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Saudi Arabia: Terrorism

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2007, Official Report, columns 1481-82W, on Saudi Arabia: Terrorism, if she will list the Saudi Arabian based charities on the UN Consolidated List with respect to Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban and other individuals, groups and entities associated with them; and if she will make a statement. (146116)

The Consolidated List, established and maintained by the Security Council’s UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1267 sanctions Committee and last updated on 8 June, currently lists two Saudi Arabian-based charities associated with Al-Qaeda. These are:

The Benevolence International Foundation listed on 21 November 2002 (updated on 24 January 2004) and which is shown to have had branches in Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia; and

the Wafa Humanitarian Organisation listed on 6 October 2001 and shown to have a presence in Saudi Arabia.

The list also designates various international branches of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation. The original Foundation, based previously in Riyadh, was dissolved by the Saudi Arabian government in June 2004 and its assets taken over by the Saudi National Commission for Relief and Charity Work Abroad. The Saudi Arabian government has said that the National Commission, described as a non-governmental body, has now assumed responsibility in the Kingdom for all private overseas aid including the distribution of Saudi private charitable donations.

The United Kingdom is obliged to uphold UNSCR 1267 listings and to impose a corresponding assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. These financial sanctions are administered by the Bank of England, acting as agents for HM Treasury.