Is a Columbia, Mo., charity part of a global network that raised money for Osama bin Laden, Hamas and other terrorists? The answer is crucial to recent federal actions taken against Islamic American Relief Agency-USA, an international charity working from a nondescript office building not far from the University of Missouri-Columbia, reports the Kansas City Star.
Federal officials say the charity indeed belongs to the larger network, with headquarters in Sudan, which supported terror. In a four-page fact sheet released Oct. 13, the Treasury Department laid out links between terrorists and some of the charity’s many offices and officials. None of the information detailed how the Columbia group supported terror, however. A lawyer for the Columbia charity says the government is wrong. IARA-USA does not have ties to terrorism, he said, and has tried to distance itself from similarly named organizations abroad. The Star tries to sort through the evidence.