A former executive director of a global terrorist organization in Missouri should have his citizenship stripped, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
Mubarak Hamed was an executive director of the Islamic American Relief Agency in Columbia. The organization posed as a charity to assist famine victims in Africa. But the organization actually “secretly funneled $1,375,000 to Iraq in violation of United States economic sanctions,” a DOJ release said.
The DOJ filed its complaint seeking to strip Hamed’s citizenship in the Western District of Missouri. Hamed entered the U.S. through the diversity visa lottery program.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the case is “indicative that America needs ... reform to our broken immigration system now more than ever,” according to the DOJ’s release.
Attorneys who represented Hamed could not be immediately reached Wednesday night.
Hamed was sentenced in 2012 to almost five years in federal prison. He had pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally transfer more than $1 million to Iraq in violation of federal sanctions enacted by then-President George H.W. Bush in 1990. The sanctions prohibited anyone in the U.S. from sending or transferring money or goods to Iraq.
Hamed funneled the funds collected in the U.S. through a Jordanian man, who sent them along to Iraq or used them to purchase goods that would then be sent into the country, the DOJ said.
Hamed is a native of Sudan. The Islamic American Relief Agency was affiliated with a national organization headquartered in Khartoum, Sudan.
The Islamic American Relief Agency collected between $1 million and $3 million in contributions annually from 1991 to 2003.
It dissolved in 2004 after it was deemed a terrorist organization.
Hamed also pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents and misusing the tax-exempt status given to charities.
“The defendant has pleaded guilty to despicable crimes, including the funneling of money to a known terrorist organization, from 1997 through his naturalization as a U.S. citizen in July 2000,” said Thomas Homan, deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Plain and simple, if you defraud the U.S government during the naturalization process, you risk having your citizenship revoked.”