An FWI investigation has uncovered over 260 million dollars sent through the 501(c) system to Hamas-aligned charities in the United States, provided by corporate foundations, employee-giving schemes, partisan community groups and a powerful array of Islamist grant-making foundations that make use of a largely-unregulated nonprofit sector.
FWI's in-depth investigation has also uncovered new instances of charities seemingly belonging to Hamas's infrastructure in North America, evidence of terrorism links, and instances of horrendously violently anti-Semitic rhetoric among the officials of leading 501(c) charities across America. Some of these charities and their activities are even funded through the taxpayer, with over $100 million of grants to these charities authorized by the federal government over the past decade.
Recent analysis published by Israeli analysts place Hamas's annual budget in Gaza at between $2 and $3 billion. At least an estimated $500 million of this is provided by the "Hamas Charity Coalition" and various investment entities. New sanctions imposed by U.S. Department of the Treasury are based on similar conclusions, and target a range of charities and companies.
One named entity in the U.S. government document is the "Gaza-based and [Palestinian Islamic Jihad]-affiliated Al-Ansar Charity Association (Al-Ansar)," which "provides millions of dollars ... for the families of terrorists affiliated with Hamas and PIJ. Al-Ansar claims to provide funds to families affiliated with these terrorist groups as an extension of Iranian support to the Palestinian people, but the funding ultimately serves as a recruiting tool for terrorist activities."
Indeed, radical movements have long used charitable programs and promises of social welfare to build a base of support and help with recruitment. Crucially, as the U.S. government realizes, charities do not have to fund Hamas's terrorist operations directly to benefit the terrorist organization financially or ideologically.
Across the Islamist world, in fact, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Khomeinists, Wahhabis, ISIS, and al-Qaeda and, indeed, Islamist groups all around the world, have made use of charitable programs to expand and consolidate control over Muslim communities. Hamas and other terror groups refer to this approach as da'wa. The term is usually employed to mean a proselytizing call to Islam, but in the case of Islamist movements and its terror offshoots such as Hamas, it serves as a call to Islamism – and thus a vehicle to impose Islamist rule. Counter-terrorism experts and an increasing number of governments note that the use of da'wah through charity facilitates an influx of largely-unchecked foreign funds, helps to recruit to new members, frees up money for violent operations, and serves to sanitize the reputation of terror movements.
Much of the charitable work is indeed real, but it still serves to benefit terror. In Gaza, for instance, decades ago, Hamas came to the fore by distinguishing itself, through its charitable work, from the incompetence and corruption of the PLO. While Palestinian nationalists embezzled millions, their Islamist rivals set up medical clinics, orphanages and summer camps for Palestinian youth, winning grassroots support. Decades earlier, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt pioneered a similar approach.
The designation of Al-Ansar is certainly not the first time the link between charity and terror has been officially recognized. After the 9/11 attacks, Western governments quickly came to realize, with horror, the ease with which these foreign terrorist organizations could exploit nonprofit industries. Worse still, Western governments eventually began to notice that extremist networks within Western Muslim communities were willing to set up nonprofits on behalf of these foreign terrorist groups.
In response, a slew of prosecutions, designations and bans across America and Europe during the 2000s shut down significant numbers of these Islamist charities, but political enthusiasm for prosecutions and investigations eventually waned. Since then, a decade of lax oversight and fears over the political fallout from new prosecutions has allowed the Islamist nonprofit industry to grow once again.
Nonetheless, in 2010, the solicitor-general, Elena Kagan, now on the Supreme Court, reiterated that "Hezbollah builds bombs. Hezbollah also builds homes. ... When you help Hezbollah build homes, you are also helping Hezbollah build bombs."
Today, however, the law is still simply not being enforced. The activities of terror-aligned charities are largely ignored by law enforcement and policy-makers. Sometimes, the taxpayer even funds these radical charities through a wide array of obscene government grant programs.
There is a broader problem too. A search by the Middle East Forum of electronically-filed Schedule F forms (part of nonprofits' 990 tax returns) – which are supposed to disclose foreign spending by 501(c)s – for mentions of "Palestine" or "Palestinian(s)" yielded hundreds of millions of dollars of expenditures in the Palestinian territories in recent years, with hundreds of millions more likely uncountably listed under broader regional terms such as "Middle East." Actual recipient names are redacted or unprovided, making the true amounts going to Gaza impossible to track properly.
Nonetheless, through open-source investigation, in the wake of the October 7th attacks, Focus on Western Islamism has put together a list of Islamist nonprofits in the United States, along with fellow travelers, which we believe make-up a major Hamas-aligned charitable industry in North America. Through searches of the electronic 990 filings, we have also gathered and summarized these charities' top funders through the 501(c) system, totaling a worrying $262 million.
(Note: 501(c)s' 990 Tax Returns occasionally contain inaccurate information. Misspelled names, incorrect EIN numbers, among other problems. Every effort has been made to ensure the funding data is comprehensively accurate and the grantees listed in these 990s are indeed the nonprofits listed in this report, although it remains possible that a negligible number of false positives have made their way into the final data.)
By Hamas-aligned, we mean that our list comprises charities that have previously collaborated with Hamas or related terror groups, funded charitable proxies for Hamas in the Gaza Strip, or employed officials who publicly express support for Hamas with apparent impunity. A second list of additional Islamist charities with extremist histories relevant to their work in Gaza, but whose current involvement with Hamas or Hamas proxies is unknown, is also included. The charities in both lists (see table of comments) deserve close investigation by media, law enforcement and policymakers.
