NEW YORK – A second son of a former Iraqi diplomat was charged Friday with providing information to Iraqi agents about Iraqi dissidents living in the United States, prosecutors said.
Wisam Noman Al-Anbuge, 24, pleaded innocent in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. He appeared before Judge Michael Mukasey along with his brother, Raed Rokan Al-Anbuge, who was arrested earlier this year on the same charge.
Both men are sons of Rokan Al-Anbuge, Iraq's former liaison with United Nations weapons inspectors who has assumed a high-level diplomatic post with the new government in Iraq.
Lawyers for both men said the brothers deny the charges.
The indictment accuses Wisam Al-Anbuge of providing information in October and November 2001 to the Iraqi Intelligence Service (search) about two Iraqi dissidents living in the United States, then lying about it to the FBI.
Raed Al-Anbuge was accused of giving the foreign intelligence arm of the Iraqi government the location, employment and family status of Iraqi expatriates in the United States.
If convicted, the men could face 10 years in prison on the most serious charge.
Prosecutors say the Iraqi Intelligence Service has played a role in terrorist operations, including the attempted assassination of former President George Bush and attempted bombings during Operation Desert Storm. It also has located, intimidated and killed Iraqi defectors and dissidents living abroad, the government said.
Olivia Cassin, a lawyer for Wisam Al-Anbuge, said her client, a shoe salesman in Manhattan, has been in custody since March and wants to join a 20-year-old brother and 26-year-old sister who left the country several days ago to join their father in Iraq.
Thomas H. Nooter, a lawyer for Raed Al-Anbuge, said his client wants to stay in the United States and is "extremely confident about being exonerated when this comes to light."
He said both brothers "are baffled and angry." He said he had spoken to their father.
"He's angry. I don't think he knows what he can do or can't do. He would like to help," Nooter said.
The father left the United States on Aug. 1, 2000, and was detained by the Iraqi government for eight months in 2002, Nooter said. Nooter said the detention of the father shows that the family was not supporting the Iraqi government in the way prosecutors have alleged.
Nooter told Mukasey that he will submit written arguments to show that the brothers were protected by diplomatic immunity during the period when prosecutors allege they were conspiring to help Iraqi agents.