Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Chicago Tribune | 9/11 panel faults probe of 2 charities

Chicago Tribune | 9/11 panel faults probe of 2 charities:
"The government's shutdown of two Chicago-area Islamic charities after the Sept. 11 attacks has yet to produce a terrorism-related criminal conviction and 'raises substantial civil liberty concerns,' according to the staff of the independent commission that investigated the attacks.

Authorities froze the assets of the charities--Global Relief Foundation of Bridgeview and Benevolence International Foundation of Palos Hills--before any official finding that they were aiding Al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations.

The action put Global Relief and Benevolence International out of business. But since they were shuttered in December 2001, the government hasn't proven in court that they were guilty of any terrorism-related crimes."

The commission staff examined the moves against the two charities as part of a report on U.S. efforts to combat terrorism funding. The study also reviewed in detail a case against the Al-Barakaat money-transmission network, which fell apart because of insufficient evidence.

The report raises questions about the government's claims of success in its terrorism financing investigations. It also echoes concerns of civil liberty abuses raised for years by Chicago-area Muslims and other supporters of the closed charities.,1,6574018.story
con·cept: Chicago Tribune | 9/11 panel faults probe of 2 charities