A convicted felon who admitted to using money from a Palos Hills nonprofit to fund Islamic soldiers said he believes he is stuck in Egypt because of the no-fly list.
Enaam Arnaout, 50, said he cannot fly back to the U.S. after visiting family overseas, Sun-Times Media reports. In 2003, the Bridgeview man and former director of the Benevolence International Foundation pleaded guilty sending money to Islamic fighters that was intended for widows and children.
A U.S. District judge had granted permission for Arnaout to visit family Saudi Arabia and Jordan for 41 days before returning the U.S, according to the report. Court records state he was denied access into Jordan and was told by a probation officer he could meet family in Egypt instead.
The Syrian native pleaded guilty to using charity money to pay for uniforms and equipment and the government dropped charges that he helped a terrorist group, the Chicago Tribune reports.
In September 2011, Patch detailed the stories of several men from the Southland, including Arnaout, who were subject to investigations in the wake of 9/11. Authorities used a photo of him and Osama bin Laden taken in 1988 as part of the evidence against him.
Prosecutors said the funds went to Muslim rebels in Chechnya and Bosnia fighting Russian and Serbian army troops. Arnaout was sentenced to 11 years in prison but was put on supervised release last year.