In addition, the IHH used the complicated and delicate situation in the Middle East to inflame the early stages of the proximity talks between Israelis and Palestinians, serving the goals of terrorist organizations and all extremists in the region.
The IHH’s ties to terrorist activities have been well documented and clearly fit the European Union’s own criteria for immediate proscription.
The IHH is a known affiliate with Hamas, an organization already on the EU list of proscribed terrorist organizations, and a member of the Union of the Good, an Islamic umbrella affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Union of Good was designated as a terrorist entity by the United States in 2008, in Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists, terrorist organizations, and those providing financial, technological, or material support to terrorists, terrorist organizations, or acts of terrorism.
The extraordinary European Council of 21 September 2001 defined terrorism as one of the main challenges facing the world and identified the fight against terrorism as one of the European Union’s (EU) priority objectives. The purpose of this common position was to apply further measures to combat terrorism, in addition to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001). Specifically, it established a list of individuals, groups and entities involved in terrorism whose funds and other financial assets are to be frozen as part of the fight against the financing of terrorism.
According to the guidelines that were created, the definition of terrorism means individuals, groups and entities on which there is accurate information proving that they have committed, are attempting to commit or are facilitating the commission of terrorist acts. The list of terrorist activities that are proscribed feature, “directing or participating in the activities of a terrorist group, including by funding its activities or supplying material resources.”
In 2006, a report issued by the Danish Institute for International Studies stated that during the 1990s the IHH maintained links with al-Qaida and a number of “global jihad networks.” The report also states that the Turkish government launched an investigation into the IHH, which began in December 1997 after receiving intelligence that the IHH had bought automatic weapons from Islamist terrorists.
The report said that following the revelation, the Turkish government launched a raid on the organization’s Istanbul offices, where they found weapons, explosives, and instructions for bomb-making. The report added that an examination of documents found at the IHH office indicated that the group was planning to take part in terrorist activities in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Bosnia. As far back as 1996, the CIA had identified the IHH as an extreme radical organization with ties to terror.
According to the report, French intelligence found that in the mid-1990s IHH leader Bulent Yildirim recruited soldiers for jihad activities in a number of Muslim countries and that the IHH transferred money, firearms, and explosives to jihadists in said countries.
Judge Jean-Louis BruguiÌ¬re, head of the French anti-terrorist unit, mentioned the IHH during the legal proceedings concerning the Millennium Attack (a terrorist attack on Los Angeles International Airport planned by an Al-Qaeda cell in Montreal).
Bruguiére was asked what role, if any, the IHH played in the operation of the Montreal cell. He answered that it played an important one. He said it was an NGO but a type of cover-up for the Mujahidin [jihad fighters]. At the same time, Bruguiére said, it facilitated different forms of infiltration for Mujahidin into combat and for recruiting Mujahidin. Finally, he said, it was implicated or involved in weapons trafficking.
It is clear from this information alone that intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic have concluded that the IHH has concrete ties to terrorist activities and should be proscribed by the European Union. This would mean according to Council Common Position 2001/930/CFSP of 27 December 2001 that all assets of the IHH would immediately be frozen and that it would be added to the list of persons, groups and entities to which Common Position 2001/931/CFSP applies.
I hope the contents of this request are taken under serious consideration and I look forward to a reply at your earliest convenience.
Thanking you in advance for your time and assistance on this matter of importance.
Dr. Moshe Kantor
President, European Jewish Congress