To pay tribute to “World Disability Day,” a Muslim charity put together a networking event. On the surface, this seemed like the right thing to do and done with noble intentions. After several anti-terror groups looked into who was attending the conference, it became clear that this was not what it appeared to be.
The U.S.-based Muslim charity does business under the name Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD). The event was put on by an American group to take place in the Pakistani city of Timergara. The conference took place in December at a government-owned college in the area.
The meeting not only used taxpayer funds to run but also featured a group run by a prominent terror supporter. The fact that Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is wanted on a $10 million bounty seemed to go unnoticed by HHRD.
The groups that participated in the event read like a terrorist laundry list. The event sponsors included the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF). They are the charitable section of Lashkar-e-Taiba. This is the group that was responsible for the Mumbai attacks of 2008. The activities of FIF as a stand-alone group were volatile enough that the U.S. Treasury Department designated them as a terrorist group in 2016.
The Milli Muslim League was also a key part of the conference. This was started by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and is tied directly to his founding work with Lashkar-e-Taiba. That work plays a large part in why there is currently a $10 million bounty for Saeed. This bounty was placed by the U.S. government.
The terror groups included in this event did not stop at those working in the Middle East. They extended an invitation to the Al Khidmat from South Asia. This group is linked to the Jamaat-e-Islami, which is the South Asian Islamic movement. The terror ties from Jamaat-e-Islami go back as far as 1971 when they murdered thousands of Bangladeshis during the Bangladeshi Liberation War.
Al Khidmat made no secret about their support of terror in the Middle East. In 2006 they proudly posted on their website that that made a $100,000 donation to Palestinian Hamas group. They expressed a desire to support the terror acts as they were “just jihad.”
The link between Al Khidmat and HHRD is not solely based on the invitation to the conference either. There are many open public mentions of the support that HHRD gives to the work of Al Khidmat. HHRD has also worked side by side with the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation. The connection between HHRD and these terrorist groups runs deep and long. The shared projects date back to at least 2009.
HHRD was started back in 2005. They have gathered financial support from several different countries including the governments of both Great Britain and the United States. They have also garnered attention and financial support from charities based out of large corporate donors like “…Microsoft, Cisco, PepsiCo, and Dell.”
HHRD links to an odd choice of groups do not stop with the organizations mentioned above either. They are also very vocal about being a “sister organization” of the group they share a logo with, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). The ICNA has come out publicly as a part of the Jamaat-e-Islami.
Officials from Jamaat-e-Islami include Yusuf Islahi. Islahi is well-known for professing that the Jews were behind the attacks on 9/11. He spoke at the ICNA conference in the United States. This is the largest American Muslim event in the country.
While many of the groups attending the conference in Pakistan are focused on the Middle East or Asia, the HHRD also has links to questionable groups in the United States. This includes fundraising efforts for the Islamic Center of New England (ICNE). The ICNE regularly hosts speeches by controversial and outspoken radical clerics.
One of the former imams of the ICNE is none other than the brother of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Hafiz Masood. Masood left the ICNE to become the spokesperson for one of Saeed’s terror groups in Pakistan.
A recent report about the HHRD exposed their network of offices all over the United States. According to their website, the Michigan based organization operates offices in the following locations:
“Arizona Office & In-Kind Center
California – S.F. Bay Area
California – SoCAL Office & In-Kind Donation Collection Center
Florida – South
Florida Office & In-Kind Center
Illinois – Chicago Office & In-Kind Center
Maryland Office & In-Kind Center
New England Office & In-Kind Center
Texas – Dallas
Texas – Houston”