Rahma Worldwide Aid & Development
Rahma Worldwide, also known as Rahma Relief, is a Michigan charity run by Shadi Zaza.
In Gaza, Rahma Worldwide revealed on October 30, in an apparently flagrant breach of U.S. law, that it works with and receives money from Kuwait's Islamic Heritage Revival Society (RIHS), which the State Department has designated as a terrorist organization, because of its long history of support for Al-Qaeda, and its efforts to use "charity and humanitarian assistance as cover to fund terrorist activity and harm innocent civilians." The RIHS is also accused of funding Hamas.
Rahma confirms that it is part of RIHS's "Uprising for Palestine" campaign, and its collaboration with the group does not seem to be a one-off – the terrorist group's logo appears in dozens of posts across Rahma's social media pages.
Rahma's president, Shadi Zaza also appears to have signed agreements with Hamas officials on behalf of Rahma Worldwide.
In the United States, Rahma has often organized events with radical clerics, such as the Hamas-tied Mohamad Rateb Al-Nabulsi, a Syrian cleric who appears on terrorist platforms such as "al Aqsa TV, the official network of the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza," where he calls for the killing of homosexuals, among other extremist statements. The Investigative Project on Terrorism notes that Nabulsi has expressed support for suicide bombings and declared that "All the Jewish people are combatants."
Seemingly in cooperation with the Hamas-aligned Mosque Foundation, Rahma also works closely in coalition with other Islamist-run charities such as Medglobal, Pious Projects, United Mission Relief and International Humanitarian Relief. Rahma also appears to share officials with Medglobal.
Reach Education Fund
The Reach Education Fund is a scholarship fund founded by Walid Mizyed, and based in Illinois. Its officials openly lionize Hamas, Nazism and encourage violent anti-Semitism.
Ahmed Gebreel, director of Reach's Palestine Office, is particularly extreme. In 2012, following Hamas's infamous execution of six Palestinians in the streets of Gaza, in which corpses were dragged through the streets tied to a motorcycle, Gebreel posted a picture of a swastika, and referred to himself as a follower of Hitler, cheerfully noting the Nazis had wiped out millions of "impure" Jews.
In another post in 2013, Gebreel backed Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi, and urged that he suppress protestors against Islamist rule, stating: "If I was in Morsi's place, I would have dealt with them [the protestors] the same way Hitler treated the Jews, as we before facing our external enemies, we must purge the inside."
Meanwhile, Ayyad Yassin, the current chairman of Reach Education Fund, has posted "congratulations to all our people in Gaza" following the Hamas's killing of Israeli soldiers, as well as praise for a terrorist attack by Hamas's Qassam Brigades.
A significant number of Reach's staff, including its Palestine Director, attend or graduated from the Islamic University of Gaza, an institution founded by Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin, which the Israelis claim "serves as a central training center for Hamas engineers." Meanwhile, posts published at Hamas's Islamic University of Gaza's official website and on its social media feature "announcements" from the Reach Education Fund, in which the American charity advertises programs established in "cooperation with Baitulmaal" (an Islamist charity profiled below).
Reach regularly runs graduations ceremonies, attended by Reach's founder Walid Mizyed, for its scholarship recipients at universities in the Gaza Strip, where speeches and artwork heavily feature themes of martyrdom and the liberation of Jerusalem. In addition, Reach Education Fund's activities and announcements are covered in Hamas's media outlets.
Reach also partners with pro-terror groups such as Al-Awda, and also has a close working relationship with American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). Once again, a murky incestuous network is apparent. For instance, donations disclosed in the 990 of one of the charities profiled below, United Hands Relief, lists $15,000 of donations to Reach Education, but lists the recipient's EIN as that belonging to American Muslims for Palestine (also known as the AJP Educational Foundation – see below), while also listing the recipient's address as that of the Texas charity Baitulmaal. That same address, a PO Box 2024 in Arlington, TX, is also listed in other 990 forms as the address for the grantor, United Hands Relief (profiled below).
Baitulmaal itself has recently pledged $250,000 of donations to the Reach Education Fund.
Baitulmaal is a Texas charity that openly funds Hamas proxies in Gaza. Also known as AHED, Baitulmaal was established in 2004 by Palestinian-Jordanian Hasan Hajmohammad. Hajmohammad is the brother of Jordanian Islamist parliamentarian Mohammad Al-Haj, who once stated that bullets are "are only to be directed at the occupying Zionist enemy."
In 2006, Israeli authorities arrested Baitulmaal's Hajmohammad over claims he was funding a Hamas front organization in the Palestinian town of Jenin. The U.S. government later sought to deny Hajmohammad citizenship, pointing to his alleged involvement with organizations linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
Today, Mazen Mokhtar, a former fundraiser for the Taliban and other jihadist groups, leads Baitulmaal. Meanwhile, the charity's Fund Development Director, Yousef Abdallah, is a virulent anti-Semite.
On his social media, Abdallah once published a story romanticizing "martyrs" who provided guns to "kill more than 20 jews" and "fire rockets at Tel Aviv." Abdallah's other posts included references to Jews as "stinking."
