Muthanna Al-Hanooti, the founder and former head of the Michigan office of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), has been indicted on charges of working with former Iraqi intelligence officials to influence U.S. policy in return for the right to buy 2 million barrels of oil. According to a local media report:
Muthanna Al-Hanooti, 49, a former official of the Southfield-based Muslim charity Life for Relief and Development, was indicted on conspiracy and other charges in March. He is accused of working with Iraqi intelligence officials to get the U.S. to lift economic sanctions and organizing a trip to Iraq by former U.S. Rep. David Bonior and other congressmen that was secretly funded by the Iraqi Intelligence Service. He is from Dearborn Heights. In return for his services, Al-Hanooti allegedly received a potentially lucrative contract to buy 2 million barrels of Iraqi oil. Al-Hanooti plans to vigorously fight the charges, said his Detroit lawyer, James C. Thomas.
Muthanna Al-Hanooti is a Palestinian Sunni Muslim born in 1959 who arrived in the US almost twenty-seven years ago. Media reports indicate that he has been part of LIFE since the early days of the organization in 1994. In December 1999, Arab-American media reported that Mr. Al-Hanooti was leaving LIFE to join the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, and state records show that he founded the CAIR Michigan chapter in May 2000. The registered address for CAIR Michigan was the same as the headquarters for LIFE and local media reported at the time that Mr. Al-Hanooti became the director of CAIR’s new Michigan office. It appears that not long after founding CAIR Michigan, Mr. Al-Hanooti returned to his duties at LIFE.