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Attorney: Convicted former Islamic charity director back in Illinois after stranded in Mideast

An attorney for a former Islamic charity director from suburban Chicago says he is back in the United States after claiming he was stranded in the Middle East because he was on a federal no-fly list.

Attorney Thomas Anthony Durkin said Wednesday that Enaam Arnaout returned to the U.S. two weeks ago after he had initially received permission from a federal judge to travel to the Mideast to visit family.

Arnaout was released from a 10-year federal prison sentence in July 2010 and placed on supervised release. Arnaout pleaded guilty in 2003 to defrauding donors to his charity, Benevolence International foundation.

Arnaout is a Syrian-born U.S. citizen who lives in Bridgeview. Prosecutors accused him of having ties to Osama bin Laden, but Arnaout denies he raised money for terrorists.

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