PHILADELPHIA – A citizen of Afghanistan, residing as a legal permanent U.S. resident in Philadelphia, was charged Wednesday with immigration fraud. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and Philadelphia Police Department.
Hayatullah Dawari, 62, an Afghanistan citizen, has alleged ties to Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, an anti-western insurgent group active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its stated mission includes forcing the west out of Afghanistan, overthrowing the Afghan government and establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state. It has long-established ties with al-Qaida, and it has served as an associated force of al-Qaida in hostilities against the United States and its coalition partners.
In his November 2013 application for U.S. citizenship, Dawari responded “No” to question 8a, “Have you ever been a member of or associated with any organization, association, fund, foundation, party, club, society, or similar group in the United States or in any other place?” failing to disclose his membership in, and association with the group.
If convicted Dawari faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000, a $200 special assessment and three years of supervised release.