U.S. Islamic Leader Charged Over Links to Libya

(Washington Post) - Douglas Farah and John Mintz One of the country's leading Islamic activists, a chief architect of the Pentagon's Muslim chaplain program, was charged Monday with illegally accepting money from Libya for his efforts to persuade the U.S. to lift sanctions against that nation. Abdurahman al-Amoudi, who as leader of the American Muslim Council met frequently with senior Clinton and Bush administration officials, was arrested Sunday, six weeks after he allegedly attempted to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars into Syria. U.S. officials said the final destination of the money is under investigation. Al-Amoudi was stopped by British authorities in London on Aug. 16, as he prepared to board a flight to Damascus, and officials found "34 bundles of sequentially numbered $100 bills" in his suitcase. Al-Amoudi told British authorities that the money, which was confiscated because it had not been declared, had been delivered to his hotel room by an unidentified Libyan. U.S. officials said al-Amoudi did not try to recover the money. Instead, he flew first to Lebanon, then to Syria and Yemen, back to Syria, and on to Egypt and Libya before returning to the U.S. Agents for the Department of Homeland Security alleged that al-Amoudi received $340,000 from Libyan officials as part of a longstanding relationship with that government. Ali Khan, formerly AMC's treasurer, said al-Amoudi brought in large sums of money from Saudi Arabia for his organization. At an Oct. 28, 2000, rally in Washington, al-Amoudi proclaimed, "We are all followers of Hamas," and praised Hizballah.

2003-09-30 00:00:00

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