- Government has released summary of report into funding of extremists in UK
- Found main source is gifts from individuals who may not realise groups' nature
- 'Significant' money is also coming from overseas for radical Islamist teachings
- Claims ministers are shielding Saudi Arabia by refusing to release full report
Home Secretary Amber Rudd issued a summary of a study warning that small donations from UK-based individuals is the 'main source' of funding for such organisations
Extremist groups are posing as charities to get hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations from unwitting British muslims, a report has found.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd issued a summary of a study warning that small donations from UK-based individuals is the 'main source' of funding for such organisations.
It also says 'significant' money is being channeled from overseas to a few groups, funding controversial Islamist teachings and literature.
But the summary does not single out any countries as sources of funding, and Mrs Rudd has refused to release the full report for 'national security' reasons - sparking accusations that the government is trying to avoid criticising Saudi Arabia.
Theresa May, who visited Saudi Arabia earlier this year, has previously been accused of 'kowtowing' to the kingdom by 'suppressing' the study, which was ordered in 2015.
In a written statement to MPs today, Mrs Rudd said: 'Having taken advice, I have decided against publishing the classified report produced during the review in full.
'This is because of the volume of personal information it contains and for national security reasons. We will be inviting privy councillors from the opposition parties to the Home Office to have access to classified report on privy council terms.'
Green MP Caroline Lucas said: 'Govt refuse to publish review into funding of extremism + try to fob us off with vague statement. Not good enough.'
The summary given by Mrs Rudd states: 'The most common source of support for Islamist extremist organisations in the UK is from small, anonymous public donations, with the majority of these donations most likely coming from UK-based individuals.
'In some cases these organisations receive hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.
'This is the main source of their income. Those giving may not know or support the organisations' full agenda.'
The summary says some of the groups were posing as legitimate charities and taking advantage of the generosity of British muslims.
'Some Islamic organisations of extremist concern portray themselves as charities to increase their credibility and to take advantage of Islam's emphasis on charity.
'Some are purposefully vague about their activities and their charitable status.'
The report found that for the 'vast majority' of extremist organisations overseas funding was not a major issue.
'For a small number of organisations with which there are extremism concerns, overseas funding is a significant source of income,' it said.
Radical clerics such as Anjem Choudary (pictured preaching in London in 2013) have tried to spread extremist interpretations of Islam in Britain. He was jailed for supporting ISIS last year
'However, for the vast majority of extremist groups in the UK, overseas funding is not a significant source.'
The summary suggested that funding was being used to spread ultra-conservative Islamist teachings - an allegation that has been levelled at Saudis.
'Overseas support has allowed individuals to study at institutions that teach deeply conservative forms of Islam and provide highly socially conservative literature and preachers to the UK's Islamic institutions.
Some of these individuals have since become of extremist concern,' the report said.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said further detail was needed.
'The bottom line is that this report still remains unpublished,' he said.
'The Government hoped to sneak out what it thinks are the top lines of a report no-one has seen on a busy day, hoping no-one would notice. This decision is utterly shameful.
'We cannot tackle the root causes of terrorism in the UK without full disclosure of the states and institutions that fund extremism in our country.
'Instead of supporting the perpetrators of these vile ideologies, the Government should be naming and shaming them - including so-called allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar if need be.'