Charity official’s arrest shocks Arab American, Muslim leaders

Members of Detroit’s large Arab-American and Muslim community held a suspected conspirator with Saddam Hussein in high regard, and are having a difficult time coming to terms with the recent allegations. Federal authorities are accusing 48-year old Muthanna Al-Hanooti of conspiring with Hussein, and has been arrested and charged with setting up a 2002 junket to Iraq for three US lawmakers, secretly financed by Saddam’s government. Al-Hanooti was a nonprofit and charity executive in Michigan, and is accused of setting up arrangements between three anti-war Democrats in 2002. Al-Hanooti pleaded not guilty on Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.