Feds May Fund Terror, Report Says

By Justin Rood

Nov 23, 2007 8:30am

The U.S. government can’t be sure taxpayer money isn’t winding up in terrorists’ pockets, it admitted recently. According to a recent government audit stamped "Sensitive but Unclassified" obtained by the Chicago Tribune, the U.S. Agency for International Development can’t be sure that some of the billions in aid it distributes annually doesn’t go to individuals or groups with terrorist ties, the paper reported. "Although it conducts programs in countries where terrorism is a major concern, USAID has not developed or instituted a worldwide anti-terrorism program," the Tribune quoted from the audit prepared by the USAID inspector general. "USAID risks providing funding or other material support and resources to terrorists or terrorist organizations." Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage. The Tribune notes that federal law bans the practice of giving money to groups considered terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. Rep. Mark Kirk, D-Ill., requested the audit after learning that USAID, the nation’s largest distributor of foreign aid, had on occasion approved money for questionable recipients, including the Palestinian group Hamas, labeled a terrorist group by the U.S. government, and a Bosnian group whose president was barred from entering the United States. Inspector General Donald A. Gambatesa concluded that both grants "could have been avoided if USAID had comprehensive vetting policies and procedures." A USAID spokesman told the Tribune the agency was "taking [the report] very seriously." Do you have a tip for Brian Ross and the Investigative Team?

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