WASHINGTON: The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated World Human Care, a non-governmental organization established by the Indonesia-based designated terrorist group Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI) to provide financial support for MMI extremists in Syria under the guise of humanitarian aid.
MMI was designated by the U.S. Department of State on June 12, 2017, for having committed, or posing a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. MMI was formed in 2000 and has conducted attacks in Indonesia, including claiming responsibility for a May 2012 attack at a book launch of Canadian author Irshad Manji. MMI has also been linked to the al-Qa’ida-linked Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in Syria, another designated terrorist group.
Legitimate humanitarian aid providers strive to provide essential, life-saving humanitarian assistance in Syria and elsewhere. Actions by entities such as World Human Care are deplorable not only for their support for terrorist organizations but also because they do so by abusing the work and reputation of genuine humanitarian aid providers worldwide. The United States remains committed to helping ensure the free flow of legitimate humanitarian assistance and the reputation of legitimate providers, including by exposing deceptive and malign actors.
“The United States is taking this action to expose and disrupt MMI’s deceptive efforts to use a purported ‘humanitarian organization’ as a front for collecting and transferring funds,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Treasury will continue to work with foreign partners to protect the non-profit sector from abuse by terrorist groups that disguise illicit finance flows as humanitarian activity.
World Human Care has been designated under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, which targets terrorists, leaders, and officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.
WORLD HUMAN CARE’S FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES FOR MMI
MMI’s “charitable organization,” World Human Care, has been used as a front to raise funds to support violent extremist activity. While World Human Care has engaged in some legitimate humanitarian activities, the main objective of the organization was to serve as a cover to raise funds for MMI sympathizers in Syria. In early 2016, World Human Care transferred money to Syria not only for humanitarian needs but also for weapons and fighters there. In one instance, World Human Care sent funds and equipment to a Southeast Asian foreign terrorist fighter in Syria.
Historically, World Human Care conducted several fundraising events near Jakarta, Indonesia, to raise funds that would be transferred to al-Qa’ida-linked elements in Syria. In an advertisement on World Human Care’s website soliciting donations for a humanitarian project in Syria, donors were advised to send money to a bank account in the care of an MMI official.
World Human Care is being designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia, an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13224.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the entity named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by it, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, must be blocked and reported to OFAC. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.
Furthermore, engaging in certain transactions with the entity designated today entails risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Pursuant to this authority, OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account of a foreign financial institution that knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from its ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 here.