Islamic terrorists, whether affiliated with al Qaeda or the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, are enemies of the United States. They have American blood on their hands. The Obama administration aided and abetted these enemies by knowingly funding the terrorists and allowing them to evade the enforcement of U.S. law against them. As Andrew McCarthy once wrote, Obama was an “anti-anti-terrorist.”
For example, as the National Review has just reported, based on a discovery by the Middle East Forum, the Obama administration decided that an al Qaeda affiliate in Sudan was a worthy recipient of U.S. taxpayer funds to the tune of $200,000. The beneficiary of the Obama administration’s largesse, the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), also known as the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), had been designated by the U.S. Treasury as a terrorist-financing organization a decade earlier. The Treasury Department’s designation was based on ISRA’s links to Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organization, financial support for the Taliban, and fundraising in Western Europe to help finance Hamas suicide bombings.
Not only did the Obama administration disregard the U.S. Treasury Department designation. It overlooked the fact that, as set out in a July 28, 2010 press release issued by USAID (the U.S. Agency for International Development), the executive director of the Islamic American Relief Agency, the U.S. branch office of ISRA, pleaded guilty to illegally transferring funds raised in the United States as purported charitable contributions to Iraq. He had “the assistance of a Sudanese man living in Jordan, who was subsequently identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a specially designated global terrorist.” Nevertheless, four years later, USAID itself awarded a grant of $723,405 to a charity known as World Vision Inc. for the purported purpose of providing humanitarian relief in Sudan, out of which $200,000 was provided to ISRA as a sub-grantee. The money was directed “to help provide humanitarian aid, including emergency food, water, sanitation, and hygiene services, to displaced people affected by the ongoing conflict in Sudan,” according to a USAID official.
Islamic terrorist organizations cause humanitarian suffering on a grand scale, not help relieve it. Giving money to an al Qaeda affiliate to help provide humanitarian aid is like giving an arsonist the hose to help put out the fire he set.
The Obama administration’s decision to provide funding to ISRA in the face of such evidence of terrorist links was not the product of some inadvertent bureaucratic blunder. It turns out, according to the National Review report, that “government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization.” World Vision Inc. notified USAID in November 2014 of its belief that ISRA had been designated as a terrorist organization, which the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) confirmed. However, World Vision still wanted to continue working with ISRA because of its “excellent” performance. After OFAC denied World Vision a license to engage in transactions with ISRA because of the terrorist designation, World Vision appealed directly to the Obama administration’s director of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance for help with OFAC. It wanted a new license to pay ISRA what ISRA claimed to be owed for work performed. OFAC relented, authorizing a one-time transfer of $115,000 “for services performed under the sub-award with USAID.” According to the National Review article, an unnamed World Vision official described OFAC’s decision as a “great relief as ISRA had become restive and had threatened legal action, which would have damaged our reputation and standing in Sudan.” A senior USAID official Charles Wanjue wrote to colleagues: “Good news and a great relief, really!”
In short, the Obama administration knowingly rewarded designated terrorists affiliated with al Qaeda, an avowed Islamist enemy of the United States, with taxpayer funds. Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. The Obama administration had a pattern of aiding and abetting Islamist terrorists, including those sponsored by the Iranian regime.
Indeed, former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that some of the monies released to the Iranian regime as a result of the disastrous nuclear deal would likely end up in the hands of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which supports terrorist groups, as well as in the hands of “other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.” Just as Kerry predicted, it turns out that at least some of the $1.7 billion ransom payment the Obama administration paid for the Iranian regime’s release of American hostages has ended up in the hands of the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah as well as with the regime’s Quds Force, which is part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The Quds Force was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2007 for providing material support to the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. Flushed with cash supplied by the Obama administration, Quds’ boss Major-General Qassem Soleimani was emboldened to just threaten the United States, declaring “You know our power in the region and our capabilities in asymmetric war. We will act and we will work…We are near you, where you can’t even imagine.“
The Obama administration is also reported to have “derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States,” according to a Politico report. During the course of a multi-year operation, law enforcement agents had “followed cocaine shipments, tracked a river of dirty cash, and traced what they believed to be the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.” However, Obama’s Justice Department obstructed the investigation. It refused requests “to file criminal charges against major players such as Hezbollah’s high-profile envoy to Iran, a Lebanese bank that allegedly laundered billions in alleged drug profits, and a central player in a U.S.-based cell of the Iranian paramilitary Quds force.” Once again, the Obama administration was helping the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and its terrorist proxy Hezbollah by letting them continue to enrich their coffers with the smuggling of cocaine into the United States. Moreover, the Obama administration failed to strongly press the Czech Republic to extradite a Lebanese arms dealer Ali Fayad the Czech Republic had arrested, who, Politico reported, was “a suspected top Hezbollah operative whom agents believed reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a key supplier of weapons to Syria and Iraq.” Fayad was wanted on charges that included conspiring in a plan to murder U.S. government employees and to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. The Obama administration in effect gave cover to a Hezbollah terrorist operative who was reportedly in league with Vladimir Putin. Talk about real collusion with an enemy of the United States!
Obama did worse as president than simply try to shield Islamists from legitimate criticism that their supremacist jihadist ideology fueled violence against innocent civilians. His administration’s policies helped fund the Islamist terrorists and allowed some to escape legal accountability for their actions.