MINNEAPOLIS -- Garad Jama doesn't want to talk about the lows he hit in the 10 months after his business was shuttered and he was accused of having ties to terrorists.
Instead, the 28-year-old Minneapolis man wants only to express his relief at the news that the Bush administration plans to erase his name from a U.N. sanctions list. That, and to thank those who believed in him.
"I'm very happy to get my name off the list," Jama, also known by the last name Nor, said in a phone interview Thursday. "I will look for my life again, and the American dream again."
U.S. officials in New York on Thursday identified Jama as one of six people and businesses the Bush administration planned to clear from the U.N. list. They include his business, Aaran Money Wire Service Inc. and Global Service International U.S.A., both based in Minneapolis.
Jama said he was always innocent of the allegations, and cooperated with authorities.
"I did what the government asked me, and right now, I feel very good," he said.
He says members of the area's Somali community never stopped supporting him, and won't be surprised if he's cleared.
"Everybody knows this is what will happen," Jama said.
Jama said the first four months after the raid were the hardest. He couldn't find work, and for a time had trouble providing for his family.
"I can't explain it to you right now. You can't feel it."
And in spite of the news, he said his future is uncertain. Even once his name is officially cleared, he's not sure he'll be able to reopen his money-transfer business. "I have no business right now, so I can't open it. I have no customers. So I have to think about it."
Federal agents raided Jama's money-transfer businesses in November, after it was added to a federal list of groups suspected of aiding Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. Jama's name still appeared Thursday in a list on the Department of Treasury's Web site under the heading "Specially Designated Global Terrorist Individuals."
Dulce Foster, one of Jama's attorneys, said she is still waiting for formal notice that his name will be removed from either list.
The business, used by Somali natives to wire money to their homeland, was among five in Minnesota whose assets were ordered frozen because of what President Bush called "solid and credible evidence" of their terrorist ties.
Jama is a naturalized U.S. citizen and was the only Minnesotan specifically named on the list. Before television cameras, agents for the U.S. Customs service carted boxes of materials from his business, operated as Amal Express, on Riverside Avenue near the University of Minnesota campus.
Jama was in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates at the time, but promptly flew home to meet with authorities.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.