A former Republican congressman from Michigan who has dedicated himself to building ties between Christians and Muslims was indicted in federal court yesterday for alleged ties to an Islamic charity that sent money to suspected terrorists.
Mark D. Siljander, who served more than two terms in the House in the 1980s and later ran as a Republican candidate for the House from Northern Virginia, was charged with money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.
The indictment alleges that he lied to the FBI about his work on behalf of the Islamic American Relief Agency, which the Treasury Department designated as a terrorist organization in 2004.
After his first House election in 1981, Siljander said he thought he won because he often wore a "Jesus First" button and because "God wanted me in."
The charity, which was based in Columbia, Mo., allegedly paid Siljander $50,000 in March 2004 to lobby the Senate Finance Committee in an attempt to be kept off a list of terrorist organizations. Senate records indicate that Siljander has not been registered as a lobbyist since 1998.
According to the indictment, the money was stolen from the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Siljander lied to federal agents about his role.
Siljander's role in the case is more limited. He is not charged with a terrorism crime. Instead, the indictment alleges, Siljander worked with the group's leaders to conceal the source of stolen international aid money, which was transferred to accounts he controlled.
Just like a good christian Repug - in on the money end and to hell with where it came from or what they're up to as long as he gets paid.
Bush set the standard for this kind of behavior in aiding and abetting terrorists with his relationship with the Saudis. Terrorists the world over have done quite well during his regime.