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Source: Detroit Free Press
Two metro Detroit men have been charged with spying for Saddam Hussein's intelligence service, supplying the executed dictator's regime with information about its enemies in the United States, according to federal court documents unsealed Tuesday.This isn't an isolated incidence.
Ghazi Al-Awadi, 78, of Dearborn allegedly told the Iraqi Intelligence Service in 1997 that he killed his son-in-law because the man belonged to an anti-Hussein political party, court documents said.
Najib Shemami, 59, of Sterling Heights allegedly provided Iraqi intelligence with information about Iraqi expatriates who might be called upon to guide U.S. troops during the invasion of Iraq and potential political candidates for the new government. . . .
Metro Detroit Iraqis have long complained they were being spied upon.
Both men are charged with conspiring to act as agents of a foreign government without the approval of the attorney general, and acting as an agent for a foreign government. Shemami also is charged with violating the U.S. International Emergency Powers Act and making false statements to the FBI.
The most serious charge against Shemami, violating the emergency powers act, carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The most serious charge against Al-Awadi, acting as a foreign agent, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Scheer freed both men on $10,000 bonds following brief appearances Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit. He ordered them to surrender their passports and confined their travel to southeast Michigan.
Both men are U.S. citizens. Shemami is married, has nine children, has lived in the United States for about 40 years and is disabled, Mateo said.
Al-Awadi, who lives alone in an apartment and appeared frail and hard of hearing during Tuesday's court hearing, has been in the United States since 1974, court records said. He has seven children and lives on Social Security.
In 1996, he was paroled from the Michigan Department of Corrections after serving six years of a 5- to 15-year sentence for manslaughter in the stabbing of his son-in-law, Imad Muttar, in Dearborn.
The captured documents said Al-Awadi, code named Ghassan, met with Iraqi officials in 1997, offered to cooperate and said he had killed his son-in-law for belonging to the Al-Da'wa Party in the United States.
The documents said he provided information about a retired Iraqi physician who was planning to flee to the United States and his nephew, a major general in Iraq, who allegedly was put under surveillance as a result of Al-Awadi's information.
When the FBI interviewed him in 2006, he denied working as an Iraqi agent, court documents said, adding that he had gone overseas in 1997, 2001 and 2002 to visit family members.
H/T Debbie Schussel
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