[Washington, DC] -- The governments of Saudi Arabia and the United States once again have come together to make designations to the United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee to add five entities to its consolidated list of financiers of terrorism. The five designated organizations are located in the Netherlands, Albania, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia and are offices or former offices of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation. In addition, the Saudi government is dissolving the Riyadh-based Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, along with other Saudi charities and committees which used to operate abroad. The assets of these entities will be folded into the Saudi National Commission for Relief and Charity Work Abroad. The National Commission, which will be a non-governmental body, will take over all aspects of private overseas aid operations and assume responsibility for the distribution of private charitable donations from Saudi Arabia.
According to Adel Al-Jubeir, Foreign Affairs Advisor to the Crown Prince: “The humanitarian work undertaken by Saudi charities has helped millions of needy individuals. Charitable giving is a requirement of our faith, and a noble undertaking. We are very proud of the generosity and charity of our people, and their concern for those less fortunate. The National Commission is being established to ensure that all charitable donations abroad reach their intended recipients, and to protect charitable donations from possible abuse.”
Saudi Arabia has put in place world class regulations and mechanisms to guard against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. An in-depth external audit (mutual evaluation) recently completed by the G-8’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) attested to their viability.
According to Al-Jubeir: “Few countries have done more than Saudi Arabia to combat terror financing, and the FATF findings attest to that.”
Today’s act of designation is the result of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism. In August 2003, Saudi Arabia and the United States established a joint task force in Riyadh aimed at combating the financing of terrorism.
Al-Jubeir stated: “Saudi Arabia is working with other countries to identify and stop individuals and organizations that finance terror. Protecting innocent people from the inhuman acts of terrorism is the responsibility of all peace-loving nations and can only be accomplished through international cooperation.”