Sept. 11 Charity Gave Money to Group Defending Terror Suspects
By Marc Morano
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
November 08, 2001
1st Add: Includes September 11 Fund news release
(CNSNews.com) - A charity fund established to help victims of the Sept.
11th attacks made a grant of $171,000 to a group defending eight
individuals being held in connection with the terrorist attacks on New
York and Washington, D.C.
The grant from the September 11th Fund, which is
affiliated with the
United Way, was given to the Legal Aid Society, a group that is aiding
the legal defense of eight suspects detained in Brooklyn, N.Y. as a
of the government's investigation into the terrorist attacks.
"Instead of helping out the victims, they're
actually helping out
potentially suspected terrorists," said Dan Rene of the legal
group National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC).
"With all the questions about the fund-raising on
behalf of victims, this
is a very shocking development," said Rene. "I think a lot of
be very outraged."
One official with the September 11th Fund refused to
comment, and other
officials did not respond to repeated inquiries. Representatives from
Legal Aid Society were also unavailable for comment.
In its Oct. 3rd announcement, the September 11 Fund stated the grant to
the Legal Aid Society will be used to "provide immediate direct
services to the thousands of lower-income individuals working in or near
the World Trade Center (including cleaning staff, waiters, messengers,
vendors, etc.) who were directly affected by the terrorist attack."
According to Rene, the September 11th fund announced on October 3 the
$171,000 grant to the Legal Aid Society was ostensibly to "provide
emergency civil legal assistance to low-income attack victims."
Ken Boehm and Peter Flaherty of the NLPC wrote in a
letter today to the
September 11th Fund, "At a time when the public is questioning why
of the victims have received aid they desperately need from groups that
have raised hundreds of millions of dollars, it is disturbing that the
Legal Aid Society rushed to provide free civil help to the
The letter continued, "We believe the public will
be outraged, and
justifiably so, to learn that funds from the September 11th Fund are
to support a group which is apparently providing civil legal help to
jailed on violations of immigration law in the wake of September 11
The government has not released the identity of the
eight men being
detained on immigration violations. The men are in solitary confinement
the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Detention Center in
The United Way and Hollywood celebrities have come
under fire in recent
days because of questions regarding the financial distribution of the
September 11th Fund. Actress Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, who
participated in fund-raising efforts, have previously called for a
accounting of where the money has gone.