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Govt. Explores Using Frozen Charity Money

The Bush administration is exploring an idea from the leader of a U.S. Muslim group: unfreezing assets that belong to Islamic charities suspected of funding terrorists and releasing the money for legitimate aid purposes. Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council, has discussed the notion with government officials. He said he hopes to work with the Islamic charities, donors and others on a plan for the Treasury Department. At stake is about $5 million to $7 million in frozen assets belonging to three charities — Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Global Relief Foundation and the Benevolence International Foundation, Treasury Department officials estimated. The frozen money “should be used for good purposes,” Al-Marayati said. He said assembling a proposal and getting U.S. approval is an uphill battle. Full Story

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