U.S. deports Saudi director of Virginia Muslim charity

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A Saudi national who served as director of the Virginia office of the Muslim World League (MWL) has been deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents on immigration charges.

ICE spokesman Dean Boyd said Abdullah Alnoshan, 44, of Falls Church, was returned to Saudi Arabia over the weekend. He was arrested in July by ICE and FBI agents assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force. A criminal complaint charged Alnoshan with conspiring to commit immigration fraud by using fake employment documents to enter, exit and live in the United States.

Alnoshan also was accused of seeking to deter law-enforcement agents from discovering his true immigration status.

His arrest was made after a raid by ICE and FBI agents on his Falls Church offices in an investigation into the MWL’s purported terrorist ties. The offices also were searched in 2002 as part of a raid on several Muslim organizations in Northern Virginia whose charitable operations were watched by federal authorities investigating links to terrorist groups.

The charity has not been charged, but agents searched Alnoshan’s home and office, removing computers, photographs and immigration documents. The MWL is purported to have provided funds to al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

The MWL, one of the largest nongovernmental organizations in the world, has denied any wrongdoing.

Also named in the criminal complaint was Khalid Fadlalla, a Sudanese citizen who worked at the MWL office in New York. The complaint said Mr. Fadlalla conspired to commit immigration fraud in connection with Alnoshan. He was arrested in New York City in July.

In September, Mr. Boyd said, a federal grand jury in Virginia returned a four-count indictment charging Alnoshan with criminal immigration law violations. Last month, Alnoshan pleaded guilty to one count of immigration fraud and was sentenced to time served, agreeing to a stipulated order of removal. An immigration judge later ordered him removed from the country.

“Arresting, prosecuting and deporting those who commit criminal immigration violations is a critical part of ICE’s efforts to restore integrity to the nation’s immigration system,” said Mary Loiselle, field operations director for ICE’s detention and removal operations in the Washington area.

The MWL was mentioned in the 2003 federal probe of Soliman S. Biheiri, an Egyptian national named by the Justice Department as a material witness in terrorism investigations. An affidavit by ICE agent David Kane said investigators also were looking into the MWL and the International Islamic Relief Organization.

In October 2003, Biheiri was convicted in a Virginia federal court of immigration law violations and sentenced to 12 months of confinement, fined $15,000 and ordered to serve three years of supervised release.

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