Abdurahman Alamoudi was sentenced today to 23 years’ imprisonment for terrorism financing, false statements on his naturalization petition, and tax violations. The sentence was imposed by Judge Claude Hilton of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.
Alamoudi was influential in the American Muslim circles, and thus in Washington. He participated in several political and charitable organizations, founding the American Muslim Council – an enthusiastic supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah. The federal government permitted him a key role in selecting the Islamic clerics who minister in the military and in the prison system. Over the years, moreover, he occasionally traveled the globe as an emissary of the State Department.
As we now know, he also traveled to Libya, engaged in financial transactions with Qadhafi’s government, and collected hefty sums (including the $340,000 seized from him when he was arrested last year), which were designed to be routed back to his causes in the U.S. without the knowledge of American authorities. All of those activities violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act imposes terrorism-related sanctions prohibiting unlicensed travel to and commerce with Libya.
Alamoudi has also admitted to participating with high-ranking Libyan officials, including Qadhafi himself, in a plot to murder Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah — a plot said to have ensued even after Qadhafi publicly purported to renounce terrorism and abandon his nuclear ambitions.
Whether Alamoudi will actually serve the 23 years is questionable. His plea agreement contemplates cooperation with the government. If he provides truthful information or testimony that helps the government further investigations — particularly terrorism cases — he could become eligible for a significant reduction. Time will tell. But remember how up in arms many activist groups were when Alamoudi was arrested — once again claiming that DOJ was unfairly targeting Muslims for prosecution. (Alamoudi himself made the claim in this letter from prison.) His conviction and sentence are significant achievements. Don’t expect to read too much about them in the Times.