There's a follow-up article in the Worcester Telegram about the federal trial in Boston against three former leaders of a defunct Islamic charity. I blogged about this upcoming trial last week here. According to the Boston Globe, this is "the first criminal trial in US District Court in Boston that will explore the role of US charities in financing terrorism." The three men were accused of making false statements to the government to obtain tax-exempt status for their "charity," Care International. They allegedly used the funds they collected to support Muslim militants in Chechnya and Bosnia and publish pro-jihad newsletters. An important trial, I'd say!
Worcester Telegram reporter Lee Hammel wrote about Khalid Naseem, the immigration lawyer who filed naturalization papers for Emadeddin Z. Muntasser, one of the three indicted men:
"BOSTON - A Central Massachusetts immigration lawyer who signed a naturalization application with substantial omissions came under fire yesterday in U.S. District Court."
"At issue was whether Khalid Naseem advised his client, Emadeddin Z. Muntasser, in 2002 that he did not need to list either travel outside the country or organizations with which he was associated beyond five years previously. Mr. Naseem denies he advised his client not to list information older than five years."
"....Mr. Muntasser, who lived in the Worcester area in the 1980s, is charged with making false statements to the FBI in 2003 when the Libyan native denied traveling to Afghanistan and Pakistan in 1994 and 1995 — travel that also was left off his original 2002 citizenship application."
"In addition, Mr. Muntasser, 42, who was president of the defunct Boston charity Care International, also is charged, along with Samir Al-Monla, 50, of Boston, a subsequent president of the charity, and Muhamed Mubayyid, 42, of Shrewsbury, a treasurer of Care, with conspiracy to defraud the United States, scheming to conceal material facts, and obstructing and impeding the Internal Revenue Service."
Here's why Khalid Naseem, Muntasser's lawyer, is in hot water now:
"The naturalization application of Mr. Muntasser, now of Braintree, is not one of the four charges on which he is being tried, but it is being used to try to convince the jury he is not truthful.
"Mr. Naseem told Assistant U.S. Attorney B. Stephanie Siegmann he did not advise Mr. Muntasser to limit answers to the question of whether he was ever associated with any organization or what trips he had taken outside the country since becoming a permanent resident. He said he did not check Mr. Muntasser’s immigration file, where such trips were listed on a previous application to become a permanent resident, because he relied on Mr. Muntasser’s answers."
"...But Mr. Zalkind (Muntasser's lawyer) was incredulous Mr. Naseem thought it was the truth that Mr. Muntasser belonged to no organizations. Mr. Zalkind noted Mr. Naseem had filled out Care International’s tax returns for several years at the request of Mr. Muntasser, who was listed as president of the group. Mr. Naseem, whose children were taught at religious school by Mr. Muntasser and has been a lawyer since 1995 and a certified public accountant for a decade before that, estimated he has filled out 50 to 100 immigration forms."
"Mr. Naseem, who said he filled out Care’s tax forms without pay as part of the charity dictated by Islam, said neither the Greater Worcester Islamic Society, to which they both belonged, nor Care International are membership organizations."
Really? The Greater Worcester Islamic Society (GWIS) is not a membership organization? People can belong to an organization, but they're not members? This is mysterious to me! This also seems like lying or deception, dunnit?
So who's lying here about 1) whether Muntasser was advised that he only had to report his overseas travel going back five years, and 2) whether Muntasser was advised that he didn't have to include his affiliation with GWIS or Care International on his naturalization application? Lawyer Naseem or alleged Jihadi Supporter Muntasser? Both?
I hope Lee Hammel stays on top of this trial. It would be nice of the Boston Globe would assign someone too.