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A Year In Prison For Former Congressman Who Helped Terrorist Organization

mark-siljander-AP.jpg

A former congressman from Michigan, Mark Siljander, has been sentenced in Kansas City for accepting stolen money to do work for a charity with alleged ties to terrorism.  

Siljander represented central Michigan in the mid 1980s, but had since become a lobbyist.    One of his clients was an organization based in the Sudan, with a branch in Missouri, called the Islamic American Relief Agency.    

The federal government had named the agency a global terrorist organization in 2004.  The agency apparently hired Siljander the same year, paying him 75-thousand dollars to get it off that list.  

As he lobbied the State Department and others, Siljander never disclosed that he was working for a foreign agency.  That’s illegal.   Siljander was indicted January of 2008.   US Attorney for Western Missouri Beth Phillips said came clean in 2010.

“ He admitted that he repeated lied to FBI agents and Prosecutors,   and that he falsely denied that he was hired to advocate for the charity”, said Phillips.   

Siljander’s been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison.   Several employees and officers of the Islamic American Relief Agency were also sentenced Wednesday.   The Executive Director Mubarak Hamed, a naturalized US Citizen who was living in Columbia, got four years and ten months in prison without parole. 

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