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Charity Sues U.S. Over Fund Seizure

January 31, 2002

CHICAGO (AP) _ An Islamic charity sued the U.S. government Wednesday, saying it improperly seized the charity’s assets over allegations that the group funded terrorist activities.

Benevolence International Foundation of Palos Hills, Ill., strongly denies that it funds terrorism. It names as defendants Attorney General John Ashcroft, Treasury Department officials, the FBI director and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Federal agents raided the charity’s offices and those of another Islamic charity, the Global Relief Foundation of Bridgeview, on Dec. 14. The Treasury Department said the groups’ assets were frozen because they were suspected of funding terrorist activities.

Global Relief also denies the allegations, and it filed a lawsuit Monday.

Treasury Department spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos reissued the statement she made after Monday’s filing. ``We are confident that the government’s action will be judged appropriate in this case,″ she said.

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