This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/6823

UNRWA Partners With Life For Relief And Development -Group was raided by FBI JTTF For Terror Ties - Has CAIR MI Head Dawud Walid As Board Member

December 31, 2014

MIM: It does appear to be business as usual with Life For Relief And Development. One of their board members is Dawud Walid, the head of CAIR Michigan, a Saudi funded front group for Hamas group which is on a UAE list of terrorist organisations.

According to Dr. Daniel Pipes:

[CAIR]Is connected to Hamas: Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and many other governments, indirectly created CAIR and the two groups remain tight. Examples: in 1994, CAIR head Nihad Awad publicly declared his support for Hamas; and the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), a Hamas front group, contributed $5,000 to CAIR; in turn, CAIR exploited the 9/11 attacks to raise money for HLF; and, this past August, demonstrators at a CAIR-sponsored rally in Florida proclaimed "We are Hamas!"

Includes individuals accused of terrorism: At least seven board members or staff at CAIR have been arrested, denied entry to the US, or were indicted on or pled guilty to or were convicted of terrorist charges: Siraj Wahhaj, Bassem Khafagi, Randall ("Ismail") Royer, Ghassan Elashi, Rabih Haddad, Muthanna Al-Hanooti, and Nabil Sadoun.

UNRWA and Coalition of Muslim Relief Organizations Sign Cooperative Agreement for Work in Gaza

September 4 2014

Washington, DC

Five Muslim relief organisations working in a coalition to support the recovery of the Gaza Strip are contributing US$ 500,000 to UNRWA for humanitarian assistance. The agreement was signed by Islamic Help CEO Saif Ahmad, United Muslim Relief president and CEO Dr. Abed Ayoub, Baitulmaal Executive Director Suleiman Alghanem, Life for Relief and Development CEO Abdallah Boumediene, and Talat Shaikh from the Muslim Community and Education Centre.

This generous donation from the Muslim relief coalition for Gaza is a timely response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis that has resulted from 50 days of conflict in Gaza.

UNRWA Representative Office director Matthew Reynolds said, "UNRWA is so grateful for this generous donation, not only because it will allow us to continue our crucial work on the ground, but also because of the impact it will make on every refugee and internally displaced person seeking shelter in our facilities today. This contribution is a beacon of hope in the midst of a warzone, and we sincerely hope this is the beginning of an enthusiastic partnership."

The 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation. Almost 60,000 people in Gaza are still sheltered in UNRWA schools and almost 100 per cent of the population is turning to the United Nations for food rations. With nearly 41 per cent unemployment even before the current conflict, the economy is in shambles. This donation will be used to provide food assistance, non-food items such as fuel, and psychosocial support for children in the Gaza Strip. In the current circumstances, the contribution from the coalition of Muslim relief organisations provides much needed assistance to the UNRWA humanitarian response.

Muslim relief coalition for Gaza spokesperson Oussama Mezoui said, "In working together with UNRWA, which has a proven track record in Gaza, we can ensure that essential aid is getting to those most in need. The first stage is to work on the emergency response and to ensure families are fed, provided with clean water, and have access to essential healthcare. Once this is done, we will look to work on reconstruction projects that will enable Gaza to get back on its feet."


Baitulmaal, on behalf of our generous donors, institutes compassionate projects worldwide to improve the lives of disaster victims, underprivileged children, the sick, elderly, orphans, widows, and needy families, regardless of nationality, race, or religion. Our activities are based on the principles of Islamic teachings, which stress the dignity and sanctity of human life. Our goal is to restore dignity and instill hope in communities hit hard by poverty and disaster. We accomplish this in two ways: 1) through short-term emergency disaster relief in the form of food, medical supplies, clothing, and shelter, and 2) through the long-term distribution of basic necessities, and through the repair of social infrastructure by building and supporting family housing, orphanages, and healthcare facilities.

Islamic Help is a UK registered charity (charity number 1100259) and international NGO established in 2003 by a group of young people determined to make a difference to the lives of those afflicted by poverty and suffering. IH's vision is to create a world free from poverty based on principles of justice and equality and its mission is to help and empower the poor and needy through building their confidence and independence. IH is a rapidly growing NGO that has operated in over 20 countries. IH currently has field offices in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Yemen, Jordan, Sudan and Tanzania. We also have fundraising offices in Australia and France.

