90 Miles From Tyranny : FEDS CHARGE KENTUCKY ISLAMIC CENTER LEADER WITH HIRING A HITMAN

Monday, May 13, 2019

FEDS CHARGE KENTUCKY ISLAMIC CENTER LEADER WITH HIRING A HITMAN

  • Federal authorities arrested the imam of the Islamic Center of Lexington, along with two other men, and charged them with hiring a hitman to commit murder in retaliation for bad business deals. 
  • The three men allegedly met with a federal informant posing as a hitman who recorded several conversations with them in which they asked the informant to murder a man and then arranged to have the murder sanctioned by an Islamic cleric. 
  • The Islamic Center said its members were “shocked” by the case and emphasized that those who conspire to commit murder are condemned according to Islam. 
Federal authorities charged the Islamic Center of Lexington’s leader and two other men with hiring a hitman to murder people over sour business dealings.

Authorities filed affidavits on May 8 against Mahmoud Shalash, the imam of the Islamic Center of Lexington in Kentucky, and Abdul Hadi and John Sadiqullah, alleging the men hired a federal informant posing as a hitman to break the legs of one person and to kill another in retaliation for bad business deals.

Shalash, 70, and Sadiqullah, 31, faced a preliminary hearing on May 9, where U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew A. Stinnett ordered them detained until a Tuesday hearing.


Stinnett subsequently ordered Hadi, 34, detained until a later hearing.

Federal authorities claimed that Shalash knew that the man he hired to inflict bodily harm and death did not live in Kentucky, which qualified the case for federal jurisdiction since the “hitman” would have to travel across state lines, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Officer William J. Jackson, a member of a federal task force with the FBI, said Shalash first met with the informant on March 12 at a Days Motel, where Shalash asked the informant to track down a debtor who Shalash said owed him $80,000. Shalash initially said “no” when the informant asked if he wanted him to break the debtor’s legs, but later assented when the informant said he would do so if he had to in order to get the money.

“Do whatever you have to do to get my money back,” Shalash allegedly told the informant later according to LHL.

The informant said he met with both Sadiqullah and Shalash on April 30, this time to discuss another man, labeled in the affidavit as Victim 2, who Sadiqullah claimed had sold a taxi company to him but then stole the client list. The informant asked what Sadiqullah wanted done to the man.

“I want him dead,” Sadiqullah said, according to the informant’s testimony in....

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