Charity & Terror As Resistance: How Do They Relate?

Charity & Terror As Resistance: How Do They Relate?

The numerous terrorist attacks that have occurred in the last two decades globally have triggered both media and law and order enforcement agencies to pay attention and investigate the relationship between charity and terrorism.

Using a systematic approach to dismantle the peaceful law and order status of any region, non-profit organizations based anywhere are capable of diverting funds of unknowing donors toward terrorist organizations, or may provide a legitimate disguise for donors consciously seeking to support resistance movements worldwide. A recent report on activities of non-profit organizations during the second wave of Covid-19 stated "It is worth mentioning that FATF has already raised this concern that lot of funding in the name of COVID is likely to go towards terror funding. Given the scale of network of one set of organizations, the scale of total terror funding could only be imagined."

Earlier this month, India's main investigating arm National Investigation Agency said in a statement that members of a certain organization have collected funds domestically and abroad through donations for the charity and welfare activities including COVID-19 relief, but the funds were instead used for violent and secessionist activities. In this regard, a Reuters report has stated that NIA had conducted raids at nearly five dozen places linked to banned religious outfit Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) in Jammu and Kashmir.

Alarmingly, a similar trend has emerged in the state of Assam especially during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been reported by sources that several non-profit organizations involved in COVID relief efforts and rescue operations in disaster situations are knowingly or even unknowingly support in such terror funding activities. A deeper probing reveals that such model of fund collection already existed before the pandemic in the form of food and flood relief. Presence of subsidiaries of ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America), a controversial non-profit organization based abroad in remote corners of Assam is to be taken into account.

It is surprising that non-profit organizations based in Kerala and Delhi with an evident affinity for a particular community are conducting various relief works in areas of Assam which has a history of communal tension. As per conservative reports one such particular outfit claims to have already established a strong base across 22 states and in the recent past has penetrated in the gateway to the entire Northeastern region. This spurs fear and concern as the outfit is suspected to be conducting Jihadi activities rampantly especially in the name of carrying out social welfare activities across the state.

As per sources shared with Asomiya Pratidin and Pratidin Time, the outfit has formed 17 other organizations to cushion their exposure. The Assam headquarters of the organization is situated in Guwahati and they have an active presence across both their national and state Facebook pages. The outfit has also been alleged for supporting and funding student organizations and their movements.

Notably, these charitable social welfare organizations many a time are directly funded and/or operated by terrorists' groups, or are indirectly supported by these groups. In turn, these non-profit making organizations may become victims of supporting agendas and services towards those involved in political and social violence.

Moreover, charitable, terrorist and resistance organizations are often created in the first place as response to political or social exclusion and grievance. As a result of which it is even more plausible for both terrors spreading outfits and charitable organizations are formed by the same constituency.

Thus, it is plausible that both terrorist and charitable organizations are formed by the same community of individuals, and represent two activities along a spectrum of possible actions that are used to address identical political and/or social concerns.

It is time the government, and law and order enforcement agencies of the state pay utmost heed to such activities and breakdown such clusters of terror spreading elements that has systematically jeopardized the charity industry.

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