GOP dumps terrorist money

A Republican Party campaign committee that received $20,000 in 2003 from a man now accused of helping terrorists has donated the money to a foundation that comforts families of wounded soldiers.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm for Republican senators, renounced the contribution after news reports identified Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari as an NRSC “Inner Circle Member for Life.”

Federal prosecutors charged Alishtari two weeks ago in New York with terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and money laundering. Alishtari pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

“In light of the recent charges filed against a former donor, the National Republican Senatorial Committee will donate the sum total of the former donor’s contributions to a charitable organization,” NRSC spokeswoman Rebecca Fisher said.

The committee gave $20,000 last week to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families on the grounds of military and Veterans’ Administration hospitals.

Alishtari also donated more than $15,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm for Republican House members.

Jessica Boulanger, a spokeswoman for the NRCC, said the committee is awaiting the outcome of Alishtari’s case. If found guilty, she said, the money would be donated to charity.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press