A prominent Islamic scholar who has battled accusations of extremist beliefs has been arrested along with his wife on federal charges that they married other people to get U.S. citizenship.
Ibrahim Abdelrahman Dremali and Safaa Rashad Eissa were arrested by immigration agents, Arlington police and the FBI on Oct. 6 on a warrant out of Des Moines , Iowa . They were released on their own recognizance after appearing before a federal judge in Fort Worth the same day.
They are scheduled to enter pleas Nov. 12 in Iowa on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, which can carry a five-year sentence, and procurement of citizenship or naturalization unlawfully, which can result in 10 to 25 years in prison.
Dremali, who earned degrees in geology and Islamic law in Cairo , immigrated to the U.S. in 1989 and has served as an imam, or Muslim spiritual leader, in south Florida, Iowa and Austin and worked at Islamic schools.
… Reached by phone this past week in Arlington, Dremali said he was too sick to talk. He was originally supposed to report to court Wednesday in Des Moines. His attorney, Alfredo Parrish, sought a delay because doctors treating Dremali, who has hepatitis C and is awaiting a liver transplant at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, said he cannot travel.
Parrish declined to talk about the marriage fraud allegations or accusations that his client is an extremist. “I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on what’s taken place in the past,” he said.
He also declined to elaborate on meetings he has had with federal prosecutors in Manhattan about Dremali and whether they result in additional charges.
Related:Islamic Center of Boca Ratón @ Investigative Project on Terrorism. Among other things:
The ICBR co-sponsored an October 2000 rally during which Hezbollah flags were present and participants chanted, “with jihad we’ll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand.” According to an Islam Online account, during the rally Dremali “urged the crowd not to be sad for those who were martyred and not to be afraid to die for what they believe in.”  Following this, the crowd joined in a mock funeral procession chanting, “Haya ‘ala al-jihad (live for the jihad).”