were learning to shoot and make explosives were established members in their Ohio communities
February 22, 2006

MM: For more on Kind Hearts terrorism connection and documentation see below.

Update 25: 3 Charged With Planning to Attack Troops
By JOHN SEEWER , 02.22.2006, 05:42 AM

http://www.forbes.com/work/feeds/ap/2006/02/22/ap2543914.html

With jobs, families and college courses, three men of Middle Eastern descent appeared to be active members of their Midwestern communities, but prosecutors say they were plotting to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq.

One was taking college courses and selling used cars. Another spent time playing in his yard with his children, according to neighbors.

All three were charged with attempting to wage terror attacks against the United States and its allies by recruiting and training others to fight overseas, according to a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday.

The indictment says the group traveled together to a shooting range to practice and studied how to make explosives. It alleges that at least one of the men researched and tried to obtain government grants and private funding for the training.

The three men pleaded not guilty Tuesday in federal courts in Cleveland and Toledo. The most serious charges could bring life in prison.

Mohammad Zaki Amawi, 26, a citizen of both the U.S. and Jordan, is accused of threatening to kill or injure President Bush, and distributing information about making and using bombs, according to the indictment. He briefly attended the University of Toledo, school officials said.

Wassim I. Mazloum, 24, came to the United States from Lebanon in 2000 and got a job at a restaurant and helping run small car dealerships with his family, he told a judge. He said he was taking classes in computer science engineering at the university until his arrest on allegations of trying to learn how to make roadside bombs using household materials, among other claims.

Marwan Othman El-Hindi, 42, a U.S. citizen born in Jordan, was a familiar sight to neighbors who watched his children play outside. The indictment alleges he sought to pass along to recruits information about using a suicide bomb vest.

All three had lived in Toledo within the past year and were arrested over the weekend - Amawi in Jordan, the others in Toledo, authorities said.

They are charged with conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim, or injure people or damage property in a foreign country. They are also charged with conspiracy to kill Americans and harboring or concealing terrorists.

An unidentified person with a military background helped the U.S. government foil the plot by working with the suspects while secretly gathering evidence, the indictment said.

El-Hindi is accused of trying to get that person, identified in the indictment only as "the trainer," to travel with him in 2004 to the Middle East as part of a plot to establish a terrorism training center.

Tom Rawlings, who once lived next to El-Hindi, said his grandchildren often played with his former neighbor's kids.

"They were nice. They kept their yard clean," neighbor Larry Wilcox said.

El-Hindi's attorney, Steve Hartman, called his client's charges overzealous.

"It doesn't help that he's Jordanian," Hartman said. "I think he's caught up in the Justice Department's vigorous work."

At Mazloum's family's home in suburban Toledo, his sister said Mazloum is a conscientious person who could not be caught up in a terrorist conspiracy.

"Whenever he goes out at night, he always calls my mom to let her know where he's at and what he's doing," 14-year-old Dima Mazloum said.

FBI agents knocked on the door around 7:30 a.m. Sunday and handcuffed her brother when he answered the door, she said. They did not explain why they were arresting him, she said.

The agents searched the house for an hour, taking about $1,700 and two pieces of paper from Mazloum's wallet, as well as a paintball gun, Dima Mazloum said.

His mother, Salwa Elkechen, 44, said her son helped support her and take care of their home. She broke down in tears, saying, "Take my home, take my money, take everything. I just need my son."

Mazloum's attorney, Chuck Sallah, said he knew very little about his client or the charges.

Amawi lived across town in an apartment building filled mostly with people of Middle Eastern descent. He once denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq, according to a former apartment manager.

"He said we shouldn't be over there. He was angry about it," said Lori Unugester, the former manager.

Amawi was assigned a public defender, and nobody answered the door at his apartment Tuesday.

Earlier this week, the U.S. government ordered a freeze on the assets of KindHearts, a Toledo-based group suspected of funneling money to the militant organization Hamas. Law enforcement officials, speaking of condition of anonymity, said the arrests of the three men spurred the decision to freeze KindHearts' assets.