Life for Relief and Development is a nonprofit organization deeply rooted in the belief that saving lives should be a priority of all mankind. For this reason, we are dedicated to alleviating human suffering regardless of race, color, religion, or cultural background. Life works to provide assistance to people across the globe by offering humanitarian services such as health care and education, as well as catering to casualties of social and economic turmoil, victims of hunger, natural disasters, war, and other catastrophes.

Muslim Community and Education Centre is a British non-profit Charity Trust. The Trust's primary aim is to provide a place of worship, educational and social facilities for the local Muslim community. The Trust also aims to provide a range of culturally sensitive services for the wider communities of North London, drawing upon our Islamic values, with a view to improving quality of life and enhancing community cohesion. This vision extends to our international work where we work with partners to improve the lives of those suffering from poverty and humanitarian disasters.

United Muslim Relief is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in the USA. The organization was launched by students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia as a response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. UMR is quickly turning into one of the largest grassroots American Muslim organizations with new university chapters launching monthly. UMR's vision is to be a world leader in uniting partner organizations' relief and development services to assist underserved communities in achieving the dignity of self-sustenance.

Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA's services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA's core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 35 million.

For more information, please contact:

Chris McGrath UNRWA Representative Office, Washington D.C. Office: +1 (202) 974-3528 c.mcgrath@unrwa.org(link sends e-mail) Dr. Abed Ayoub United Muslim Relief Office: +1 (202) 370-6963

http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/unrwa-and-coalition-muslim-relief-organizations-sign-cooperative-agreement

MIM: LFRD Homepage http://www.lifeusa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage

Bio of Board of Directors Member Dawud Walid:

http://www.lifeusa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage


Dawud Walid is currently the Executive Director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), a chapter of America's largest advocacy and civil liberties organization for Muslims. Walid has spoken at over twenty institutions of higher learning about Islam and interfaith dialogue including DePaul University, Harvard University and the University of the Virgin Islands. He has also presented on prominent panel discussions with international leaders and academics such as a panel discussion on African-American and American Muslim relations at the 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Convention with the Reverend Jesse Jackson to the 2009 and 2010 Malian Peace and Tolerance Conferences held in Bamako, Mali, which were attended by religious scholars from twelve different countries. Walid also served in the United States Navy under honorable conditions earning two United States Navy and Marine Corp Achievement medals as well as having received awards of recognition from both the Hamtramck and Detroit City Councils and from the Mayor of Lansing.

http://www.lifeusa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=wwa_Board

For more see: "FBI raid turns up 134,000 dollars in home of Life for Relief and Development board member and Imam of Michigan mosque"

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2399

MIM: In 2006 Life For Relief And Development was raided by the FBI and the IRS.

"Counterterrorism agents of the FBI and IRS raided what is believed to be one of the biggest Muslim charities in the United States on Monday, hauling away a truckload of documents and computers from its Southfield office.

The raid was based on sealed search warrants, but the charity's head of legal services, Ihsan Alkhatib, said the agents are investigating whether the charity conducted business in Iraq before the 2003 war in violation of legal sanctions against the country.

Alkhatib said Life for Relief and Development "did everything by the book.

"They knew the government was looking at them through a magnifying glass," he said.

Tax records show that Life raised about $10.6 million in 2004. The charity has distributed money in Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, and in the United States after Hurricane Katrina, among other places. A senior federal official with knowledge of investigations related to the raid said that agents are probing whether Life officials violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, a federal law that allows the government to prohibit economic activity with countries that are deemed security threats.

According to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, agents are investigating whether Life may have illegally distributed money and medical supplies inside Iraq.

Agents of the FBI and IRS seized cabinet files and hard drives from the office of Life, a nonprofit group that Muslim leaders say is the biggest Islamic charity headquartered in Michigan.

Southfield police and Michigan State Police officers were also at the scene Monday.

Federal agents also raided the Ypsilanti home of the charity's chief executive officer, Khalil Jassemm, and the Dearborn office of Muthanna Alhanooti, a former official of the charity who has ties to an Islamic party in Iraq..."

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2394

No one was arrested.

The agents were from the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and they spent hours interviewing Jassemm, as well as Life's office manager, Kudama Kaluan, accountant Nael Zenhom, and marketing manager Mohammed Abaza, Alkhatib said.

