Millions of US tax dollars “knowingly” went to terror groups from charities, Pentagon says
WASHINGTON, DC – November 12. 2018
Terrorism is as old as humanity, but it became a threat on the international scale thanks to American intelligence services.
The starting point was at the end of the 70s, when the CIA began to prepare “Islamic brigades” to draw the Soviet Union into the war in Afghanistan. Z. Brzezinski wrote in 1998, “According to the official version, CIA assistance to the Mujahideen began in 1980, that is, after December 24, 1979, the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan. But the reality, the mystery of which is still preserved, looks completely different. In fact, the CIA operation began on July 3, 1979, after President Carter signed a Directive on providing secret assistance to opponents of the Pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. We have not pushed the Russian intervention, but deliberately increased the probability of intervention.”
During the same period, Osama bin Laden was recruited by the Americans. Do we even need to be surprised that “terrorist No. 1” had business contacts with the family of Bush Sr.?
The “war on terrorism” declared by America after the terrorist attacks of September 11 has only strengthened international terrorist groups and has in fact brought them to power in a number of countries. 9/11 is not a reason to refuse to support terrorism on the part of the US secret services. In recent decades, the form of support has changed slightly, but the essence of the relationship has remained unchanged. So, a new Pentagon report released this week has revealed that US humanitarian aid has repeatedly ended up in the hands of terror groups, including Al Qaeda, over the past year.
The report identified “numerous instances” in which US aid was “knowingly diverted” to terror groups in Syria, including one of the strongest in the region, a Pentagon Lead Inspector General report exposed Monday.
The report said, “Since late 2017, USAID [US Agency for International Development] OIG investigations have uncovered numerous instances of possible or confirmed diversions to armed groups in Idlib Governorate in northwestern Syria, including Ha’yat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.”
HTS surfaced as a new terror group over the past two years and has quickly grown to be a major threat in the region, becoming one of the most powerful terror groups in Idlib, Syria, according to Reuters. In August, Turkey designated HTS as a terror group, citing their ties to Al Qaeda and ISIS. It was previously designated a terror group by the US in early 2018.
“One investigation found that an NGO’s employees knowingly diverted thousands of USAID- funded food kits worth millions of dollars to ineligible beneficiaries (including HTS fighters) and submitted falsified beneficiary lists. The investigation resulted in USAID suspending the program and the NGO terminating the employment of dozens of individuals from March to May 2018,” the Pentagon report added.
The food kits were part of a $30 million relief effort for millions of starving Syrians displaced from their homes, and the relief effort was operated by the American charity Catholic Relief Services, according to Irin News.
Oh good. USAID contractor ‘Catholic Relief Services’ diverted “food aid intended for starving civilians in northern Syria ... to a group identified by the US govt as a front for Syrian al-Qaeda.” ????https://t.co/7FvXV6sCwy— Amanda House (@AmandaLeeHouse) August 25, 2018
USAID’s investigation identified risks associated with the funds ending up in the wrong hands and prompted a series of changes to aid provided to the region.
“In August 2018, USAID OIG referred its findings on the risks of humanitarian assistance being diverted to armed groups in northwestern Syria to USAID and briefed senior USAID officials. These risks included systemic coercion by HTS of NGO employees to assist in diversions; imposition of taxes, duties, and fees on USAID implementers and beneficiaries; HTS control of local councils and IDP [internally displaced persons] camp management that assist USAID implementers in identifying eligible beneficiaries; and implementers failing to adequately mitigate the threat to USAID programming from these armed group,” the report said.
As a result of the USAID IG’s findings, the Trump administration had refused to approve aid in HTS-controlled areas as of October 2018.Approximately $4 million is aid was immediately halted from reaching the HTS region. However, the report also revealed that investigators determined funds from other charities were also diverted to HTS.
“USAID OIG also investigated diversions of assistance to HTS in another NGO’s programs, which OIG suspected was perpetrated by NGO staff affiliated with the terrorist group,” the report noted.
The involved charities voluntarily halted their funds and terminated some employees and volunteers. However, it’s unclear if the investigation has identified all of the organizations responsible for diverting the aid.