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Chicago Islamic Charity Director Jailed

Chicago area Muslim charity director is jailed. Rumors of "cooperating witness" that testifies about perjury on the part of Enaam M.Arnaout and the charity, Benevolence International Foundation. Many more arrests planned.

Islamic Charity Charged With Lying

By Mike Robinson
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, April 30, 2002; 1:12 PM

CHICAGO ?? An Islamic charity and its executive director were charged with perjury Tuesday for denying in a lawsuit against the federal government that they have supported groups engaged in terrorism.

An affidavit filed with the complaint said that Benevolence International Foundation's executive director, Enaam M. Arnaout, has had a relationship with terrorist leader Osama bin Laden "and many of his key associates dating back more than a decade."

"The complaint alleges Benevolence International Foundation was supporting violence secretly," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said.

The group based in suburban Palos Hills was raided by federal agents on Dec. 14 and its assets were frozen. Federal officials said it was suspected of involvement with terrorist groups.

The organization then sued the government, saying it has nothing to do with terrorism and demanding the release of its assets.

Arnaout, 39, was arrested Tuesday morning at his suburban home on charges that he and Benevolence made false statements over the last month in their lawsuit against the government.

The affidavit signed by FBI Agent Robert Walker said that the organization was founded by a wealthy Saudi sheik, Adil Abdul Galil Betargy, who is an associate of bin Laden, according to documents seized in Bosnia.

© 2002 The Associated Press



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