By LIZ SIDOTI
A New York man accused of trying to help terrorists in Afghanistan has donated some $15,000 to the House Republicans’ campaign committee over three years.
Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to charges that include terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and money laundering.
From April 2002 until August 2004, the man also known as “Michael Mixon” gave donations ranging from $500 to $5,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to Federal Election Commission reports and two campaign donor tracking Web sites: Political Money Line and Open Secrets.
Jessica Boulanger, a spokeswoman for the NRCC, said if Alishtari is found guilty, the organization would donate the money to charity.
“We are extremely concerned and disturbed by these charges, but we need to be careful not to rush to judgment as the judicial process moves forward,” Boulanger said.
In the federal indictment, the government said Alishtari, 53, of Ardsley, N.Y., also known as Mixon accepted an unspecified amount of money to transfer $152,000 to Pakistan and Afghanistan to support an Afghanistan terrorist training camp. He also stands accused of causing the transfer of about $25,000 from a bank account in New York to an account in Montreal, money the government says was to be used to provide material support to terrorists.
Also, the indictment says, Alishtari schemed to defraud investors by obtaining millions of dollars in a loan investment scheme that he called the “Flat Electronic Data Interchange” and that promised high guaranteed rates of return.
The charges carry a potential penalty of 95 years in prison.
Alishtari was detained pending a court appearance this week. Prosecutors said he was a danger to the community and a flight risk.
On campaign finance forms, Alishtari identified his occupation as either the owner, president or chief executive of a business called Global Protector Inc., or GlobalProtector.Net, Inc. In some filings he listed the business as being located in the Bronx and in other filings in Scarsdale, N.Y.
A resume listed in his name and posted on an MSN group Web site on Jan. 8, 2007, identifies him as being an “industrialist and philanthropist” and references previous connections to the Republican Party.
The resume says that in 2003 Alishtari was named a National Republican Senatorial Committee “Inner Circle Member for Life” and was appointed to the NRCC’s “White House Business Advisory Committee.” The resume also says Alishtari was named the NRCC’s New York state businessman of the year in 2002 and 2003.
The 2007 resume identifies him as the founder of IDPixie LLC, which is described as an “ID theft protection agency.”
Copyright Ã‚Â© 2007 The Associated Press