Three former leaders of a defunct Muslim charity in Massachusetts face federal tax fraud charges related to their alleged efforts to solicit funds to support Muslim militants overseas.
Emadeddin Muntasser, 42, Muhamed Mubayyid, 42, and Samir Al-Monla, 50, of Care International Inc., are charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., obstructing and impeding the Internal Revenue Service and a scheme to conceal material facts, according to the indictment. In addition, Mubayyid is indicted on three counts of false tax returns, and both Muntasser and Al-Monla are charged with making false statements. The trial against Muntasser and Al-Monla, both former presidents of Care, and Mubayyid, former treasurer of Care, began on November 13, 2007 with jury selection.
The indictment alleges that Mubayyid and Al-Monla admitted that Care, which collected $1.7 million in donations between 1993-2003, was engaged in the "solicitation and expenditure of funds to support and promote mujahideen and jihad."
According to the indictment, Muntasser was involved in operating the Boston branch of Al-Kifah Refugee Center, a now-defunct charitable organization that published a pro-jihad newsletter titled "Al-Hussam," meaning "the Sword" in Arabic. Muntasser reportedly founded Care in response to media reports in 1993 that linked several members of Al-Kifah to the first World Trade Center bombing, including Omar Abdel Rahman. Care, however, reportedly assumed publication of "Al-Hussam," and operated out of what was Al-Kifah's Boston office.
Although Muntasser claimed that he had never been to Afghanistan, FBI agents later learned that he traveled to Afghanistan in or about 1994-1995 for Care activities, according to the indictment. While in Afghanistan, he reportedly met warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatayr, who was designated a global terrorist by the U.S. State Department in 2003.
In 2004, Muntasser sued the U.S. government for failing to act on his application for citizenship. The following year, he and Mubayyid were indicted. In 2007, Al-Monla, a U.S. citizen, was added to the indictment.
Care is not affiliated with the international humanitarian organization CARE International.