When Republican politician Chris Christie withdrew comments referring to the West Bank and Gaza as "occupied," Abdallah wrote: "Christie kneels down on his knees before the jewish lords and says 'I am sorry'. Only money makes stuff like this happen. Mr. Christie.. Muslims should remember this very well." Abdallah previously worked for Islamic Relief's U.S. branch (profiled below).
Baitulmal staff, meanwhile, post pro-Hamas sentiments on social media. Abdullah Azab, the charity's West Coast Coordinator, has praised Hamas missiles against Israeli cities, and quoted Hamas co-founder and "martyr" Abdulaziz Al-Rantisi. Elizabeth Sohail, Baitulmaal's Program Development officer, has denounced vigils for Israeli victims of the October 7th massacre as "propaganda."
In Gaza, Baitulmaal works closely with the Unlimited Friends Association (UFA), a leading Gazan charity aligned with senior Hamas leaders. UFA often hosts events to sponsor "the families of martyrs and prisoners." These events include collaboration with prominent Hamas figures such as Mustafa Sawwaf, who calls "Israel's disappearance ... a necessity [according to] the Koran"; as well as Mohamed Abu-Shkian, a senior Hamas leader who praises the "strikes of the mujahideen" and leads events in Gaza lionizing slain terrorist operatives.
On its social media, UFA encourages violent hatred against Jews, publishing posts on its official Facebook page promising to "free Al-Aqsa Al-Sharif from the filth of the most dirty Jews."
UFA works with a number of American 501(c) organizations, but it is particularly close to Baiultmaal. In fact, UFA director Jomaa Khadoura (who has called on God to "cleanse Al-Aqsa from the impurity of the Jews.") claims to have previously served as a Baitulmaal official.
Baitulmaal also fundraises for the Yazour Charitable Association, which Hamas media has confirmed is "affiliated" with the terrorist group. One Palestinian newspaper reports that Baitulmaal and this Hamas front have been working together "for years."
Baitulmaal also supports the Hamas-run Generosity Without Limit Association, whose officials include members of Hamas's various "Popular Resistance Committees."
Islamic Relief is the leading charitable institution of the Ikhwan Al-Muslimeen, better known as the Muslim Brotherhood. Founded in the United Kingdom, the U.S. branch is among the franchise's richest, raising over $100 million in annual revenue.
In recent years, European and Islamic governments have denounced Islamic Relief because of the extremism of its officials and its long reported history of close ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian, Emirati and Tunisian governments have accused Islamic Relief of financing jihadists. Following a British media furor over Islamic Relief officials' extremism, in 2020, the U.S. State Department warned about the "blatant and horrifying anti-Semitism and glorification of violence exhibited at the most senior levels of Islamic Relief Worldwide."
Islamic Relief branches also serve as a conduit for other radical organization. The accounts of Islamic Relief's British headquarters have disclosed millions of dollars of income from dozens of terror-tied groups, including branches of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf, and terror-connected groups such as the Charitable Society for Social Welfare, which was founded by the Al-Qaeda terrorist and Bin Laden loyalist Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani.
In Gaza, Islamic Relief works through arms of Hamas. In 2016, Islamic Relief founder Hany El-Banna gave an interview to Hamas's official radio station in Gaza, urging close cooperation between charities and the Hamas "government."
El-Banna revealed that Islamic Relief has worked closely with the Gaza Zakat Committee (IZS) for decades. IZS is a leading charitable institution of Hamas whose own website describes its officials as "soldiers for Jerusalem." In 2009, IZS organized a student event at which the keynote speaker was Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, who declared that IZS's students would "return our lands to us" ... through "jihadist force." Top IZS official Hazem Al-Sirraj, meanwhile, is a prominent cleric in Gaza who studied under the Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. In 2010, he was the keynote speaker at a Hamas conference in Gaza for the "sons of Hamas," including Hamas "founders, scientists, politicians and academics."
Islamic Relief branches have also long supported the Al-Falah Benevolent Society in Gaza, which is labelled by intelligence analysts as one of "Hamas's charitable societies" and described by journalists a "complementary arm of the [Hamas] government". Other media reports describe the head of Al-Falah, Ramadan Tamboura, as a "well known Hamas figure." Another of Al-Falah's officials, Jamal Hamdi al-Haddad, previously ran one of Hamas' Hebrew-language education programs, titled "Know Your Enemy."
LIFE for Relief and Development
LIFE for Relief and Development is a Michigan charity. In 2007, the FBI raided its offices and its officials' homes. LIFE's public-relations coordinator, Muthanna al-Hanooti, was later sentenced to a year in federal prison for his efforts to influence Congress on behalf of Saddam's Iraqi Intelligence Service. And LIFE itself was fined $780,000 in 2015 because it "knowingly and willfully formed a conspiracy for the purpose of transferring funds from the United States to Iraq."
Today, LIFE's CEO is Hany Saqr. Documents submitted as evidence by U.S. federal prosecutors appeared to show that Saqr was previously in close contact with Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk during the 1990s.
In the Gaza Strip, LIFE funds Hamas proxies such as UFA (profiled above), as well as the Generosity Without Limit Association, which the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center illustrates is closely aligned with Hamas as well. Indeed, officials of the Generosity Without Limit Association include members of Hamas's various "Popular Resistance Committees."
