Get PhotoCrank at PhotoCrank!
January 16, 2008

Former Congressman An Al-Qaeda Fundraiser?

The war on terror has brought many strange stories to the fore, but perhaps none so strange as the indictment of Mark Deli Siljander, a former Michigan Congressman indicted for helping to shift funds to Islamist terrorists. Siljander represented the Islamic American Relief Agency and took $50,000 in fees later determined to have been stolen from USAID, and helped get it funds that federal investigators say went to the Taliban:

A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al Qaeda and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

The former Republican congressman from Michigan, Mark Deli Siljander, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

A 42-count indictment, unsealed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Missouri, accuses the Islamic American Relief Agency of paying Siljander $50,000 for the lobbying -- money that turned out to be stolen from the U.S. Agency for International Development. ...

The indictment charges IARA with sending approximately $130,000 to help Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whom the United States has designated as a global terrorist. The money, sent to bank accounts in Peshawar, Pakistan in 2003 and 2004, was masked as donations to an orphanage located in buildings that Hekmatyar owned.

If this turns out to be true, what a betrayal this represents. Siljander represented the US at the United Nations during the Reagan administration. As a Congressman, he not only had access to power and influence, but he himself served as a symbol of the representative government that we herald as the antithesis of the terrorism Siljander allegedly funded.

Mind-boggling. Embarrassing. Infuriating -- if true.

Debbie Schlussel used to work for Siljander, and suffice it to say, she's shocked. She believes that money troubles could have driven Siljander to front for radical Islamist terrorists, if the indictment proves to be true. If so, then the outrage is even worse, maybe similar to the notorious John Walker case. Be sure to read all of Debbie's post.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Please note that unverified Disqus users will have comments held in moderation. Please visit Disqus to register and verify your account. Comments from verified users will appear immediately.