MI: AGENTS RAID 2 MUSLIM CHARITIES
Federal agents raided two Shi'ite Muslim charities Tuesday in Dearborn, one of which the government said funneled money raised in the United States to Iran-backed terrorist groups in the Middle East.
The agents hauled away documents and files from charities that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from metro Detroit Muslims, some of whom were upset by the government's moves and spoke against a rush to judgment.
In a news release, the U.S. Treasury Department said that the Goodwill Charitable Organization is a Hizballah front group that solicits money from Hizballah members who live in the United States. Based in Lebanon, Hizballah has killed more Americans than any other terrorist group besides Al Qaeda, according to the U.S. government.
"We will not allow organizations that support terrorism to raise money in the United States," said Stuart Levey, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
The other charity that was raided, Al-Mabarrat Charitable Organization, often holds fund-raisers in metro Detroit and enjoys support from many in the area. Federal officials maintain its founder, Hussein Fadlallah, is the spiritual leader of Hizballah and a terrorist. But the Treasury Department did not designate Al-Mabarrat as a terrorist group, which means it technically can still operate. . .
To address any possible concerns, Special Agent Andrew Arena, head of the FBI Detroit office, held a meeting Tuesday at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, a Shi'ite Muslim mosque.
"People are scared to donate" to charities or mosques, Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said of concerns raised at the meeting. Islamic law requires Muslims to donate a certain percentage of their income for needy people.