El Tawheed Islamic Center
Jersey City, NJ

On July 17, 2002, Alaa Al-Sadawi, an Imam at the El Tawheed Islamic Center in Jersey City,[1] was indicted on currency reporting violations.[2] He was convicted in July 2003.[3] Prosecutors alleged that between May 2000 and late 2001, Al Sadawi raised money for the Global Relief Foundation (GRF) and passed $10,000 to a GRF member under a bathroom stall divider at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.[4] Prosecutors also asserted that Al Sadawi had been heard "thanking God for the loss of American lives in Afghanistan."[5] He was sentenced to five years, three months in prison.[6]

The GRF was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the United States in 1992, headquartered in Bridgeview, Illinois.[7] On October 18, 2002 the Treasury Department designated the GRF, freezing the group's assets, for providing support and assistance to "Usama bin Laden, the al Qaida Network, and other known terrorist groups."[8]

[1] Kati Cornell Smith, "Smuggler Cleric Raised Money for Qaeda Pals: Feds," New York Post, November 14, 2003.

[2] USA. v. Al-Sadawi, No. 00901-NGG-3, "Indictment," (E.D.N.Y. July 26, 2002).

[3] USA v. Al-Sadawi, 1:02-CR-00901-NGG-3, "Judgment," (E.D.N.Y. December 12, 2003).

[4] Tom Hays, "Feds Link Money Smuggler to Outlawed Muslim Charity," Associated Press, November 27,


[5] John Marzulli, "Cleric Gets Max In Terror Case," New York Daily News, December 12, 2003.

[6]USA v. Al-Sadawi, 1:02-CR-00901-NGG-3, "Judgment," (E.D.N.Y. December 12, 2003).

[7] Articles of Incorporation, Global Relief Foundation, 1993.

[8] "Treasury Department Statement Regarding the Designation of the Global Relief Foundation," PO-3553, U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 18, 2002.