WASHINGTON - US authorities are seeking to revoke the citizenship of an imam who they say tried to conceal past associations with radical Islamic groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Mohamed Sheikh Abdirahman Kariye, an imam in Oregon, raised money, recruited fighters and provided training for insurgent groups battling Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the US Department of Justice says in a complaint filed Monday in US District Court in Portland.

Kariye was one of more than a dozen people who filed a lawsuit challenging the no-fly list, winning last year a court order saying the government must provide information about why people are on the list. Government lawyers say Kariye for a time "dealt directly" with Osama bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam, the founders of Al-Qaeda, and he recruited sympathisers in the United States and Pakistan for an Al-Qaeda precursor known as Maktab Al-Khidamat. Kariye is also accused of being a founding officer of the now-defunct Global Relief Foundation, which authorities say provided assistance to terror groups including Al-Qaeda and promoted radical jihad.

Federal authorities say Kariye failed to reveal those details in his application for citizenship, which was granted in 1998.

Born in Somalia, Kariye came to the United States on a student visa in 1982, according to the complaint. Between 1985 and 1988, he travelled to Afghanistan, where he went to a jihadist training camp and fought with the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviets. He helped process foreign fighters arriving in Pakistan for travel to training camps, authorities say, working directly with bin Laden and Azzam. At some point, he was arrested for his involvement with the Mujahideen and spent four months in a Pakistani prison.