Canberra, July 3 (IANS) Members of an Australian charity group set up to help Syrian orphans, have been accused of raising funds for Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, a media report said on Friday.
The group, Dar al Quran wa Sunnah, was set up to help children orphaned by the Syrian civil war but came under scrutiny by Lebanese and Australian authorities after the arrest of one of its members in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on May, 2.
Ibrahim Barakat appeared before a military court in Lebanon on Friday and faced charges of fundraising and recruiting for IS terrorists and fighting against the Lebanese army, Xinhua cited an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) report.
Barakat allegedly attempted to leave Tripoli for Turkey, a common entry point to Islamic State-controlled areas, using a false name and carrying $7,100.
Two other Australian-Lebanese members of the charity are also under investigation for their fundraising activities, the report said.
“That would be a very serious matter and, I might add, that would be a matter not only of interest to Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), but also for the intelligence and security agencies,” ACNC charity regulator commissioner, Susan Pascoe said.
The Australian Federal Police declined to confirm or deny whether the charity was under investigation.
According to reports in ABC, charity’s Arabic-language Facebook page made regular reference to “martyrs who died fighting in Syria,” in stark contrast to its English-language page that often posted images of aid being handed out.