The Obama administration approved a $200,000 grant to a group affiliated with Al Qaeda, a conservative think tank announced this week.
Although Obama’s presidency targeted Al Qaeda and brought the demise of its leader Osama bin Laden, the government still provided a grant in 2014 that provided funds to the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), which is based in Sudan and affiliated with the terror group.
Not only did the government provide the grant, it also knew the ISRA was designated as a terror-financing organization a decade earlier in October 2004 for ties to bin Laden.
The grant was exposed by the Middle East Forum as reported by the National Review.
In March 2014 the Obama Administration approved a $200,000 grant to the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA) based in Sudan with ties to Osama bin Laden
The March 2014 grant was a part of a $723,405 sum awarded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to evangelical charity World Vision – with $200,000 of the funds directed to the Islamic Relief Agency in Sudan’s capital Khartoum.
The money was awarded to the charity ‘to help provide humanitarian aid, including emergency food, water, sanitation, and hygiene services, to displaced people affected by the ongoing conflict in Sudan’.
Afterwards the USAID told World Vision to ‘suspend all activities with ISRA’ in November 2014 and the two organizations waited for the Office of Foreign Assets Control (USFAC) to confirm whether ISRA was on the terror list or not.
As World Vision waited for a reply, the senior director announced that the charity intended to continue working with the ISRA if the government didn’t reply within a week.
Eventually the Office of Foreign Assets Control replied and said ISRA was a sanctioned entity in February 2015.
But soon afterwords World Vision wrote to the Obama administration asking to pay ISRA ‘monies owed for work performed’.
A decade earlier, the ISRA was designated as a terror-financing organization with ties to bin Laden
By May 2015 the Office of Foreign Assets Control authorized the ‘one-time transfer of approximately $125,000 to ISRA.’
A World Vision official called the move a ‘great relief as ISRA had become restive and had threatened legal action, which would have damaged our reputation and standing in Sudan.’
According to the National Review, the charity and the USAID director in Sudan pressured for the payment to take place as it could have jeopardized the program in the North African country.
‘Obama-administration officials knowingly approved the transfer of taxpayer dollars to an al-Qaeda affiliate, and not an obscure one but an enormous international network that was often in the headlines,’ the National Review reported.
‘More stunningly, government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization,’ the article stated.
Following the bombshell discovery, the USAID says it has since reviewed its policies and that the transaction took place during Obama’s time in office.
‘As this occurred under the prior administration, the current Secretary of the State, Secretary of Treasury, and USAID Administrator had no involvement in decisions surrounding this award or subsequent license,’ State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said to Fox on Friday.