Swing State

Politics and Humor…but I repeat myself

Michigan’s Hezbollah Connection

by Jim Kouri, CPP

While Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, proclaimed himself neutral — “I don’t take sides for or against Hezbollah; I don’t take sides for or against Israel,” he said — there appears to be problems of Hezbollah activities within his and fellow traveler Rep. John Conyer’s own backyard.

A Dearborn Heights MI, man pleaded guilty on recently to charges of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and using illegally obtained funds to help finance the terrorist group Hezbollah.

Youssef Aoun Bakri, 36, pleaded guilty in federal court as he stood before US District Judge Gerald E. Rosen. The original indictment charged Bakri and other defendants with  operating a criminal enterprise to traffic in contraband cigarettes and counterfeit goods, producing counterfeit cigarette tax stamps, and laundering money.

Most troubling was the fact that part of the profits made from the illegal enterprise were given to Hezbollah, a designated foreign terrorist organization (DFTO), according to the indictment.

Bakri faces maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Two other defendants, Imad Majed Hamadeh, 51, of Dearborn Heights and Theodore Schenk, 73, of Miami Beach, Fla., have already entered guilty pleas to basically the same indictment.

“Fighting terrorism and keeping our citizens safe from its reach, is the Department of Justice’s number-one priority. Raising money for designated terrorist organizations, like Hezbollah, is a serious crime which will be vigorously pursued in the Eastern District of Michigan,” US Attorney Stephen Murphy said.

“Together, we will use all of the legal tools available to us to disrupt criminal activity that funds terrorist organizations,” he said.

Continue reading the full article at RedState.

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December 28, 2006 - Posted by | Michigan Politics

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