Commissioners opened eight compliance cases and four formal inquiries into “allegations of abuse of charities for terrorist or extremist purposes” in 2015/16.
Charity Commission chairman William Shawcross told the Telegraph extremism was “the most potentially dangerous and deadly” problem faced by charities.
Charity Commission Chairman William Shawcross
It is the most dangerous because of the threat of Islamist extremism
The 630 disclosures, which Commission sources said was a record figure, concerned “allegations made and concerns about abuse of charities for terrorist or extremist purposes, including concerns about charities operating in Syria and other higher risk areas, in which terrorist groups operate”.
Mr Shawcross called for Muslim charities to work with the regulator to tackle the threat of extremists taking them over to further their murderous objectives.
Finsbury Park Mosque in north London has a turbulent history
Mr Shawcross said Cage “was not a charity and there is no way in which Cage could represent any charitable purpose under British law”.
Last year, it emerged Cage had used meetings on university campuses to encourage the “sabotage” of the Government’s official anti-extremism programme, Prevent.
Former Guantánamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg, who is director of Cage, told students “any right-minded person” would oppose the Prevent strategy, likening it to the methods of the Stasi secret police in the former East Germany.
He also said: “It is widely acknowledged amongst both academic and community groups that Prevent is ineffectual at stopping radicalisation thus preventing Prevent in no way enables radicalisation.”
Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzem Begg is director of Cage
Cage describes itself as an “independent advocacy organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror”.
Its focus is almost entirely on Muslims accused of terror-related offences.
There are growing fears that extremists are infiltrating Muslim charities to promote violence, fund terrorism and recruit vulnerable youngsters for jihad.
In 2013 the Commission also warned of a “risk that funds raised in the name of ‘charity’ generally or under the name of a specific charity are misused to support terrorist activities, with or without the charity’s knowledge”.