In January 2020, US Agency of International Development and State Department donated USD 5 million to InterAction.
Interestingly, InterAction in 2017 initiated the ’Together Project’.
The project questionably comprises of Islamic charities with documented links to extremist movements and terror financing groups.
The five Islamic charities in the ’Together Project’ are Helping Hand of Relief and Development (HHRD), Islamic Relief, Zakat Foundation of America, American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa and United Muslim Relief.
Sam Westrop, Director, Islamist Watch – project of the Middle East Forum – in a research-based report revealed that “InterAction has worked with these groups for the past three years to downplay examples of extremism and terror-finance links. In 2017, shortly after the Together Project was established, InterAction, along with its Together Project member bodies, was a leading force behind a letter sent by then-congresmman Keith Ellison to other legislators that attempted to minimise the extremist activities of Islamic Relief — an enormous charity headquartered in the UK, established and run by prominent members of several Muslim Brotherhood branches. Ellison and his InterAction-led backers urged lawmakers to reject a bill that would have excluded the Islamist organization from receiving government monies.”
The three Congressmen – Jim Banks, Chuck Fleischmann and Randy Weber — in a letter to the State Department Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Nathan Sales exposed the questionable links of Helping Hand of Relief (HHRD)
“Specifically of concern are the innocuous sounding organization. Helping Hands for Relief and Development (HHRD) and their “sister organization,” the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). While they sell themselves as innocuous Muslim civic society organizations. they are. in fact, arms of one of the most radical networks in the world.
There is no serious doubt that ICNA and HHRD are part of Jamaat-e-Islami’s international network. Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming and extensive.Vali Nasr of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced and International Studies names ICNA as one of the most important branches of Jamaat-e-Islarni in the world. Regrettably, there is significant evidence that Helping Hands for Relief and Development and ICNA are directly involved in terror finance. Indeed, Helping Hands for Relief and Development, under the guise of international aid, has openly worked with U.S. designated terrorist organizations in the disputed region of Kashmir.
In December 2017, HHRD organized a conference in Pakistan. Other organizations sponsoring the event included the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, the charitable wing of the Pakistani terrorist organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba. In 2016. the U.S. Treasury Department designated the Falah-eInsaniat Foundation as a terrorist organization.’? But that’s just one example. Another sponsor of the conference was a Pakistani charity named Al-Khidmat, which is the main charitable wing of Jamaat-e-Islami. Al-Khidmat support the aforementioned Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Jamaat-e-Islami’s armed wing, a U.S. designated terrorist group, and works on projects that are run by Hizb-ul-Mujahaideen.’! But Al-Khidmat’s ties to terror finance don’t end only with other Jamaat-eIslami affiliated groups. In 2006, Jamaat-e-lslami announced that Al-Khidmat sent 6 million rupees ($100,000) to Hamas, another U.S. designated terrorist group, for their ‘just Jihad.” Moreover, HHRD’s partnership with Al-Khidmat is not relegated to this one conference. Indeed. according to HHRD’s 2017 report, HHRD had done 214 different projects with Al-Khidmat.
The ongoing tension and violence in Kashmir is a threat to peace and stability for both India and Pakistan. It is clearly in the best interests of the U.S. to keep peace in the region and not fan the flames of war. It is thus vital that the U.S. do whatever it can to stop the flow of any and all funds that we can to terrorist organizations operating in the region. Thus, we ask that you use the full powers of your office to further investigate the potential terror finance links between groups like ICNA and HHRD, and US. and UN Security Council designated terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahedeen.”
The protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 across India was spearheaded by one main Islamist group out of the US – Stand With Kashmir. Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar invited people of Mumbai to join in the protests. The protest pamphlet with a distorted map of India excluding Kashmir was tweeted by Farhan Akthar, it also carried a logo of ‘Stand With Kashmir’.
Stand With Kashmir is a sister affiliated of Islamic Circle of North America and Helping Hands for Relief and Development (HHRD)
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Open Letter to Donald Trump: Investigate Islamic radicals groups in US targeting India to spread terror[/box] Another organisation is the Zakat Foundation of America. The charity was founded by Halil Demir, a former official at the Benevolence International Foundation. This foundation was designated as an Al Qaeda charitable front by the US Treasury in 2002. The Zakat Foundation reportedly has strong links with Turkey and its proxy organisations such as Foundation of Human Rights, Liberties and Humanitarian Relief (LHH).
The presence of Turkish nefarious hand in India in particular Kashmir is slowly rearing it ugly head.
Turkey is a majority-Sunni Muslim country. Turkey considers Islam instrumental in achieving consensus among its diverse ethnic groups.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan has good reason to invest in Indian Muslims. Support from the world third largest Muslim population would be a welcome boost to Erdogan’s claim to be the modern-day leader of the Muslim world.
“The links between Erdogan’s Islamist coterie and Indian clerics are long-standing but also deepening: a number of controversial Turkish Islamist clerics are regular visitors to India; one of them, Sardar Demirel, who was educated in Pakistan, visited Kolkata in 2016 to participate in a protest march against PM Modi’s Uniform Civil Code,” expressed Abhinav Pandya, CEO, Usanas Foundation – an Indian Think Thank on geopolitical issues in India with a focus on Kashmir.
Turkey is the only Islamic nation after Pakistan and Malaysia that had “unequivocally supported” self-determination of Kashmir and questioned the abrogation of Article 370.
InterAction’s Together Project members and partners including Islamic Relief – USA, Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) and others have met with Members of the US Congress to discuss online attacks and campaigns that spread false information targeting an NGO and most importantly bank de-risking – financial barriers faced by NGOSs working abroad that place limits on humanitarian aid.
Now reportedly the Islamic Relief – USA is a brand of Islamic Relief Worldwide which works with proxy organisations for the terrorist group Hamas. Islamic Relief World Wide has also been designated as a terrorist organisation by the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
The American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa known to have ties with extremists like Yusuf Estes who publicly supports death for apostates. He participated in one of their fundraisers in May 2019.
United Muslim Relief officials publicly support Hamas, the Islamic terror group of Palestine according to a report of Islamist Watch – a project of the Middle East Forum.
It is no secret that today, Islamist charities, flush with money from international bodies and American charitable foundations, operate with impunity, openly working with designated terrorist organizations and prominent extremists. These Islamic charities have been working against the interest of India, Stand With Kashmir and Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) have been prominent is spreading lied about India and its inclusive and integrating policies on Kashmir. Their actions are planned, targeted and protected under the guise of Islamic charities.
The moot question is why is the Trump administration funding Islamic charities and radical groups having links directly to terror organisations. Even more important is the startling truth that Islamic charities like HHRD linked to groups like ICNA and Stand With Kashmir are finding a voice in the US to lie and lobby for an Anti-India Anti-Kashmir agenda. US government has been funding these same Islamic charities.