Federal investigators seize US mosques with alleged ties to Iranian government

Federal investigators moved to seize four mosques in the US and a skyscraper in Manhattan yesterday over their alleged financial aid to Iran.

Prosecutors in Manhattan filed a civil complaint in the federal court seeking the forfeiture of more than $500 million in assets of the Alavi Foundation, which describes itself as a charitable foundation, and a company, Assa.

Authorities maintain the mosques themselves are being accused of no wrongdoing, and in their seizure are simply being treated as property, not as threatening religious organizations. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York maintains that worshippers are not being targeted and are free to continue using the properties as usual.

The mosques are in New York City, Maryland, California and Texas.