Islamic Charity Indicted for Ties to Terrorist

January 16, 2008

Author: Carey Gillam

Source: Reuters

A federal grand jury on Wednesday returned a 42-count indictment against a now-defunct Islamic charity for sending money to an Afghan "terrorist" and accused a former Republican congressman of money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

According to the indictment, former Rep. Mark Deli Siljander of Michigan allegedly received about $50,000 in stolen federal funds from the charity, the Islamic American Relief Agency. He could not be reached for comment.

He was hired in 2004 to help get the charity removed from a congressional list of non-profit organizations suspected of supporting international terrorism, the government said.

The charity, also previously known as the Islamic African Relief Agency, was based in Columbia, Missouri. It closed in 2004 after the U.S. Treasury Department said it was a global terrorist organization.

Wednesday's indictment supersedes a previous one brought last March that charged the charity with making illegal transfers of more than $1.4 million to Iraq.