U.S. Knew of Terrorist, Charity Ties

(Wall Street Journal) As early as 1996, the U.S. government possessed detailed information concerning terrorist penetration of Islamic charities world-wide, an intelligence report from that period shows. According to interviews with former intelligence officials and the newly available document, the CIA in 1996 provided the State Department and other agencies with detailed reporting on the charity-terror link. The report also implicates official Saudi Arabian government charities in supporting terrorism. It lists the Saudi-backed International Islamic Relief Organization, or IIRO, as having "extremist connections," including to the Palestinian group Hamas, Algerian radicals, and the Egyptian precursor to al Qaeda, Al-Gamaat Al-Islamiya. "The IIRO is affiliated with the Muslim World League, a major international organization largely financed by the government of Saudi Arabia," the report states, connecting the IIRO to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and convicted terrorist Ramzi Yousef.

2003-05-12 00:00:00

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