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Georgia imam pleads guilty to providing material support to foreign terror group

[JURIST] Mohamed Shorbagi, the Palestinian imam of a mosque in Rome, Georgia, has pleaded guilty to a charge of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) [US State Dept. materials], according to a criminal information and plea agreement [PDF text; press release] unsealed Friday by the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia [official website]. Shorbagi faces a possible maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for November 3.

US District Judge Harold Murphy allowed the Department of Justice to keep the proceedings sealed due to the sensitive nature of Shorbagi's association with the local community. Shorbagi provided financial support to Hamas through the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) [archived website; official site closed by DOJ] after Hamas [JURIST news archive; BBC backgrounder] was designated as an FTO in 1997 until Dec. 4, 2001, when HLF's assets were frozen. AP has more.

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