Designation of Hamas Charities & Leaders as Terrorist Entities
(August 22, 2003)
In August 2003, President George W. Bush announced that the U.S. Treasury
designated five Hamas charities and six 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.
The following individuals were designated:
Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the leader of Hamas in Gaza.
Yassin 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.
Imad Khalil Al-Alami, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau
in Damascus, Syria.
al-Alami is a member of HAMAS's Political Bureau, located in Damascus,
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.
Usama Hamdan, a senior Hamas leader in Lebanon.
a senior HAMAS official based in
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
Khalid Mishaal, head of the Hamas Political Bureau and Executive
Committee in Damascus, Syria.
is the chief of HAMAS's Political Bureau in Damascus,
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
Musa Abu Marzouk, Deputy Chief of the Political Bureau in
Abu Marzouk is the Deputy Chief of HAMAS's Political Bureau based in
activities include directing and coordinating terrorist acts by HAMAS
against soldiers and civilians in
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
and the West Bank/Gaza.
Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader in Gaza reporting to Sheik
Rantisi 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
to prepare thousands of martyrdom cells to fight the
and its allies in the event of war.
The following charities that provide support to Hamas were designated:
Commite de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP), of France and The Association de Secours Palestinien (ASP), of Switzerland.
(An organization related to CBSP)
and ASP are primary fundraisers for HAMAS in
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
. ASP, a subsidiary
of CBSP, was founded in
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 .
The Palestinian Relief and Development Fund, or Interpal, headquartered
in the United Kingdom.
headquartered in the
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
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.
The Palestinian Association in Austria, PVOE.
is controlled by the leader of HAMAS in
The money is targeted to support members of HAMAS and is funneled through
other charities in
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.
The Sanabil Association for Relief and Development, based
Sanabil Association for Relief and Development (Sanabil), based in Sidon,
, 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