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Why Is the State Department Covering for a Known Terror Group?

As long as the IHH is only attacking Israel, the Obama administration seems loath to uncover them. But in the meantime, is anyone making sure they don't target the U.S.?

by
Moshe Dann

Bio

June 12, 2010 - 12:00 am

Why is the U.S. government covering for IHH, a Turkish “charity” organization with ties to terrorists?

A State Department spokesman told Fox News that the IHH (Humanitarian Relief Foundation) has not been designated as a foreign terrorist organization. He added:

We are fully committed to taking appropriate action against foreign groups engaging in terrorist activity in order to prevent such groups from obtaining the resources and support needed to undertake terrorist activity.

The Treasury Department, which is mandated to implement Executive Order 13224, was even more evasive. Asked if they had seen Danish, French, and Turkish intelligence reports and other information on the IHH, a Treasury official acknowledged that the NGO is not on their “Specially Designated Nationals List,” and would not “comment on other governments’ intelligence.”

This is not about Israeli security; it is about threats to American homeland security.

A foreign NGO with a documented history of contacts with terrorists has been directly linked with Islamist terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, and government agencies tasked with protecting America have suddenly become impotent and ignorant. Concerns about keeping Turkey pro-Western and in NATO are legitimate, but they do not override American security needs. An important U.S. ally, Turkey is increasingly moving towards radical Islamism, embracing Iran and its own jihadists.

Are U.S. security agencies hampered by President Obama’s mission to reach out to Muslims?

Criticizing Israel for stopping a Gaza-bound flotilla sponsored by the IHH and the Turkish government is easy. But when terrorists affiliated with the IHH try to get into the United States, who will stop them if no one is looking at the organization to which they belong? As long as the IHH targets Israel, it is given a pass. But they have been actively recruiting and supplying terrorists, with ties to Islamic terrorist networks throughout the world.  A decade ago, Ahmed Ressam, who had connections to IHH, planned to set off a bomb at Los Angeles International Airport. This could happen again.

Political analyst Barry Rubin suggests that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan deliberately misled the Israelis into believing that there would not be violence if they stopped and boarded the Gaza flotilla. The Americans were no doubt also involved. But in fact, the Turkish government was working with the IHH. All are culpable.

The State and Treasury Departments seem to be in denial about the IHH’s threat. This is haracteristic of Obama’s administration. Where, however, are the congressional committees that should be supervising these agencies? Where are the FBI and CIA? Are they asleep because the IHH is attacking Israel instead of America?

The role of IHH was only exposed because of its attack on Israel, but how many other organizations are given a pass to satisfy political agendas? And who is next?

Instead of leading the fight to stop IHH, the American government is ambiguous, and this sends a dangerous signal.

The author, a former assistant professor of history, is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem.
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