Extremists rip off tsunami charity cashExtremists rip off tsunami charity cash
CHARITABLE donations to help people affected by the Asian tsunami disaster are falling into the hands of radical Islamic groups linked to terrorists in Indonesia, a leading expert on the global al-Qaeda network warned yesterday. Relief money had become the "primary source" of income for two militant groups, including one founded by a Muslim cleric serving a prison sentence in connection with the Bali bombing in 2002 in which more than 200 people were killed. Dr Rohan Gunaratna, head of the international centre for political violence and terrorism research at Singapore's Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, told the Asia-Pacific Financial Crime Conference that the Boxing Day disaster had given "unprecedented opportunities for these groups to expand their areas of influence". "Around mosques, there are lots of people standing outside with boxes asking people to give to charity," he said. "It is rare that people who donate money know exactly where it is going. Organisations banned in this country - like Hamas - raise funds like that here."
From an older post:
Tsunami aid 'went to the richest'
Six months after the Asian tsunami, a leading international charity says the poorest victims have benefited the least from the massive relief effort. A survey by Oxfam found that aid had tended to go to businesses and landowners, exacerbating the divide between rich and poor. The poor were likely to spend much longer in refugee camps where it is harder to find work or rebuild lives. The survey points to the marginalisation of dalits - outcasts in India - and specific problems in Sri Lanka where aid has gone to businesses and landowners rather than the landless. This poverty gap is worst in Aceh, the Indonesian province which was the most badly affected area.