Federal Indictments in IARA Case
They're accused of stealing $1.4 million in government and public money and transferring the cash to Iraq from March 1991 to May 2003. The government also says the group falsely represented their fund-raising goals.
The charity has denied allegations that it has financed terrorism and has repeatedly tried to distinguish itself from a Sudanese group suspected of financing al-Qaida known as the Islamic African Relief Agency. In October 2004, federal agents raided the group's headquarters in Columbia. The charity's assets were later frozen and the organization lost a recent bid to have its assets unfrozen.
Included in the charges:
- Mubarak Hamed, 50, executive director of IARA from the early 1990's until October 2004
- Ali Bagegni, 53, a former educator in Columbia and an IARA-USA board member and treasurer until October 2004
- Ahmad Mustafa, 54, an IARA-USA fundraiser
- Khalid Al-Sudanee, 55, was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a supporter of global terrorism in October 2004
- Abdel Azim El-Siddiq, 50, an IARA-USA fundraiser and vice president for international operations
Hamed and Mustafa were arrested in Columbia. Both were charged in a Jefferson City federal court and released. Bagegni now lives in Iowa City, Iowa. He is expected in a federal court there later in the day.