A federal judge ordered yesterday that the first person charged in connection with a sprawling investigation of Islamic charities in Northern Virginia be held without bail. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria said prosecutors had shown that Soliman S. Biheiri had done business with people designated as terrorists by the U.S. government, including a leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas. Prosecutors also presented evidence yesterday that Biheiri’s company had managed money for a nephew of Osama bin Laden’s who founded an Islamic youth group in Falls Church, calling Biheiri the younger bin Laden’s “personal banker.” Biheiri founded BMI Inc., an investment firm that adhered to Islamic principles, in New Jersey in 1986. Court documents filed by prosecutors allege that Islamic charities based in Northern Virginia and sponsored by the Saudi Arabian government invested nearly $4 million in BMI and that BMI may have passed the money to terrorist groups. Full Story
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