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US Grand Jury Indicts 2 on Terrorism-Related Charges - 2004-09-16

The U.S. Justice Department says a federal grand jury in Miami has indicted two men for actively supporting terrorist campaigns in several nations.

The indictment alleges that Adgan Amin Hassoun and Mohamed Hesham Youssef provided material support to terrorists, aiding in the financing and recruitment efforts of terrorist groups. Mr. Hassoun is currently jailed in Florida on separate charges, while Mr. Youssef is being detained in Egypt.

Attorney General John Ashcroft briefed reporters on the indictment Thursday. "The indictment alleges that Hassoun engaged in recruiting and fund-raising to send individuals, including Youssef and an unnamed un-indicted co-conspirator, to Somalia, Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Kosovo," he said. "The alleged purpose of this travel was to receive violent jihad training and to fight jihad, which would include acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming. The purpose of these terrorist activities was the imposition on states of radicalized Islamic law."

Mr. Hassoun is alleged to have written a series of checks, totaling more than $50,000, to several charities believed to be linked to terrorist financing and support. Mr. Hassoun is alleged to have conducted a series of coded conversations with co-conspirators, including Mohammed Youssef. Mr. Ashcroft said the Bush administration will request that Mr. Youssef be brought to the United States for prosecution. He stressed that both men are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The attorney general said the effort to secure the indictment was greatly aided by the USA Patriot Act, a controversial law enacted in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States that gives U.S. authorities greater leeway to pursue leads and conduct investigations on matters of national security.