KindHearts has denied any terrorist connections and has said it is a humanitarian organization.

Associated Press writers M.R. Kropko in Cleveland, JoAnne Viviano in Toledo and Mark Sherman in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

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MIM: Additional documentation can be found by clicking on url below.

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1427

15/05

Kind Hearts for Terror

'Charity' under law enforcement scrutiny schedules new fundraising tour in U.S. with Al Qaeda linked Jamaat Tableeghi missionary/ recruiters from abroad.

The gloating by radical Islamist organizations in the United States that a Senate Committee investigation into 26 Islamic charities is has exonerated them appears to be premature. According to an article in an Ohio paper: ".The Senate Finance Committee is done reviewing Internal Revenue Service records it requested two years ago, but that "does not mean that these groups have been cleared by the committee," chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement Tuesday.

" Grassley said the committee will continue to examine the charities' operations, reversing a statement he made two weeks ago that the committee "did not find anything alarming enough that required additional follow-up beyond what law enforcement is already doing..."http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/news/state/13343547.htm

According to Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the scrutiny is ongoing and one article singled out the Kind Hearts 'charity' base in Toledo Ohio as a group which is of special interest to law enforcement. The same article also mentioned another salient fact: That it was none other then Jihad Smaili, a lawyer from Cleveland who testified in front of the Senate Committee hearing. "KindHearts' lawyer, Jihad Smaili of Cleveland, said testimony before the Senate Banking Committee this summer amounted to unfair "guilt by association," he told The Plain Dealer. ".Smaili acknowledges that some of the testimony before the Senate Banking Committee raised mistakes KindHearts had made. An employee of a charity closed by the government worked for KindHearts until he was charged with conspiracy, aiding a terrorist group and money laundering.." What the article failed to mention is that Jihad Smaili is the brother of Khalid Smaili who is the director of Kind Hearts.

When journalists tried to reach Khalid Smaili for comment they were told he was in Lebanon. Which begs the question as to if he plans to come back, since Kind Hearts is simply a continuation of the Global Relief Foundation, which was closed down by the Department of Treasury for ties to Al Qaeda. A look at the Kind Hearts website shows why law enforcement might take more then a passing interest in the Toledo Ohio based charity with the warm fuzzy name.

A banner headline on the KH website (since removed) recently announced that Zulifiqar Ali Shah,( the former president of the Islamic Circle of North America / Muslim American Society, (linked to Al Qaeda) and CEO of the Universal Heritage Foundation, is coordinator for the Kind Hearts South Asia Division.

Shah ran a School for Islamic Studies in Broward, which launched the terrorist career of Jose Padilla - the dirty bomber wannabe set to go on trial together with Adhan Hassoun ( the man who raised the money to send him to Jihad training camp) It is believed that Jose Padilla and Adnan Hassoun met each other as the SISB mosque.

The co founder of the school, Mohammed Javed Qureshi, who, besides his role as co founder of a Saudi backed Islamic school, also supervised the Taco Bell where Padilla (and his wife) were employed. Last year Qureshi admitted that it was him and his wife who helped the Padillas convert to Islam. Hassoun ran the office of the Benevolence International Foundation ( an Al Qaeda funding front started by the jailed Arnaam Arnout, who married a Florida woman. The BIF offices which were convienently located across the road from Qureshi's Taco Bell.

Shah was recently in Pakistan and the Kind Hearts website informs us that : " As announced by Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, KindHearts fully support Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistani Governments Relief initiatives, Junaid Jumshaid Foundation, Sahara Foundation, Al-Khidmat and other NGOs who are efficient and completely transparent for the accountability of their financial transactions, their Relief Work and Development projects to alleviate suffering of the survivors of this natural disaster."

