US v. Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), et al.
Columbia, MO

Al Qaeda, Hamas

[WDMO] The Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) and several of its former employees and associates were indicted for illegally transferring funds to Iraq, falsely denying that an associate of Osama bin Laden had been an employee of IARA, and engaging in prohibited financial transactions for the benefit of U.S.-designated terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Former U.S. Congressman Mark Deli Siljander was also charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the case. According to a Department of Treasury press release, IARA was responsible for moving funds to terrorists in the Palestinian territories, "notably serving as a conduit to Hamas in one Western European country." Mubarak Hamed, IARA's former director, admitted he sent more than $1 million to Iraq in violations of U.S. sanctions. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and a tax violation for misusing the charity's tax-exempt status and lying to the Internal Revenue Service. In July 2010, Siljander and Abdel Azim Elsiddig, a part-time fundraiser for IARA, pleaded guilty to conspiring to lobby for the Islamic African Relief Agency, the predecessor to the Islamic American Relief Agency, to remove it from a list of Islamic charities suspected of supporting terrorism. Siljander also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for lying to FBI agents and prosecutors about the purpose of the lobbying funds he had been paid by IARA. In January 2012, Siljander was sentenced to a year (12 months and one day) in prison and Hamed was sentenced to five years in prison. In July 2016, IARA pleaded guilty to transferring nearly $1.4 million to Iraq in violation of federal sanctions. In April 2017, IARA was sentenced for transferring nearly $1.4 Million to Iraq in violation of sanctions. The charity has been dissolved, and has divested itself of all its funds and property.

Related Topics: Prosecutions, Terror Financing