Washington, July 15 (ANI): The US State Department is considering a move to designate the Turkish Muslim charity that funded and operated a Gaza-bound "aid" ship as a foreign terrorist organization, after nine people were killed aboard one of its ships in a bloody confrontation with Israeli commandos.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner told Fox News that the government is looking into whether The Foundation for Human Rights and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), a non-governmental organization, should be listed as a terror group.
"I believe we are looking at the IHH, but it's a long process to designate something a foreign terrorist organization and ...there's nothing to announce on that," Toner said.
Sections of the Treasury Department are also actively investigating IHH with the intent to designate it as a terrorist organization, sources told Fox News.
However, the department has refused to comment on any current or pending investigations into IHH.
IHH funded and ran the Mavi Marmara, the ship aboard which nine people were killed when Israeli commandos boarded it as it sailed toward Gaza as part of a "humanitarian aid" flotilla last month.
The group is documented as having ties to terrorists and was named in federal court papers as playing a role in the failed Millennium bomb plot 10 years ago. It also was named in a 1996 CIA report as having links to terrorist groups.
Formed in 1992 with the goal of assisting Muslims in Bosnia, IHH has branched out to many places, including Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia and the Palestinian territories. (ANI)