In an article entitled "Militants make mileage out of earthquake relief " revealed that the 'relief funding', was indeed literally ending up in the hands of terrorists, who were also using orphanages as recruiting grounds for new Jihadis. Not surprisingly a large part of Kind Hearts 'charity' funding goes to 'orphans'. Numerous newspaper accounts revealed that U.S. soldiers called on to help were working side by side with terrorists from the Laskar e- Taybaa and Jammaat and it's Jamaat e Da'wa front. A manifestation of this was seen in a BBC television report, which showed that aid efforts were being hindered after confrontations broke out between Muslim aid workers and clerics who insisted that Muslim quake survivors could not be given food during Ramadan despite the life and death situation. The situation was so volatile that the workers had to promise that they would make sure the aid recipients would not break the Ramadan fast.

"...In the shattered cities and toppled villages of Pakistan's earthquake zone, a new front has opened in the "war on terrorism".

As the world played aid catch-up at the weekend, pledging US$5.8 billion ($7.9 billion) in assistance, and with the Prime Minister, John Howard, due to arrive in Islamabad today, Muslim extremist groups are basking in what Pakistani commentators say is a new-found legitimacy courtesy of their quick response to the disaster.

A stream of reports since the October 8 catastrophe, which killed more than 73,000 people and left more than 3 million homeless, suggest Islamic charities linked to extremists have taken over much of the relief effort across a wide area of northern Kashmir and adjoining areas.."

"...A prominent member of the JUD relief effort is Dr Amir Aziz Khan, arrested on suspicion of al-Qaeda links but later released.

Militants are also reportedly taking orphaned children under their wing for indoctrination in holy war in their extensive network of orphanages...."

"... All of which places the military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, in a tight spot.

His government acknowledges the JUD's good works and denies it is exploiting the disaster.

Yet visiting the region with the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, on

Friday, he felt compelled to war the victims to be wary of help from militants.

"If someone shows extremism here, you should rise up against it," he said...

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/militants-make-mileage-out-of-disaster-relief/2005/11/20/1132421549288.html

Which begs the second question as to if the United States government was reluctant to go after Kind Hearts because of the support it boasts of having from NGO's and the Pakistani government, abroad, but from the U.S. based, Saudi backed, Arab American Chamber of Commerce, which lists Kind Hearts twice on their website once as a curiously named "appraiser resource" and on the business directory of their website.

Kind Hearts South Asian coordinator Zulfiqar Ali Shah, has returned from Pakistan and is embarking on US fundraising tour for Kind Hearts together with 'two Islamist missionaries' . Saeed Anwar - who is billed as "a famous cricketer" and Junaid Jamshed, listed a a "famous personality".. Cricketeer Saeed Anwar, who was on the same team as Imran Khan (the player turned politician who started the Koran flush rumor which resulted in riots resulting in many deaths) is also connected to a group which is linked to terrorism -Tableeghi Jammat Islami an article informs us that:

"( Anwar )turned to religion and spirituality and took to the Tableeghi Jamaat (missionaries), who practise a stricter adherence to the codes of Islam than most. Anwar's influence spread among senior players such as Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq and the group travel together regularly to Raiwind, a small town near Lahore, where the Tableeghis congregate for prayer and dialogue..". Famous personality Junaid Jamshed was a pop singer in Pakistan who may also be tied to the Tableeghi Jamaat since he : " formally announced . his decision to quit singing to be a full-time preacher.

Explaining his decision, he said, for years he had felt guilty of being a poor role model. Recently, he said, some young people, who had started with religious learning, had told him he had inspired them to seek careers in music.

Mr Jamshed said his family were a religious kind and that he had been the exception. He also said it had taken him nearly five years to arrive at the decision. That finally, he had listened to his heart. His family, he said, supported his decision.." Another website informs that " Junaid gave up singing a few years ago, grew a beard and joined the Tableeghi Jamaat, saying singing did not fit into his lifestyle anymore." http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_18-3-2005_pg7_3

Zufiqar Ali Shah brings ICNA, MAS, and Al Qaeda into the Kind Hearts equation. Both Jamshed and Anwar are members of the Islamic Tableeghi Jamaat which has been described as : 'Recruiting Ground For Al Qaeda Muslim Tablighi Jamaat missionaries proclaim their apolitical views and separation from politics and political causes. Yet Al Qaeda finds the organization's associates a ripe recruiting ground for members.

