A recent report from a U.S. Senate committee blames an evangelical nonprofit humanitarian aid organization of being negligent of its duties by funding a jihad-linked group when it possessed information exposing the Muslim agency's support of Islamic terrorism.
Should have known …
According to the assessment handed down by the Senate Finance Committee, World Vision was "borderline negligent" in its vetting process before sending funds to the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA).
"Based on the evidence presented, we conclude that World Vision had access to the appropriate public information and should have known how – but failed to – properly vet ISRA as a subgrantee, resulting in the transfer of U.S. taxpayer dollars to an organization with an extensive history of supporting terrorist organizations and terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden," the Senate Finance Committee report released in late December disclosed.
While Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) – chairman of the Senate Finance Committee – described World Vision's humanitarian aid over the years as "admirable," he indicated there's no excuse for the charitable group's negligence, insisting that it should have known about the terrorist-linked status of ISRA.
"Ignorance can't suffice as an excuse," Grassley asserted, according to CP. "World Vision's changes in vetting practices are a good first step, and I look forward to its continued progress."
World Vision media relations spokeswoman Sheryl Watkins assured that her organization's vetting process will be augmented.
"World Vision is ... pleased that the committee staff's report praised the changes we have made to our vetting process," Watkins announced in a statement, according to ChristianHeadlines.com. "And we also take seriously the committee staff's recommendations to continue to examine other opportunities to improve the effectiveness of our blocked parties screening processes."
Supporting terrorists for years?
According to The Christian Post (CP), World Vision donated a large amount of funds to the Islamic Relief Agency – and even though committee members writing the Senate report do not believe World Vision's funds were directly used to pay for ISRA's terrorist plots, the report impressed that the money "inevitably aids their terrorist activities."
And the granting of money was not a one-time event, as the report notes that from 2013 to 2015, World Vision provided the Islamic group with funds that supposedly supported food security, health services and sanitation equipment in Sudan.
Dating back nearly a decade before World Vision provided the pro-jihadist group with funds, it was publicly disclosed that ISRA was in the business of supporting Islamic terrorism.
"In 2004, the U.S. placed sanctions on ISRA for its affiliation with terrorist organizations," ChristianHeadlines.com informed. "Reports showed that the group helped distribute money to Osama Bin Laden's predecessor and may have also helped relocate Bin Laden when he was wanted by the FBI."
According to that article, even after receiving information that led World Vision in the direction of stopping its financial support of ISRA, it still requested taxpayer funds to be given to the terrorist-supporting group.
"In 2014, World Vision ceased funding to ISRA, but in February 2015, World Vision asked the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Office Control if it would pay ISRA for past services," the ChristianHeadlines piece noted. "World Vision said it needed to make the payments, or the group would face lawsuits. The OFAC then allowed World Vision to pay ISRA $125,000."
The organization's relationship with the Islamic group goes back almost a decade. The Middle East Forum reported in July 2019 that a World Vision annual report listed an ISRA-related project that began in April 2011.
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