Zakat Foundation of America
The Zakat Foundation was founded by Halil Demir, a former official at the Benevolence International Foundation, an al-Qaeda charitable front designated in 2002 by the U.S. Treasury. Professor Ahmet Yayla, director of the Center for Homeland Security at DeSales University, concludes that the the Zakat Foundation is a key component of the Turkish regime's network of proxy organizations in the United States.
The Zakat Foundation is a long-standing partner of the Turkish regime's charity IHH. Indeed, Zakat Foundation head Halil Demir once previously served as an "IHH aid coordinator," notes the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Founded in 1995, the IHH was widely accused by multiple Western governments of recruiting jihadists to its staff. The IHH has not sought to hide its extremism: up until 2016, its own website contained a tribute to Shamil Basayev, the Chechen terrorist responsible for the 2004 Beslan school siege, in which over 300 people were murdered, including 186 children. Branches of the IHH have been designated a terrorist organization in Israel, Germany and the Netherlands, amid claims that the IHH helped fund Hamas's "military" operations.
In the Palestinian territories, the Zakat Foundation partners with Hamas-linked UFA (profiled above), and has also financed the Islamic Charitable Society (ICS), which German intelligence describes as "directly linked to HAMAS."
Helping Hand for Relief and Development
Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) is the overseas aid arm of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the U.S. branch of the South Asian Islamist movement Jamaat-e-Islami.
In 2017, the Middle East Forum revealed that HHRD had organized a conference at a government-run college in Pakistan in collaboration with the charitable and political wings of the Pakistani terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba. These findings led to multiple congressional investigations.
In Pakistan, HHRD's chief partner is the Al-Khidmat Foundation, with which it has partnered at least 214 times. In 2006, Al-Khidmat announced it had "presented a cheque of six-million rupees from the people of Pakistan to Khaled Meshaal, head of politburo Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)" to finance their "just Jihad."
The Investigative Project on Terrorism has found that previously, HHRD's parent organization, ICNA, has, on its websites "linked to the websites of Hamas, Hizballah, and terrorist organizations fighting in Chechnya, Afghanistan, and the Pakistani-Indian disputed region of Kashmir. Among its short list of recommended Islamic charities was the Islamic Society in Gaza, which openly touted its connections to Hamas."
Speakers at ICNA conferences have openly encouraged violence against Jews. Such speakers have even included Senior Hamas member Muhammad Siyam, who addressed the audience the organization's conference in 1990 together with the deputy head of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, Khurshid Ahmed.
American Near East Refugee Aid
American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) is one of the few charities on this list not to be explicitly Islamist, but has a history of partnering with Islamist charities, hosting Islamist activists, and funding Islamist causes.
In Gaza, ANERA's staff have included activists such as Ibrahim Najjar, who has shared propaganda videos of speeches by the late Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, expressed support for the "brave prisoners" in Israeli jails, and advocates for reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. Najjar has also venerated the Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin, posting pictures of the terrorist leader.
Another senior ANERA staff member, Mousa Shawwa, has praised a call on social media for God to "erase the Jews."
An ANERA report from 2000 appears to disclose partnerships with a number of groups that share names with known Hamas proxies, such as the Ihsan Society, which the U.S. government designated as a Hamas front in 2005.
ANERA has funded other Hamas-linked institutions. In 2007, the Washington Times reports, "USAID continues to fund multimillion-dollar programs through American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), which is building a high-tech facility..." for the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), an institution founded by Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin and which remains a key Hamas outpost today. ANERA reported in 2005 that it was working to raise $900,000 for just a single project at IUG.
In 2017, a report from the Israel Law Center alleged that money sent through ANERA to the Palestinian territories was "used to support Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) kindergartens that actively indoctrinate children in hatred and killing of Israeli civilians, as well as other PIJ and Hamas organizations, thus enabling them to finance terrorist activity, which is forbidden by U.S. law."
Federal Funding: Excluding COVID monies, the federal government has authorized over $96 million of grants to ANERA since 2007, although public government records do not adequately explain the actual amounts ultimately handed over.
United Mission for Relief & Development
United Mission for Relief & Development (UMR), also known as United Muslim Relief, is an international charity currently led by Abed Ayoub, the former President of Islamic Relief USA. UMR works closely with other Hamas-financing Islamist charities such as LIFE for Relief and Development, Baitulmaal, among others.
UMR officials have included pro-Hamas activists such as Khalid Turaani, who previously ran American Muslims for Jerusalem (AMJ). At a 2002 AMJ conference, the Investigative Project on Terrorism states, Turaani reportedly cited a hadith saying, "Allah will allow you to conquer the land of Palestine. Its men, its women, and its servants are in a state of jihad until the Day of Judgment."
Former Islamic Relief official Omar Shahin served as UMR's Vice President of Fundraising. In 2002, Shahin reportedly preached: "You will keep on fighting with the Jews until the fight reaches the east of Jordan river then the stones and trees will say: oh Muslim, oh (servant) slaves of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him."
Founded in London in 1985, Muslim Aid has grown into one of the largest Islamic charities in the world, boasting revenue of tens of millions of pounds each year. Muslim Aid is a leading outpost of Jamaat-e-Islami, a violent South Asian Islamist movement. In 2013, a Bangladeshi war crimes tribunal sentenced to death in absentia one of the charity's founders, Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, for his role leading a Jamaat-e-Islami killing squad that abducted and murdered 18 people during the country's 1971 Liberation War.
