U.S. Designates Five Charities Funding Hamas
and Six Senior Hamas Leaders as Terrorist Entities
(August 22, 2003)
Present Bush today announced that the U.S. Treasury
is designating five Hamas
related charities and six senior Hamas leaders as Specially Designated
Global Terrorists (SDGTs), freezing any assets in the U.S. and prohibiting
transactions with U.S. nationals. “By claiming responsibility for the
despicable act of terror on August 19, Hamas has reaffirmed that it
is a terrorist organization committed to violence against Israelis and
to undermining progress toward peace between Israel and the Palestinian
people,” President Bush stated.
“Hamas’ leaders and those who provide their funding
again have the blood of innocents on their hands,” U.S. Treasury Secretary
John Snow stated. “Empty words cannot wash them clean. As they resist
the road map for peace, Hamas is devastating the dreams of the Palestinian
people for freedom, prosperity, and an independent state.”
The United States will continue to work with our allies
to encourage the recognition of Hamas as a terrorist organization and
to shut down their sources of funding and support.
The following individuals are designated as SDGTs by today’s action:
- Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the leader of Hamas in Gaza.
- Imad Khalil Al-Alami, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau
in Damascus, Syria.
- Usama Hamdan, a senior Hamas leader in Lebanon.
- Khalid Mishaal, head of the Hamas Political Bureau and Executive
Committee in Damascus, Syria.
- Musa Abu Marzouk, Deputy Chief of the Political Bureau in
- Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader in Gaza reporting to Sheik
The following charities that provide support to Hamas and form part
of its funding network in Europe are designated as well:
- Commite de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP),
- The Association de Secours Palestinien (ASP), of Switzerland.
(An organization related to CBSP)
- The Palestinian Relief and Development Fund, or Interpal, headquartered
in the United Kingdom.
- The Palestinian Association in Austria, PVOE.
- The Sanabil Association for Relief and Development, based
Today’s action follows several actions taken against
Hamas previously, including the designation of several entities that
formed part of the Hamas network such as Holy Land Foundation for Relief
and Development and the Al Aqsa Foundation, key sources of financial
support for Hamas.
is a terrorist organization that has intentionally killed hundreds of
innocent civilians and continues to kill and maim with the aim of terrorizing
a civilian population. HAMAS was formed in 1987 as an outgrowth
of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. HAMAS activists
have conducted many attacks – including large-scale suicide bombings
– against Israeli citizens and military targets. In the early
1990s, they also targeted U.S. citizens, suspected
Palestinian collaborators and Fatah rivals.
2002, more than 370 persons – including 10 US
citizens – were killed in Israel,
the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by acts of terrorism. HAMAS
was responsible for carrying out more than 50 of these attacks, including
shootings, suicide bombings, and standoff mortar-and-rocket attacks
against civilian and military targets. The group was responsible
for the most deadly Palestinian terrorist attack of the year – the suicide
bombings of a Passover gathering at a Netanya hotel that killed 29 Israelis,
including one dual US-Israeli citizen. HAMAS's bombing of
a cafeteria on the Hebrew University campus, which killed nine, including
five US citizens, demonstrated its willingness to stage operations in
areas frequented by students and tourists, including US citizens.
addition, HAMAS's rejectionist policies and terrorist actions are aimed
at derailing the peace process in the Middle East. On April 30,
2003, the U.S. government released
the roadmap for peace between Israel
and the Palestinians, which constitutes a crucial step in international
efforts to actively support movement towards peace in the region.
HAMAS, however, has since the mid-90s purposefully worked against all
regional peace efforts by engaging in suicide attacks and other acts
of the most violent type of terrorism. On June 8 and June
11 HAMAS took credit for attacks against Israelis. The organization
also took credit for four suicide bombings in a 24-hour period during
the weekend preceding May 20th.
June 29th, HAMAS and two other designated terrorist groups announced
a cease-fire. On August 19th, a suicide bomber detonated his bomb in
the back of a double-length city bus near the border between east and
west Jerusalem. According to a CNN report, HAMAS said that it
was committed to the cease-fire, but also claimed responsibility, stating
that “the man was a member of its military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam
Brigades, and the attack came in revenge for the killing of two of its
members.” As noted by the Human Rights Watch, “the Hamas leadership
has pursued attacks against civilians as a conscious policy. A
group that pursues multiple, intentional attacks against civilians as
a matter of policy is responsible for crimes against humanity.” Erased
in a Moment: Suicide Bombing Attacks Against Israeli Civilians
at 67 (October 2002).
