In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attack on the U.S. by the Muslim extremist terrorist organization known as Al Qaeda, many politicians and members of the mainstream media have been criticized for vilifying Muslims. As a result of misinformation and the U.S.’s ongoing involvement in overseas missions, there are many misconceptions about Islam and its followers.
In the nearly twelve years since the terrorist attack on American soil, Muslims across America have been subjected to hostility and increased scrutiny by law enforcement and government officials. Many mosques and Islamic centers have been targeted by U.S. officials who often contend such places of prayer are being used to funnel money and resources to terrorist groups in the Middle East.
While there may indeed be cases in which these assertions are true, the conviction of one Muslim man was recently overturned after the man’s defense attorneys learned of possible mishandling of evidence by prosecutors. The man, who is of Iranian decent and ran an Islamic-based charity, was previously on trial for charges related to tax fraud and tax evasion which then grew into charges related to terrorism.
During the year 2000, prosecutors asserted the man used the Islamic charity as a front to send $150,000 to Saudi Arabia. This money, was then allegedly used to help fund fighting by Muslims against Chechen rebels. In his defense, the man asserted the money was for humanitarian efforts and that his accountant failed to ensure the proper tax forms were filed.
The man was subsequently convicted of criminal charges related to tax evasion and money laundering and was sentenced to 33 months in a Colorado federal prison. Having already served his sentence, the man’s conviction was recently overturned and is now under review as it was discovered that prosecutors in the case failed to notify defense attorneys of several key matters.
Not only did government officials in the case fail to abide by the terms of a search warrant, but they also paid a key witness and then failed to disclose this fact to defense attorneys. While the man’s conviction was recently overturned. He spent nearly three years behind bars and has suffered greatly both personally and financially.
Source: KVAL, ” This is a tax fraud case that was transformed into a trial on terrorism,” Jeff Barnard, Aug. 27, 2013