WASHINGTON â€” Former Republican congressman and delegate to the United Nations Mark Deli Siljander was indicted Wednesday as a member of a terrorist fundraising ring. The ring is alleged to have sent more than $130,000 to al-Qaida and Taliban supporter Culbudden Hekmaytar. AÂ terroristÂ who has threatened both U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.
The former Michigan congressman, Stands accused of money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for lying to senators about an Islamic charity that authorities claim was in fact secretly funding terrorists.
The entire 42-count indictment, was unsealed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., And accuses the Islamic American Relief Agency of paying Siljander $50,000 for his lobbying efforts. Money that it turns out, was stolen from the Agency for International Development.
Siljander served two terms in the House and was later appointed by then President Reagan to serve as a delegate to the United Nations in 1987. Mr. Siljander could not reached for comment and his attorney in Kansas City, JR Hobbs, had no immediate comment for the media.
The charges reflect a long-running investigation into the charityâ€™s activities, originally based in Columbia, Mo., It was designated by the Treasury Department as aÂ fundraisingÂ shillÂ for terrorists in 2004. The government claims I.A.R.A employed a man who served as a fundraising aide to no less then Osama bin Laden.
The formal charges allege the I.A.R.A sent approximately $130,000 to Gulbuddin Hekmaytar, a man designated as a global terrorist. Records show cash was depositedÂ to bank accounts in Peshawar, Pakistan between 2003 and 2004, and listed as funds for an orphanage located in buildings that turned out to be owned by Hekmaytar.
Hekmaytar is an Afghan mujahedeen leader who engaged in terrorist attacks for al-Qaida and theÂ TalibanÂ publicly vowing to wage a holy war against the United States and international peace keeping forces.
The charges â€œpaint a troubling picture of an American charity organizationâ€ that â€œengaged in transactions for the benefit of terroristsâ€ and â€œconspired with a former United States congressmanâ€ to â€œconvert stolen federal funds into payments for his advocacy,â€ Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein remarked in public comments on the indictments.
Even more disturbing are theÂ public recordsÂ that indicate it wasÂ Siljander whoÂ established the Washington D.C consulting agency â€œGlobal Strategiesâ€ which employed several former republican House and Senate members, who left or wereÂ voted out of office. Former house and senate members retain special privileges of accessing current elected officials and areas of the capitol off limits to the general public and media.