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Arabic newspaper publisher indicted over Iraq links

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Arabic newspaper publisher indicted over Iraq links

  • A dossier recovered in Iraq by U.S. soldiers allegedly shows Khaled Abdel-Latif Dumeisi was gathering information on Iraqi opposition figures in the United States.

July 18, 2003 — A grand jury indicted Khaled Abdel-Latif Dumeisi, publisher of Chicago-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Majhar, on four counts yesterday after being arrested July 9 for allegedly gathering information about Iraqi opposition figures as an agent of Saddam Hussein’s intelligence service.

Dumeisi is being held without bail at the Metropolitan correctional center while awaiting a preliminary hearing at the Northern District of Illinois district court, said Randy Sambourm, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Dumeisi was not charged with espionage because he did not spy on the United States or on U.S officials. Rather, he was charged for failing to register as an agent of a foreign government, as required by the Justice Department.

In April, U.S. troops found a dossier in a Baghdad safehouse linking Dumeisi to the Iraqi government.

According to the Associated Press, an FBI affidavit stated that Dumeisi told unnamed informants that he received training in Baghdad on how to gather information and was paid $2,000 or $3,000 to monitor Iraqi opposition activities.

Ray Hanania, an Arab columnist for Creators Syndicate, an independent news syndicate that collects columns and distributes them to larger newspapers, said he has reservations about Dumeisi’s arrest.

“If the charges are correct, he [Dumeisi] crossed the line,” he said.

But Hanania suggested the arrest may have been used to intimidate Arab Americans.

(United States v. Dumeisi; Media counsel: James Fennerty; Chicago, Ill.) LG


© 2003 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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