Former US Congressman pleads guilty to terrorist conspiracy

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Washington, DC: A former US Congressman has pleaded guilty in connection with a terrorist financing conspiracy that sent money to al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, the US Justice Department said on July 7.

Mark Deli Siljander, who represented Michigan in the House of Representatives from 1981-87 and was a delegate to the UN under President Ronald Reagan, pleaded guilty to acting as an agent for an Islamic charity with ties to international terrorism, according to Beth Phillips, US Attorney for the western district of Missouri.

Siljander, 59, was hired by Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) to lobby for the group’s removal from a Senate list of charities suspected of having terrorist ties, justice officials said. He also failed to register as a foreign agent.

He told investigators he had received tens of thousands of dollars from IARA to write a book about bridging the gap between Islam and Christianity.
Siljander was the last of the five collaborators to plead guilty. He faces 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

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