Turkish charity that sent aid convoy to Gaza ‘has links to terrorism’

Alexander Christie-Miller and James Hider
The Times [UK]
3 June 2010

The Turkish charity at the centre of the raid by Israeli forces on an aid vessel in the Mediterranean was under intense scrutiny last night over its alleged links with militant organisations.

Despite their claims to be an entirely peaceful organisation, The Foundation for Human Rights, Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) has a history of involvement in Islamic extremism around the world and has been linked with an attempted bombing of an airport in the US.

The charity had 40 members on the Turkish-owned ship Mavi Marmara when it was boarded by Israeli Navy commandos on Monday. Nine people died in the operation.
Israeli security sources said that about 40 people set upon their commandos as they abseiled from a helicopter on to the upper deck of the ship, armed primarily with paintball guns intended for use in crowd control. The troops found themselves facing a crowd armed with metal pipes, knives and stun grenades.

…General Richard Myers, former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The Times yesterday that there was substantial evidence of some charitable organisations being exploited by extremist groups for their own ends. “A lot of wealthy benefactors providing donations for humanitarian relief don’t know what they’re funding. They think they’re doing something for welfare and education,” he said.

As Israel began deporting hundreds of foreign activists detained when its commandos stormed the Gaza aid flotilla, fresh details emerged yesterday of the group’s preparations for the raid.

According to reports in the Israeli press, some of the men who tackled the commandos were equipped with night-vision goggles, gas masks and life vests. Others had ceramic vests to stop bullets, security officials said.

About a hundred of the passengers were carrying wads of $10,000 on them — a total of about $1 million; money the authorities say was bound for Hamas, which controls Gaza…

…All 37 British citizens detained by Israeli forces during the raid were released without charge yesterday. Israel said last night that 527 activists had left the country…

The entire article is at The Times.

Comments are closed.