PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – Akram Musa Abdallah, aka Abu Saiaf, 54, of Mesa, Ariz. was arrested yesterday afternoon by the Federal Bureau of Investigation based on an indictment which charges him with making false statements related to his involvement in fund-raising activities for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief & Development. Abdallah is scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court at 3 p.m. this afternoon.
The indictment alleges that Abdallah knowingly and willfully made a false material statement when he represented to FBI agents that he was not involved in fund raising activities for the Holy Land Foundation. The indictment alleges that he was involved in fund-raising activities on their behalf in the Phoenix metropolitan area between 1994 and 1997. The Holy Land Foundation is an organization alleged to have provided financial support for Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned the indictment against Abdallah on Tuesday afternoon. An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
A conviction for False Statements carries a maximum penalty of eight years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. If convicted, in determining an actual sentence, the U.S. District Court Judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by David Pimsner, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix and Barry Jonas, Trial Attorney, Counter Terrorism Section, Department of Justice.
CASE NUMBER: CR-08-0947-PHX
RELEASE NUMBER: 2008-209(Abdallah)