Sunday, May 30, 2010

Portrait of IHH

Col.(Ret.)Jonathan Fighel2
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

1. Prominent among the coalition organizations participating in the aid flotilla scheduled to arrive in the Gaza Strip in the coming days is the Turkish IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi, IHH, “humanitarian relief fund”). It is a radical Islamic organization which was established in 1992 and formally registered in Istanbul in 1995. 2. Already back in 1996,the organization was identified by the CIA as a radical Islamic humanitarian organization bearing the name of INTERNATIONAL HUMANITAIRE HILFSORGANIZATION (IHH) A.K.A International Humanitarian Relief Organization, whose main offices were located in Zagreb and Sarajevo, its Headquarters in Germany, established by a member of the Turkish Refah Party. The CIA report mentioned that the organization was at that time in connections with Extremist groups in Iran and Algeria.

3. The January 1996 CIA report" “International Islamic NGOs” and links to terrorism" was declassified by the USA government after September 2001 Al Qaeda attacks in the USA as part of the government trails against captured Al Qaeda members facing trails in the US. The report portrays a large number of identified Islamic organizations linked to radical Islamic groups.

4. The CIA report deals with the charities and their involvement in terrorism in the context of the conflict situation at that time in Bosnia, where aiding Muslims in distress was an Islamic religious duty. Islamic activists dominate the leadership of the largest charities, and prominent members of some smaller organizations have been identified as extremists. The main objectives of these organizations include proselytizing, helping the needy, and defending Muslim communities from enemies. Where Muslims are engaged in armed conflict, some Islamic organizations provide military aid as part of a "humanitarian" package.

5. The entire major and most of the minor Islamic charities were significant players in the former Yugoslavia, particularly in aiding Bosnian Muslims. Their contributions represent a significant proportion of humanitarian aid in Bosnia. According to the US embassy in Riyadh, Saudi nationals alone gave $150 million through Islamic NGOs for aid to Bosnia in 1994. Most of the offices of NGOs active in Bosnia are located in Zagreb, Sarajevo, Zenica, and Tuzla. Their field operations appear to be confined to the Muslim areas of Northeastern and Central Bosnia.

6. The CIA report identified INTERNATIONAL HUMANITAIRE HILFSORGANIZATION (IHH) as part of 15 organizations that employed members or otherwise facilitate the activities of terrorist groups operating in Bosnia. Some Islamic NGOs, not included in the list, have terrorist connections outside of the Balkans.

7. It should be noted that a small [art of the charities mentioned in the report were designated by the USA after the 1998 embassies bombings in Africa and the majority of them were designated only after 9/11.

8. Strangely enough, the IHH is not designated by the USA and was designated by Israel only in 2008 due to its connections with Hamas and its fronts within the Union of Good umbrella organization which was outlawed including its 36 affiliated associations.

1 Follow-up to ITIC Bulletin : "IHH, which plays a central role in organizing the flotilla to the Gaza Strip, is a Turkish humanitarian relief fund with a radical Islamic anti-Western orientation. Besides its legitimate philanthropic activities, it supports radical Islamic networks, including Hamas, and at least in the past, even global jihad elements" (May 26, 2010).

2 Col.(Ret.) Jonathan Fighel is a Senior Researcher in the International Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT), IDC

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