The Latest 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 civil society and nonprofit organizations. We collect and disseminate relevant information on our website, via our Twitter and Facebook accounts, and through our biweekly email newsletter, which contains links to a variety of news articles. To read the most recent issues of our email newsletter or to subscribe, click here.
Our staff also creates news pieces on events and developments of particular interest to our members that are not covered in other news outlets. Those stories can be found below, in revese chronological order.
Two important events surrounding the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) are expected in the coming months, both with a big impact on nonprofit organizations (NPOs).
Following the June FATF Plenary in Australia, the NPO sector can now expect a revision of the Recommendation 8 Interpretative Note (IN). At the same time, the FATF will begin its periodic evaluation of the U.S. in late 2015. The results of that evaluation will likely shape U.S. counterterrorism laws and policies affecting NPOs going forward.
A number of U.S. nonprofit organizations (NPOs) joined together to send two sign-on letters to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), urging the government to support conflict resolution in Yemen and form a comprehensive strategy to prevent the escalation of the ongoing conflict there.
The 2008 criminal conviction of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and five of its leaders for providing material support to Hamas, a listed terrorist organization, is being challenged in an Aug. 10, 2015 petition seeking a new trial based on new evidence. Although the government admitted that no HLF funds went to Hamas, at trial it argued that the local charity committees HLF worked with were controlled by it. However, these committees have never been placed on the U.S. terrorist list. The new petition presents sworn statements from people directly connected to the local charities that state they were independent and not controlled by Hamas or any other group. A decision on whether to grant an evidentiary hearing is not expected for several months. HLF itself, which was convicted without representation at trial, is not part of this petition and remains unrepresented. Background information on the HLF case can be found here.
In an early August letter to the National Security Council (NSC), the Charity & Security Network asks that federal agencies engaged abroad seize an opportunity to examine rules and policies that affect U.S. nonprofit organizations (NPOs) operating in global hot spots, where their work is badly needed.
Pursuant to the Presidential Memorandum – Civil Society of September 23, 2014, agencies engaged abroad are required to “review their internal regulations, policies, and procedures to ensure that programmatic requirements do not inadvertently impede civil society operations.” In addition, the signatories to the 2013 Joint Statement on the Promotion of Protection of Civil Society agreed “to lead by example to promote laws, policies, and practices that expand the spaces for civil society to operate in accordance with international law.” The regulatory review required by the Presidential Memorandum creates an opportunity to “lead by example,” states the August 4 letter to Laura Schulz, Director for Global Engagement at NSC.