The raids are part of a major effort by the FBI and other federal agencies to investigate the flow of money from the United States to terrorist groups in the Muslim world, current and former FBI agents said Monday.

"It's logical to assume that many Islamic terrorist organizations have representation here in the U.S., and sources of funding," said Christopher Hamilton, a former FBI agent who investigated terrorism cases and is now a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, based in Washington, D.C.

Many of the efforts of counterterrorism officials in southeastern Michigan focus on how money from the region ends up in Middle Eastern and other Muslim countries such as Iran and Pakistan.

Terrorism investigators say Islamic charity fund-raisers are more sophisticated than they originally realized. Khalil Jassemm, the founder of one group under investigation, self-published a 494-page guide to running such groups -- "Islamic Perspective on Charity, a Comprehensive Guide for Running a Muslim Nonprofit In the U.S." -- that walks charity officials through the numerous laws governing such groups. The book was made available by The Investigative Project, a Washington nonprofit that researches terrorism issues.

Mr. Jassemm founded Life for Relief and Development. Terrorism investigators say some of its personnel are supporters of the Islamic Party of Iraq and in 2006 was raided by the FBI in Michigan and by the U.S. military in Iraq. A spokesman for the charity said Mr. Jassemm has left the group and now lives in Jordan. He didn't respond to an email request for a meeting. The group says it isn't affiliated with any political groups in Iraq..."

http://www.investigativeproject.org/611/islamic-charities-draw-more-scrutiny

Also see:

"Terror linked Life for Relief and Development press release : FBI JTTF raid "unfortunate incident" group will 'continue work'"

http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2401

MIM: The press release annoucing the Muslim groups cooperation with UNRWA was also published on the Baitumaal website.

UNRWA and Coalition of Muslim Relief Organizations Sign Cooperative Agreement for Work in Gaza

Washington, DC

Five Muslim relief organisations working in a coalition to support the recovery of the Gaza Strip are contributing US$ 500,000 to UNRWA for humanitarian assistance. The agreement was signed by Islamic Help CEO Saif Ahmad, United Muslim Relief president and CEO Dr. Abed Ayoub, Baitulmaal Executive Director Suleiman Alghanem, Life for Relief and Development CEO Abdallah Boumediene, and Talat Shaikh from the Muslim Community and Education Centre.

This generous donation from the Muslim relief coalition for Gaza is a timely response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis that has resulted from 50 days of conflict in Gaza.

UNRWA Representative Office director Matthew Reynolds said, "UNRWA is so grateful for this generous donation, not only because it will allow us to continue our crucial work on the ground, but also because of the impact it will make on every refugee and internally displaced person seeking shelter in our facilities today. This contribution is a beacon of hope in the midst of a warzone, and we sincerely hope this is the beginning of an enthusiastic partnership."

The 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation. Almost 60,000 people in Gaza are still sheltered in UNRWA schools and almost 100 per cent of the population is turning to the United Nations for food rations. With nearly 41 per cent unemployment even before the current conflict, the economy is in shambles. This donation will be used to provide food assistance, non-food items such as fuel, and psychosocial support for children in the Gaza Strip. In the current circumstances, the contribution from the coalition of Muslim relief organisations provides much needed assistance to the UNRWA humanitarian response.

Muslim relief coalition for Gaza spokesperson Oussama Mezoui said, "In working together with UNRWA, which has a proven track record in Gaza, we can ensure that essential aid is getting to those most in need. The first stage is to work on the emergency response and to ensure families are fed, provided with clean water, and have access to essential healthcare. Once this is done, we will look to work on reconstruction projects that will enable Gaza to get back on its feet."

BACKGROUND INFORMATION UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA's core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 70.5 million.

Baitulmaal, on behalf of our generous donors, institutes compassionate projects worldwide to improve the lives of disaster victims, underprivileged children, the sick, elderly, orphans, widows, and needy families, regardless of nationality, race, or religion. Our activities are based on the principles of Islamic teachings, which stress the dignity and sanctity of human life. Our goal is to restore dignity and instill hope in communities hit hard by poverty and disaster. We accomplish this in two ways: 1) through short-term emergency disaster relief in the form of food, medical supplies, clothing, and shelter, and 2) through the long-term distribution of basic necessities, and through the repair of social infrastructure by building and supporting family housing, orphanages, and healthcare facilities.

