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A fundamental part of the United States of America’s war on global terrorism is to discontinue funding terrorists and those who support them. This paper focuses on the deficiencies in the US anti-terror laws. In addition it also demonstrates how the Palestinian Authority has undermined the US anti-terrorist policy, and gives instances in which beneficiaries of US funding have been involved in anti-American acts and promotion of terror.
The current US anti-terror law is severely defective, with loopholes that enable US money to wind up in the hands of promoters of terror, terrorists worshippers, as well as sponsors of anti- American activities. The prerequisite that organizations that receive funding from the US are obligated not to promote or support terrorist activities by signing the ATC (Anti-Terrorism Certification) forms the foundation of the US policy. The Palestinian Authority alongside its NGOs has stubbornly opposed the US anti-terror conditions. This collective rejection was reiterated in a PA Legislature vote in May 2004. The rejection statement stated in part that the Palestinian Legislative Council discards United States Agency for International Development (USAID) conditions of signing a pledge not to finance, support, or join individuals or institutions involved in terrorist (Marcus & Crook, 2004). It is ironical that despite the universal rejection by the Palestinian Organizations of the requirement of the US anti- terror law, USAID has continued to fund a number of projects in PA regions, amounting to over $174 million as at 2003, with similar financial support having been planned for 2004.
This flow of United States money to Palestinian regions has persisted owing to the loopholes currently existing in the US anti-terror law that has allowed US money to wind up in the hands of those who declined to sign the Anti-Terrorism Certification and rejecters of anti-terror requirements.
For instance, US money is continually being used in honor of terrorists, together with those who execute Americans. The Palestinian authorities inaugurated the Martyr Salakh Khalaf Stadium in May 2004; built with funding was from USAID, worth $500,000. In addition, it was reported in one article that funds amounting to $10,000 from the USAID was transferred to the Gaza City Council (GCC) for various projects. The GCC on the other hand, has recently named one of its streets Ahmad Yassin, who was a leader of the Hamas terror group that executed several thousands of American people via suicide bombing. This street naming was in honor of his struggle and sacrifice. According to the spokesperson of the council, he said that since the tenure of the council 10 years ago, the more than 300 streets in Gaza have been named after Arab and Palestinian Martyrs (Marcus & Crook, 2004).
Loop holes in the US anti- terror Law
The law excuses several categories of recipients and services hence evading the ATC is comparatively simple. For instance, municipalities and governments are exempted from the signing of ATC. This loophole is very important because it has allowed PA municipalities to continue getting huge amounts of funds from USAID, yet they are involved in terror promotion. PA alongside its municipalities has honored terrorists even making them role models for children and other society members. Televisions owned and controlled by Palestinian authority have constantly called for terror and killing of Americans and Jews. The municipalities have also honored terrorists by naming their cities and streets after them for instance the recent naming of a street; Ahmad Yassin (leader of Hamas terror group) by the Gaza Municipal Council.
In addition, contractors and suppliers are also exempted from the signing of ATC. Because of this loophole, money form USAID can be given to any NGO, school or municipality who declines to sign the anti-terror clause just through hiring a contractor to do the job. Given that the beneficiary does not technically receive the funds, it can still support terrorist activities while using US money (Marcus & Crook, 2004).
Palestinian Universities are centers of activities that are outlawed by Americans and have often called for attacks on Americans, All students in this university are either allied to Hamas or Islamic Jihad, which are terror organizations which are banned by the government of US. In 2004, in an event at the Gaza Islamic University, Abdul Aziz Rantisi, who was the head of Hamas at that time attacked President Bush saying that he was an enemy of muslims, Islam and God, and that America has declare war on God. Ironically, it was reported that, a convention which took place at the same university in 2003 (22nd September) was funded by USAID.
According to Marcus and Crook (2004), US anti-terror law does not place adequate restrictions on the way key recipients for instance global organizations receiving money from the US i.e. the way World Bank and United Nations should give out that money. Consequently, the taxpayer’s money in the United States has ended up in the hands of supporters of activities that are anti-America as well as terrorists. It was reported that the World Bank had plans of funding infrastructure building in APA universities in 2003. This is despite the fact that these universities have students who are allies of Jihad or Hamas; terror organizations outlawed in the US. This means that World Bank was to fund the building of student terror organizations, which will be the foundation of future terrorist attacks. The United Nations on the other hand is partly to be blamed for the ineffectiveness of the anti-terror law. The UN has not been strictly supervising the how US money is used in PA regions for instance in 2003, it was reported that UNICEF, gave out funding to a summer camp for little girls. The camp which is called Wafa Idris, is named after the earliest female suicide bomber.
US funding organizations have normally ignored terror promotion as well as activities of anti-Americans, especially when the activities do not get their funding directly from the United States. In addition, numerous beneficiaries of funding from the US use part of the money allocated to them to terrorist activities as given in the examples under universities and municipalities.
There has been a disagreement Palestinian Authorities, including its NGOs and the US on the meaning of terror. While all PA organizations claim to renounce terror, they disagree with list of terror groups given by the US for instance Islamic Jihad and Hamas. To them the killing of Americans and Israelis in Iraq was not a terrorist attack, but is due to resistance. For instance, in the protest letter from Palestinian Authorities and its Non Governmental Organizations refuting the anti- terror clause by the State Department of the United States, their argument was that; the criteria used by the United States used to define terrorist attacks is not clear (Marcus & Crook, 2004).
All beneficiaries of US funding whether governmental, public or private should refrain from terrorism and acknowledge the definition of terrorist acts by the US. They should also not use part of the grant they receive from the US to honor or promote, by any means, terrorists or agencies engaging in terrorist activities. In addition, intermediate funding bodies between the US and the recipients should also ensure that the beneficiaries sign the ATC and account for how they use their money.