Funds frozen in terror probe

Swedish authorities have called for the accounts of a Malmö-based fund-raising foundation to be frozen as part of an ongoing terrorist investigation. The organisation, al-Aqsa Spannmål ('al-Aqsa Corn'), will be denied access to bank accounts containing over one million kronor, Sydsvenskan reports.

Last week the foundation’s chairman Khalid al-Yousef was remanded in custody at Malmö district court suspected of preparing acts of terrorism and general destruction. But a lack of evidence meant that he was later released.

The district court concluded that there were grounds to supect that al-Yousef had broken with financing regulations. But the evidence was not strong enough to warrant detention.

The accounts are to be frozen on a temporary basis. A definite decision will be reached next week when the court hears from the other person authorised to sign in the foundation’s name. Al-Yousef’s colleague is not suspected of any crime.

Deputy chief prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnström claims that organisations connected to Hamas have recieved 6 million kronor from the Malmö-based foundation. With this in mind she asked Malmö district court to freeze al-Aqsa Spannmål’s accounts to the value of 1.3 million kronor.

“Last Friday I asked for him to be detained for breaking the law that prohibits the financing of serious crimes.

“I now have a one week time limit for indictment. Since this will not be resolved in such a short space of time I hope to get the time limit extended. If not, the possibility will be taken away,” Hilding Qvarnström told The Local.

Al-Aqsa Spannmål claims to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territories. But the USA contends that the money is going to Hamas and for three years has demanded that Swedish authorities freeze the foundation’s assets.