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Judge Sentences Head of US-Based Islamic Charity to 11 Years - 2003-08-18


A U.S. District Judge in Chicago has sentenced the head of a U.S.-based Islamic charity to more than 11 years in prison for defrauding donors.

Enaam Arnaout, a Syrian-born American citizen, had pleaded guilty in February to using his organization, the Benevolence International Foundation, to support Islamic militants around the world, including in Bosnia and Chechnya.

He reached a deal with federal prosecutors, who dropped a count in the indictment charging him with supporting Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

A grand jury in October indicted Enaam Arnaout on charges of racketeering and conspiracy to support terrorism.

The 46-year-old did not admit any connection to Osama bin Laden. His charity was raided and its assets frozen in December 2001 as part of efforts to cut off funds to terrorists.

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