Canada gives $2 million to group collecting for the charitable alma mater of Omar Khadr’s dad

Human Concern International says it’s doing everything right now

Canada is giving two million dollars to a group collecting money on behalf of a charity whose Pakistan office was once run by alleged al-Qaeda financier Ahmed Said Khadr, the late father of Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr.

On Saturday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced the donation to “Canadian Relief for Syria.” The group is not a registered charity, though its website says it is in the process of obtaining Canada Revenue Agency registration.

In the meantime, anyone wishing to donate to Canadian Relief for Syria is directed by its website to Human Concern International, an Ottawa-based charity. “Founded on Islamic principles of charity and goodwill to humanity, HCI has always believed in helping the needy regardless of their race, nationality or religion,” its website says.

Human Concern International was established in 1980 to help Afghans who had fled to Pakistan to escape the war in their home country.

In 1995, Osama bin Laden told an Egyptian interviewer that Human Concern International funded an al-Qaeda charitable front called “Blessed Relief.” Khadr was in charge of Human Concern International’s Pakistan office at this time. Khadr was arrested on charges of helping an Islamist bombing attack against the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan but was later released following an appeal by then-prime minister Jean Chrétien.

Khadr died in 2003 in the company of Taliban and al-Qaeda members, when Pakistani troops attacked their South Waziristan safe house. An al-Qaeda website profiling “120 Martyrs of Afghanistan” described him as an al-Qaeda leader and praised him for “tossing his little child [Omar] in the furnace of the battle.”

No charges have ever been laid against Human Concern International. It has official charitable status with the Canada Revenue Agency.

In an interview with Postmedia News prior to Canada’s funding announcement, Human Concern International’s executive director, Kaleem Akhtar, said that since Khadr’s arrest, the group has “put in much better checks and balances to make sure that we do everything right. … We are a very credible organization and the community has full faith in us. We have been doing it will full transparency and accountability.”

UPDATE: I spoke with Momtaz Almoussly, secretary and board member at Canadian Relief for Syria. He says Canadian Relief for Syria cooperates with Human Concern International, and that Human Concern International issues tax receipts on its behalf, as Canadian Relief for Syria is not yet a registered charitable organization. However, he says the two million dollars from DFAIT will be spent exclusively by Canadian Relief for Syria.

 




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Canada gives $2 million to group collecting for the charitable alma mater of Omar Khadr’s dad

  1. I looked through the Canadian Relief for Syria site but couldn’t find a single name attached to this charity. A little odd, no. Makes me think somebody is hiding something.

  2. So who and how exactly is this new organization Canadian Relief for Syria assisting? Is Canada taking sides in this conflict that is turning into civil war?

    • We may not be flying fighter missions over Syria, but I’m pretty sure that Canada chose sides in this conflict LONG ago.

  3. I had to read that headline 4 times to make sense of it. I have it on good authority that Stephen Harper has donated money to an organization that once had on its payroll a man who once donated $75000 (!) to another organization who’s 5 directors were once known to three men, one of whom once offered ( and in fact gave) a lift to a known member of Julian Fantino’s annual summer barbecue caterer who himself once voted for the Liberal Party of Canada.

    Shocking.

    • You make a good point in a funny way. Laughter is the best medicine and it’s bitter to the offender. hahahahahaha

  4. The logic behind this article is pretty absurd.

    The author apparently finds it shocking that the gov’t gives money to an organization (HCI) that employed a man (Khadr) later found guilty of terrorism.

    But what about the following: in July 2007, the British authorities arrested a doctor who worked at Royal Alexandra Hospital (in Scotland) on charges of terrorism. Does that mean the British gov’t should stop giving funds to the hospital?? Because the hospital once unintentionally employed a terrorist?

    • I don’t think the concern is that HCI might have innocently and unintentionally hired Osama bin Laden’s money man to head up their Pakistan office, I think the concern is that they hired Osama bin Laden’s money man to head up their Pakistan office because it was a front for al Qaeda.

