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Paparock
03-10-2007, 02:02 AM
Five Muslims were charged in Illinois yesterday with money laundering for a terror-linked Islamic charity, the Islamic American Relief Agency. The government says that between 1991 and 2003, the IARA funneled more than $1.4 million to Iraq in violation of economic sanctions: U.S. says local man sent cash to Iraq (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0703090290mar09,1,7491527.story?ctrack=1&cset=true).

Abdel Azim El-Siddiq, 50, of the 12200 block of South 69th Avenue, appeared before Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan facing three counts of money laundering, one count of forfeiture and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for the Islamic American Relief Agency—the IARA. Charged along with El-Siddiq are Mubarak Hamed, 50, of Columbia, Mo., IARA’s former executive director and a naturalized U.S. citizen from Sudan; Ali Mohamed Bagegni, 53, of Iowa City, Iowa, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Libya and former member of the agency’s board of directors; Ahmad Mustafa, 54, of Columbia, Mo., an Iraqi citizen and former fundraiser for IARA; and Khalid Al-Sudanee, 55, a Jordanian who served as regional director for the agency’s office in Jordan.
All were arrested Wednesday except Al-Sudanee, who was being sought in Jordan, said Don Ledford, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, which will prosecute the case. IARA was an offshoot of an agency by the same name based in Khartoum, Sudan, officials said. The U.S. agency, formed in 1985, was shuttered in October 2004 after the Treasury Department deemed it a global terrorist organization.
The Council on American Islamic Relations is seething over this violation of the rights of Muslims to support jihad. Ahmed Rehab questions the timing.
Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Council for American-Islamic Relations in Chicago, said Thursday: “Since 9/11, we have witnessed a McCarthyesque witch hunt against Muslims in this country generally, and Islamic charities specifically. In this case, no accusations of supporting terrorism have even been made.
”With hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of taxpayer dollars lost on a misguided war in Iraq, the timing and positioning of this superfluous campaign raises plenty of questions. If prosecuting charity-givers is our government’s idea of homeland security, time and again, then we are all in trouble."