According to Michael J. Heimbach , the deputy chief of the F.B.I.'s international terrorism section:"We have a significant presence of Tablighi Jamaat in the United States, and we have found that Al Qaeda used them for recruiting, now and in the past...". http://www.parapundit.com/archives/001482.html .

The terrorist affiliations of Shah , Anwar and Jamshed are more then enough reason to close down Kind Hearts and halt their fundraising roadshow in the United States. Adding Khalid and Jihad Smaili to the equation is further proof tha t Kind Hearts (aka Global Relief) is not only fundraising for terrorism - it is being run and supported by potential terrorists and Jihad recruiters in the guise of Tableeghi Jamaat preachers.

Kind Hearts has also announced that the three men will return in 2006 for more fundraising in the United States after their recent effort raised more then 1 million dollars:

"...Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, the President of KindHearts' South Asia Division, toured more than ten cities in ten days, along with Brs. Junaid Jamshed and Saeed Anwar, raising $1.5 million in checks and pledges. Donors are requested to contribute generously, so that together we can put solid, safe roofs over the heads of thousands of homeless children and families.
Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah will again be leaving for Pakistan on December 11, 2005. While there, he will visit KindHearts' ongoing projects, and expedite financial aid that is imminently required because of winter's arrival.
In March 2006, Brs. Junaid Jamshed and Saeed Anwar will return to the US, along with the Pakistani Cricket team's Vice-Captain, Mohammad Yousaf (the former Yousaf Yohanna). Thought to be the backbone of the current Pakistani Cricket team, Mohammad Yousaf recently scored the highest number of runs of his career against the visiting English Cricket team in Qaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
This impressive trio of celebrities will be traveling across America and Canada during March 2006 to raise funds for the Brick Houses. KindHearts invites all community leaders to contact our office to obtain a program list for their visit..." http://www.kind-hearts.org/Udhia06/pakistan_Earthquake.htm

By singling out Kind Hearts for continued scrutiny it is clear that the Senate Committee (and the groups lawyer himself ), acknowledge that KH is tied to terrorism. The question is why the government is unable and/ or unwilling to act.and is so reluctant to clarify the status of the investigation and the groups under scrutiny. The travesty of having the brother of the director of Kind Hearts testifying in his capacity as the group's lawyer in front of the Senate Committee and admitting to what he terms "mistakes" such as money laundering and associates jailed for terrorism , shows that it is time to investigate why the government has failed to act. One can only speculate that the organisation claims of 'supporting Musharraf's efforts' and indication that they are sanctioned by the Pakistani government are intended to warn the United States not to interfere with their activities.

Which begs four obvious but urgent questions:

If Kind Hearts is known to be the new face of Global Relief which was closed down by the United States Government because of terrorism funding why hasn't the same thing happened to Kind Hearts?

Why were two 'missionaries' from Tableeghi al Jamaat, an organisation known as a recruiting grounds for Al Qaeda, allowed into the US in the first place?

How can the United States allow Zufiqar Ali Shah, the ex president of the Islamic Circle of North America, and president CEO of the Universal Heritage Foundation, who has been linked to Jose Padilla, Sheik Abdur Rahman Al Sudais and Jerusalem Mufti Ikrima Sabri, to fundraise and control millions of dollars in donations when it was recently revealed that funding for earthquake victims had found it's way to the Kashmiri separatist terrorists aligned with the Taliban and Al Qaeda?

Has Kind Hearts director Khalid Smaili, who declined to be interviewed for an article about the terrorist funding charges directed at his 'charity' ever returned to the United States from his 'holiday' in Lebanon?

The fact that Kind Hearts is still fundraising with impunity after cloning Global Relief, (and brazenly uses the template of the GRF newsletter, which is a designated a terrorist funding entity), is epitomised by this cynical and mocking 'caveat donateur' at the bottom of their donations webpage';

"...All fraudulent translations will be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the law..." http://www.kind-hearts.org/form/cc.asp

Kind Hearts must be laughing all the way to bank - and the terrorists are sharing their glee.

