Seven years ago, Abdurahman Alamoudi was hobnobbing with presidents and potentates in Washington as one of America’s most charismatic Muslim leaders, according to the Washington Post.
Today, Alamoudi sits in a green jumpsuit in the Alexandria jail, charged with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Libya, a U.S.-designated sponsor of terrorism. He has pleaded not guilty.
U.S. officials have also alleged he funneled money to organizations that support Middle East terrorist groups, although he is not charged with any crime related to those allegations. His attorneys say the claims are unfounded.
Perhaps no other arrest since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has so shaken the U.S. Muslim community or so reverberated through Washington’s political elite, the Post reports. Alamoudi is no youthful jihadi, no dirty-bomb conspirator. He is a well-heeled advocate who had represented American Muslims in White House meetings.
Alamoudi’s friends, former colleagues and U.S. officials depict him as a man savvy enough to enjoy great success working the U.S. political system but too naive or stubborn to abide by American financial practices.
U.S. officials said Alamoudi cultivated a moderate image that masks support for a radical agenda he long privately espoused. They point to his contacts with people the United States has designated terrorist sponsors, a statement of support for a 1994 terrorist attack and his association with groups suspected of funneling money to terrorists. They also question the destination of millions of dollars that passed through his personal bank accounts.