Islamic charity director pleads innocent

Friday, January 3, 2003

CHICAGO -- Standing under heavy guard, the director of an Islamic charity in suburban Chicago pleaded innocent Thursday to charges he funneled money to Osama bin Laden's terror network and other violent groups.

Enaam Arnaout, 40, is set for trial Feb. 3 on racketeering charges that say he used his Benevolence International Foundation to bankroll violence overseas.

The charges include funneling money to al-Qaida, aiding anti-Russian rebels in Chechnya, and helping Muslim forces fighting Christians in the Sudan.

Benevolence International Foundation, which formerly had offices in Palos Hills, was shut down by the U.S. government more than a year ago.

Arnaout was arrested in April.

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