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  • UPDATED: Lengthy Sentences Handed Out in Somali Aid Trial | Charity & Security Network
    money to help the people affected by the famine and civil war in Somalia They also said at the time they were unaware al Shabaab was on the U S list According to their attorneys Ali and Hassan had fundraised for their homeland for years in Minnesota and contended anyone wanting to send humanitarian aid to Somalia had to deal with al Shabaab because it controls the southern part of the country and had held the capital Mogadishu until mid 2011 Al Shabaab has been engaged in a protracted conflict with the country s internationally recognized government for years effectively dividing the country During the trial the government acknowledged some of the money raised by Ali and Hassan went to the needy and orphans in Somalia but any money sent in support of a designated terrorist group was prohibited Defense attorneys for the two women both U S citizens of Somali descent said they were unaware of al Shabaab s designation by the U S government The militant group had been designated by the State Department in February 2008 Assistant U S Attorney Jeffrey Paulsen said People subject to U S laws cannot send money to al Shabaab It s as simple as that Mick Kelly from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression said these women care about the people of Somalia and worked to make the country a better place The U S government has no business dictating what political party religion or social movements that the Somali people chose to support The laws on material support for terrorism should be scrapped Even before famine was declared in July 2011 nearly three million Somalis were at risk of starvation inside the war torn country This includes almost 2 2 million people trapped in places controlled by al Shabaab Despite

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/node/662 (2016-02-16)
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  • Subpoenaed Activists Resist Grand Jury Investigations
    possibly related to a Seattle protest on May 1 that resulted in minor property damage Plante has said that she was not in Seattle during that time Tabatha Millican a spokesperson for the Committee Against Political Repression said the activists are being targeted based on their political beliefs Over two hundred community organizations and activist groups have signed a letter in support 7 for those targeted in the raids and by the grand jury The case is similar to one in the mid west which began in September 2010 when more than 70 FBI agents took part in a series of coordinated raids on the homes 8 of anti war labor and international solidarity activists and the office of the Twin Cities based Anti War Committee A total of 23 activists were subpoenaed to a Chicago grand jury for what the FBI said was related to activities concerning the material support of terrorism All of them refused to testify And while there have been no indictments Assistant U S Attorney Barry Jonas has said that the investigation remains ongoing 9 Several Congressional and state legislators wrote letters 10 to the Attorney General in April 2011 asking for an explanation of the investigations into individuals and organizations engaged in peaceful anti war demonstrations Numerous groups have condemned the raids calling them a fishing expedition 11 Joe Iosbaker one of the activists targeted in the raids sees the subpoenas as part of a history of government suppression and disruption of social movements 12 saying The FBI acts today as they have always acted to intimidate and disrupt the anti war movement and the movements for peace and justice The two year anniversary of these raids and subpoenas is triggering several protests around the country The Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition will hold

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/866 (2016-02-16)
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  • Send by email | Charity & Security Network
    audio verification Home page Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN Joins More Than

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/printmail/866 (2016-02-16)
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  • State Designates Boko Haram Leaders as Terrorists
    the U S from engaging in transactions with them State stopped short of formally listing the entire group on its Foreign Terrorist Organization FTO list a move praised by Nigerian officials and foreign policy experts 2 who believe doing so will cause more harm than good These designations demonstrate the United States resolve in diminishing the capacity of Boko Haram to execute violent attacks the State Department said in a press release 3 While State did not say why the entire group was not given a FTO label some analysts contend that doing so would discourage political solutions that address the economic and social grievances that underlie Boko Haram s campaign against the Nigerian government Boko Haram which means Western education is sin in the Hausa language commonly spoken in northern Nigeria is believed to have a number of factions with differing aims Academic experts on Africa sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 4 in May urging her not to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist group saying such a move could backfire by giving the group disproportionate attention and increase the group s reputation among potential recruits An FTO designation would internationalize Boko Haram s standing

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/816 (2016-02-16)
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  • Send by email | Charity & Security Network
    audio verification Home page Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN Joins More Than

