KANSAS CITY , Mo., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A federal grand jury in the Western District of Missouri has returned a superseding indictment that charges the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) and several of its former officers with eight new counts of engaging in prohibited financial transactions for the benefit of U.S.-designated terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The indictment also charges former U.S. Congressman Mark Deli Siljander with money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the case.
The 42-count superseding indictment returned today was announced by Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; John F. Wood, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri; Joseph Billy , Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division; and Monte C. Strait, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Kansas City Field Office.
"This superseding indictment paints a troubling picture of an American charity organization that engaged in transactions for the benefit of terrorists and conspired with a former United States Congressman to convert stolen federal funds into payment for his advocacy on behalf of the charity," said Assistant Attorney General Wainstein.
"An organization right here in the American heartland allegedly sent funds to Pakistan for the benefit of a specially designated global terrorist with ties to al-Qaeda and the Taliban," said U.S. Attorney Wood. "By bringing this case in the middle of America, we seek to make it harder for terrorists to do business halfway around the globe. The indictment also alleges that a former congressman engaged in money laundering and obstruction of a federal investigation in an effort to disguise IARA's misuse of taxpayer money that the government had provided for humanitarian purposes."
IARA, the Islamic charitable organization named in today's indictment, was headquartered in Columbia, Mo., and was formerly known as the Islamic African Relief Agency-USA. IARA was officially formed in 1985 and closed in October 2004 , when it was identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a specially designated global terrorist organization. Mubarak Hamed, 51, of Columbia, Mo., a naturalized U.S. citizen from Sudan , served as IARA's former executive director and is named as a defendant in the indictment.
Also charged in today's superseding indictment is Mark Deli Siljander, 57, a former U.S. Congressman from Michigan (1981-87) who serves as the owner/director of Global Strategies, Inc., a planning, marketing and public relations company located in the Washington, D.C. area.
Other defendants named in the indictment are Ali Mohamed Bagegni, 53, formerly of Columbia, Mo, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Libya and a former member of IARA's board of directors; Ahmad Mustafa , 55, of Columbia, a citizen of Iraq , and a former fund-raiser for IARA; Khalid Al-Sudanee, 56, a citizen and resident of Jordan , and the regional director of the Middle East office of the Islamic African Relief Agency (also known as the Islamic Relief Agency, or ISRA); and Abdel Azim El-Siddig, 51, of Palos Heights, Ill., a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Sudan , and formerly vice president for international operations for IARA.
On March 6, 2007 , IARA, along with five officers, employees and associates were charged in a 33-count indictment for illegally transferring funds to Iraq in violation of federal sanctions. They were also charged with stealing government funds, with misusing IARA's charitable status to raise funds for an unlawful purpose, and with attempting to avoid government detection of their illegal activities by, among other things, falsely denying in a nationally-televised interview that a procurement agent of Osama bin Laden had been an employee of IARA. These charges are included in the superseding indictment returned today.