- Former Pakistan-based charity suspected of financing terrorist groups
A financial arm of the Saudi-sponsored Muslim World League, Rabita Trust is a now-defunct Pakistan-based charity whose professed purpose was to give aid to Afghani refugees in Pakistan. Its additional objectives were to disseminate Islamic culture, explain the teachings of Islam, and “defend” Islam “in a manner that safeguards the interests and aspirations of Muslims, … refutes false allegations against Islam, and repels inimical trends and dogma which the enemies of Islam seek to exploit in order to destroy the unity of Muslims and to sow seeds of doubt in the Muslim brethren.”
Rabita Trust was established in 1988 by the late Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq and the Muslim World League’s former Secretary-General Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef. Rabita Trust was scrutinized by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee based on evidence that it knowingly funded terrorist groups. The organization was directed by Wael Hamza Jalaidan, an al Qaeda founder and chief of logistics, until the United States and Saudi Arabia moved to close it down with Pakistani assistance. Because Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, a U.S. ally, was a member of Rabita Trust’s Board of Directors, the U.S. initially resisted adding the group to its list of terrorist-sponsoring charities. But under U.S. pressure, Musharraf eventually resigned from the Board, at which point the United States designated Rabita Trust as a “Global Terrorist Entity” and froze its assets on October 12, 2001.