An investigation into an Islamic charity that allegedly provided covert financial support for terrorists now involves a former US congressman, the AP reports. Former Michigan Republican Rep. Mark Deli Siljander was charged today with money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice for receiving $50,000 in illegally redirected money to lobby on behalf of the Islamic American Relief Agency.
The IARA, now defunct, is itself charged with funneling money from the US Agency for International Development to Glubuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan terrorist leader. The indictment says some was redirected in 2004 to Siljander to lobby the US Senate Finance Committee to remove the IARA from the list of non-profits suspected of involvement in international terrorism. Siljander served in the House from 1981-1987.