Counter-terrorism analyst Chris Blackburn writes that Muslim Aid's Australian branch has supported jihadist-funding organizations in Indonesia; government agencies in Bangladesh included Muslim Aid in a list of ten Islamic charities supporting Islamist terrorism; and Spanish police have declared that Muslim Aid financed jihadists in Bosnia in the 1990s.
Muslim Aid has previously admitted to funding organizations controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas, including a grant of over $18,000 to the al-Ihsan Charitable Society, which is designated by the U.S. government as a sponsor of terrorism.
In Pakistan, meanwhile, both the UK and Pakistani branches of Muslim Aid partner openly with Al-Khidmat, the "charitable" arm of Jamaat-e-Islami's Pakistani arm. Along with openly financing Hamas, Al-Khidmat also publicly works with Hizbul Mujahedeen, a designated terrorist group in both India and the United States.
Mercy International's Canadian branch was the subject of media scrutiny in the wake of Al Qaeda's 1998 East Africa bombings, with counter-terrorism analysts claiming the charity was "implicated" in the plot.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that "Mercy International originally went by the name Human Concern International (HCI), an organization created in the 1980s to support the Afghan jihad against the Soviets. Their Pakistan offices were headed by Ahmed Khadr, a close associate of bin Laden and an al Qaeda moneyman. In 1989, HCI changed its name to Mercy International-USA and moved to Michigan."
Umar al-Qadi, the longstanding leader of Mercy-USA and seemingly of its various previous iterations, has declared that his organization is not connected to terror-tied Mercy and Human Concern branches, and has been confused with that of another with the same name; although such claims have been treated skeptically.
The vice-chairman of Mercy-USA is Ali El-Menshawi, a psychologist based in Florida. Despite his Hippocratic oath, Menshawi's Facebook page is replete with support for Hamas and its military wing, the Qassam Brigades. Menshawi has also reposted virulently anti-American and anti-Semitic screeds from an Islamist named Soliman Biheiri, seemingly the same Biheiri jailed as a Hamas fundraiser, and suspected of links to the East Africa bombings in which Mercy-USA was implicated.
Federal prosecutors have revealed that one previous director of Mercy International USA was Abdurrahman Alamoudi, an Al Qaeda fundraiser who was jailed in 2004 for conspiring with the Libyan regime to assassinate the Saudi Crown Prince.
In more recent years, Mercy-USA and its staff remain closely involved with the Muslim American Society, the leading voice of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. Previous board members of the organization have also included Mohamed Ashmawey, who was once president of the Muslim Arab Youth Association, which, under Ashmawey's watch, ran events at which senior Hamas leader Sheikh Muhammad Siyam told the crowd to "exterminate" all Israelis. Ashmawey has since held top leadership positions at Islamic Relief in the UK, as well as the Islamist charity Human Appeal.
Mercy-USA is extremely active in the Gaza Strip, where it is a major partner of UNRWA.
American Muslims for Palestine, Students for Justice in Palestine and WESPAC
American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)
American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), also known as the AJP Educational Foundation, as well as its 501(c)(4) parent organization*, AJP Action, are widely and credibly accused of serving as successor to the Islamic Association of Palestine, which was part of a major Hamas fundraising network implicated in the notorious 2007 Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial — one of the largest terror finance trials in American history.
A judge recently concluded there was merit in a current lawsuit against which argues the group has "largely the same core leadership as IAP/AMS; it serves the same function and purpose; it holds nearly identical conventions and events with many of the same roster of speakers; it operates a similar 'chapter' structure in similar geographic locations; it continues to espouse Hamas' ideology and political positions; and it continues to facilitate fundraising for groups that funnel money to Hamas."
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) argues a similar point, stating: "AMP has its organizational roots in the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), an anti-Semitic group that served as the main propaganda arm for Hamas in the United States until it was dissolved in 2004. Since its creation in 2005, AMP continues to work closely with some former IAP leaders who currently hold positions as AMP board members."
Osama Abuirshaid, AMP's executive director has previously expressed his admiration for Hamas for resisting and not negotiationg with Israel, and for avenging the "blood of its martyrs."
In 2021, Abuirshaid spoke alongside terrorist members of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), including Sami Khater, a senior Hamas Politburo leader and co-founder, and Mohammad Nazzal, Hamas's official representative in Jordan.
In addition, notes Max Samarov in the Forward, "AMP chairman Hatem Bazian ... has repeatedly spread anti-Semitism on social media, while other AMP leaders and speakers have engaged in racism, homophobia, genocide denial, and praise for terrorist groups. One AMP employee listed as a contact in the handbook has said that Israel is, 'an illegitimate creation,' and that 'Israelis have to be bombed.'"
Since the October 7th attacks, AMP officials have led a forceful campaign to justify Palestinian "resistance." Webinars organized by AMP and other Islamist groups (including Mercy Without Limits, profiled above), have featured Nihad Awad, head of the Islamist-founded Council on American-Islamic Relations, who denounced President Biden as a "Zionist" who spews "Israeli propaganda"; as well as references by Muslim American Society's Ibrahim Zeini to Hamas terrorists as "resistance fighters" who are beginning to "shift" the Palestinian cause to "victory."
