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Is This U.N.-Affiliated Group with Ties to Obama Issuing Fake Travel Documents?

On an official U.N. website, IIMSAM lists as its address a suite on the 23rd floor of offices at 211 East 43rd Street in midtown Manhattan,  but the offices there have been ripped out; nothing remains but raw building space.

(Credit: IIMSAM web site)

It's called the Intergovernmental Institution for the Use of Micro-Algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition.

Barack Obama with Mama Sara Obama (Credit: IIMSAM web site)

According to a Fox News exclusive report, the IIMSAM "counts Kenyan relatives of Barack Obama among its good-will ambassadors."

And its web site claims ties to the United Nations.

But Fox reports the IIMSAM "is supplying its officials and advisers with travel documents designed to look much like U.N.-affiliated diplomatic passports."

In other words, fake IDs.

Here's more from the report:

The brick-red IIMSAM travel documents are a different color than U.N. diplomatic passports, which come in a brighter red (for senior officials) and light blue (for lesser functionaries), and are prominently labeled with the full name of IIMSAM, the organization’s logo, and the words DIPLOMATIC LAISSEZ PASSER. U.N. passports bear the name of the United Nations in English and French, and the words LAISSEZ PASSER only.

Legitimate Laissez-Passer document (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The U.N.'s official laissez-passer document (i.e., LP) requests that nations grant privileges and immunities to their holders on official business. Fox News said it examined photocopies of IIMSAM documents with titles such as “special adviser” and “special envoy” and good-will ambassador issued to natives of Iran, Jordan, India, Hong Kong, and others.

As to the status of Obama's Kenyan relatives, it reports:

Whether President Obama’s Kenyan relatives are aware of their current status with IIMSAM is another intriguing question. On its web site, IIMSAM prominently lists President Obama’s grandmother, Sara Obama, and his uncle, Said, as goodwill ambassadors for the program in East and Central Africa, and says they will play a “pivotal role” in an IIMSAM feeding program “to alleviate severe malnutrition and hunger.”

The Obama photographs, and similar claims about the relatives, had appeared on IIMSAM”s website for years, but  disappeared for a time after Fox News noted on their existence in January 2011, and reported that “the White House is not familiar with this organization,” nor with the photographs of the President. Questioned again about the website this week, the White House said it was unaware of it.

According to an email examined by Fox News, Said Obama and his mother apparently resigned their goodwill ambassador status with IIMSAM in mid-2012, citing  dissatisfaction with “the ongoing negativity of the organization.” Among other things, the email charged that IIMSAM’s Kenyan staff had not been paid in a year and were themselves malnourished.

Emails sent last week by Fox News to Said Obama to confirm the resignation had not been answered before this story was published.

Fox News has seen no evidence that either Said Obama or the President’s grandmother were issued with IIMSAM laissez passers.

More from Fox News:

The misleading travel documents are the latest manifestation of the strange existence of IIMSAM, which claims its main purpose is to make spirulina, a type of algae, "a key-driver to eradicate malnutrition, achieve food security and bridge the health divide with a special priority for the developing world and the least developed countries."IIMSAM has reinforced its claim of U.N. affiliate status with a voluminous but erratic flow of press releases since 2006, urging support for its work; extolling the health and nutritional advantages of spirulina platensis, a common algae that is used as a dietary supplement and fish food; issuing elaborate statements on various U.N. issues; and announcing partnerships and projects involving various organizations, corporations, international institutions and individuals -- including the Kenyan branch of the Obama family.

On an official U.N. website, IIMSAM lists as its address a suite on the 23rd floor of offices at 211 East 43rd Street in midtown Manhattan,  but the offices there have been ripped out; nothing remains but raw building space. Secretary General  Maradona is now said by dissident former IIMSAM members to be spending most of his time in Dubai.

U.N. spokesman Eduardo Del Buey confirmed the IIMSAM’s "continuing ECOSOC observer status at ECOSOC, originally based on a resolution dating back to 2003," according to Fox News, adding that the U.N. isn't responsible for the continuing accuracy of a group's voluntary commitments.

Read the rest of the exclusive report from Fox News.

Here's IIMSAM goodwill ambassadors Maria Cedrell and Sheikh Tariq Al Abdullah announcing the start of GREENLIFE project in Amman, Jordan and Fallujah, Iraq:

(H/T: Fox News)

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