WASHINGTON – The Saudi government is dissolving a large Riyadh-based Muslim charity, Al-Haramainm Islamic Foundation (search), along with other Saudi charities and it's folding more of their financial assets into a national commission subject to strict financial oversight, Saudi embassy officials said Wednesday.
The action marks the latest crackdown by the kingdom to prevent charitable contributions from being siphoned off to bankroll terrorism.
The assets of the charities will be folded into the new Saudi National Commission for Relief and Charity Work Abroad (search), officials said.
The commission "will take over all aspects of private overseas aid operations and assume responsibility for the distribution of private charitable donations from Saudi Arabia," the Saudi Embassy said in a statement.
The announcement was made here. The U.S. government, as part of its multifaceted anti-terrorism strategy in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, has sought to cut off the sources of financing for known terrorist organizations.
Adel Al-Jubeir, foreign affairs adviser to Crown Prince Abdullah, said the new commission will be subject to strict financial legal oversight and will operate according to clear policies to ensure that charitable funds intended to help the needy are not misused.
The action comes in the aftermath of terror attacks in the kingdom over the weekend that left 22 dead.