Collins Calls U.S.-Saudi Effort to Crack Down on Terrorist Financiers a “Positive Step”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins called today’s U.S.-Saudi announcement to designate as terrorist financiers four branches of the so-called charitable group al Haramain a “positive step.”

“This is a positive step in the fight to crack down on terrorist financing,” said Senator Collins. “As the recent United Nations Security Council Monitoring Group report has indicated, certain so-called ‘charities’ play major roles in efforts to fund terrorist organizations. By designating these branches, we are sending notice that funding terrorists will not be tolerated, even under the guise of philanthropic activity.

“But this is just one step. Even when charities and their managers have been designated as terrorist financiers and their bank accounts frozen, it has been difficult to shut them down completely. Constant scrutiny and increased international cooperation are still necessary. Serious questions remain about the entire al Haramain organization, and we plan to pursue the answers to those questions during hearings this year.”

The four al Haramain branches singled out in today’s announcement are located in Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania and Pakistan.

The Governmental Affairs Committee, led by Senator Collins, has been closely investigating individuals and organizations with ties to Saudi Arabia that are suspected of financing terrorism. Last year, the Committee held two hearings examining whether the Saudi government is fully cooperating with the United States in efforts to cut off funding of organizations that are known to have ties to terrorist organizations.