Beila Rabinowitz (c) 2005

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http://www.kind-hearts.org/index.htm

MIM: Kind Hearts fraudulent pitch for funding using the name of the Al Qaeda linked Tablighi Jammaat members Junaid Jamshed, and Saeed Anwar, who were accompanied on their North American fundraising tour by former ICNA president Zulifiqar Ali Shah, who was billed as the 'South Asian coordinator for Kind Hearts' and is also the CEO of the Universal Heritage Foundation in Kissimmee, Florida.

Please Open Your Heart and Give
The earthquake that shattered millions of lives is far from forgotten. Thousands await deliverance from this nightmare. KindHearts has been on the ground since the beginning, bringing whatever relief we can to the victims of this tragedy; however, we cannot do it without your help.
During March 2006, Brs. Junaid Jamshed and Saeed Anwar, along with the Pakistani Cricket team's Vice-Captain, Mohammad Yousaf (the former Yousaf Yohanna) will be traveling across the United States and Canada raising funds for our campaigns. We invite community leaders to contact us to obtain a program list for their visit.
Please, open your hearts and give generously to ease the survivors' suffering. Please donate online, and for more information, call us at 1-866- 546-3478

Your Donations at Work: KindHearts is Providing Earthquake Relief Aid to Many Thousands of Survivors through Coordination with Our Partners. Read more. Slideshow

Contact us: KindHearts, PO Box 23310, Toledo, OH 43623,USA
Tel:866-546-3478, Fax: 419-329-2928.
kind@kind-hearts.org
Kindhearts is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit Humanitarian Organization.
Your Donation in the US are tax-exempt, TIN: 02-0534702

For Wire Transfer Please Email us

Please, click here to allocate your Zakat-ul Mal for Pakistan to help our Brothers and Sisters out of this terrible disaster.

KindHearts Live Appeal Telethon on PTV Prime

KindHearts Live Appeal Telethon on PTV Prime was the first successful global Telethon that was viewed and participated in from Alaska to Australia, from North America to Africa, and from Europe to Asia. Special guests, Junaid Jumshaid, an honored Pakistani spiritual religious personality and Saeed Anwar, former Pakistani Cricket Team Captain and revered famous opening Batsman and All Rounder joined, Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, a highly respected renowned Islamic Scholar who hosted the KindHearts PTV Prime Telethon to help the survivors of the tragic earthquake in Kashmir, Pakistan and South Asia.

The response from the viewers and donors to the Telethon was tremendous. Calls were overwhelming from all over the world. PTV Prime crew and the operators did a superb job of handling enormous amount of calls. This was the first time Captain Inzimamul Haq and other Pakistani Cricket team heroes such as Shahid Afridi and Yusuf Yohannah called from Pakistan to lend their support for the worthy cause. Abrarul Haq, the famous singer and Philanthropist founder of SAHARA for Life Foundation also called and appreciated KindHearts noble work to help the needy through his and other well-appreciated charities in Pakistan.

Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah took all incoming calls unfiltered. Al-Hamdolillah, there was all positive response and support for the noble work. It was encouraging and heart filling. However, out of thousands of calls, there were one or two negative comments by some cynical and mean spirited callers that were not appreciated by the overwhelming majority of the viewers.

As announced by Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, KindHearts fully support Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistani Governments Relief initiatives, Junaid Jumshaid Foundation, Sahara Foundation, Al-Khidmat and other NGOs who are efficient and completely transparent for the accountability of their financial transactions, their Relief Work and Development projects to alleviate suffering of the survivors of this natural disaster.

We request all donors to donate generously

Contact us: KindHearts, PO Box 23310, Toledo, OH 43623,USA
Tel:866-546-3478, Fax:419-329-2928.
kind@kind-hearts.org
Kindhearts is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit Humanitarian Organization.
Your Donation in the US are tax-exempt, TIN: 02-0534702

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

KindHearts, a Toledo Muslim charity organization that was started in 2002 after the US government closed down 3 other large Muslim charities, was closed down yesterday. Feds are alleging that the charity is sending money to terrorist organizations, despite the Senate investigation that was to the contrary.

