American Muslim Council Founder Heads to Jail

In 2002, the spokesman for FBI director Robert Mueller memorably described the American Muslim Council (AMC) as the “the most mainstream Muslim group in the United States.” A year later, the Catholic bishops called the AMC “the premier, mainstream Muslim group in Washington.”

Its founder and long-time chief, Abdurahman Alamoudi, was a Washington fixture. He had many meetings with both Clintons in the White House and once joined George W. Bush at a prayer service dedicated to victims of the 9/11 attacks. Alamoudi arranged a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner for congressional leaders. He six times lectured abroad for the State Department and founded an organization to provide Muslim chaplains for the Department of Defense. One of his former AMC employees, Faisal Gill, serves as policy director at the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence division.

In brief, as the Washington Post describes him, Alamoudi was “a pillar of the local Muslim community.”

But the one-time high-flyer last week signed a plea agreement with the American government admitting his multiple crimes in return for a reduced sentence. His confession makes for startling reading.

Alamoudi acknowledges having obtained money from the Libyan government and other foreign sources, “unlawfully, knowingly, and willfully falsified, concealed and covered up by a trick, scheme and device.” He transmitted these funds to the United States, “outside of the knowledge of the United States government and without attracting the attention of law enforcement and regulatory authorities.”

In doing so, he engaged in illegal financial transactions and filed false tax returns. He lied about his overseas travels, his interest in a Swiss bank account, his affiliation with a Specially Designated Terrorist (the Hamas leader, Mousa Abu Marzook), and his membership in terrorist-related organizations.

Of particular note are admissions by Alamoudi that he:

  • Was summoned by Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi to two meetings and as a result of these Alamoudi helped organize the assassination of Saudi crown prince Abdullah. (The plot was foiled.)

  • Transported money from Libya to Saudi Arabia to the United States, where he deposited it in the American Muslim Foundation, one of his non-profits.

  • Omitted on his American citizenship application his connections to many radical organizations: the United Association for Studies and Research, Marzook Legal Fund, Mercy International, American Task Force for Bosnia, Fiqh Council of North America, Muslims for a Better America, Eritrean Liberation Front/People’s Liberation Force, and Council for the National Interest Foundation.

Then there is the fact that Alamoudi’s Palm Pilot, seized at the time of his arrest, contained contact information for seven men designated as global terrorists by U.S. authorities. Also, law enforcement found an unsigned Arabic-language document in Alamoudi’s office with ideas for Hamas to undertake “operations against the Israelis to delay the peace process.” And Alamoudi has at least indirect links to Osama bin Laden through the Taibah International Aid Association, an American non-profit where he served along with Abdullah A. bin Laden, Osama’s nephew.

For his crimes, Alamoudi’s punishment can include serving up to 23 years in prison, forfeiting US$1

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