The Obama administration gave $200,000 in taxpayer money to a group it knew to be an al-Qaida affiliate in Sudan, according to an investigation.
The joint i24News-Middle East Forum probe found the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, gave $200,000 to the Khartoum-based Islamic Relief Agency, a designated global terrorist organization, reported i24News, the Israeli international news and current-affairs television channel located in Tel Aviv.
The relief group, ISRA, had been placed on the U.S. sanctions list for its financial support of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and other terrorist groups, including Hamas.
Independent sources said the funds were stopped as soon as it became clear that ISRA was a banned group.
But the U.S. Treasury, nevertheless, issued a special license permitting a one-time $125,000 transfer to ISRA after officials became aware of the mistake.
In 2004, under the George W. Bush administration, the Treasury designated ISRA a terrorist organization, noting its international offices “provided direct financial support” for bin Laden.
ISRA also served as a “conduit to Hamas” during the Second Intifada of the early 2000s, raising funds and transferring them to the Palestinian territories for terror attacks against Israelis.
The money that went to ISRA was part of a grant of $723,405 to World Vision, the evangelical international relief and development charity, for a humanitarian project in the Blue Nile region of Sudan, the Israeli news channel reported. Under the agreement, $200,000 of the grant was designated as a sub-award for the Islamic Relief Agency for humanitarian relief for displaced persons.
World Vision was required to verify that ISRA was not on the sanctions list. The organization told i24News it searched the blocked parties list for “Islamic Relief” in Sudan, and no results came up. World Vision also argues that in May 2014 it applied to the Treasury to renew its registration as a charity working in Sudan, listing ISRA as a sub-grantee, the news channel reported. The Treasury approved the renewal in August, World Vision said, “without any comments or questions” about ISRA.
In November 2014, World Vision alerted USAID that its local partner might be the same Islamic Relief Agency that appeared on the Treasury’s sanctions list and suspended transactions with ISRA while USAID informed the State Department and the Treasury.
The Obama administration also supported al-Qaida-related groups in Libya and in Syria, supplying arms and allowing the military arsenal of deposed leader Moammar Gadhafi to fall into the hands of terrorists.
In its nuclear deal with Iran, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found, the Obama administration pushed the U.S. Treasury to let the Islamic regime, the world’s No. 1 supporter of terrorism, convert the equivalent of $5.7 billion of funds into dollars.