The United States is investigating whether to include the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or IHH, to its official list of terrorist organizations, a State Department official said.
Mark C. Toner, State Department acting deputy spokesman, said an investigation is underway after a bipartisan group of 87 senators raised the issue by sending a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama shortly after the May 31 attack on an IHH aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip.
Toner, however, downplayed the investigation.
“I believe we’re looking at the İHH, but it’s a long process to designate something – an organization – a foreign terrorist organization and there’s nothing to announce on that,” Toner said, as quoted by the Hurryiet Daily News and Economic Review.
IHH is an Istanbul-based Islamic charity banned in Israel due to its alleged affiliation with the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas.