(WASHINGTON, DC) - Today, the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United States have asked the UN Sanctions Committee to designate four branch offices of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation as financial supporters of terrorism. The branches are located in Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan and Indonesia and subject to the laws and regulations of those countries. Saudi and U.S. authorities have determined that these branches of Al-Haramain have been infiltrated by individuals who have supported terrorist activities and terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda.
According to Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, “Nothing can be more evil than the act of collecting money intended for charity and then diverting that money to support the murder of the innocent.”
Saudi Arabia and the United States have been working closely together to identify sources of terror financing. This effort includes a joint Saudi/U.S. task force comprised of Saudi law enforcement officials and their counterparts from several U.S. agencies.
Prince Bandar stated: "This is another of many joint designations. We are working closely together and rapidly moving against sources of terror financing."
Saudi Arabia has taken numerous actions to combat terror financing. For example, Saudi Arabia has implemented the 40 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations on the prevention of money laundering and the eight special recommendations on terrorist financing. In addition, Saudi Arabia has established a High Commission for oversight of all charities, contributions and donations and established a Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate money transfers. Saudi Arabia requires all charities to be subject to audits and to have in place control mechanisms to monitor how and where funds are dispersed.
And in one of the toughest measures taken by any country, Saudi Arabia has prohibited the collection of cash contributions in mosques and public places, and has directed all Saudi charities to suspend activities outside Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has also investigated numerous bank accounts suspected of having links to terrorism and has frozen more than 40 such accounts.
“Today, we are sending a message around the world,” said Prince Bandar. “If you fund or support terrorism, then you are a terrorist and we are coming after you.”