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Sunday, 18 April 2010

Russia: peace activist helping Chechen terrorists?

In this photo released by Attorney Tom Nelson shows Pirouz Sedaghaty, also known as Pete Seda. Seda, former director of a defunct Islamic charity, has decided to return to the United States to face federal tax charges accusing him of sending money to Muslim fighters in Chechnya, his attorney said Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Attorney Tom Nelson)
Federal prosecutors are continuing to gather evidence they believe suggests former Ashland peace activist Pete Seda was well aware he was helping fund Muslim terrorists in Russia when he allegedly helped launder donations to the rebels through his Ashland charity in 2000.
Court records filed this week detail how one of Seda's ex-wives was living at his Ashland residence with him while possibly helping translate pro-holy war messages for a Web site used by Chechen rebels fighting Russians in 2000.
Other records detail that photographs of captured and dead Russian soldiers fighting Chechen jihadists were discovered on Seda's computers at his Siskiyou Boulevard house that also served as the Oregon chapter office of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation.
Russian agents in 2008 were provided access to those computers as they looked into the activities of Seda and his foundation as part of their own anti-terrorism probes, according to a court ruling issued Tuesday.
"Those hard drives contained substantial evidence of interest to the Russian government in its on-going efforts to counter terrorism in the Caucasus," U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan wrote in a Tuesday ruling denying Seda's attorney's motion to suppress evidence in his case.

...In court papers filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Cardani sought a trial subpoena for Radmila Balobina, who was labeled in the filing as one of Seda's former wives who was last known to be living in an unknown location in Egypt.

Prosecutors believe that Balobina lived with Seda in Ashland in and around 2000 while she allegedly used an e-mail alias of "ptichka" to do translation work for a Web site identified as

Cardani's motion identified as a portal used by Chechen jihadists "to deliver pro-mujahideen messages to interested followers throughout the world."
Background here and here.
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