The Charity Commission has struck off two separate British charities that raised money for the Islamic State (Isis) and promoted Al-Qaeda. The regulator has released reports on the two organisations that claimed to be raising cash to help victims of Syrian civil war and Kurdish Muslims in Birmingham.
In fact, the charities were either funding terrorism abroad or promoting an ideology that believes in attacking the UK and the West. In one instance, the charities, set up by Adeel Ul-Haq, 21, of Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, paid for equipment including a high-powered laser pointer, night-vision goggles and a secret waterproof money pouch.
A police investigation found Ul-Haq used micro-blogging site Twitter to appeal for money "to help people in war-torn Syria crisis", but instead sent monies to an Isis (Daesh) fighter in war-torn Syria. He was jailed for 12 months after being found guilty of funding terrorism and was imprisoned for a further five years after helping another person travel to Syria.
The Charity Commission report said £12,500 ($16,530) raised by Ul-Haq went into another unnamed person's bank account. Some was used specialist items on eBay that were suspected to be used for terrorism.
The report said: "While recognising that it is not illegal to purchase such items, the inquiry was extremely concerned by the use of charitable funds to purchase a night-vision scope and its potential usage given that it can be used for hunting or surveillance."
None of Ul-Haq's charities were ever registered with the Charity Commission, but as he was effectively acting as an official trustee the commission still took action and found Ul-Haq breached his fiduciary duty to protect and apply charitable funds.
Funds in Ul-Haq's account, plus money seized in a police raid of his home, totalled about £4,500. Some of this was donated to two unnamed genuine charities working in Syria. Ul-Haq was disqualified from acting as a charity trustee in the future.
The Birmingham-based Didi Nwe Organisation, which claimed to provide education and relieve poverty among Kurdish Muslims in Birmingham, was also scrutinised by the Charity Commission after it featured articles by Mullah Krekar, viewed as an associate of global terrorists, Al-Qaeda.
A statutory inquiry was opened into the charity in January 2013 after articles by Krekar, an alias of Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad who has been linked to the terror group by the UN since 2006, were published on the charity's website.
Trustees of the charity initially said they were not responsible for the site, claiming they could not update it since they took over the organisation. But the website was registered to a trustee's address who had the same contact email address as the charity.
The trustees were also found to have paid £14,000 to its chair of trustees between May 2010 and February 2013, mainly for a PalTalk account that Krekar used to give live webinars to supporters.
Didi Nwe were found to have committed misconduct and mismanagement, failed to keep financial records, and were unable to show how the charity was furthering its causes by the Commission.
The report said: "The material relating to Mullah Krekar on the charity's website and his unfettered use of the charity's chatroom created a link between the charity and a designated individual and risked damage to its reputation.
"The inquiry found that the trustees failed in their duty to act in the best interests of the charity as they were unable to demonstrate that they had considered the risks of permitting the charity's website to be used as a platform for a designated individual and the potential consequences of this on the charity's reputation."
Three trustees working with the charity were removed from the charity register.