      Maybe the allegations are baseless, but if anyone had accused the Royal Alexandria Hospital itself of being a front for the money laundering activities of a terrorist organization in the scenario that you present, then yes, I think maybe the British government WOULD take a second look at whether or not they should be funding them. But I don’t think the Royal Alexandria Hospital has ever appeared in any CIA reports on “NGOs With Terror Links“.

  5. Mr Petrou wrote: In 1995, Osama bin Laden told an Egyptian interviewer that Human Concern
    International funded an al-Qaeda charitable front called “Blessed
    Relief.”

    I have been following coverage of the Khadr family since 2005, and have never heard any detail that would substantiate the claim Khadr senior actually was an “al qaeda financier” — until Mr Petrou made the assertion above. I am skeptical. This sounds like an urban legend. Why would Osama bin Laden report who his donors were? I believe the identity of his donors was a secret.

    I remain skeptical Khadr senior ever donated one red cent to OBL or al Qaeda, and I call on Mr Petrou to name the interviewer to whom OBL made this assertion. Did Mr Petrou read this claim in Ezra Levant’s book?

    • Somethings not right here. I think gossip is at work here as It is become a gossip corner to smear snipe by some. But you just make up your own mind.


    • I have been following coverage of the Khadr family since 2005, and have never heard any detail that would substantiate the claim Khadr senior actually was an “al qaeda financier” — until Mr Petrou made the assertion above.

      I guess you could hold a really high standard of proof, but I don’t see how this is possible. Khadr being accused of being a senior financier for al Qaeda is in the first sentence of his Wikipedia bio for Pete’s sake. The U.S. put out a warrant for his arrest almost immediately after 9/11. He’s been on the U.N. list of al Qaeda members since 1999. Multiple members of al Qaeda have subsequently testified as to his role as a major fundraiser for the organization.

      Now, you may find the evidence against Khadr senior to be flimsy and not compelling, but you make it sound like this 2012 blog post by Michael Patrou is the first time you’ve heard someone accuse Khadr of being a senior al Qaeda financier, and that’s just a ludicrous thing to say.

  6. For one registered charity to issue a tax receipt on behalf of another organization is against CRA rules. This from a government that accuses other groups of using charities to launder money!

  7. @ MICHAEL PETROU: there is an interesting thread you’re trying to follow, but as most other commenters have noted this is a terribly confusingly written article and headline. Can you please break it down: what is substantiated? What is smoke and what is fire?

    To me, who cares if Omar Khadr’s dad was there, that’s sensationalist headllnine-writing — what’s interesting is why is the government giving $2 MM to an unregistered charity, expecially when it is either stingy or reneging on many registered Not-for-Profits in Canada? How can one charity accept money for another? I thought that was illegal?

    Micahel Petrou, there seems to be something interesting you;re following, but can you please edit and re-write this?

    • To me, who cares if Omar Khadr’s dad was there, that’s sensationalist headllnine-writing

      The point isn’t that Khadr was there, the point is that it’s alleged that Khadr was there using the charity as a FRONT FOR AL QAEDA. Sure, if Khadr was just a legitimate charity worker working for HCI, which is just a legitimate charity, then who cares? However, if he was a money-man for al Qaeda, and HCI was just a front to launder money for Osama bin Laden, then yeah, I think people might care about the government funding an organization that isn’t registered in Canada and works closely with HCI.

  8. Please, all Liberidiots find any reason to support islam possible

    • That’s got to be the furthest I’ve ever seen a Tory apologist take the tired old “the Liberals used to do this too, so why shouldn’t we” line of argument.

      Congratulations.

    • For the record, when the Liberals were in power they CUT OFF funding to Human Concern International, due to concerns over their possible terrorist links.

  9. Somewhere, someone sits having a big laugh at our collective expense. (pun intended)

  10. Good work Baird shut it down!

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