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The “Kamal”Jockey/Terrorist Who Married a Stripper Trial Begins

Minnesota- According to prosecutors, Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi’s [pictured] 1984 marriage to an exotic dancer in Houston was nothing more than a business deal: He wanted a green card, and she needed money. So he paid her to be his wife and help him become a legal permanent resident.

But defense attorney Paul Engh said, in opening statements Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, that the Lebanese man had pure intentions and that his Muslim background dictated he had to commit to the woman he liked in order to continue a courtship with her. The payment was a sort of dowry, Engh said.

“He asked her to go to Lebanon … so that she might meet his family. … He did that because he wanted the marriage to work,” Engh told the jury.

The dispute goes to the heart of the case against Elzahabi, 44, who was arrested three years ago as part of a terrorism investigation, but is now on trial on three immigration charges that allege the man with admitted ties to Al-Qaida obtained his green card in 1986 through a fraudulent marriage.

According to an FBI affidavit, Elzahabi acknowledged over 17 days of interviews that he had attended a jihad training camp, fought as a sniper in Afghanistan, and had connections to high-ranking Al-Qaida members.

Assistant U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk said during his opening statement: “He needed a green card. She wanted money. And they struck a deal.”

After Elzahabi’s arrival on a student visa in May 1984, Folk said, he was introduced to Kathy Ann Glant, a waitress and exotic dancer, and promised to pay her $5,000 to marry him a few months later.

Folk said the couple never lived together and that, during interviews with the FBI in 2004, Elzahabi said the marriage was strictly business. “He couldn’t even remember her name,” Folk told the jury.

Prosecutors plan to have Glant, now remarried and known as Kathy Ann Buckheit, testify that she was using drugs at the time and that she married Elzahabi for money. The marriage ended in 1988, Folk said.

In two other counts to be tried later, Elzahabi is accused of lying to FBI agents about shipments of communications equipment to Pakistan.

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