A lot of money is raised that goes to Syria, some of it undoubtedly goes to extremist groups
Chaotic conditions in the war-torn country make it impossible to keep track of where money ends up, the Charity Commission has said.
Chairman William Shawcross said: "A lot of money is raised that goes to Syria, some of it undoubtedly goes to extremist groups.
The Disasters Emergency Committee represents the UK's 14 biggest charities including Oxfam, the British Red Cross and Save the Children.
Its Syria Crisis Appeal has raised over £20million so far.
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad
Peter Clarke, a former head of anti-terrorism at the Metropolitan Police who sits on the board of the commission, explained how the money could fall into the wrong hands once it arrived in Syria or surrounding countries.
“Once you get into these very difficult, dangerous areas it is hugely difficult for charities to track the final destination of their funds.”
“It is one of these 'fog of war’ issues where stuff can be diverted.”
Mr Clarke went on to tell how terrorists can set up fake charities in donor countries to attract funds.
People grieving over victims of a chemical weapon attack
“It is perfectly feasible for charities to be established as a sort of cover. We have not seen clear evidence of that yet,” he said.
“You can think of a host of different ways in which people giving money with the best possible intentions could find that it has been misappropriated.”
He added: “We know there is some abuse of charities by extremist terrorist organisations but the likelihood is the full extent of this will never be known.
“What we have got to do is try to stop as much of it as we possibly can.”