Charities face ‘deadly’ threat from Islamic State

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From the Sunday Telegraph

Charities are facing a “deadly” and growing threat from terrorist groups, a government watchdog has warned.

There are increasing fears that extremists are infiltrating Muslim charities in Britain in order to promote violence, recruit vulnerable young people for jihad, and steal money to fund terrorism.

The Charity Commission warned that some aid workers who travelled to help victims of the conflict in Syria and Iraq have been recruited by terrorist groups …

Latest figures show that the Commission, which regulates the operation of charities in the UK, has seen a significant increase in the number of serious incidents and reports about charities being targeted by extremists and terrorists in the past year.

The number of formal legal disclosures of information between the commission and the police and other agencies over charities caught up in alleged Islamist activities more than doubled between 2014 and 2015.

Officials from the watchdog also carried out 80 inspection visits of charities which were judged to be vulnerable to terrorists and extremism, either because they operated in Syria and other high-risk areas or because of their activities in Britain, such as inviting radical speakers to events. 

More than 50 formal investigations and early stage assessments conducted by the watchdog during 2014-15 involved concerns about the abuse of charities for terrorist or extremist purposes. There were also 11 reports of the most serious category of incidents during the 2014-15 year, up from seven the previous year, the watchdog said.

Among these 11 crisis cases, two involved the kidnap of staff or seizure of goods by terrorist groups; one case involved the arrest of a charity worker on terrorism offences; and eight involved allegations and reports of charities expressing support for terrorist or extremist causes. 

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