Few nations have suffered under the tyrannical oppression of radical Islamic oppression as acutely as Sudan. With two civil wars just 11 years removed from one another with the second ending in 2005, the east African nation continues to battle with extremism and has been accused of sponsoring international terrorism.
The country has been on America’s blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism since 1993. Back then Osama bin Laden called the capital city of Khartoum home. Through executive and congressional actions, the U.S. government has imposed a list of wide-ranging and comprehensive sanctions while accusing the government of human rights abuses, including genocide in Darfur, and support for foreign terrorist organizations.
Since gaining its independence in 1956, Muslims have dominated national government institutions. The southern part of the country was predominately Christian. Instead of economic development, sustainability, food production, infrastructure, or anything else that may have actually benefitted the people of Sudan, the regime chose to institute an extreme interpretation of Shariah Law. When this portion of the population refused to simply resign themselves to the legally codified strictures of the Quran and Hadith, or force their wives and daughters to endure the horrors of female circumcision, among other non-religious issues of exploitation, the government chose to wage war against these people in a conflict lasting more than 20 years resulting in the highest death count of any war since World War II.
In 2005, South Sudan became its own nation, gaining independence, yet still suffering from the effects of long-term war. Rather than assist them in their plight, however, the former Obama administration chose to approve a grant of $200,000 of taxpayer money to an al-Qaeda affiliate in Sudan — a decade after the U.S. Treasury designated it as a terrorist-financing organization,” Sam Westrop of the Middle East Forum wrote in a recent piece for National Review. “More stunningly, government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization.”
This report proves what many knew and others suspected, yet those in opposition and some in the mainstream media continue to deny. This report offers undeniable and irrefutable proof that the Obama administration knowingly provided an Islamic terrorist-financing organization with hundreds of thousands of dollars of American taxpayer money.
Yet officials serving in the Obama administration saw fit to approve the release of well over $100,000 to Khartoum-based Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA). Even after officials were specifically advised that this group was directly affiliated with known al-Qaeda operative Osama bin Laden and his organization that was the precursor to al-Qaeda, Maktab al-Khidamat (MK), they knowingly released this money into the hands of known terrorists that meant harm to America and her people.
Also known by the name the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), the group then received an additional $200,000 taxpayer-funded grant from the Obama administration. In case you missed that – despite their ties to known terror affiliates of a group named a terrorist group more than 10 years prior, the Obama administration saw fit to release $115,000 to the organization. Then when officials were specifically told of the terror designation and affiliations with al-Qaeda, in case they somehow missed the memo, Obama administration officials doubled down and released an additional $200,000 in a taxpayer-funded grant to the same terror-affiliated group!
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) August 2, 2016
Al-Qaeda operates as a network made up of Islamic extremist, Salafist jihadists under a variety of names and groups. They were designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, and India, along with a handful of other countries. Al-Qaeda has repeatedly launched attacks, effectively waging war on civilian and military targets in a variety of countries including the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, and the 2002 Bali bombings. Since the death of bin Laden in 2011, the group has been led by the Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Radicals affiliated with Al-Qaeda envision a complete break from all foreign influences in Muslim countries. This, in turn, will lead to the creation of a new caliphate which will rule over the entire Muslim world. They believe that there is a Christian–Jewish alliance conspiring to destroy Islam. As such, they believe that there is no such thing as innocent civilians, as according to them the killing of non-combatants is religiously sanctioned. Al-Qaeda also vehemently oppose any law they consider to be “man-made” and seek to replace them with the strictest form of Sharia Law.
According to the National Review –
“According to the U.S. Treasury, in 1997 ISRA established formal cooperation with MK. By 2000, ISRA had raised $5 million for bin Laden’s group. The Treasury Department notes that ISRA officials even sought to help “relocate [bin Laden] to secure safe harbor for him.” It further reports that ISRA raised funds in 2003 in Western Europe specifically earmarked for Hamas suicide bombings.
The 2004 designation included all of ISRA’s branches, including a U.S. office, called the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA-USA). Eventually, it became known that this American branch had illegally transferred over $1.2 million to Iraqi insurgents and other terror groups, including, reportedly, the Afghan terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.”
National Review continues with their bombshell report revealing that in July 2014 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) approved $723,405 of U.S. taxpayer funds to go to World Vision Inc., and of that money, “$200,000 was to be directed to a sub-grantee: ISRA.”
World Vision also attempted to advise USAID, along with the USAID back in 2014 of ISRA’s known terrorist affiliation with groups on the designated terrorist organization list. As a result of this designation, World Vision advised that they would have to wait for assessment from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before they could receive the money.
In January 2015, OFAC confirmed that ISRA was indeed a designated terrorist organization. As a result of that designation, they denied World Vision and prevented the group from obtaining “a license to engage in transactions with [ISRA].”
In spite of this ruling, National Review reports –
“Despite OFAC’s ruling, in February, World Vision wrote to OFAC and Obama-administration official Jeremy Konyndyk (who then served as director of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance) to apply to OFAC for a new license from USAID to pay ISRA “monies owed for work performed.” According to Larry Meserve, USAID’s mission director for Sudan, World Vision argued that if they did not pay ISRA, “their whole program will be jeopardized.”…
…Then, incredibly, on May 7, 2015 — after “close collaboration and consultations with the Department of State” — OFAC issued a license to a World Vision affiliate, World Vision International, authorizing “a one-time transfer of approximately $125,000 to ISRA,” of which “$115,000 was for services performed under the sub-award with USAID” and $10,000 was “for an unrelated funding arrangement between Irish Aid and World Vision.”
Despite former President Barack Obama’s attestations to a “scandal-free administration” it seems that both Obama and his administration actively encouraged terror organizations to thrive, even funding them with American taxpayer dollars. It is a stark contrast to the full out war that the current Trump administration has focused on their attempts to root out and destroy radical Islamic terrorism.