Sept. 11 Charity Gave
Money to Group Defending Terror Suspects
By Marc Morano
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,
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 in the legal defense of eight suspects
detained in Brooklyn, N.Y. as a result 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 watchdog 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 people will be very
One official with the September 11th Fund refused
to comment, and other officials did not respond to repeated
inquiries. Representatives from the 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 legal 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."
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."
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 so few 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 detainees."
letter continued, "We believe the public will be outraged, and
justifiably so, to learn that funds from the September 11th Fund are
going to support a group which is apparently providing civil legal
help to those jailed on violations of immigration law in the wake of
September 11 terrorist attacks."
The government has not
released the identity of the eight men being detained on immigration
violations. The men are in solitary confinement in 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 greater accounting of where the money