Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Olajuwon's Mosque Reportedly Donated to Terror Groups

"WASHINGTON - A mosque established and funded by basketball star Hakeem Olajuwon gave more than $80,000 to charities the government later determined to be fronts for the terror groups al-Qaida and Hamas, according to financial records obtained by The Associated Press.

Olajuwon told the AP he had not known of any links to terrorism when the donations were made, prior to the government's crackdown on the groups, and would not have given the money if he had known.

'There is no way you can go back in time,' Olajuwon said in a telephone interview from Jordan, where he is studying Arabic. 'After the fact, now they have the list of organizations that are banned by the government.'

A Treasury Department spokeswoman, Molly Millerwise, declined to discuss Olajuwon's contributions but said, 'In many cases donors are being unwittingly misled by the charities.'

Federal law enforcement officials said they were not investigating Olajuwon, a 7-foot center born in Nigeria who played 17 seasons for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association before retiring in 2002."

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