Islamic Help is a UK registered charity (charity number 1100259) and international NGO established in 2003 by a group of young people determined to make a difference to the lives of those afflicted by poverty and suffering. IH's vision is to create a world free from poverty based on principles of justice and equality and its mission is to help and empower the poor and needy through building their confidence and independence. IH is a rapidly growing NGO that has operated in over 20 countries. IH currently has field offices in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Yemen, Jordan, Sudan and Tanzania. We also have fundraising offices in Australia and France.

Life for Relief and Development is a nonprofit organization deeply rooted in the belief that saving lives should be a priority of all mankind. For this reason, we are dedicated to alleviating human suffering regardless of race, color, religion, or cultural background. Life works to provide assistance to people across the globe by offering humanitarian services such as health care and education, as well as catering to casualties of social and economic turmoil, victims of hunger, natural disasters, war, and other catastrophes.

Muslim Community and Education Centre is a British non-profit Charity Trust. The Trust's primary aim is to provide a place of worship, educational and social facilities for the local Muslim community. The Trust also aims to provide a range of culturally sensitive services for the wider communities of North London, drawing upon our Islamic values, with a view to improving quality of life and enhancing community cohesion. This vision extends to our international work where we work with partners to improve the lives of those suffering from poverty and humanitarian disasters.

United Muslim Relief is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in the USA. The organization was launched by students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia as a response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. UMR is quickly turning into one of the largest grassroots American Muslim organizations with new university chapters launching monthly. UMR's vision is to be a world leader in uniting partner organizations' relief and development services to assist underserved communities in achieving the dignity of self-sustenance.

CONTACT:

Dr. Abed Ayoub, UMR, (202) 550-8073

Chris McGrath, UNRWA, (202) 974-3528

http://www.baitulmaal.org/prelease/unrwa-coalition-of-muslim-relief-organizations-sign-agreement-for-work-in-gaza/

MIM: Chris McGrath is a lobbyist for UNRWA in Washington and runs their 'liason' office.

Is The UN Making The Refugee Problem Worse?