From: http://www.wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=4524125
"KindHearts denies all allegations. We don't even know if there are any allegations with regard to wrong doing," said KindHearts attorney Jihad Smaili. "Our books have always been open we've invited the government to come in and look at our books."

Smaili says KindHearts was the subject of a US Senate investigation. "A few months ago a Senate committee cleared KindHearts of any wrong doing after looking into our finances. We are surprised and disappointed at the government action," said Smaili.

Smaili added that "Our sole purpose is to help poor and needy individuals around the world. We supply hundreds of thousands of people [with] medicine, food, and school backpacks. We also built a hospital in the Middle East," said Smaili.

The attorney also said KindHearts consented to several independent audits of its books, and has checks and balances to keep track of donations.

From: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060220/NEWS08/602200359
Islamic law requires Muslims to donate to charity, and once KindHearts was granted approval by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, it quickly became one of the largest charities for Muslims from around the country.

The nonprofit agency raised $2.9 million in 2002, $3.9 million in 2003, and $5 million in 2004. It was planning to open another branch office in Indonesia.

KindHearts does not send money overseas but provides clothing, food, school supplies, and other aid for the poor that is distributed by workers at its overseas offices, Mr. Smaili said in a December interview with The Blade.

"We know, since we opened, that this was going to be a very challenging task, to maintain helping people who need it the most, especially after the government closed down the three other charities," Mr. Smaili said yesterday.

"We wanted to do everything legally, and we have done everything legally. But ultimately the government will do what it wants to do."

In December, Mr. Smaili said KindHearts officials "are not naive" and expected and welcome added scrutiny of its programs and activities. "We understand the current political climate in this country and the need for our government to protect us from groups which advocate violence. All we are asking for is a fair shake."

From: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060221/NEWS08/602210376
Among its projects are providing school supplies to needy children, sending medicine and tents to quake victims in Pakistan, and helping hurricane victims in the southern United States.

"I know the government has listened to every conversation that we've made and traced every wire sent from KindHearts USA to Lebanon or Palestine," Mr. Smaili said. "They know exactly what's going on and that we haven't done anything wrong."

He said KindHearts deserves an opportunity to present its case in court, but the government bypassed that option by using an executive order, established after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, that "blocks" KindHearts while it is under investigation.

"There's no judge saying that there's enough evidence. What is your evidence? They don't have any," Mr. Smaili said.

--End quoted stories--

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http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060221/NEWS08/602210376

Leaders vigorously rebut U.S. allegations; board members deny Hamas ties
Photo
KindHearts raised $5.1 million in 2004. One goal of the charity is to provide supplies for children in Lebanon and Palestine.
( KINDHEARTS )
Zoom | Photo Reprints

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER


The federal government's padlocking of a Toledo-based Muslim charity was politically motivated after the Hamas party's legislative victory in Palestine, KindHearts' leaders said yesterday.

The charity's West Toledo offices were locked and its assets frozen by the Treasury Department Sunday while the government investigates KindHearts for alleged ties to Mideast terrorists.

"It's dirty politics," said Dr. Hatem Elhady, chairman of the board of KindHearts, which raised $5.1 million in 2004. "They do not like the way things are going in Palestine. They do not like the election results. But that is not our problem. Our problem is providing aid to people in desperate need of help."

The Hamas party, which gained control of the Palestinian legislature in last month's elections, is the political wing of Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist group. Hamas' platform calls for the destruction of Israel, and President Bush has hinted that he may seek to cut off $150 million in aid to the Palestinians.

The Treasury Department on Sunday issued a statement alleging links between KindHearts and a number of individuals and groups with Hamas connections.

Dr. Elhady and Jihad Smaili, a Cleveland lawyer and member of the charity's board, rejected all such allegations.

