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Islamic Relief Worldwide Logo

Different strokes for different folks. As I have written previously, PR firms are often hired by terrorist organizations. Hamas, Hezbollah and many others have used spin doctors — and helps whitewash terrorism.

Today, O’Dwyers PR Report revealed The Raben Group, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying and consulting firm has been hired by Islamic Relief Worldwide, a UK-based Muslim charity, who have repeatedly been accused of being a terrorist organization. Robert Raben, former United States Assistant Attorney General under President Bill Clinton owns the firm, and he is regarded as one of the top liberal lobbyists in the United States. According to Wikipedia, the firm’s current client lists includes The Ford Foundation.


This organization is one that the Gatestone Institute has previously noted benefits from outstanding PR campaigns, saying, “The large number of links between IRW and extremist pro-terror groups, however, suggests that under the cover of a charity with excellent public relations officers lies a structured pro-terror group with an anti-Western agenda.”

So, who are they? In November 2014, Islamic Relief Worldwide was classified as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

As Gatestone notes, “In 2006, the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs designated IRW itself a terrorist front, and claimed that: “The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure. The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population.”

In May of 2006, Israeli police arrested IRW’s Gaza coordinator, Ayaz Ali. The Israeli government stated Ali had assisted Hamas-related institutions and groups such as Al Wafa and Al Tzalah, both of which are designated terror organizations in Israel.

In 2002, the Russian Federal Security Service also accused Islamic Relief of being part of a radical Islamist network, providing support to terrorists in Chechnya.

Islamic Relief Worldwide gas further received “donations of tens of thousands of pounds from the Charitable Society for Social Welfare [CSSW], a charity founded by Al Qaeda terrorist and “Bin Laden loyalist” Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani. In 1998, the Al Qaeda terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki, eventually killed by a U.S. drone strike, served as vice-president of CSSW’s San Diego branch. During a terrorism trial in 2004 in the U.S., Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Brian Murphy testified that CSSW was a “front organization to funnel money to terrorists.”

Further, in 2008, IRW’s accounts revealed a donation of £13,437 from the Yemeni Al-Eslah organization — a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood whose leaders include Sheikh al-Zindani, whom the US Government has designated a “Global Terrorist.”

And there’s also officers of the organization linked to heinous acts.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Rawi, a director of Islamic Relief, is the former head of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe and president of the Muslim Association of Britain. Both groups are considered to be part of the European Muslim Brotherhood.Dr. Hani El-Banna, the co-founder of Islamic Relief, was formerly a trustee of Muslim Aid, a London-based charity which was previously a “partner organization” of the Al-Salah Islamic Association. The U.S. government has officially designated Al Salah a terrorist entity.

Abdul Wahab Noorwali, a trustee of Islamic Relief Worldwide, is the Assistant Secretary General of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a position he has held for the last 12 years. WAMYis a Saudi youth organization that US government agencies and officials claim has helped spread Islamic extremism around the world and has sponsored terrorism in places such as Bosnia and Israel.

Ibrahim El-Zayat is also a trustee for both Islamic Relief Worldwide and Islamic Relief UK. Arab journalist Dr. Sami Alrabaa has claimed that El-Zayat, while head of an extremist Munich-based organization called The Islamic Community of Germany, told a meeting of activists: “It is still premature to strike against the Jews and infidels in this country.”

In 2014, The Jerusalem Post noted that Israel believes “Islamic Relief Worldwide which markets itself as a charitable agency that solicits donations from all over the world, funnels cash to Hamas.”

They continued to quote Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon as saying, “[The IRW] is another source of funds for Hamas, and we have no intention of allowing it to operate and assist terrorist activity against Israel. This is another in a series of steps that we are taking against Hamas in Judea and Samaria and the pressure we are applying, the goal of which is to harm the organization’s leadership and rank-and-file as well as its civilian infrastructure. These serve as the foundation from which Hamas operates among the local population.” Read more at:

There are some in the PR firm world who don’t mind selling terror.


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Ronn Torossian is Founder and CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR Firm in New York and one of the 20 largest independently owned agencies in the United States. Ronn is an active Jewish philanthropist through his charity organization, the Ronn Torossian Foundation.