Former Islamic American Relief Agency (Missouri) Officials Sentenced

Printer-friendlyPrinter-friendly EmailEmail
Date: 
January 16, 2012

On Jan. 11, 2012, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey sentenced former officials of the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) for violating Iraq economic sanctions and illegally acting as an unregistered foreign agent. None of the men charged in the criminal case, first filed in 2007, were alleged to have provided support to terrorists. In addition, a former congressman and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was sentenced to one year in prison for obstructing justice and acting as an unregistered foreign agent on behalf of IARA. IARA was shut down in October 2004 after being designated a terrorist entity by the Department of Treasury.

Mubarak Hamed, the charity’s executive director was sentenced to four years and 10 months in prison for sending more than $1 million to Iraq in violation of U.S. sanctions during the Saddam Hussein period. Three other officials received between six months to two years probation on similar charges.
 
“If we had a terrorist event we would have charged a more serious case,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Peter Gonzalez said.
 
Mark Deli Siljander, a Michigan Republican who served in Congress from 1981 to 1987, pleaded guilty to the charges in July 2010. In his plea agreement, Siljander acknowledged that he was paid about $75,000 by charity officials to lobby between March and May 2004 for its removal from a U.S. Senate Finance Committee list of organizations suspected of funding international terrorism. He also admitting to lying to investigators about what he was doing, claiming the money he received was in support of book he was writing about Christian-Islamic relations.
 
Those sentenced:
 
  • Mubarak Hamed, the charity’s executive director, to four years and 10 months in prison for sending more than $1 million to Iraq in violations of U.S. sanctions.
     
  • Former Michigan Rep. Mark Deli Siljander, to one year and a day in prison for obstruction of justice and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.
     
  • Abdel Azim Elsiddig, a part-time charity fundraiser, to two years of probation for acting as an unregistered foreign agent. 
     
  • Ali Mohamed Bagegni, a charity board member, to six months of probation and 50 hours of community service for violating the Iraq sanctions law.
     
  • Ahmad Mustafa, a charity fundraiser, to six months of probation and 50 hours of community service for his role in the sanctions violations.