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US Indicts 7 on Charges Related to Terrorism Funding - 2002-12-19

The leader of an Islamic militant group, his wife and five workers at a U.S.-based computer company, have been indicted on charges of money laundering and selling equipment to governments sponsoring terrorism.

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the indictments of Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook and his wife for allegedly conspiring to violate U.S. laws that prohibit dealing in terrorist funds. Both are believed to be in the Middle East.

Mr. Ashcroft also announced that five brothers working at a Texas-based computer company are in custody for allegedly selling equipment to countries that support terrorist activity.

"Terrorist money men should know this," he said. "We are hunting down the murderers you support and we will hunt you down. Just as we will prosecute the terrorist who plants a bomb, we will prosecute the terrorist supporter who writes a check."

Officials say the men working for the Texas firm are accused of selling computers and computer parts to Libya and Syria, two countries designated by the United States as sponsors of terrorism.

The charges against the men include export violations, making false statements, conspiracy and money-laundering.