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Muslim Charity Leader Arrested

June 16, 2002|From the Washington Post

MIAMI — A South Florida Muslim leader with ties to "dirty" bomb suspect Jose Padilla has been arrested by a federal counter-terrorism task force and is being held on an alleged immigration violation, an Immigration and Naturalization Service spokesman said Saturday.

Adham Hassoun, 40, was one of the leaders of the Al-Iman Mosque in Broward County, which Padilla attended when he was converting to Islam in the 1990s. Hassoun also is the founder of the Florida chapter of a large Muslim charity, Benevolence International Foundation. U.S. officials alleged in court documents in April that the Illinois-based foundation has been connected to Osama bin Laden for years and has moved large sums of money to fund the operations of his Al Qaeda terrorist network around the world.

FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said Hassoun was arrested Wednesday by the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the FBI, the INS and other law enforcement agencies.

Padilla, who took the name Abdullah al Muhajir, is being held at a Navy brig in South Carolina. He is accused of plotting with Al Qaeda leaders to detonate a radioactive bomb in the U.S.

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