BOSTON, Jan 12: Three Arabs who raised nearly $2 million for an Islamic charity were convicted of defrauding the US government by using the tax-free donations to support holy war and holy warriors, prosecutors said on Friday.

A federal jury in Boston on Friday found Libyan-born Emadeddin Muntasser, Muhamed Mubayyid, a Lebanon native and Samir Al-Monla, an immigrant from Kuwait, guilty of conspiring to defraud the government and scheming to hide information from it, the US attorney in Massachusetts, Michael Sullivan said.

The men could face five years in prison for each charge.

Muntasser, who was turned down for US citizenship, was also convicted of making false statements while Mubayyid was convicted of submitting false tax returns.

Their attorney could not be reached for comment.

The government said Muntasser founded a group called Care International, ostensibly to raise money for “charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes”.

But prosecutors said he and the others also collected funds to publish and distribute newsletters which “actively promoted ‘jihad’, or holy war, involving ‘mujahideen’, or Islamic holy warriors”.—Reuters

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