Report: U.S. aid could wind up with terrorists


A new U.S. audit shows that the office in charge of foreign aid cannot “reasonably ensure” aid doesn’t go to terrorists.

The U.S. government’s Internal Audit Agency for International Development conducted the study after reports earlier this year revealed that aid from the United States had gone to a Palestinian university with terrorist ties.

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) pushed for the audit after Palestinian security arrested five Iranians who were allegedly making bombs and rockets at Islamic University in Gaza. That college had received $140,000 in USAID funds.

The unclassified report, made public Nov. 19 by the Chicago Tribune, shows that USAID gave $180,000 to a Bosnian group whose president is prohibited from traveling to the United States and $1 million to an aid partner involved with a disciple of Osama bin Laden. Funding for both groups has been stopped.

The audit warned that “USAID risks providing funding or other material support and resources to terrorists or terrorist organizations.”

USAID distributed $10 billion in foreign aid in 2005 and remains one of the largest sources of foreign aid in the United States. The organization put a vetting process in place for its aid recipients in 2000, but suspended it in 2003 because of “insufficient intelligence community resources.”

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