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August 31, 2021
Naomi Grant, Director of Communications
(202) 601-7422

(Washington, DC – August 31, 2021) On August 21st, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) used Twitter to promote donations from Dallas-based Islamic charity Baitulmaal. Upon investigation, the Israel-based research and education center, Alma, uncovered that Baitulmaal sends funds to a known terrorist entity by distributing cash to “families of martyrs of the Palestinian people.”

The distribution happens through a third party: the Gaza-based charity organization, United Friends Association for Social Development (UFA). UFA is known for strongly antisemitic views and enjoys close ties with Hamas leaders and supports its operations. Baitulmaal delivers donations collected in the US to a courier of the terrorist organization, Hamas.

Baitulmaal director Mazen Mukhtar is, according to a 2004 Washington Post article, an Egyptian-born imam and activist, and was subject to a counterterrorism investigation after running a website soliciting donations for the Taliban and other jihadists.

EMET decries the promotion of such support for terrorism by a sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives and calls on the House Ethics Committee to launch an investigation of the conduct of Congresswoman Tlaib. In recent years, terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah have become very sophisticated in financing their terror activities, which include soliciting money under the false pretense of charity. Those funds are not only used to support their operations, but also to enhance their prestige among the population and increase the efficacy of their recruitment efforts.

This is not the first and not likely to be the last case of terrorist organizations collecting money in the US under the false pretense of charity. Yet, this is the first time, as far as we know, that a sitting member of the United States Congress has used her platform to solicit donations that may ultimately find their way to the pockets of terrorists listed as a terrorist organization by the Department of State.

EMET also calls on the Department of Treasury to open an investigation into the financial connections of Baitulmaal, rescind its 501(c)(3) status and use its Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) to uncover the  web of such financial networks operating within the United States.

Said EMET Founder and President Sarah Stern, “Unfortunately many Islamic terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, take on a benevolent façade and do give some of their funding to hospitals, schools and orphanages to win the hearts and minds of the people. They use this as an attractive marketing device to recruit fighters for their cause. Unfortunately, there are front groups in the U.S., such as Baitumaal, who appear harmless but funnel money to Hamas or other terrorist entities, aiding the enemies of the U.S. and Israel. Baitumaal needs to be investigated by the Department of Treasury and Rep. Rashida Tlaib should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee for promoting an organization that funnels money to terrorists.”

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam.  For more information, please Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

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The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) is a Washington, D.C. based think tank and policy center with an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel stance. EMET (which means truth in Hebrew) prides itself on challenging the falsehoods and misrepresentations that abound in U.S. Middle East policy.

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