WASHINGTON – U.S. authorities have alleged for the first time that Abdurahman Alamoudi, a Washington-area activist who represented Muslims at the highest levels of the U.S. government, raised money for al Qaeda in the United States.
The assertion, in a Treasury Department statement, gave no details. Alamoudi’s lawyer strongly denied the allegation and noted that his client had never been charged in court with supporting al Qaeda. Alamoudi, 53, an Eritrean immigrant who lived in Falls Church, Va., was convicted last year of illegally accepting nearly $1 million from Libya.
If accurate, the new allegation would mark a stunning revelation about a man who for years served as a liaison between U.S. Muslims and the American government. Alamoudi, a founder of the American Muslim Council, played a key role in developing the Pentagon’s Muslim chaplain program, traveled abroad as a speaker on behalf of the State Department and attended meetings at the White House.
The local Muslim community was shocked when Alamoudi was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in September 2003 on charges of accepting money from Libya, regarded by the U.S. government as a sponsor of terrorism. Alamoudi later admitted using the funds to recruit Saudi dissidents in London to arrange the assassination of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, at the request of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.
Alamoudi was sentenced last October to 23 years in prison, but the sentence could be reduced because of his ongoing cooperation with the U.S. government.
The new allegation about Alamoudi appeared in a communique in which the Treasury Department announced an addition to its list of terror supporters: the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia. Alamoudi’s attorney, Stanley Cohen, rejected the statement.
“There is no claim by prosecutors anywhere during the whole mess that’s gone on for several years that Alamoudi systematically, intentionally, in any way, shape or form did anything to further the aims of al Qaeda anywhere,” he said.