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Prominent American Muslim indicted

Accused of prohibited dealings with Libya


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(CNN) -- A prominent member of the American Muslim community was indicted Thursday on charges he engaged in prohibited dealings with Libya, including accepting $340,000 in cash from the Libyan government, authorities said.

Abdurahman Alamoudi, 51, a naturalized American citizen who has served as the president of the American Muslim Foundation, could face a maximum 105 years in prison and revocation of his U.S. citizenship if convicted.

Authorities said he could be arraigned Friday afternoon or Monday.

Court documents filed to supplement the indictment allege Alamoudi has ties to the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas and worked with the nephew of Osama bin Laden.

The documents also paint Alamoudi as an extremely wealthy man, allegedly receiving more than $2.1 million in his personal bank accounts from 1996 to 2002. None of that money was reported on tax returns, authorities said.

"Those who cozy up with state sponsors of terrorism will not be tolerated," said Paul McNulty, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. "Today's indictment demonstrates our commitment to prosecute those who take secret money from state sponsors of terrorism."

Attorney General John Ashcroft said Alamoudi went to great lengths to hide his alleged activities and now will face the consequences.

"The Justice Department will prosecute those who would put America at risk," he said in a statement.

There was no immediate comment from Alamoudi's attorneys.

A 19-count indictment handed up by a federal grand jury Thursday alleges Alamoudi, from November 1995 to September 2003, devised a scheme to obtain money from Libya and other sources overseas without the U.S. government's knowledge.

The charges range from money laundering to making false statements to prohibited financial transactions with a state sponsor of terror, Libya.

Besides serving as president of the American Muslim Foundation, Alamoudi is the founder of the American Muslim Council and a founder of the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veteran Affairs Council, which is authorized to evaluate Muslim candidates for chaplain positions in the U.S. military.

Alamoudi was arrested last month as he returned to the United States at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia.

According to the indictment, he received $340,000 in cash in a briefcase that was delivered to him August 13 at his hotel in London, money that came from the Islamic Call Society, a branch of the Libyan government. He then sought to transfer the money to the United States, the indictment alleges.

The indictment also alleges he traveled to Libya but lied to Department of Homeland Security officials about the trip.

In addition, the court documents say he served as the vice president of Taibah International Aid Association, which was founded in part by a nephew of bin Laden, Abdullah bin Laden.

Several officials familiar with Alamoudi's case say the investigation goes well beyond anything relating to his travel. In an affidavit, an agent of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau alleged Alamoudi has said he is a supporter of Hamas.

"There is an organization called Holy Land Foundation," Alamoudi is quoted as telling an investigator. "This organization for this holy land collects money from the Islamic and Arab communities in America so as to serve our nation in the occupied land."

Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization, has been labeled by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization. The group's military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, has admitted responsibility for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians as well as attacks against the Israeli military.

Alamoudi has been under investigation for some time as part of a broad probe into Muslim charities and groups operating mostly in the northern Virginia area, officials have said. Investigators have been looking into whether these groups' funds may have ended up in the coffers of terrorism organizations.


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