Executive Order 13224, the United States
government may block the assets of HAMAS (which it has done) and the
assets of individuals and entities owned or controlled by; acting for
or on behalf of; or providing support, financial or otherwise, to designated
terrorists and terrorist organizations. HAMAS has been designated
as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (66 Fed. Reg. 51088) and as a Specially
Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224, "Blocking
Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons who Commit, or Support
United States government has
credible evidence that the following six HAMAS leaders that command
and control terrorist activity.
is the head of HAMAS in Gaza. He maintains a direct line of communication
with other HAMAS leaders on coordination of HAMAS's military activities
and openly admits that there is no distinguishing the political and
military wings of Hamas. Yassin also conveys messages about operational
planning to other Palestinian terrorist organizations.
Yassin is an entourage of personal "bodyguards," including many implicated
in providing information and supplies to fugitives, recruiting personnel
to undertake military operations, planning terrorist cells, attacking
settlements, and manufacturing weapons and explosives.
al-Alami is a member of HAMAS's Political Bureau, located in Damascus,
Syria and a military operations
leader. As part of HAMAS's external leadership, he is part of
the most effective and powerful wing of HAMAS because it controls the
West Bank and prison branches of HAMAS and has gained total financial
has had oversight responsibility for the military wing of HAMAS within
the Palestinian territories. As a HAMAS military leader, al-Alami
directs sending personnel and funding to the West Bank and Gaza.
a senior HAMAS official based in Lebanon,
maintains contact with representatives with other terrorist organizations
with the purpose of strengthening the ties between these organizations
in order to strengthen an international Islamic Jihad. He has
worked with other HAMAS and Hizballah leaders on initiatives to develop
and activate the military network inside the Palestinian territories
in support of the current intifada, including the movement of weapons,
explosives and personnel to the West Bank and Gaza for HAMAS fighters.
transferred from charitable donations to HAMAS for distribution to the
families of Palestinian “martyrs” have been transferred to the bank
account of Hamdan and used to support HAMAS military operations in Israel.
is the chief of HAMAS's Political Bureau in Damascus, Syria
and heads HAMAS's Executive Committee and Special Office.
Cells in the military wing based in the West Bank that are under Mishaal's
control have been implicated in efforts by HAMAS to plan large attacks
that would undermine the "road map" peace plan.
has been responsible for supervising assassination operations, bombings
and the killing of Israeli settlers. To execute HAMAS military
activities, Mishaal maintains a direct link to Gaza-based HAMAS leader,
Abdel Aziz Rantisi (see below). He also provides instructions
to other parts of the HAMAS military wing.
transferred from charitable donations to HAMAS for distribution to the
families of Palestinian martyrs have been transferred to the bank account
of Mishaal and used to support HAMAS military operations in Israel.
Abu Marzouk is the Deputy Chief of HAMAS's Political Bureau based in
Damascus, Syria. His
activities include directing and coordinating terrorist acts by HAMAS
against soldiers and civilians in Israel
and the West Bank and Gaza. Marzouk maintains relationships
with other terrorist organizations.
Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, designated as an SDGT
under EO 13224 in December 2001 based on its support of HAMAS, received
start-up funding and instructions from Marzouk. Marzouk is implicated
in receiving financing for HAMAS terrorist attacks, funds that have
been used to mobilize military activity inside Israel
and the West Bank/Gaza.
is part of the HAMAS leadership in Gaza, operating directly under HAMAS
Leader Shaykh Yassin (see above) with whom he maintains a direct
line of communication for the coordination of military operations.
Mishaal (see above) has also issued orders for HAMAS terrorist
activities through Rantisi.
October of 2002, Rantisi was reported in Al-Hayat as personally claiming
responsibility for the assassination of a Palestinian Authority Police
Colonel. In December 2002, he was calling for Iraq
to prepare thousands of martyrdom cells to fight the United
States and its allies in the event of war.
raises tens of millions or dollars per year throughout the world using
charitable fundraising as cover. While HAMAS may provide money
for legitimate charitable work, this work is a primary recruiting tool
for the organization's militant causes. HAMAS relies on donations
from Palestinian expatriates around the world and private benefactors
located in moderate Arab states, Western Europe and North America.
HAMAS uses a web of charities to facilitate funding and to funnel money.
Charitable donations to non-governmental organizations are commingled,
moved between charities in ways that hide the money trail, and then
often diverted or siphoned to support terrorism.
funds pouring into HAMAS coffers directly undermine the Middle East
peace process. These funds allow the group to continue to foment
violence, strengthen its terrorist infrastructure, and undermine responsible
political leadership of HAMAS directs its terrorist networks just as
they oversee their other activities. HAMAS leader Yassin confirms
this relationship, stating to al-Sharq al-Awsat on August 12, 2002:
"When we make decisions on the political level and convey them to the
military wing, it abides by it normally.” The intensity of this
relationship is reflected in Yassin's words quoted by Reuters on May
We can not separate the wing from the body. If we do so,
the body will not be able to fly. HAMAS is one body.
report issued by Human Rights Watch has also noted the unified nature
In the case of Hamas, there is abundant evidence that the military
wing is accountable to a political steering committee . . . . Yassin
himself, as well as Salah Shehadah, the late founder and commander of
the ‘Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have confirmed in public remarks
that the military wing implements policies that are set by the political
wing.” Erased in a Moment: Suicide Bombing Attacks Against
Israeli Civilians at 63 (October 2002).
may involve community solicitation in the United
Europe and the Middle East or solicitations directly to wealthy donors.