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/printmail/816 (2016-02-16)
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  • Critical Bank Services for Somali Transfers Curtailed by Anti-Terrorism Regulations
    in the eye Hersi Suleiman 4 Geberal Manager of Amal USA Inc testified before the committee Ezra Levine counsel for the Money Services Round Table a trade association of money wiring businesses joined Suleiman and other witnesses in urging Congress to limit the liability commercial banks face and help small money wire companies stay in business by passing a bill similar to one proposed by Rep Carolyn Maloney D NY in 2008 That bill 5 would have required money service businesses to evaluate their customers and determine that they are not engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing It would give a safe harbor to banks The real problem is banks are risk averse Levine said U S based Somali money wiring services rely on banks to wire funds to their counterparts in Africa who deliver the money to the intended recipients But banks are severing ties with these companies to avoid inadvertent violation of anti money laundering rules even though there are no instances of government enforcement against any financial institutions for carrying out these money transfers In Minnesota home to over 30 000 Somalis a crisis erupted when Sunrise Community Banks a local bank that facilitated most money transfers stopped doing so on Dec 30 2011 Sunrise cited security and liability issues in closing bank accounts with the Somali money transfer shops A small number of Minneapolis area Somali money transfer shops were later reopened 6 limiting the transferable amount to 500 after Sen Al Franken D MN and other Minnesota legislators voiced their complaints Appearing at the hearing Rep Keith Ellison D MN said B ecause of the regulatory burden and the fear of exposure to to risk of regulatory or even prosecutorial action the financial services institutions including Wells Fargo Bank Sunrise Bank and others have

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/818 (2016-02-16)
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  • Backlash Over Somali Money Transfer Refusal in Minnesota | Charity & Security Network
    the banks refusal will be felt hardest inside Somalia where the United Nations estimates four million people are in need of assistance mostly in the southern regions of the country where the risk of starvation is greatest Madino Ji ale Farah a 60 year old grandmother and resident of Mogadishu told the UN she and 13 members of her extended family were living on the 200 a month that one of her children sends regularly We have no other income except our monthly bill from my daughter We survive on this money and if it stops we have no other means Farah said We would be forced to either go to the camps for refugees and displaced people or beg One of the last banks to offer the transfer service Sunrise Community Banks an association of three banks announced in early December that it would close the accounts of a dozen or so money transfer shops serving an estimated 30 000 Somalis in the region No explanation for their action was given but the AFP is reporting that Sunrise said the U S government needs to remove legal obstacles before it can reinstate operations The banks talk about risk but they won t tell us what the risk is said Hersi Suleiman who works at a hawala in Chicago Let s sit down and see what the risks are they re talking about Ever since the hawalas exist no bank lost a dime no bank has ever been charged but they talk about risk Along with the bank protests a group called the Somali American Humanitarian Relief Association formed in December 2011 to assess a possible legal challenge to U S government regulations on banks According to its website its three main objectives are to evaluate the constitutionality of the

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Somali_Money_Transfer_Refusal_Minnesota (2016-02-16)
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  • Report: Counterterrorism Laws Conflict with Humanitarian Action in Disaster and Conflict Zones
    counter terrorism a conflict of norms and the emerging policy landscape 3 argues that these prohibitions foster an environment where aid groups are fearful their humanitarian action will result in criminal prosecution or lead to closure of the organization As a result many have begun scaling back operations in places deemed too legally risky T here is some evidence of organizations ceasing training activities diminishing the scope of their proposals for government funding in emergency contexts or reconsidering priorities where they sense a high risk of liability Because of the confusing and contradictory nature of these laws and policies a significant risk of the chilling effect is that humanitarian organizations will limit themselves far beyond the actual limits of the law says the report The report identifies ways in which the humanitarian community should respond to the legal and policy tensions created by counterterrorism measures such as the ones that curtail financial and other forms of engagement 4 with listed terrorist groups It recommends that the UN and countries engage with humanitarian organizations to establish procedures principles and practices that would facilitate humanitarian operations in these situations It was written by Naz K Modirzadeh a fellow at the Harvard Law

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/817 (2016-02-16)
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