By Jennifer Rubin

5/23/12

Until recently, few Americans ever heard of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). But then Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) got interested in what the agency, supposedly neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was up to. As Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies reminds us:
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is trying to get a handle on the real number of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East -- a move that could result in a change of status for millions of Palestinians. . . .
The aim of this proposed legislation, Kirk's office explains, is not to deprive Palestinians who live in poverty of essential services, but to tackle one of the thorniest issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: the "right of return." The dominant Palestinian narrative is that all of the refugees of the Israeli-Palestinian wars have a right to go back, and that this right is not negotiable. But here's the rub: By UNRWA's own count, the number of Palestinians who describe themselves as refugees has skyrocketed from 750,000 in 1950 to 5 million today. As a result, the refugee issue has been an immovable obstacle in round after round of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
How have these numbers swelled, particularly as the Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes in 1948 and 1967 grew old and died? This question lies at the crux of the Kirk amendment. And the answer is UNRWA.
The knock on UNRWA is that it exists to perpetuate the refugee problem, not solve it. It was UNRWA that bestowed refugee status upon "descendants of refugees," regardless of how much time had elapsed. As a result, the Palestinian refugee population has grown seven-fold since the start of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
As I discovered when I started figuring out how UNRWA pulled off this demographic stunt and what it is up to, I learned that there is plenty to keep Kirk busy.
Let's start with UNRWA itself. Early last year it set up a D.C. "liaison" office. With whom is it liaisoning? Mostly Congress, it turns out. U.S. law forbids the United Nations from lobbying Congress, but as we learned with Newt Gingrich "lobbying" or a "lobbyist" is in the eye of the beholder. UNRWA employs two full-time staffers in D.C., both of whom have loads of experience on Capitol Hill. Chris McGrath is a former aide for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.); his boss, Matthew Reynolds, worked in legislative affairs for the State Department. I was assured no "lobbying" goes on, but they do meet virtually nonstop with lawmakers — appropriators are key — to answer questions about how taxpayer dollars are spent, why UNRWA's work is important and how it makes sure money isn't going to terrorists.
It seems American tax dollars are going, in part, to fund this office that in effect makes sure Congress doesn't get fed up and cut off the money flow. Kirk might want to find out just how much liasioning is going on and whether the letter and spirit of the ban on lobbying are being strictly adhered to.
Then there is the matter of UNRWA's inventive definition of "refugees." I was repeatedly told that definition comes from the U.N. itself and has been part of UNRWA's charter from the beginning. When I asked for documentation, I was given a 1950 U.N. Resolution 302 (iv) and a recent extension of the mandate. But neither mention anything about "descendants."
U.N. history experts tell me that the definition wasn't changed until 1965, when over the objections of the United States, UNRWA extended "refugees" to include children and grandchildren of those displaced between 1946 and 1949. That was extended again by UNRWA in 1982 when the General Assembly, without much fanfare, instructed UNRWA to issue Palestinian identification cards to Palestinians and their descendants.
That's how a "refugee" population grows to millions. Who are these people? How many are left from the actual displaced persons? Where can we find them to ask them whether they want to return to their homes or would rather take compensation? It's not so easy to find out.
Does UNRWA oppose the Kirk legislation? UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness in the Jerusalem office e-mailed me: "‘Millions of Palestinian refugees receive UNRWA's education, health and social services. The international community has committed to support them through UNRWA. Without UNRWA, or with a weaker UNRWA, this support will not exist, depriving the refugees of basic and essential services. Peace in the Middle East must be just if it is to be durable and for that, there must be a resolution of the refugee issue based on international law and UN resolutions." No, he didn't actually answer my question on UNRWA's views on the Kirk legislation.
To make matters even more bizarre, Palestinians living in the West Bank under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority are still counted as "refugees" and get UNRWA services. When you ask why the PA isn't taking care of them, you generally get guffaws. So much for the PA's "institution" building. Whatever the legal status of these people, I have to agree with Schanzer's colleague Cliff May, who dubbed it "profoundly dishonest" to classify such people as "refugees."
When I tried to figure out how many of the "refugees" are actually living in PA areas, McGrath e-mailed me: "In terms of the number of refugees receiving our assistance within areas the PA has control, there's unfortunately no way for us to track that down. We could probably calculate the number of students we have in those schools, but determining how many people receive our health assistance in these areas is much more difficult. We've tried to estimate this before and we have found troubles with this." Now there is some information on UNRWA's Web site that breaks out numbers of "refugees" by geographic region, but there isn't information readily available to tell us how many Palestinians are in areas in which the PA has effective autonomy.
This isn't the only fuzziness about UNRWA's operations. I was told UNRWA employs about 31,000 Palestinians to provide services to "refugees." Why not a mix of nationalities, like other refu­gee organizations? Well, it seems UNRWA considers part of its "works" to give the Palestinians jobs — with the relief agency itself. This, of course, is not making for independent, self-sufficient people but for permanent wards of UNRWA.
Okay, now UNRWA does offer vocational assistance. For how many? UNRWA's spokesperson told me there are a total of about 3,000 graduates a year (out of millions?) and the majority get jobs afterward. Do these figures include those placed with UNRWA? The answer: "I am not sure." It is impossible to determine if UNRWA is finding jobs for these people or merely building its own staff.
Finally, one of the biggest issues with UNRWA has been the concern (in the State Department and Congress) that textbooks supplied by the PA include anti-Semitic and anti-Israel material. UNRWA insists there's really no problem at all and that it hasn't found such material. While UNRWA insists the textbooks are audited, it could not provide me with any data on the audits. Are UNRWA officials uninformed or dissembling on this point?
There is plenty here for Kirk and for the relevant House and Senate oversight committees to explore. Perhaps they can start by figuring out how many actual displaced refugees from 1946-49 are alive and residing outside the West Bank or Gaza. Once they figure that out, they can decide where U.S. dollars are going and why the PA isn't accepting responsibility for people in its jurisdiction.
In doing so, the "right of return" might become a far more discrete problem, and UNRWA's refugee-expanding operation (now humming along with a budget of about $600 million per year) might be cut down to proper size. Perhaps eliminating the "liaison" office in D.C. is a good place to start since lobbying isn't allowed anyway.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/is-the-un-making-the-palestinian-refugee-problem-worse/2012/05/23/gJQAxW0BkU_blog.html

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/6823