The U.S. counterterrorism framework impedes the work of legitimate nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in two ways: first, it prohibits anyone from engaging in a wide range of broadly defined activities that involve listed terrorist organizations, regardless of the purpose or intent behind such engagement. Violating “material support” laws can result in criminal prosecution, extensive jail time, and fines

Second, it allows the government to list U.S. charities as supporters of designated terrorist organizations and thereby seize their assets, including their donations, without the benefit of basic due process rights such as notification or adequate opportunity to challenge the listing.

Read more about this issue in our Background section (this would link to our new Background section)

Feature Resources

Aid Experts Discuss Challenges Working in Conflict Zones with Terrorist Groups
Article Highlights Impact of Counterterrorism Laws on Humanitarian Aid
Deadly Combination: Disaster, Conflict and the U.S. Material Support Law

Designated Terrorist Lists

July 19th, 2019|

The primary prohibition on material support of terrorism is in the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), which prohibits material support to Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) designated by the Secretary of State. In

Material Support Definitions

July 19th, 2019|

Material support is defined somewhat differently in different contexts, making it difficult for nonprofit organizations to navigate the prohibition when working in areas controlled by or in proximity to listed terrorist groups. The primary

INGOs Call on UN to Protect Humanitarian Action

June 25th, 2019|

A group of 13 international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) that provide humanitarian aid in areas of greatest need call on the UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to provide the “fullest support for

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