AMP's Director of Outreach & Community Organizing, Taher Herzallah, has been particularly vociferous at these webinars. In one event, he referred to "Jews and Christian Zionists," as "enemy number one," although later conceded that anti-Zionist Jews can be partners.
Herzallah has previously declared "Hamas' rockets are an oppressed people's cry for help." He has also, the Investigative Project on Terrorism notes, posted "photos of injured Israeli soldiers and a destroyed tank to his personal Facebook page. The caption for both photos read: 'The most beautiful site in my eyes.'"
*The EIN number (a unique taxpayer ID) that AJP Action claims to operate under (86-1772909) does not seem to appear in IRS records.
Students for Justice in Palestine
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) claims to operate at almost 200 college campuses across the United States. It is a sister organization of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). In fact, AMP head Hatem Bazian is a co-founder of SJP, and, as the Forward points out, "SJP campus chapters are encouraged to reach out to American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) to trade strategies and get non-students to attend student government meetings about divestment."
SJP operates in university campuses across the United States. As the Anti-Defamation League reveals: "In the days following Hamas's October 7, 2023, invasion of Israel, the national leadership of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and many of the organization's campus chapters explicitly endorsed the actions of Hamas and their armed attacks on Israeli civilians and voiced an increasingly radical call for confronting and 'dismantling' Zionism on U.S. college campuses. Some SJP chapters issued pro-Hamas messaging and/or promoted violent anti-Israel messaging channels."
Some chapters, the ADL adds, even approvingly shared Hamas clips of the October 7th attacks.
Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs alleges that "Principal backers of SJP include founders, financial patrons and ideological supporters who have been connected to Islamist terror organizations such as Hamas, Hizbullah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)."
While SJP has a national nonprofit, its fiscal sponsor is the WESPAC Foundation. Funding of AMP, its parent organization AJP, and SJP, is murky and mixed up. SJP's revenue in particular is likely covered by local fundraising and student society grants. In addition, SJP chapters' expenses are possibly paid for directly by AMP, its parent organization AJP, as well as third party Islamist organizations, with which they regularly collaborate.
Notwithstanding, the below funding still offers some grantors of interest. The dataset includes the WESPAC Foundation; however, it is important to note that WESPAC also finances other radical causes unrelated to SJP.
Palestine Children's Relief Fund
The Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF) founder and president, Steve Sosebee, has been a regular voice on cable news networks since the October 7th massacre, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, among others.
The PCRF is notorious for its previous close collaboration with the now-defunct Holy Land Foundation, which the U.S. government convicted in 2008 "on charges of providing material support to Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization."
In 2003, a U.S. Justice Department document noted that a Hamas website featured hyperlinks to "several United States-based charities, including Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the Islamic Association of Palestine, and the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund."
Meanwhile, in 2004, the New York Times quoted an Al Qaeda supporter declaring: "'P.C.R.F. is a front for Islamic Jihad," another Palestinian terrorist group designated in the United States. That same year, Hamas's Holy Land Foundation, then under investigation, applied to have its frozen funds transferred to PCRF.
According to NGO Monitor, one PCRF official ran a website that openly glorified jihad. NGO Monitor also notes that the Facebook profile picture of PCRF's "coordinator" in the Palestinian territories features a "photoshopped image of a soldier stomping the beheaded head of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and in the background a picture of a boy raising the flag of Palestine at the Dome of the Rock."
The PCRF works in Gaza with organizations linked directly to the Hamas authorities, such as the Eastern Association for Agriculture and Development. In 2014, an Israeli military strike reportedly killed the association's founder, Ali Imad Asfour at home, although it is unclear if he was deliberately targeted for his political activities. The Eastern Association boasts that its officials take part in protests against the "occupier" and promises a "return to our stolen homes." It operates in close cooperation with the Hamas government, with Hamas government officials sending representatives to each of the group's board meetings, and sending delegations to honor the association's work.
In Gaza, the PCRF runs the pediatric cancer unit inside Al-Rantisi Children's Hospital. During fighting in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military claimed to have found that hospital housed "a Hamas 'command and control center' and may have been used to hold hostages." Weapons caches were also found.
PCRF job positions and news about the organization are reported extensively in Hamas's own media outlet, Felesteen News.
On October 16, a New York City club reportedly advertised an "intifada fundraver," which is promoted using clips of Hamas's October 7th attack on Israel. The hosting organization, End NYC, declared that all of the proceeds from the "fundraver" would be split between PCRF and another charity, Medical Aid for Palestinians.
Pious Projects of America
Pious Project of America is a Bridgeview, Illinois charity with close links to the Mosque Foundation (also known as the Bridgeview Mosque) a hardline mosque which, in 2005, had its bank account shut down over its donations to the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), a designated terrorist organization headquartered in Sudan that financed Osama Bin Laden.
The Chicago Tribune reported the Mosque Foundation also provided a "total of about $374,000 to three other charities that were later shut down by the federal government and accused of having links to terrorism: Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development [a Hamas charity], Benevolence International Foundation and Global Relief Foundation."
Counter-terrorism analysts have noted that multiple officials of the Mosque Foundation have been involved with Hamas network organizations. For instance, Muhammad Salah was sentenced to five years in an Israeli prison in 1995, while serving on the Mosque's Executive Committee, reportedly for funneling $650,000 to members of the designated terrorist organization Hamas. The New York Times, meanwhile, has reported on Israeli accusations that the mosque's leader, Jamal Said, is "a senior Hamas official in the United States."
