Share

Charity Commission investigates aid charity over alleged Syrian fighter links

Charity Commission investigates aid charity over alleged Syrian fighter links
News

Charity Commission investigates aid charity over alleged Syrian fighter links

Governance | Celina Ribeiro | 4 Apr 2014

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into an Islamic humanitarian aid charity following allegations that some within it have been involved in supporting fighters in Syria. 

The regulator opened an investigation into Al-Fatiha Global on 21 March, a few days after The Sun ran a front-page story alleging Adeel Ali, who it described as Al-Fatiha's chief executive but who the charity says was a volunteer, was in Syria supporting rebel fighters. An image run alongside the story appeared to show Ali embracing masked fighters brandishing AK47s. Al Fatiha has categorically denied any involvement in criminal activity or fighting.

The charity has since suspended Ali, but has criticised the Commission for launching a statutory inquiry and announced its intention to appeal the decision to hold the inquiry.

In a statement, the charity said: "While we understand the pressures the Charity Commission is under from the security services and the media to be seen to be clamping down on  Muslim involvement in aid to Syria,  we do not  agree that a formal inquiry  is the best way forward to address any issues identified. 

"We have been co-operating with the Commission and been providing information they required to address any administrative shortcomings or concerns." 

The charity said that the investigation placed an undue burden on the work of its volunteers in trying to provide aid to people in need in Syria.

The statutory inquiry is investigating whether individuals associated with the charity have been “supporting armed or other inappropriate activities in Syria”. The charity has been monitored by the Commission since 2013. 

The Commission is also looking into whether trustees have been accounting income and expenditure at the charity correctly in accordance with their responsibilities. 

Al-Fatiha Global is an aid agency which aims to deliver free medical care in clinics in northern Pakistan and to provide humanitarian assistance during conflicts. Its most recent charity accounts reveal income of less than £5,000 from a peak of £36,296 in 2008. The charity’s Twitter account indicates it has been fundraising for its work in Syria, and a MyDonate fundraising page shows it has raised just under £1,700 for its mission there. Al-Fatiha Global convoys carrying aid to Syrians The charity has appeared on national news programmes, including the BBC.  

The charity said: "Al-Fatiha Global is a registered charity which has grown beyond our expectations over the last 12 months in response to British Muslims' desire to help the people of Syria.  It is managed entirely by volunteers and has no paid staff.  Despite this it has delivered invaluable aid to help the suffering people of Syria with food and medical aid and lifesaving ambulances and fire engines.  

"We have not been involved in any form of terrorism, criminality or fighting as has been alleged in the media, notably The Sun newspaper.  We are confident that any inquiry will reach the same conclusion.  As a result of the allegations in The Sun, the trustees have suspended Adniel Ali from all responsibilities for the charity pending the outcome of an independent investigation into the allegations."

 

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Transforming Rehabilitation programme failed to make the most of charities

23 Sep 2016

The Transforming Rehabilitation programme did not realise the full potential of the third sector and squeezed...

Barnardo’s launches ten-year strategy with plans to double fundraising income

22 Sep 2016

Barnardo’s has announced a ten-year strategy which will aim to grow income by a third and change its...

OCS and Nesta announce £4m for older people's volunteering projects

22 Sep 2016

The Office for Civil Society and Nesta have launched three grant funds totalling £4m to encourage people...

Fundraising Regulator has just £1,000 in the bank

23 Sep 2016

The Fundraising Regulator has published its budget for the next 15 months, which show it currently has...

Barnardo’s launches ten-year strategy with plans to double fundraising income

22 Sep 2016

Barnardo’s has announced a ten-year strategy which will aim to grow income by a third and change its...

Fundraising Regulator has 19 ongoing investigations and has received 174 complaints

22 Sep 2016

The Fundraising Regulator has confirmed that it currently has 19 ongoing investigations into fundraising...

Barnardo’s launches ten-year strategy with plans to double fundraising income

22 Sep 2016

Barnardo’s has announced a ten-year strategy which will aim to grow income by a third and change its...

Charities urge donors to give their first plastic £5 note to a good cause

19 Sep 2016

A social media campaign is urging people to donate their first plastic £5 note to charity, after the...

Pennies has now raised £7.5m through 32 million micro-donations

9 Sep 2016

Pennies, a micro-donation tool, has announced that it has now raised over £7.5m for some 200 charities...

Join the discussion

Twitter
 
Training

Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<