Ex-Republican Lawmaker Accused of Aiding Terrorist

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 17, 2008 | Go to article overview

Ex-Republican Lawmaker Accused of Aiding Terrorist


Byline: Jerry Seper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A federal grand jury in Missouri has indicted an Islamic relief agency, several of its former officers and a former Republican congressman on charges of illegally transferring cash, along with stolen government funds, to a U.S.-designated terrorist.

The 42-count indictment, announced yesterday in Washington by Kenneth L. Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security, said the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), its former officers and former Rep. Mark Deli Siljander engaged in the transactions to benefit U.S.-designated terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

The indictment identified Hekmatyar as having participated in and supported terrorist acts by al Qaeda and the Taliban and as having vowed to engage in a holy war against the United States and international troops in Afghanistan.

Mr. Siljander, appointed by President Reagan in 1987 to serve as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations for a year, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He could not be reached yesterday for comment.

"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," Mr. Wainstein said.

The agency, based in Columbia, Mo., closed its doors in October 2004 after being identified by the Treasury Department as a global terrorist organization.

Mubarak Hamed, 51, of Columbia, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Sudan, served as the agency's executive director and is named in the indictment. Mr. Siljander, 57, a Michigan congressman from 1981 to 1987, is director of Global Strategies Inc., a planning, marketing and public relations firm in Great Falls.

Other agency officers named in the indictment were Ali Mohamed Bagegni, 53, formerly of Columbia, Mo, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Libya; Ahmad Mustafa, 55, of Columbia, a citizen of Iraq; Khalid Al-Sudanee, 56, a citizen and resident of Jordan; and Abdel Azim El-Siddig, 51, of Palos Heights, Ill., a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Sudan.

Mr. Wainstein said five officers, employees and associates of the agency previously were charged in a 33-count indictment with illegally transferring funds to Iraq in violation of federal sanctions. …

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