Pious Projects founder Fahim Aref has long served in various senior positions at the Mosque Foundation, previously on its financial committee, and is still closely involved today, along with other Pious Projects officials. The Mosque Foundation's website advertises the work of Pious Projects, along with that of other Islamist charities profiled in this report, such as Medglobal, United Mission for Relief & Development, Rahma Worldwide and International Humanitarian Relief, as well as the Palestine Children's Relief Fund.
In Gaza, Pious Projects has openly boasted that it handed $50,000 to the Hamas government to purchase medical supplies, in an apparent instance of overt terror finance. Pious Projects also works with the Hamas-linked UFA.
Meanwhile, Pious Projects' founder, Fahim Aref, has hosted fundraisers and live broadcasts for his charity with Mohammed Ahmed, a Gazan who proudly announced in 2009 that his cousin had become a senior Hamas minister. Ahmed also regularly posts violent sermons by Hamas-affiliated clerics urging "jihad" against Jews as the only means for "salvation."
Since October 7th, Pious Project has announced that its team on the ground in Gaza is led by its chief coordinator, Isaac Hilles (also known as Ishaq Hesham Halas). Hilles is a close relation of convicted terrorist Riad Hilles, a convicted terrorist whom, Isaac claims with much admiration, "killed Israeli officers and soldiers" as well as a "prison snitch" while serving time for his crimes in an Israeli prison.
Pious Projects' Gaza coordinator also posts support for other terrorists, such as senior Hamas commander Abdullah Ghaleb Barghouti, whom Isaac notes "killed 67 Zionists in 2002 and 2003."
Heroic Hearts is an Illinois-based charity that partners with other Islamist nonprofits such as Pious Projects of America (profiled above).
In Gaza, Heroic Hearts' "program coordinator," Omar Hammad, is a unabashed supporter of Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin. He has also posted songs on his social media which call on Muslims to "pick up a keffiyah and dagger at the waist" to win back Al-Aqsa.
Heroic Hearts' "field manager" is Mohammed Jaber, who also happens to be closely involved with the Reach Education Fund (profiled above), as well as U.S. charities operating in Gaza such as Amideast, and even the U.S. government's Office of Palestinian Affairs.
Multiple advertisements in the Hamas newspapers Felesteen News note Heroic Hearts' partnership with the Hope Bridge Charitable Association, a charity in Gaza that appears to solicit donations through the use of footage from Hamas's TV station, Quds News Network.
United Hands Relief
The vice-president of United Hands Relief & Development (UHR), also known as Bait al-Khair, is Omar Shahin, who called in 2002 for the killing of Jews. Shahin was reportedly a fundraiser for KindHearts, a charity that the Treasury Department shut down after finding it had "coordinated with Hamas leaders and made contributions to Hamas-affiliated organizations."
The head of UHR is Suleiman Alghanem, a former official of Baitulmaal. Indeed, UHR's 2016 tax return even recorded its original name as Baitulmaal Relief and Development. In Gaza, an anti-Semitic official of the Hamas-linked charity UFA (profiled above), Amjad Mansour, claims to have worked also for Baitulmaal and United Hands Relief. Indeed, United Hands Relief recently published a video celebrating its involvement with the "UFA Education Center in Gaza."
United Hands Relief also supports the Hamas-linked Generosity Association in Gaza.
Human Appeal is a British Islamist charity with branches around the world. It established a U.S. branch in 2022.
According to Australia's ABC News, a leaked 1996 CIA report claimed Human Appeal International's branches were among a number of Islamic charities used as conduits for funds to terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Al Qaeda. Then in 2003, an FBI document uncovered by ABC "outlines a close relationship between Human Appeal International and Hamas, as well as the US-based Palestinian charity the Holy Land Foundation For Relief and Development, which was raided and shut down three months after the September 11 attacks."
All around the world, intelligence agencies and journalists implicated Human Appeal's branches in terror finance schemes and extremist activity.
Leaked State Department cables in 2003 revealed American diplomats' belief that "HAI was sending financial support to organizations associated with Hamas and that members of its field offices in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Chechnya had connections to al-Qaeda associates." In 2005, a Hamas website reported that Human Appeal's branch in the UAE transferred funds to IQRA and Rifdah, two Hamas front organizations based in the West Bank.
In Australia, the FBI document appeared to corroborate existing suspicions about Human Appeal's activities. In August 2002, an Australian Islamist youth group advertised the sale of videotapes about the intifada against Israel, promising that proceeds go to a Hamas financing scheme called the "101 Days Campaign," routed through Human Appeal International.
Webpages for that same Hamas finance scheme (hosted by Interpal, a British Hamas organization designated as a terrorist group in the United States) openly lists Human Appeal (along with Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, among others) as donors to the scheme.
Human Appeal's Australian branch remained a key extremist outpost. In 2012, it hosted Sheikh Tareq Al-Suwaidan, who previously declared before a conference of Hamas's proxy in North America, the Islamic Association of Palestine, that "Palestine will not be liberated but through jihad. Nothing can be achieved without sacrificing blood. The Jews will meet their end at our hands."
In 2008, the Israeli Government proscribed Human Appeal's branches in Britain, Australia and the UAE as "bodies that are active abroad and which are responsible for raising very large sums for Hamas activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip."
