MARCH 08, 2007
Members of a so-called Islamic charity that employed a close associate of Osama bin Laden have been federally indicted for illegally transferring money to Iraq and stealing U.S. government grant dollars.
The Islamic American Relief Agency billed itself as a charitable organization that operated out of Columbia Missouri. The reality is that officers and associates used it as a front to transfer millions of dollars to terrorists in the Middle East.
A lengthy federal indictment details how the Islamic front group violated U.S. law when it transferred more than $1.4 million to Iraq and later covered up its illegal activities to avoid prosecution. The group also stole grant money obtained through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that was intended for African relief projects that it claimed to operate.
Many of the key players indicted were naturalized U.S. citizens of Middle Eastern descent. They include executive director Mubarak Hamed, board director Ali Mohamed, Ahmad Mustafa and Khalid Al-Sudanee. All of them lived quietly in Columbia Missouri while they secretly funneled money to terrorists.
To cover their tracks, the funds were transferred from a Missouri bank to accounts in Amman, Jordan and later transferred to Iraq. The Islamic charity officers repeatedly lied to U.S. authorities by saying they were simply aiding Iraqi people living outside of Iraq.
The stolen U.S. government money was part of a 1997 agreement in which USAID granted the organization about $2 million to supposedly conduct relief projects in Mali, Africa. The indictment accuses the Islamic front group of stealing a lot of the money and spending at least $50,000 of it to advocate for its removal from a Senate Finance Committee list of organizations that support international terrorism.
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