"I know the government has listened to every conversation that we've made and traced every wire sent from KindHearts USA to Lebanon or Palestine," Mr. Smaili said. "They know exactly what's going on and that we haven't done anything wrong."

He said KindHearts deserves an opportunity to present its case in court, but the government bypassed that option by using an executive order, established after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, that "blocks" KindHearts while it is under investigation.

"There's no judge saying that there's enough evidence. What is your evidence? They don't have any," Mr. Smaili said.

A Treasury Department spokesman said there is no timetable for the investigation.

A lengthy probe would be disastrous for the Toledo-based charity, Dr. Elhady said.

"That's exactly their goal. They will take too long and nothing will come out of it, but by the time they decide something, everyone will forget about KindHearts," he said.

Stuart Levey, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, called KindHearts "the progeny of Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, which attempted to mask their support for terrorism behind the facade of charitable giving."

Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation were U.S. Muslim charities shut down by the government in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001.

Mr. Levey said issuing an executive order to close the Toledo charity's offices and seize its funds enabled the government "to prevent asset flights in support of terrorist activities while we further investigate the activities of KindHearts."

Among the allegations against KindHearts is that the Toledo charity sent more than $250,000 to the Sanabil Association for Relief and Development, which the Treasury Department called "a Hamas-affiliated entity in Lebanon that was named [a specially designated global terrorist] in August, 2003."

Dr. Elhady and Mr. Smaili said KindHearts specifically chose Sanabil because it was not on the U.S. government's list of terrorist organizations at the time. KindHearts contracted with Sanabil to provide aid in refugee camps in Lebanon, and it was only after the contract expired that the United States put Sanabil on its terrorist list, they said.

Mr. Smaili also disputed the government's figures, saying that KindHearts sent Sanabil "no more than $115,000."

Dr. Elhady said "we know exactly" how the funds were spent by Sanabil. "We did not just give money. We gave it for specific projects, and we saw the results, and we have the receipts," he said.

Another government allegation cites KindHearts' association with Mohammed El-Mezain, who worked under contract to raise funds for the Toledo-based charity. Mr. El-Mezain was indicted by a federal grand jury in Dallas on charges of providing material support to Hamas, according to the Treasury Department.

"As soon as we found out that he was indicted - indicted, not convicted - we voided the contract," Mr. Smaili said. He said it's illegal to cancel a contract over allegations, but officials were willing to risk a lawsuit because "we did not want to do anything that could hurt KindHearts."

The Treasury Department also said Usama Hamdan, whom it described as a known terrorist and Hamas leader in Lebanon, "reportedly phoned a top fund-raiser for KindHearts" in September, 2003, and "reportedly communicated to the fund-raiser his gratitude for KindHearts' support."

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http://www.wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=4524125

Toledo Group Accused of Having Terrorist Ties
Feb 20, 2006, 06:40 PM EST

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Treasury Department has frozen the assets of a Toledo-based group, saying it funnels money to terrorists. KindHearts of Toledo describes itself on its web site as a nonprofit charitable group, but the government says KindHearts was connected with the Holy Land Foundation, which is linked to Hamas, and the Global Relief Foundation, which is linked to the terrorist group Al-Qaida.

KindHearts maintains a headquarters at an office building near the Central-Secor intersection in the Westgate neighborhood. Early Sunday morning, federal investigators raided those offices. Investigators reportedly changed the locks and took inventory.

"KindHearts denies all allegations. We don't even know if there are any allegations with regard to wrong doing," said KindHearts attorney Jihad Smaili. "Our books have always been open we've invited the government to come in and look at our books."

Smaili says KindHearts was the subject of a US Senate investigation. "A few months ago a Senate committee cleared KindHearts of any wrong doing after looking into our finances. We are surprised and disappointed at the government action," said Smaili.

Smaili added that "Our sole purpose is to help poor and needy individuals around the world. We supply hundreds of thousands of people [with] medicine, food, and school backpacks. We also built a hospital in the Middle East," said Smaili.

The attorney also said KindHearts consented to several independent audits of its books, and has checks and balances to keep track of donations.

