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Muslim leader pleads guilty to having false Social Security number • Tuesday March 4, 2003

AP, Mar. 3, 2003

PORTLAND, Ore. (March 3, 3:21 p.m. AST) – A Muslim religious leader pleaded guilty to having a false Social Security number on Monday after reaching an agreement with federal prosecutors.

Mohamed Abdirahman Kariye was arrested Sept. 8 by the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force while trying to board a plane bound from Portland to the United Arab Emirates. Kariye, 41, a leader at the Masjed As-Saber mosque, was charged with misuse of a Social Security number and possession of an illegally issued Social Security card.

Kariye had originally pleaded innocent.

Kariye’s defense team, led by New York attorney Stanley Cohen, accused the federal government of grandstanding on a minor charge that rarely gets public attention because Kariye is a prominent Muslim. His arrest shook the Muslim community in Portland.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 12.

Kariye faces a maximum of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine on each of the two counts. However, federal guidelines call for a considerably lighter sentence, from probation to six months.

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