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Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation was a charity foundation, based in Saudi Arabia, alleged to be a front for the international terrorist organization al-Qaeda. Although all charges were dropped by a federal judge, it is now banned worldwide by United Nations Security Council Committee 1267[1].

The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of the Treasury had already banned various branches of this organization at various times, including the US branch on 9 September 2004[2]. Under various names it had branches in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Comoros, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Tanzania, and the USA.[1]

The American branches of this foundation were in Ashland, Oregon and Springfield, Missouri. Two directors of those branches, Suliman Al-Buthe ( سليمان البوثي ) and Aqeel Abdul Aziz Al-Aqil ( عقيل عبد العزيز العقيل ), are now personally embargoed worldwide by the UN.[1]


Guantanamo detainees alleged to have ties to al Haramain

The United States has held several suspects in the War on Terrorism on the grounds that they had worked for or volunteered for the Al-Haramain Foundation:

Extrajudicial detainees detained, in part, due to alleged ties to al Haramain
Shaker Aamer
Fahd Muhammed Abdullah Al Fouzan
  • Alleged to have worked for Al Haramain.[3]
Zaid Muhamamd Sa'id Al Husayn
  • The first factor in favor of his continued detention stated: "The detainee left Saudi Arabia in July 2001 after being inspired by a posted flyer from a missionary group called The Al Haramain Al Sharifer Organization.[4 ]"
Sami Mohy El Din Muhammed Al Hajj
  • Alleged to have served as a financial courier for Al Haramain.[5]
Abdul Al Salam Al Hilal
  • Alleged to have had meetings with representatives of Al Haramain.[6]
Abdul Rahman Owaid Mohammad Al Juaid
Abdel Hadi Mohammed Badan Al Sebaii Sebaii
  • American intelligence analysts justified his detention that he had worked as a volunteer for al Haramain.[8]
  • Al Sebai acknowledged serving 20 days on an emergency flood relief under the auspices of al Haramain—but in Sudan in 1995.
Mohammed Asad
  • Believed to have worked for Al Haramain in Africa, but has since been exonerated of that charge.
  • Held in the dark prison -- a CIA black site -- not Guantanamo.
Jamal Muhammad Alawi Mar'i
  • "Detainee admitted he was the director of the Baku, Azerbaijan branch of the Al Haramayn.[9]"
  • Mar'i admitted working for Al Haramain, but denied being a regional director.
Laid Saidi
  • Captured in May 2003 after working for Al-Haramain in Tanzania.[10]
Wazim Allegation presented at his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.
Khalid Mahomoud Abdul Wahab Al Asmr Allegation presented at his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[11]

The U.S. branch of Al Haramain

The U.S. branch of Al-Haramain Foundation filed a lawsuit on February 28, 2006.[12] The suit asserted that the Bush administration had circumvented the US Constitution by authorizing warrantless wiretaps. They asserted that the President lacked the authority to authorize wiretaps that circumvented the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Three individuals whose conversations were intercepted, Suliman al-Buthe, Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor, learned of the eavesdropping when U.S. officials accidentally delivered logs of phone calls to them.[12] Al-Buthe, who had been the Foundations U.S. director, moved back to Saudi Arabia. Belew and Ghafoor were two of the Foundation's U.S. lawyers.

Tom Nelson, another Foundation lawyer, filed the lawsuit.[12] Court records show he filed a motion to place the relevant material under seal.


  1. ^ a b c The United States recognizes the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation as a terrorist organization.UN list of affiliates of al-Qaeda and the Taliban
  2. ^ U.S.-Based Branch of Al Haramain Foundation Linked to Terror, press release, US Department of the Treasury, 9 September 2004
  3. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Fahd Muhammed Abdullah Al Fouzan Administrative Review Board - page 94
  4. ^ Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Zaid Muhamamd Sa'id Al Husayn Administrative Review Board - page 90
  5. ^ Summarized transcript (.pdf), from Sami Mohy El Din Muhammed Al Hajj's Administrative Review Board hearing - page 121
  6. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdul Al Salam Al Hilal's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 19-26
  7. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdul Rahman Owaid Mohammad Al Juaid's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 74-83
  8. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdel Hadi Mohammed Badan Al Sebaii Sebaii's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 45-55
  9. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Jamal Muhammed Alawi Mar'i's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 130-144
  10. ^ Algerian Tells of Dark Term in U.S. Hands, New York Times, July 7, 2006 - mirror
  11. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Khalid Mahomoud Abdul Wahab Al Asmr's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 19-29
  12. ^ a b c "Saudi Group Alleges Wiretapping by U.S.: Defunct Charity's Suit Details Eavesdropping". Washington Post. March 2, 2006.  

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