CBSNews.com
  February 26, 2003 20:31:07

Section Front• Section Front

E-mail This StoryE-mail This Story  Printable VersionPrintable Version

Feds Bust Iraq Charity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2003



 (AP / CBS)



"Those who covertly seek to channel money into Iraq under the guise of charitable work will be caught and prosecuted."
Attorney General John Ashcroft



(CBS) A U.S. charity and four people involved with it were indicted Wednesday on charges they illegally sent millions of dollars to Iraq, the Justice Department announced.

The four were charged in Syracuse, N.Y., with transferring as much as $2.7 million to Iraq in violation of government bans on money transfers to Iraq. They also set up a group, Help the Needy, which allegedly sought contributions. The money was deposited in central New York banks and then was sent to Iraq through the Jordan Islamic Bank in Amman, the indictment said.

Arrested were Rafil Dhafir of Fayetteville, N.Y., an oncologist; Ayman Jarwan of Syracuse, N.Y., the executive director of Help the Needy; and Osameh Al Wahaidy of Fayetteville, N.Y., a Muslim religious leader at the state prison in Auburn, N.Y., and a math teacher at the State University College at Oswego. The fourth person indicted, Maher Zagha, is living in Amman and is a former college student in Utica and Syracuse, N.Y.

The indictment grew out of a three-year investigation, the government said.

"Those who covertly seek to channel money into Iraq under the guise of charitable work will be caught and prosecuted," said Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The defendants are charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and the charity and a subsidiary are charged with money laundering.

The three U.S. residents — Dhafair, Jarwan and Al Wahaidy — were arrested in Syracuse Wednesday morning.

The men face between five and 265 years in prison and fines rangiing from $250,000 to $14 million.

Separately, a University of Idaho graduate student was indicted for failing to disclose on his visa application his relationship with an organization that operates Web sites praising suicide bombings.

Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, was arrested Wednesday in Moscow, Idaho, the government said. He was taken into custody while search warrants were being executed, reports CBS News Correspondent Stephanie Lambidakis.

He is charged with supporting the Michigan-based Islamic Assembly of North America, both by supplying money from overseas sources and by providing computer expertise. He is charged with failing to disclose his relationship with the group, which, if revealed, would have resulted in the government rejecting his visa application, the indictment said.

Web sites operated by the Islamic Assembly praise suicide bombings and tout the use of airplanes as terror weapons, the government said.

According to the government, one article posted on a site read, "The mujahid (warrior) must kill himself if he knows that this will lead to killing a great number of the enemies. In the new era, this can be accomplished with the modern means of bombing or bringing down an airplane on an important location that will cause the enemy great losses."

©MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.




Back to Top Back To Top


Help  • Advertise  • Feedback  • Terms of Service  • Privacy  • CBS News Bios
©MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
CBSNews.com


• Interactives
• Showdown With Saddam
• September 11
• War On Terror
• Everybody Has A Story
Iraq
Enter
Learn about the people, economy and history.

Video VideoGo

David Martin reports that in the face of an American buildup of 210,000 troops, Iraq has began repositioning its forces for war even as Saddam still tries to avoid war.
Video VideoGo

In his exclusive interview with Dan Rather, Saddam Hussein denied allegations that he would torch his oil fields if Iraq were invaded.
Video VideoGo

Dan Rather queries weapons expert Tim McCarthy on the controversial Al Samoud 2 missiles that Saddam Hussein refuses to destroy.
Video VideoGo

President Bush is gaining ground in the Security Council, enlisting the support of Mexico for military action against Iraq, John Roberts reports.
Video VideoGo

Wyatt Andrews reports on post-Saddam plans that call for a full military occupation of Iraq until the country becomes a democracy.

Story StoryGo

Terror Suspects Test Fed's Spy Powers
Story StoryGo

Terror Arrests In Oregon, Michigan
Story StoryGo

GAO: U.S. Inflated Terror Successes
Story StoryGo

Feds Bust Alleged Terror Ring
Story StoryGo

Ashcroft Evaluates The War On Terror
Story StoryGo

Plea Deal For Muslim Charity Chief
Story StoryGo

Fresh Terror Alert Raises Vigilance
Story StoryGo

Threats Vs Jews Behind Higher Alert?
Story StoryGo

'High Risk' Of Terror Attacks
Story StoryGo

FBI Says Al Qaeda Still Top Threat







All Broadcasts
The Early Show 
CBS Evening News 
48 Hours 
60 Minutes 
60 Minutes II 
The Sat. Early Show 
Sunday Morning 
Face The Nation 
CBS Morning News 
Up To The Minute 
close [x]