By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Kampala: Former US President Barack Obama’s administration knowingly funded a sanctioned affiliate of the pan-Islamist banned terror outfit al-Qaida, as per a recently released report of a US Senate Committee.
The report is based on a probe by the office of the Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) into the Obama administration’s approval of a $200,000 grant to a US evangelical aid organization World Vision for the al-Qaida affiliate, Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA).
Incidentally, World Vision works in India as well and is a member of InterAction, America’s largest alliance of international non-profit organisations. Last year, IANS in a major expose revealed how the US government agencies have been funding the Islamic charities linked to terror groups based in Pakistan and the Middle East through InterAction.
InterAction’s Together Project involves the most controversial Islamic charities including Helping Hand for Relief & Development (HHRD), which works with the charitable and political wings of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani terror outfit directed against India in Kashmir.
The US Senate probe into World Vision and its ties with ISRA had been initiated in 2019 after the Middle East Forum’s Sam Westrop and Cliff Smith exposed the details through a series of articles published in 2018.
What Is Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda translated; “The Base”, “The Foundation”, is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam, and several other Arab volunteers during the Soviet–Afghan War.
Al-Qaeda operates as a network of Islamic extremists and Salafist jihadists. The organization has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Russia, India, and various other countries.
Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on non-military and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 United States embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, and the 2002 Bali bombings.
The United States government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the “War on Terror”, which sought to undermine al-Qaeda and its allies. The deaths of key leaders, including that of Osama bin Laden, have led al-Qaeda’s operations to shift from top-down organization to planning of attacks which are carried out by a loose network of associated groups and lone-wolf operators.
Al-Qaeda characteristically organises attacks which include suicide attacks and the simultaneous bombing of several targets. Al-Qaeda ideologues envision the removal of all foreign influences in Muslim countries.
Also, Al-Qaeda members believe that a Christian–Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam. As Salafist jihadists, members of al-Qaeda believe that the killing of non-combatants is religiously sanctioned. Al-Qaeda also opposes what it regards as man-made laws, and wants to replace them with a strict form of sharia law.
Following the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011, the group is led by Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri.