A British charity is under scrutiny amid claims some of its funds have ended up in the hands of African terrorists blamed for killing hundreds of people.
Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group in Nigeria with close links to al-Qaida, has targeted churches and Christians as it seeks to spread terror across the country.
The Nigerian media has reported that the country's state security service, working with local and international agencies, believes money raised by the Al Muntada Trust found its way to Boko Haram.
A charity of that name, which has its headquarters in London, raises money for disaster projects in Africa. It has attracted controversy in the past for giving a platform to radical clerics.
Lord Alton of Liverpool told parliament in July there was evidence Boko Haram carried out 600 murders this year and called for it to be proscribed in the UK as a terror group. Its rise has alarmed Africa experts and prompted concerns of "blowback" for the UK as its supporters return from Nigeria.
Alton raised concerns about Boko Haram's alleged UK links with the Foreign Office minister, Lord Howell, in July. "I can confirm that this has been shared with the Charity Commission and the Metropolitan police," Howell told Alton in a recent letter. A Charity Commission spokeswoman said: "The commission is aware there may be some concerns with regards to an organisation entitled Al Muntada Trust Fund and, specifically, allegations that this organisation has provided financial support to the Nigerian group, Boko Haram. There are a number of registered charities with a similar name to this organisation, so the commission is not able to confirm at this stage whether or not this relates directly to a UK registered charity."
A Met spokesman said: "We are aware of the information and are in contact with the Charity Commission, who are assessing it. Should any allegations of criminal offences come to light, we would investigate. There is no police investigation at this stage."
A former associate of the London-based trust said there had been previous claims it had funded extremist groups, but these were 15 years old and had been dismissed. There is no evidence that the trust purposely channelled money to terrorists, or that it was aware its money had found its way to Boko Haram.
When asked about the commission's interest in the trust, its secretary, Abdul Hakeem Montague, promised to respond. However, he did not reply to further requests for comment.
A report published earlier this year by Valentina Soria, an Africa expert at the military thinktank, RUSI, warned that Boko Haram appeared to be emulating the practices of al-Qaida, something that could trigger "an arc of regional instability" across parts of the continent.
"Fighters from African conflicts coming into the UK are only one aspect of such a challenge and indeed there are many dimensions to the potential threat," Soria wrote. "The dynamics of jihadism in Africa may provoke direct terrorist attacks inside the UK, though to date there is no direct public evidence of this happening."
In a briefing for peers and MPs, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) claimed Boko Haram has been active in seven states in northern and central Nigeria, including the capital Abuja.
CSW said: "It is vital that identified sponsors of Boko Haram and other religion-related violence are found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of social standing, as this will assist in ending impunity and stemming terrorism."
Soria warned: "From West to East Africa, across the Sub-Saharan region, we may well be witnessing a new phase of decisive developments that could trigger further turmoil. The UK cannot expect to remain immune from the "spill-over" effects of events that could reshape part of the African continent."
Last month the Nigerian government confirmed that it had started informal talks with Boko Haram in a bid to end the violence.
In: World News
Tags: islam, muslims, jihad, allah, qur'an, koran, quran, charities, massacre, genocide, al taqiyya, lying, lies, war
Marked as: approved
Views: 1477 | Comments: 2 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
|Liveleak on Facebook|