US cracks down on Hamas-linked charity

Treasury freezes Union of Good assets; organization compensated families of suicide bombers.

Hamas heads 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Hamas heads 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Bush administration acted Wednesday against an Islamic charity suspected of helping to bankroll Hamas. The Treasury Department's action against the Union of Good means that any bank accounts or other financial assets belonging to the charity found in the United States will be frozen. Americans also are barred from making donations to the group, which the US government alleged was created by Hamas leaders to transfer money to the terrorist organization. "Terrorist groups such as Hamas continue to exploit charities to radicalize vulnerable communities and cultivate support for their violent activities," said Stuart Levey, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. The department alleged that the Union of Good "acts as a broker for Hamas" by facilitating money transfers among a web of charitable organizations - some of which the United States has already put on its blacklist of terrorist financiers - and Hamas-controlled organizations in the West Bank and Gaza. "Some of the funds transferred by the Union of Good have compensated Hamas terrorists by providing payments to the families of suicide bombers," Treasury alleged. The Union of Good facilitates "the transfer of tens of millions of dollars a year to Hamas-managed associations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip," the department said.