SEPTEMBER 25, 2007
Proving that immigration enforcement is crucial to national security, at least nine of the Middle Easterners recently arrested in Maryland for laundering millions to finance al-Qaida lived in the United States illegally.
A lengthy FBI investigation led to the indictments of dozens of Muslims, many of Pakistani descent, involved in a $5 million money-laundering scheme that financed illegal activities worldwide as well as terrorist organizations.
At least nine of the Muslims arrested are illegal immigrants who tried to bribe a public official to provide them with green cards that would have made them legal U.S. residents. The operationâ??s ringleader was Pakistani-born Mohammad Riaz Guijar who along with his brother ran a Maryland convenience store.
A federal indictment says that Guijar conspired with dozens of other defendants to pay an individual he believed was an official with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services nearly half a million dollars for residency cards. The same group gave $450,000 to a man they believed was a corrupt official with the Maryland Comptrollerâ??s Office to release nearly $2 million levied against their store.
Federal authorities say the terrorist money-laundering ring has been operating for years and one of the masterminds with the strong al-Qaida connection, a Pakistani-American, lived in the Washington D.C. suburb of Laurel.
Pakistan’s Ambassador in the U.S., Mahmud Ali Durrani, criticized federal officials, saying that similar cases in the past have shown that American authorities were often â??too zealous.â? The bottom line, however, is that investigators and prosecutors have sufficient evidence to indict nine illegal immigrants with terrorist ties.
This certainly contradicts the nationâ??s vast pro illegal immigration movement, which consistently paints the portrait of humble and desperate poor people–mostly Hispanicâ??who present no threat to the country because they seek only a better life and possess a willingness to do jobs that Americans refuse to do.
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