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Ex-congressman, charity in terror case

Jan. 16, 2008 at 4:17 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A federal grand jury in Missouri has charged an Islamic charity in a terrorism financing case and indicted a former U.S. lawmaker for his alleged involvement.

The Islamic American Relief Agency was the target of a superseding indictment in the Western District of Missouri on eight counts of engaging in prohibited financial transactions with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a man designated a terrorist by the U.S. government, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Deli Siljander, R-Mich. was also named in the indictment on charges of money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Mubarak Hamed, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Sudan and former executive director of IARA -- which closed its doors in October 2004, after it was designated a global terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury Department -- is named as a defendant in the case alongside other former officials.

Siljander is alleged to have accepted payments of money stolen from the U.S. Agency for International Development by IARA in exchange for advocating the removal of the organization from a U.S. Senate Finance Committee list of non-profits suspected of ties to terrorism.

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