While some donors may be aware of the intended use of their donations,
too many innocent donors who intend for their money to be used to provide
humanitarian services here or abroad, are unwittingly funding acts of
violence when these funds are diverted to terrorist causes.
fundraising directly undermines Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas's ability
to clamp down on this terrorist organization. One of the obstacles
and threats to establishing a meaningful dialogue toward peace comes
from terrorist groups such as HAMAS, which view peace discussions as
inimical to their interests and are intent on undermining the multilateral
work on the roadmap by fomenting violence. In order to support
momentum towards peace, to strengthen the ability of the new Palestinian
leadership to take the actions it must take against HAMAS, the assets
of groups like HAMAS must be frozen, as well as the assets of organizations
raising funds for such terrorist groups.
13224 provides a means to disrupt the financial-support network funding
terrorist attacks committed by HAMAS. Under this Order, the United
States government may block the assets of HAMAS
(which it has done) and the assets of individuals and entities owned
or controlled by; acting for or on behalf of; or providing support,
financial or otherwise, to designated terrorists and terrorist organizations.
HAMAS has been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (66 Fed.
Reg. 51088) and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT)
under Executive Order 13224, "Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions
with Persons who Commit, or Support Terrorism.”
United States government has
credible evidence that the following five organizations are part of
a web of charities raising funds on behalf of HAMAS and using humanitarians
purposes as a cover for acts that support HAMAS. Funds are generated
by, and flow through, these organizations on behalf of HAMAS.
de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP) and Association
de Secours Palestinien (ASP)
and ASP are primary fundraisers for HAMAS in France
and Switzerland, respectively.
Founded in France in the late
80s/early 90s, CBSP acts in collaboration with more than a dozen humanitarian
organizations based in different towns in the West Bank and Gaza and
in Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan
and Lebanon. ASP, a subsidiary
of CBSP, was founded in Switzerland
in 1994. The group has collected large amounts of money from mosques
and Islamic centers, which it then transfers to sub-organizations of
HAMAS. Khalid Al-Shuli is the president of CBSP and ASP .
Relief and Development Fund (Interpal)
headquartered in the UK, has
been a principal charity utilized to hide the flow of money to HAMAS.
Reporting indicates it is the conduit through which money flows to HAMAS
from other charities, e.g., the Al Aqsa Foundation (designated
under EO 13224 on May 29th) and oversees the activities of other charities.
For example, the Sanabil Association for Relief and Development (designated
as part of this tranche), represents Interpal in Lebanon.
Reporting indicates that Interpal is the fundraising coordinator of
HAMAS. This role is of the type that includes supervising activities
of charities, developing new charities in targeted areas, instructing
how funds should be transferred from one charity to another, and even
determining public relations policy.
Association in Austria (PVOE)
is controlled by the leader of HAMAS in Austria.
The money is targeted to support members of HAMAS and is funneled through
other charities in Lebanon,
the West Bank and Gaza or other areas of the Middle East in order to
ensure the transfer of funds is undetected and reaches its intended
recipients. PVOE is part of the HAMAS network of charitable organizations
that includes the Al Aqsa Foundation.
Association for Relief and Development
Sanabil Association for Relief and Development (Sanabil), based in Sidon,
Lebanon, receives large quantities
of funds raised by major HAMAS-affiliated charities in Europe and the
Middle East and, in turn, provides funding to HAMAS. For
example, Sanabil has received funding from the Al Aqsa Foundation (designated
as an SDGT under EO 13224 in May 2003); the Holy Land Foundation for
Relief and Development (designated as an SDGT under EO 13224 in December
2001), and Interpal (designated as an SDGT under EO 13224 as part of
this tranche). HAMAS recruits permanent members from the religious
and the poor by extending charity to them from organizations such as
the request of a HAMAS political leader, Sanabil began opening offices
in all of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon
in August of 2001 in order to increase the foundation's role inside
the camps. After starting by providing basic necessities
the charity eventually began asking poor families within the camps to
fill out application forms, particularly those who had worked with the
Islamic Movement (Al-Haraka al-Islamiyya) and HAMAS. As
a result of these efforts, Sanabil has increased its scope of influence
within the camps.
Department of the Treasury