NEFA Foundation

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Group.png NEFA Foundation   Powerbase WebsiteRdf-icon.png
Abbreviation The NEFA Foundation
Headquarters 230 Park Avenue, Suite 1000, New York, NY
Type • 501(c)(3) tax-exempt
• nonprofit
• charitable organization

The NEFA Foundation or Nine/Eleven Finding Answers Foundation was a not-for-profit "terrorism" research institute based in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

History

NEFA was reportedly founded in 2004 by its president Michelle Hayes and its operations director David Draper. According to an article in the Charleston City Paper, Hayes was approached by families of victims of the September 11th attacks in February 2004[1]. According to Domain Tools, the organisation’s website was created on 24 August that year.

Although based in South Carolina, NEFA’s original address was in New York at 551 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3300,[2] which is the address of Harris Rand Lusk, a recruitment company specialising in providing executives for not-for-profit organisations. Harris Rand Lusk’s not-for-profit clients include, Georgetown University the September 11th Fund and Wall Street Rising[3] - a coalition of businesses, industries and residents aiming to “restore vibrancy and vitality to Lower Manhattan” after September 11th.[4] It therefore seems likely that that Harris Rand Lusk played a major part in establishing NEFA, most likely on behalf of the September 11th Fund. One possibility is that NEFA’s President Michelle Hayes is a former employee of Harris Rand Lusk. This is suggested by her profile on NEFA’s website which states that she “speaks regularly to audiences on the subjects of non-profit board recruitment and development”.[5]

In its 2004 accounts[6] NEFA states that at that time Susan Molinari was Vice President and John Rafaelli was Secretary. They were then also CEO and employee respectively of the lobbying company Washington Group (a subsidiary of Ketchum - of which Molinari was also President). In 2003 they had both lobbied on behalf of 9-11 Families United To Bankrupt Terrorism and Motley Rice (the law firm which has brought several punitive civil cases representing victims of the September 11th attacks).[7] NEFA Director David Draper is also known to have done contract work for Motley Rice before NEFA was established and the two companies are based in the same US town.[8]

In its 2005 accounts[9] NEFA listed only two paid investigators; Douglas Farah and a company D2 LLC. Farah was paid $94,031 and D2 LLC was paid $170,913. The website of the Veromi Business Index lists a D2 LLC as being co-owned by NEFA Director David Draper.[10] This led to a short-lived increase in visits to NEFA’s website.[11] In its 2006 accounts NEFA listed D2 LLC, Evan Kohlmann, and IBI Consultants, a company headed by Douglas Farah.[12]

Since 2005 several experts have joined NEFA. In October 2007 Evan Kohlmann closed his website Globalterroralert.com and redirected traffic to NEFA[13].

Activities and Prominence

NEFA’s website collates information on "terrorism", such as court documents, government reports and videos and internet postings by jihadist groups. It also publishes ‘Special Reports’ by its investigators on particular subjects. Issues of particular interest to NEFA have been the Muslim Brotherhood and the Holy Land Foundation. Its most prolific experts in terms of media exposure and expert testimony are Douglas Farah and Evan Kohlmann. NEFA also has a series it calls Target: America, which it says "examines the multitude of terrorist plots directed at the United States".

NEFA is not a particularly prominent organisation. Data from compete.com suggests that the website only received between 1,000 and 2,000 visitors a month during 2007.[14] By way of comparison the Site Institute received between 2,000 and 15,000 visits in the same period. In February 2008 "terrorism" expert Daniel Byman told the Charleston City Paper he had never heard of NEFA[15].

Personnel

Executives

Staff

Funding

According to the Washington Post, NEFA is privately funded.[16] According to NEFA's 2005 accounts it received a donation of $150,000 in 2003.[17] However, this donation is not mentioned in the 2004 accounts and it may simply be a mistake in the filings which should refer to 2004. The fact that the 2004 accounts were filed on forms appropriate for the year before[18] and that the organisation’s website was not created until August 2004 seem to confirm this conclusion. Assuming that this is correct, the Foundation was set up after receiving a gift of $150,000 in 2004. That gift was probably an ongoing annual contribution since the same amount was provided the following year. Since that initial donation NEFA has been able to raise substantial funds. In its 2005 accounts it reports receiving $5,097,450 from direct public support. Whether or not these funds come from individuals or institutions is not clear from the available accounts, but the website does seek individual donations. An article in the Charleston City Paper refers to “a corporate gift”[19] which may refer to the original $150,000.

Contact Information

Website: www1.nefafoundation.org

Email: info@nefafoundation.org

Address:

171 Church Street Suite 121
Charleston, SC
29401-3135

Affiliations

  • Counterterrorism Blog
  • Harris Rand Lusk – Executive Search firm involved in establishing the foundation
  • Washington Group – Lobbying and PR firm which shared executives with NEFA in 2004
  • Motley Rice – law firm with circumstantial connections to NEFA

Resources



References

  1. Greg Hambrick, ‘Charleston’s Counter-Terrorism Unit’, Charleston City Paper, 20 February 2008
  2. Tax Returns 2004
  3. Harris Rand Lusk Client List (accessed 27 March 2008)
  4. Wall Street Rising Homepage accessed 27 March 2008
  5. NEFA foundation About us, accessed 29 February 2008.
  6. Tax Returns 2004
  7. 9-11 Families United To Bankrupt Terrorism, Washington Group, Filing Year End Report 2003 (Page 1 of 3); Motley Rice LLC, Washington Group, Mid-Year Report 2003 (Page 1 of 5); Motley Rice LLC, Washington Group, Year End Termination Report 2003
  8. Greg Hambrick, ‘Charleston’s Counter-Terrorism Unit’, Charleston City Paper, 20 February 2008
  9. NEFA Foundation Form 990 2005
  10. http://www.veromi.com/BusinessDetailPg000003706.aspx (accessed 27 March 2008)
  11. see Visits to nefafoundation.org February 2007 - February 2008
  12. NEFA Foundation Form 990 2006 Part II - A
  13. Globalterroralert.com Homepage, accessed 29 February 2008
  14. Visits to nefafoundation.org February 2007 - February 2008
  15. Greg Hambrick, ‘Charleston’s Counter-Terrorism Unit’, Charleston City Paper, 20 February 2008
  16. Susan Schmidt, 'Imam From Va. Mosque Now Thought to Have Aided Al-Qaeda', Washington Post, 27 February 2008
  17. Tax Returns 2005
  18. Tax Returns 2004
  19. Greg Hambrick, ‘Charleston’s Counter-Terrorism Unit’, Charleston City Paper, 20 February 2008