News

The Charity and Security Network monitors U.S. and foreign government activities and a wide range of news sources to identify developments in national security policy that impact American charities and foundations. We collect and disseminate this information - with a focus on its impact on civil society and nonprofit organizations.

News

Norwegian Refugee Council Head Urges Congress Pass Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act to Help Syrians

Date: 
March 27, 2014

Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, urged passage of the Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act (HAFA) to help alleviate the Syrian humanitarian crisis in his March 26 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Issues of Free Speech and Support of Terrorism Discussed in Petition to Supreme Court

Date: 
March 20, 2014

The nexus of freedom of speech and support of terrorism may again come before the Supreme Court. A petition sent to the Court on March 17, 2014 asked the justices to review the case of Tarek Mehanna, a Boston native who was sentenced to 17 years in prison for an act his lawyers say is protected by the First Amendment.

House Bill Proposes Travel Ban to Syria, Conflict Areas With No Nonprofit Exemption

Date: 
March 17, 2014

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) filed the International Conflicts of Concern Act (HR 4223) in the House of Representatives on March 12, 2014 which would ban travel to Syria without a license from the Department of Treasury and authorize the President to designate other areas where s/he finds acountry or armed forces are allowing a foreign terrorist organization to engage in armed conflict and it is in the national security interest to restrict travel and ban material support.  The penalties for violations include civil and criminal penalties, with up to 20 years in prison being possible. Its purpose is to prevent Americans from traveling to train with terrorist groups. The bill text has no exemptions for humanitarian, human rights, peacebuilding or other constructive activities. It has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Charity & Security Network, Human Security Collective Send Recommendations to Financial Action Task Force

Date: 
March 6, 2014

In February, the Charity & Security Network and the Human Security Collective sent recommendations to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) calling for adherence to principles of effectiveness and proportionality as they review their Typologies of terrorist abuse of nonprofits. The FATF is an intergovernmental body that sets policy recommendations for governments to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

General License for Nonprofit Programs in Iran Now in Federal Register

Date: 
February 27, 2014

The Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published Iran General Licenses E and F in the Federal Register on Feb. 24, 2014, after first issuing the licenses online on Sept. 10, 2013. License E authorizes nongovernmental organizations (NGO) to carry out humanitarian, reconstruction, environmental conservation projects and human rights and democracy building programs, subject to two limitations: 1.) a single NGO cannot send more than $500,000 in fund transfer per year in support of these activities, and 2.) quarterly reports must be submitted to OFAC.  License F authorizes services in support of professional and sports activities and exchanges between the U.S. and Iran. Full text of the licenses:

UN Security Council Votes for Humanitarian Aid across Syria (Fars News)

Date: 
February 25, 2014
Author: 
Fars News

From: Fars News Agency, Feb. 23, 2014

The Saturday resolution does not threaten sanctions but it does express the council's intention to take "further steps" if the resolution is not implemented, Al-Alam reported.

The foreign-backed militants hold several areas in the country under siege, leaving tens of thousands of people suffering from lack of food and medicine.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the move, but said the resolution "should not have been necessary".

US Amb to UN Samantha Power Speaks on Protecting Civil Society Rights Globally

Date: 
February 25, 2014

On Jan. 23, 2104 Samantha Power, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN spoke at a Ford Foundation gathering on civil society in New York City.

Treasury to Send Recommendations on Licensing Process for NGOs to Congressional Committee

Date: 
February 19, 2014

For the past several years several U.S. nonprofits, including the Charity & Security Network, have worked with Congressional staff to encourage oversight of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the Department of Treasury, where charities have had serious problems with the process for licensing charitable programs that would be otherwise prohibited by sanctions law.  The efforts paid off in January 2014 when the Omnibus appropriations bill included language that requires Treasury to report to the House Committee on Appropriations on its plans for reducing delays in the license application process.  The report is due in March. The language says:

NSA Reform Stalls in Committee (The Hill)

Date: 
February 16, 2014
Author: 
Julian Hattem

From The Hill Feb. 16, 2014