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Top U.S. Muslim Activist Indicted

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A prominent U.S. Muslim activist was charged with trying to funnel Libyan money into the United States illegally, and investigators allege he was involved with groups that finance terrorists.

Abdurahman M. Alamoudi, a founder of the American Muslim Council and related American Muslim Foundation, was indicted Thursday on charges of engaging in illegal financial transactions with Libya, most notably once in August when he received a briefcase containing $340,000 in cash from the Libyan-controlled Islamic Call Society.

The 18-count indictment handed down in Alexandria, Va., says that Alamoudi hoped to funnel that money through Saudi Arabia to the United States and evade currency-reporting requirements.

"Those who cozy up with state sponsors of terrorism will not be tolerated," said U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty of Virginia's eastern district.

Alamoudi, 51, who remains jailed without bond, also is charged with money laundering, misuse of a passport, failure to report foreign bank accounts and making false statements in his application to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.

A federal affidavit contends that Alamoudi also was involved in numerous groups with financial links to the Hamas and al Qaeda terrorist organizations.

The affidavit, filed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Brett Gentrup, suggests that Alamoudi was a key player in a complex web of organizations that appeared to be raising money for Muslim charities but actually funded terrorist groups.

"These layered transactions were designed to both disguise the true origin and end destination of the funds and render it exceedingly difficult and confusing for any prospective investigation by law enforcement authorities," Gentrup says in the affidavit.

One such organization, the Happy Hearts Trust, allegedly transferred tens of thousands of dollars to two organizations long suspected of helping fund Hamas's attacks against Israel. One of these, the West Bank-based Humanitarian Relief Organization, has been closed in the past by Israel on suspicion of providing money to militants.

Jordan-based Humanitarian Appeal International has been tied by the FBI to both Hamas and the Holy Land Relief Foundation for Relief and Development.

Alamoudi is listed as vice president of an organization in Falls Church, Va., called the Taibah International Aid Association. A director of that organization is Abdullah A. bin Laden, nephew of al Qaeda leader bin Laden, according to the affidavit.

The documents do not further describe the nephew. His uncle, bin Laden, comes from a large, wealthy Saudi family, many of whom have sought to distance themselves from the terrorist leader.

TIAA is a non-profit U.S. organization with offices in Bosnia, Albania and Russia that has been under federal investigation for links to other terrorist financing groups, the affidavit says.

Officials found seven U.S.-designated terrorist groups among the names and numbers in al-Amoudi's confiscated Palm Pilot.

The government also found an unsigned document in Arabic during a search of al-Amoudi's office in Virginia that makes numerous references to Hamas and discusses "execution of operations against the Israelis to delay the peace process."