Two charities that have funded the controversial group Cage, which described Jihadi John as a “beautiful young man”, are being investigated by Britain’s Charity Commission.
The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Roddick Foundation have both made six-figure donations to the group set up by former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg.
The Rowntree trust, a Quaker charity, is reported to have given a total of £305,000 to the group, while the Roddick Foundation, which hands out charity grants from the estate of Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick, is reported to have given £120,000.
The Charity Commission confirmed to the Times that there were “compliance cases” into the charities. A spokesman said: “Public statements made in the last few days by Cage raise clear questions for a charity considering funding its activities as to how they could comply with their legal duties as charity trustees.”
Regarding the investigation into the Rowntree trust and the Roddick Foundation, the spokesman added: “The commission’s regulatory concerns are about how the trustees have ensured that charitable grants made to non-charitable bodies are only used for exclusively charitable purposes.”
Questions have also been raised over Amnesty International’s support for Cage. Breitbart London reported yesterday that Amnesty played host to a European tour by Begg and organised a joint trip to Downing Street with the group to petition for the release of Guantanamo inmates.
Gita Saghal, head of Amnesty’s Gender Unit, was hounded out for questioning their links with Begg. She later said that the group’s support of Begg was “something that undermines every aspect of the work we have done on discrimination against minorities. I cannot underestimate the level of horror expressed throughout the global women’s movement.”
Cage sparked outrage after the identity of Jihadi John was revealed on Thursday by describing him as “gentle” and a “beautiful young man”, accusing British security services of radicalising him.
Downing Street said the suggestion MI5 was to blame was “completely reprehensible,” adding: “We should not be seeking to put blame on other people, particularly those who are working to keep British citizens safe.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson also hit out at the group, saying: “This group called Cage — they were plainly apologists for terror.
“They were trying to excuse what had happened and I think that it was absolutely shameful and beyond satire that this group — funded by charities, by good British people — could stand up and blame the security services for the radicalisation of these young men.”
A spokesman for the The Rowntree Trust said: “We reject and condemn all violence, including all violence for political ends.
“Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust has previously funded Cage to promote and protect human rights. We believe that they have played an important role in highlighting the ongoing abuses at Guantanamo Bay and at many other sites around the world, including many instances of torture.
“The trust does not necessarily agree with every action or statement of any group that we have funded. We believe that Cage is asking legitimate questions about security service contact with those who have gone on to commit high-profile and horrific acts of violence, but this does not in any way absolve any such individual from responsibility for such criminal acts.”