Two Men Indicted in Fund-Raising for Terrorists
By NEIL A. LEWIS
Published: September 17, 2004
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 - Two men were charged in a federal indictment on
Thursday with raising money to support terrorists and recruiting
would-be terrorists to fight in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kosovo and
The indictment, by a grand jury in Miami, said the men had discussed
recruiting an unidentified American paid to train in the Mideast. A
federal law enforcement official identified the American as Jose Padilla
of Chicago, who is being held in a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., as an
unlawful enemy combatant.
The two men indicted were already facing criminal charges here and in
Egypt. Attorney General John Ashcroft identified them as Adham Amin
Hassoun, who also goes by the name Abu Sayyaf, and Mohamed Hesham
Youssef, who also goes by the name Abu Turab. Both are charged with
conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.
"This indictment alleges that an individual living here in the United
States, enjoying all the freedoms that our society has to offer, was
secretly plotting to support murder and terror being perpetrated by
violent jihadists overseas," Mr. Ashcroft said of Mr. Hassoun.
Mr. Hassoun, a Palestinian from Sunrise, Fla., who is a computer
programmer, has been in custody in Florida since June 2003 on other
charges relating to reportedly misleading information that he gave to
law enforcement officials and to his possession of a firearm.
Mr. Youssef is jailed in Egypt on a terrorism conviction. The Justice
Department did not provide his residence.
The indictment charges that Mr. Hassoun wrote checks from 1994 to late
2001 to unindicted co-conspirators and groups, including the Holy Land
Foundation and the Global Relief Foundation, to support jihad. The two
groups reportedly have ties to terrorism financing.
In July 2004, the Holy Land Foundation and seven of its leaders were
indicted on charges of providing material support to Hamas, a foreign
terrorist organization. The Treasury Department has designated the
Global Relief Foundation as an organization that funneled money for
Mr. Ashcroft said more than $53,000 was raised and scheduled to support
a jihad, or violent holy war, against the West.
The 10-count indictment also charges that the men had coded
conversations from 1996 through 2000 that suggested participation in
jihad in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kosovo and Somalia. In one conversation
in September 1996, Mr. Youssef, who was in Egypt, reportedly told Mr.
Hassoun that he was "ready for trade immediately."
Mr. Hassoun reportedly responded with, "By God, there is now trade in
Somalia,'' and, "Get yourself ready to go down there to see," and added
that "there is jihad" in Somalia.