List of U.S. charities designated and/or shut down by Treasury

January 26, 2012

The legal authority for the Department of Treasury to designate a person or organization as a Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) (or freeze assets "pending investigation") is based on laws providing for economic sanctions against foreign nations, going back to the Trading With the Enemy Act in 1917 and ending with the Patriot Act. 

NGOs Explain How USAID’s Partner Vetting System Hurts Humanitarian Action & Is Contrary to U.S. Interests

January 14, 2012

Below are excerpts from comments written by a diverse range of nonprofits and experts in response to two Federal Register announcements inviting comment on the burdens USAID’s Partner Vetting System (PVS) would impose on its grant applicants; one from the Department of State (Oct. 2011) and USAID (Dec. 2011). PVS would require NGOs receiving USAID funds to collect personal information on local partners for submission to the U.S. government. If implemented, the proposed PVS pilot would create hazards for aid workers and undermine program effectiveness. It will prevent some potential grantees from applying for funds, and will hamper the efforts of others to deliver services and programs that serve the best interests of the United States.

U.S. Muslim Charities and The War on Terror: A Decade in Review

December 23, 2011
In December 2011, the Charity & Security Network released U.S. Muslim Charities and the War on Terror: A Decade in Review.  It began as an update to a March 2006 report summarizing action by the U.S. government to shut down American Muslim charities since 2006.
But as we researched the report we realized that there is a lot more to the story than the closing of seven American Muslim charities. In numerous instances, the U.S. government has infringed on First Amendment right to free speech and assembly as well as freedom of religion. But the good news is that American Muslim nonprofits have stepped up to the plate to meet these challenges, and have evolved to continue providing humanitarian aid in the U.S. and abroad, while working to prevent violent extremism. Read more...

U.S. Muslim Charities and The War on Terror: A Decade in Review

December 21, 2011
A December 2011 report published by the Charity and Security Network, U.S. Muslim Charities and the War on Terror: A Decade in Review, examines the challenges American Muslim charities have faced since 9/11 and how they have successfully responded. 

The report is an update to the OMB Watch March 2006 report, Muslim Charities and the War on Terror: Top Ten Concerns and Status Update. The update summarizes action by the U.S. government to shut down American Muslim charities since 2006, and gives updates on the status of litigation and other efforts by charities. It also details the unwarranted government investigation and surveillance of Muslim communities and charities. The report concludes by examining how the American Muslim charitable sector has addressed government scrutiny by implementing rigorous due diligence procedures, and educating politicians and the public to combat Islamophobia.

Summary: The Fifth Circuit’s Holy Land Foundation Decision

December 20, 2011
By Alan R. Kabat, Bernabei & Wachtel, PLLC
On December 7, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its long-anticipated decision in the Holy Land Foundation prosecution.  United States v. El-Mezain, et al., No. 09-10560, 664 F.3d 467, 2011 WL 6058592 (5th Cir. Dec. 7, 2011). While this decision upheld the jury verdict and judgment against the defendants, the Fifth Circuit did address a number of issues of broader legal significance, and recognized the legitimacy of several arguments raised by the defendants as to the improper use of certain categories of evidence at trial.

TV Show Examines Restrictions on Lawyers Representing Groups on Terrorist List

November 11, 2011

A recent episode of the “The Good Wife” explored some of the problems created by the U.S. government's harsh restrictions on lawyers representing groups and individuals designated a terrorist under Executive Order 13224. These restrictions deny basic due process and are a means of discouraging lawyers from representing those who have been put on the terrorist list, making defense of their claims in court more difficult.

Morton Sklar, the legal consultant to “The Good Wife” tv series, wrote a blog about the damaging impact of these restrictions and offers a better way forward. Read more….

Why Talking Peace is Essential and Why it is Threatened

October 28, 2011
Bill Richardson, Melanie Greenberg and Derek Brown

Mediating between warring parties has never been an easy task. History shows that the odds are stacked against such efforts. Academics who study the field of conflict resolution argue about whether more conflicts are ended by military victory or non-violent negotiation (the record is mixed), but the prevalence of prolonged violent conflict across our globe demonstrates that successful peace efforts are still too few in number.  Read more....

Wikileaks Exposes Trove of Insight on Counterterrorism Rules and Charities

October 11, 2011

On Sept. 1, 2011, an archive of 251, 287 unredacted U.S. diplomatic cables became available on the internet. The range of issues covered is extensive, ranging from Citibank’s hijacked $7 million in Sudan to Hamas’ liability for a Gaza tunnel ponzi scheme. The Charity & Security Network searched through the cables for subjects affecting U.S. charitable activities and found lots of information about OFAC licensing delays, countering violent extremism strategies, the UN counterterrorism regime, and more.  Read more...

Wikileaks Exposes Trove of Insight on U.S. Government Counterterrorism Rules and Charities

October 3, 2011

On Sept. 1, 2011, a searchable archive of over 250,000 unredacted U.S. State Department cables became available on the internet. The publication of the cables expanded a window on American diplomacy that first opened in November 2010 when Wikileaks and several international news organizations started publishing selected cables. The Charity & Security Network has scanned though thousands of the cables for any discussion about issues affecting U.S. charitable activities. Excerpts from cables pertaining to the following topics are below.

Excerpts from Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on a Smart Power Approach to Counterterrorism

October 3, 2011

Speaking at the John Jay School of Criminal Justice in New York on Sept. 9, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reviewed the past decade of counterterrorism activity and articulated the Obama Administration’s multi-layered strategy for addressing violent extremism.  (Text and video)