(JTA) — A Manhattan-based Islamic charity is funding anti-Israel, pro-Iran professors at Columbia and Rutgers universities, the New York Post reported.
The Alavi Foundation has aggressively given away hundreds of thousands of dollars to Columbia and Rutgers for Middle Eastern and Persian studies programs that employ professors sympathetic to the Iranian dictatorship, the newspaper reported Monday.
"We found evidence that the government of Iran really controlled everything about the foundation," Adam Kaufmann, investigations chief at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, told the Post.
Federal agents also believe the foundation funnels money to Iran-supported Islamic schools in the United States and to a syndicate of Iranian spies based in Europe, according to the newspaper. U.S. agents have begun seizing as much as $650 million in assets from the foundation, according to the report.
The foundation donated $100,000 to Columbia after the school agreed to host Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Post reported, based on 2007 tax filings.
The foundation would not comment on the Post’s report.