Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Potential Terrorists Caught Near State Capital

Two Islamic leaders and a father/son team was arrested by the FBI in Lodi, CA:

Federal agents searched the homes of two Islamic leaders in Lodi, California, and have made four arrests since Sunday, part of an ongoing terrorism investigation, according to the FBI and witnesses.

Two of those arrested are top Muslim leaders in Lodi, including one who publicly condemned the September 11, 2001, terror attacks and issued a declaration of peace with Christian and Jewish leaders in Lodi three years ago.

The other two were a father and son, identified as 47-year-old Umer Hayat and 22-year-old Hamid Hayat, who allegedly lied about the younger man's attendance at an al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan, according to an FBI affidavit unsealed Tuesday evening by a federal court in Sacramento.

Both Hayats are charged with "making false statements of material fact within the jurisdiction of the FBI," the affidavit says. Both are U.S. citizens; Hamid Hayat was born in California, it says.

The affidavit says the younger Hayat confessed to attending the camp, which he said was run by al Qaeda, in 2003-2004 while he was in Pakistan ostensibly to attend a madrassa, or school, his grandfather ran.

According to the affidavit, Hamid Hayat was on a U.S.-bound flight that authorities diverted because his name was on a "no-fly" list. In interviews afterward, Hayat initially denied attending the camp.


"Potential targets for attack would include hospitals and large food stores," the document says.


The two local Islamic leaders in Lodi -- Muhammed Adil Khan and Shabbir Ahmed -- were detained on immigration charges and will face an immigration hearing, FBI Special Agent John Cauthen said.

The Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the two were in custody on "administrative immigration violations for violating their religious worker visas" and there is not a set date for their hearing.

(Via Michelle Malkin)

Update: The above story does not explain how the two clerics are related to the Hayats. According to this local report they met with Umer Saturday but are not being charged with criminal activity. Rather murky. (Via My Pet Jawa who has much more.)

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