FBI funneled money to Hamas during Palestinian probe
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) secretly transferred funds to suspected members of Islamic resistance movement Hamas and Palestinian charities in order to see if the money would be used to finance terrorist attacks.
The setup was carried out in 1998 and 1999 by the FBI’s Phoenix office in cooperation with Israeli intelligence, reported AP. The Bureau hired Arizona businessman Harry Ellen to contribute as much as $5,000 to Palestinian charities.
Ellen permitted the FBI to bug his home, car and office and allowed his Al-Sadaqa charity foundation located in the Gaza Strip to be monitored by agents. He managed to establish personal relations with top Palestinian officials during his four years of cooperation with the FBI.
In a recent interview, Ellen revealed that his FBI handler Kenneth Williams suspected that some Gaza-based charities were buying arms with donation money. He provided the businessman with funds ranging between $3,000 and $5,000 and asked him to transfer the money to Hamas leader Ismail Abu Shanab, who was recently killed by Israeli forces, during a planned trip to the Gaza Strip in 1998.
The operation took place as former US President Bill Clinton was trying to broker a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. It is unclear whether the money was traced to suspected terrorists, however it is feasible that a small amount of US money landed in the hands of Palestinian militants.
Ellen’s cooperation with the FBI ended in early 1999 when he and Williams had a disagreement over the operation. A Muslim convert and humanitarian Ellen began assisting the FBI Phoenix office in 1994 with its many cases involving terrorism and intelligence.
In 2001, The US Department of State issued a terrorist exclusion list (TEL) that designated 39 groups, charities, and companies as ‘supporters of terrorism’. Hamas included, TEL listed individuals would have their US-based assets frozen. In 2003, nine more groups were added to the list. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)