US couple accused of aiding Hizbullah

2 Lebanese-Americans from Ohio charged with terror money laundering.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 5, 2010 18:59
1 minute read.
Hizbullah members march during a rally marking Hiz

Hizbullah members march during a rally marking Hiz. (photo credit: AP)

TOLEDO, Ohio — A  dual Lebanese-American couple were arrested Thursday on charges they conspired to provide thousands of dollars to a Hizbullah, federal authorities said.

Hor Akl and his wife, Amera Akl, were taken into custody after an FBI informant provided them with $200,000 in cash, which they were preparing to hide in a vehicle that was to be shipped to Lebanon, prosecutors said.

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The Akls planned to conceal up to $500,000 so the money could be given to Hizbullah on behalf of anonymous donors in the United States, a court complaint said.

The Akls, both 37 years old, face numerous charges, including conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, which carries a maximum sentence of up 15 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 upon conviction.

Telephone messages seeking comment were left Thursday at the office of the public defender assigned to the case and at the home of the Akls, who will remain in custody until a detention hearing Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Hor Akl traveled to Lebanon in March to arrange the delivery of money. He returned to the United States claiming that he had met with Hizbullah officials, the complaint said.

The Akls expected to receive a fee or commission for arranging the transfer of funds, prosecutors said.


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