UK government commission: Terrorist-linked charity misused funds

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ARA News 

QAMISHLI – The Charity Commission affiliated to the UK government said a charity organization in Birmingham affiliated to the Iraqi Kurdish imam Mullah Krekar misapplied funding. 

The Norwegian-based cleric Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, commonly known as Mullah Krekar, has been imprisoned for making death threats against numerous people, and could be soon extradited to face terrorism-related charges in Italy.

The commission opened its inquiry into the Krekar’ affiliated charity called Didi New on 25 January 2013 following a referral from the police about the charity’s chair of trustees, who was stopped by the police whilst carrying y £1,800 funds in cash on his return to the UK. 

The website of the organization contained numerous references to Krekar. “Mullah Krekar is an alias of Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, who was designated by the United Nations (‘UN’) Security Council on 7 December 2006 for belonging to or association with Al-Qaida,” the commission said. 

“The commission was concerned that the charity’s website appeared to provide a platform for Mullar Krekar and created a link between the charity and a designated individual,” the commission added.

One of the organization’s trustees knew that Mullah Krekar had links to Al Qaida, according to the UN. But he rejected the significance of the sanction. “We are aware that he is known by the UN as a terrorist or as a bad person… we don’t care nor don’t value what the UN say.”

The charity’s chat room was used by Mullah Krekar for live webinars for religious education and influencing its followers.

“This charity was established to help Kurdish people in need but our investigation found little evidence of this,” said Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement at the Charity Commission.

“The commission found that the trustees were not able to properly account for the charity’s expenditure and had not maintained proper records or financial controls, as required under charity law,” she added.

The commission, on 6 July 2015, used its powers to remove all 3 individuals as trustees of the charity on the basis of the inquiry’s finding of misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity. The charity had ceased to operate and was removed from the register on 17 August 2015 as a result.

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