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Friday, December 14, 2007

Your tax dollars at work: USAID funding Hamas university

The picture at the top left of this post shows how USAID audits aid recipients for ties to terrorism.

A government audit has shown that USAID, an agency of the United States government, has provided some $1 million in funding to a Hamas-run university in the Gaza Strip that was vetted eight times to ensure that it was not tied to terrorism (Hat Tip: Nathan in Teaneck, New Jersey).
The audit concluded that the vetting process, initiated by the U.S. Agency for International Development and conducted by the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, found no "derogatory information" on the Islamic University in Gaza between 2002 and 2006 -- even after Hamas claimed a parliamentary majority in Palestinian elections in 2006. Several times, university officials certified that they provided no material support for terrorism.

A companion audit found that USAID's operations in Gaza and the West Bank have largely implemented policies to keep future aid out of terrorist hands. [Not if it depends on the State Department. CiJ]

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) asked USAID's inspector general to conduct the audits after a Washington Times report detailed some of the aid payments to Islamic University earlier this year. He said in an interview Tuesday that the failure to detect terrorist ties at the school suggested "either incompetence or a complete breakdown of the vetting system as run by the State Department."

The U.S. designated Hamas a terrorist organization in 1997. Hamas' prime minister sits on the Islamic University's board of trustees. [Has that changed as part of the new policies to keep future aid out of terrorist hands? Nothing here indicates that it has. CiJ] In January, Palestinian security forces seized assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades during a raid of the university.


In an appendix to the audit, USAID officials disputed any implication that they violated laws. The number of times the university was vetted -- and the lack of any red flags -- along with the university's anti-terrorism certifications "indicate compliance with the law," West Bank and Gaza Mission Director Howard Sumka wrote.
So they investigate places for ties to terrorism by asking them whether they are tied to terrorism? Some 'investigation'! Then again, given that the vetting system is run by the State Department, so long as the aid recipients are 'only' trying to murder Jews, the 'investigators' probably think it's okay.


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