Don't overstate the terrorist threat, charities warn

The Government will this week set out new measures to protect charities from abuse by terrorists.

The joint HM Treasury and Home Office report incorporates feedback from charities and voluntary groups in a consultation earlier this year (Third Sector, 16 May). It is expected to include an action plan for the Charity Commission designed to increase awareness of the problem.

Representatives of Scotland Yard's National Terrorist Finance Investigations Unit met sector leaders before the report was launched to discuss previous cases of terrorist involvement in charities and explain the key risk areas. But voluntary groups stressed that the threat to the sector should not be exaggerated.

Martin Hearson, sector advocacy officer at Bond, the umbrella group for overseas aid charities, said: "What NGOS want is clear guidance on the action they need to take to meet their existing legal obligations.

"An overreaction could damage their ability to help their beneficiaries when terrorist abuse is rare."

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