Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Islamic Charity Indicted

Just some news...

From The Las Vegas Sun:

Five associates of a Missouri-based Islamic charity were indicted on charges that they illegally sent money to Iraq, the U.S. attorney's office announced Wednesday.

The five men, associated with Columbia-based Islamic American Relief Agency-USA, are charged in a 33-count indictment that alleges they stole government and public money and falsely represented their fundraising goals to the public.

A federal grand jury returned the indictment Tuesday charging the men with illegally transferring $1.4 million to Iraq from March 1991 to May 2003.

Federal agents raided the group's headquarters in 2004 as part of a criminal investigation, and the charity's assets were later frozen.

The charity has denied the allegations that it has financed terrorism and has repeatedly tried to distinguish itself from the Islamic African Relief Agency, a Sudanese group suspected of financing al-Qaida. A federal appeals court in Washington ruled last month that the link was legitimate.

The men indicted were identified as Mubark Hamed, 50, of Columbia, executive director of the agency; Ali Mohamed Bagegni, 53, of Iowa City, Iowa, a former board member; Ahmad Mustafa, 54, of Columbia, a former fundraiser; Khalid Al-Sudanee, 55, of Jordan, the regional director of the group's Middle East office; and Abdel Azim El-Siddiq, 50, Palos Heights, Ill., a former agency vice president.