Saturday, 2:15 PM
Three men convicted in trial that explored charity's ties to terrorists
By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff
A federal jury today convicted three former leaders of a defunct Boston-based charity of lying to win tax-exempt status for the charity and then using the nonprofit to promote jihad and support Muslim militants overseas.
In the first criminal trial in US District Court in Boston that explored a US charity's ties to terrorist groups, Emadeddin Muntasser, 43, of Braintree, who owns Logan Furniture Company; Muhamed Mubayyid, 42, of Shrewsbury; and Samir Al-Monla, 50, of Brookline were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and of a scheme to conceal the true origins of the charity, Massachusetts Care International Inc., which operated from 1993 to 2003 and collected $1.7 million in donations.
"This prosecution serves notice that we will not tolerate the use of charities as a means of promoting terrorism," said Kenneth L. Wainstein, assistant US attorney general for national security in a statement released after the convictions. He called the verdict a milestone in the government's efforts "against those who conceal their support for extremist causes behind the veil of humanitarianism."
The three men were not charged with financing terrorist groups, but rather with failing to tell the Internal Revenue Service that some of the group's tax-exempt donations were used to publish a pro-jihad newsletter and other writings supporting Muslim militant activities overseas. An FBI agent testified that in the early to mid-1990s, Care International sent more than $130,000 to Makhtab al Khidamat, an organization considered a precursor to Al Qaeda that funneled money to mujahideen fighters in Bosnia.
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