Hatem Elhady, chairman of the board of KindHearts, says the non-profit has raised more than $18 million since 2002 for the poor. He said, "We have food baskets, clean water projects, school supplies."

Elhardy estimates 30% of the cash stays in the US to help youth programs. The rest goes overseas, mostly to Palestine and Pakistan. He said an example of the group's charity is the $1 million they recently sent to the earthquake victims in Pakistan.

Elhady said he was shocked and angry when the US Treasury Department padlocked KindHearts' Toledo headquarters. "When this news came, we felt so bad and really everybody's reaction is this ... just absolutely has no legal basis to it," he said.

Elhady also told News 11 he believes KindHearts is being punished for political reasons because Hamas won elections in Palestine last month. He said, "Closing the organization and stopping the funds, I mean, they're hurting the poor people. They're not hurting anybody else."

Elhady said KindHearts will fight to re-open, and he tells News 11 the organization can prove it's not funding terrorists. "We have receipts of everything, where every penny is going up to the last person, the orphan or the needy. We have receipts of everything we're buying."

Oregon resident John Shousher donated $50 to KindHearts in 2005, showing News 11 a tax receipt. Shousher watched the KindHearts investigation unfold while viewing Arabic satellite television news programs at his home. "It's all legal. As a Muslim, we're supposed to donate part of our money annually, specifically during the holiday Ramadan, the pilgrimage celebration," said Shousher.

The local Arab-American says he wants to see more proof before he believes KindHearts' alleged terrorist connection. "If they did wrong, they deserve what's coming. Why do you stop people from doing charity? It scares you. Stop you from doing your duty to God and humanity. It's not fair," said Shousher.

Donors like John Shousher hope the organization is vindicated if the government turns out to be wrong. "They have frozen a lot of assets before that have no relationship with terrorism, it was released and back to normal. I hope this will do the same thing," said Shousher.

"The only effect that this freezing of assets is going to have immediately is on the poor and needy individuals that count on KindHearts' kind heart in providing them with sustenance and medical supplies," said Smaili.

The United States considers Hamas, now the most powerful political group in the Palestinian parliament, a terrorist group. Under Sunday's action, the government bars US citizens from doing business with KindHearts.

"KindHearts is the progeny of Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, which attempted to mask their support for terrorism behind the facade of charitable giving," Stuart Levey, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement.

KindHearts was established by Ka-Leed Smiley in 2002. Prior to that, Smiley was involved with a group called Global Relief Foundation -- a group the US Government believes was affiliated with Al-Quaida.

News 11 contacted the US Treasury Department in Washington, DC, for further comment, but so far our phone call has not been returned.

On the Web:
Treasury Department: http://www.treas.gov/
KindHearts: http://www.kind-hearts.org/

Both Mr. Smaili and Dr. Elhady said they have never heard of Usama Hamdan and have no knowledge of the reported call.

An investigation by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee of 25 U.S. Muslim charities, including KindHearts, ended last year without any charges or allegations being reported.

KindHearts was founded in Toledo in 2002 after the government shut down the three largest U.S. Muslim charities.

The Toledo-based charity, with 10 fund-raisers across the country, grew quickly, raising $2.9 million in 2002, $3.9 million in 2003, and $5.1 million in 2004. It opened branch offices in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, and Pakistan and was planning another one in Indonesia. Among its projects are providing school supplies to needy children, sending medicine and tents to quake victims in Pakistan, and helping hurricane victims in the southern United States.

An Islamic law called zakat requires Muslims to give to charity, but there are specific conditions for the funds. Dr. Elhady said Muslims prefer to give to Islamic charities, rather than mainstream nonprofits, because the funds are distributed in accordance with Islamic laws.

Mr. Smaili and Dr. Elhady said that because of the political climate of the post-9/11 era, KindHearts has gone out of its way to open its books to abide by all laws and guidelines. In December, he provided The Blade with copies of the 501(c)3 charity's tax records from 2002 to 2004.

Contact David Yonke at:
dyonke@theblade.com
or 419-724-6154.

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1673