Philadelphia Resident Charged with Immigration Fraud
PHILADELPHIA—An indictment was unsealed today charging Hayatullah Dawari, 62, of Philadelphia, PA, with immigration fraud. Dawari is an Afghanistan citizen with alleged ties to Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (“HIG”), 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. Dawari has permanent, legal residence in the United States. He was arrested this morning.
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, HIG.
If convicted the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000 fine, a $200 special assessment and three years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force that included U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Philadelphia Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams.