UK charity linked with 'terrorist camp'

Charity Commission to investigate claims that Green Crescent is funding Islamic militants in Bangladesh

The Charity Commission has opened a formal inquiry into British-registered charity Green Crescent Bangladesh UK after it was alleged that an orphanage and madrassa it supports have been used as a training camp and arms factory for Islamic militants.

It was reported yesterday that Bangladeshi security forces arrested four people after a raid at the centre. A spokesman for the security forces is said to have claimed that guns, ammunition and enough explosives to make several hundred grenades were found during the raid.

The commission said its inquiry into the Stockport-based charity, which had an income in 2007/08 of just over £63,000, will focus on the extent of its links with terrorist activity and "whether or not the charity, its funds or funds raised on its behalf were used unlawfully".

It will also look at financial and governance practices at the charity, which was founded by British and Bangladeshi students in 1998.

Andrew Hind, chief executive of the commission, said: "We are working with relevant law enforcement and other agencies to investigate the allegation that terrorist activity is connected with the charity. The matter is of serious concern to us, and we are taking this action given the gravity of the matter, the public interest and the need to protect charity work and funds."

No one from Green Crescent was available for comment.

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