In July 2011, in front of a banner mention Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas honored Human Appeal International and other Western charities, including Islamic Relief, at a Hamas ceremony in Gaza.
That same year, Human Appeal's branch in Britain, the Telegraph reports, organized events with Raed Saleh, a Hamas supporter who refers to Jews as "bacteria" and "monkeys"
In recent years, Human Appeal's behavior appears just as dangerous. In July 2023, Human Appeal was revealed by the Gaza Zakat Society (IZS) to be one of its key partners. As mentioned above, IZS is a leading Hamas institution whose head, Hazem Al-Sirraj, is closely involved with senior Hamas leaders, and studied under Hamas's founder, Sheikh Yassin. This appears to be a long-term partnership. Human Appeal's funding of IZS is disclosed in advertisements published in Hamas newspapers as recently as 2022.
[Human Appeal's U.S. branch was established in 2022, and so substantial 501(c) funding for the charity will likely not show up in electronically-filed 990 forms until a year or two from now]
Other Charities of Concern
Mercy Without Limits
Mercy Without Limits is a Kansas-based charity whose officials are senior members of Muslim Brotherhood networks.
Mercy Without Limits chairman Mohamad Albadawi is a senior member of the Brotherhood-founded Muslim American Society, which has repeatedly encouraged its supporters to donate to the charity in recent weeks. Albadawi was previously an official of the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA), which U.S. lawmakers included on a list of organizations in 2003 they argued "finance terrorism and perpetuate violence." In 1995, Hamas leader Sheikh Muhammad Siyam was invited to address a MAYA conference, where, according to the New York Times, he told the crowd: "Finish off the Israelis. Kill them all. Exterminate them. No peace ever."
Today, much of MWL's work is based out of Turkey, a country where senior Hamas leaders live under the protection of the Erdoğan regime. MWL has repeatedly collaborated with terror-tied Turkish charity IHH, which funds Hamas.
MWL's chairman, Albadawi, is a prominent radical voice in Kansas. His social media contains various radical statements, including, reportedly, a quotation from jihadist leader Abdullah Azzam, best known as Osama Bin Laden's mentor.
MWL is part of a large close-knit network of Islamist charities. In Gaza, MWL works with radical institutions that themselves fund Hamas proxies, such as LIFE for Relief and Development, while MWL's CEO, Mohammed Hassan, previously served as the former vice-president of extremist charity Baitulmaal.
In addition, MWL receives hundreds of thousands each year from Michigan-based Foundation for Justice and Development, which appears to fund MWL exclusively. The Foundation in turn receives its monies from an array of grant-making foundations in Michigan, all registered to a single anti-Semitic accountant. These foundations then in turn issue grants to most of the charities profiled above.
International Humanitarian Relief
International Humanitarian Relief (IHR), a charity with branches in Lebanon, Turkey, Austria and Illinois, coordinates closely with many of the charities profiles in this report. IHR is also a partner of the Qatari regime's RAF Foundation, a key institution for international terror finance networks belonging to Al Qaeda and other jihadist organizations.
Such extremism seems to be fundamental to the charity. IHR's founder Houda Atassi posted, on October 8th, clips seemingly of Hamas's October 7th terrorist attack, and declared: "We pray for their victory."
Palestinian American Medical Association
The Palestinian American Medical Association (PAMA) is a Virginia-based charity that provides medical care in the Gaza Strip. Despite its claim to be "non-political," PAMA has organized rallies with organizations such as American Muslims for Palestine, which is widely accused of serving as a leading pro-Hamas voice in America (see profile above). PAMA works with a wide variety of other hardline Islamist charities, including the Zakat Foundation of America, Mercy Without Limits, Medglobal and the PCRF.
PAMA's executive director, Marwan Ahmad, has been closely involved with the Al-Awda: Right to Return Coalition, which has openly embraced convicted terrorists. Al-Awda's founder, Abbas Hamideh, is an unabashed anti-Semite and a leading American supporter of the designated terrorist organization Hezbollah.
Founded by Zaher Sahloul, Medglobal is a Rolling Meadows, Illinois charity widely praised by the media and international organizations. Sahloul, however, is the former president of the Hamas-aligned Mosque Foundation. Sahloul's social media exhorts Jews to speak out or be considered complicit in violence against Palestinians.
In Gaza, Medglobal is in close contact with the Hamas government and explicitly promises to use donations in its "[work] with the Ministry of Health in Gaza," a Hamas institution. Medglobal advertises in Hamas newspapers such as Felesteen News. On Medglobal's website, the charity boasts that its staff (as well as officials from the Palestinian American Medical Association) were given a "tour" of Hamas's Ministry of Health in Gaza.
Law Enforcement and Congress Must Act
There is a powerful and wealthy Islamist charitable industry in the United States, much of it openly Hamas-aligned. These enormous grant amounts uncovered do not even explain all of its revenue. The latest tax returns for the U.S. branches of these profiled charities reveal almost $600 million of income each year.
It is time for policymakers and law enforcement to investigate and to act. As our report uncovers, the law is being broken with impunity. Meanwhile, media and the public have a role to play as well: pressure must be placed on corporate foundations, donor-advised funds and all the other 501(c)s who unthinkingly move monies into the hands of radicals subsidizing Hamas and advancing Islamism.
Sam Westrop is director of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.