NBC News
updated 3/29/2005 6:52:28 PM ET 2005-03-29T23:52:28

A former public school official in Washington has been arrested, accused of being a follower of radical Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and charged with terrorism-related offenses.

Kifah Jayyousi was arrested Sunday in Detroit after arriving on an international flight, authorities said. He had left the United States in 2003 to live in Egypt, they said.

A federal complaint, unsealed Monday in Miami, charges Jayyousi with providing material support to terrorist groups and conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim or injure people or damage property in a foreign country.

The complaint says Jayyousi is a disciple of Abdel-Rahman who promoted Islamic holy war and raised money for “violent jihad” in Bosnia and Chechnya beginning in 1994. It says that he updated “the sheik with jihad news” from 1994 to 1995 while the blind Abdel-Rahman was imprisoned for attempting to blow up several landmarks in New York City. The calls were intercepted by wiretaps.

Abdel-Rahman was convicted in 1995 of plotting to blow up the World Trade Center among other sites and assassinate Egypt’s president, and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Lived in four U.S. cities
Jayyousi has lived in San Diego, Los Angeles, Detroit and Baltimore, according to authorities.

The complaint also alleges that Jayyousi and another man were “close associate[s]” of Adham Hassoun of Florida, who has been tied to alleged al-Qaida plotter Jose Padilla. Hassoun, who has been jailed in Florida since his arrest two years ago, was allegedly part of an international network of violent Islamic extremists who recruited terrorists, including Padilla, and financially supported radical Islamic movements through murder and kidnappings abroad, including in Bosnia, Chechnya and Somalia.

The complaint says Jayyousi sent at least two people overseas in support of violent jihad.

Jayyousi was the chief facilities officer for schools in Washington, D.C., from the late ’90s until at least 2001.

Earlier this year, a veteran civil rights lawyer was convicted of smuggling messages of violence from the jailed Abdel-Rahman to his terrorist disciples.

Lynne Stewart, 65, a firebrand, left-wing activist, has vowed to appeal her Feb. 10 conviction on counts of conspiracy, providing material support to terrorists, defrauding the government and making false statements.

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