This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/672
Two arrested Muslims met with FBI and State Attorney at community meeting
June 9, 2005
MIM: There goes the neighborhood :William Mayer, editor of Pipeline News, took these pictures in Lodi and is preparing a firsthand report of how a sleepy farmed town in California morphed from Lodi into Lodistan. "We don't want the new slogan to be, 'Come to Lodi, taste our wines and meet our terrorists,' " said Lodi Mayor John Beckman." A relative of one of the detainees, Usama Ismail, said
"It's been a really nice neighborhood, even after Sept. 11," Ismail said. "Now they're going to be saying, 'Terrorists are in Lodi.' "http://www.freep.com/news/nw/terror10e_20050610.htm
MIM: The Farooqui Islamic Center in Lodi's website laments that non Muslims don't understand them because they haven't gotten a chance "to learn about Islam directly from us". Their center aims to "serve this cause with full potential and confidence and security". Lucky that more arrests of Muslims have taken place in Lodi of mosque members believed to connected to Al Qaeda before non Muslims were given a lesson in Islam "directly" from them.
"....Muslims are living as strangers in United States today and one of the important reasons is that we have stopped to present our ideologies and beliefs in front of non-Muslims therefore they do not get a chance to know about our religion directly from us. Whatever they hear about us from wrong sources, their attitudes support those. Farooqia Islamic Center wishes to serve this cause with full potential and with confidence and sincerity..." http://www.farooqia.net/aboutus.htm
MIM: The folly of law enforcement dhimmitude to the Muslim community is once again evident in the situation where two men who are accused of having connections to an Al Qaeda terrorist cell were present at a "community meeting" which included the U.S. Attorney and an FBI agent.
The Council on American Islamic Relations orchestrates these meetings under the guise of community relations. The catch is that the community relations CAIR envisions is that of Muslims being able to beat the rap when they get busted for terrorism by showing that they had been rubbing elbows with law enforcement officials only months befor
It must be akward, to say the least that State Attorney Slotter is reading an indictment of Lodi terror suspects to the press when he had joined in a community gathering with the suspects only a few months before . Even harder to explain is how the US officials end up arresting Muslims, to whom they would be giving deferential assurances that terrorism was the last thing it that had crossed their minds to associate them with. One would also have to think twice about exposing their agency's appalling lack of judgement by having to explain their decision to arrest two of the participants in a meeting in which they had participated.
A CAIR spokesman voiced his groups dismay that the fraternising with the enemy ' entrapment' scenario CAIR, orchestrated had not worked as well as they had anticipated for the Muslims in Lodi.
"...Basim Elkarra, executive director for the group that set up the meeting, said Khan and Ahmed "had a relationship with the FBI, they had spoken to the FBI and cooperated. For all of a sudden this to happen, people are really disappointed."
"...Federal officials at the news conference confirmed that men associated with two Muslim groups in Lodi -- Muhammad Adil Khan and Shabbir Ahmed -- were being detained on alleged immigration violations.,.
"...Khan and Ahmed were both present at a community meeting in October with Scott, the U.S. attorney, and Slotter, the FBI agent, a Muslim activist said Wednesday.
The meeting was set up by the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and dealt with the FBI's pre-election plan to heighten security in the area as well as other issues, including racial profiling in the Islamic community.
MIM: It is also reassuring to know that the police department has provided two Pakistani police officers as diplomats to the local community. It would stand to reason that they would be aquainted with the activity in the area mosques, which begs the question as to how an Imam and his son and a local ice cream man, managed to hide the true nature of their trips to Pakistan. Even more troubling, is that a mosque like Al Farouqi, which was known to be the US equivalent of an anti American mosque in Pakistan, was allowed to pursue their radical Islamist agenda.
"...Both Bobby (Amin) and Nick are always available to go to incidents in the Pakistani community," Adams said.
Rafiq, along with the department's computer technician Officer Bobby Amin, are Lodi's two Pakistani police officers. For Rafiq, the job has added importance because of his role as a diplomat to the Pakistani community in Lodi..."
"One of the things that I notice is that right away the Pakistani population feels a rapport with me," Rafiq said (see article below).
Sacramento -- Federal authorities said Wednesday that the arrests of a Lodi man suspected of involvement in terrorist training and his father were a prelude to "further developments" in the case, but they added they had found no evidence the men planned to carry out terrorist attacks.
The two men -- Hamid Hayat, 22, and his father, Umer Hayat, 47 -- were arrested Sunday on charges of lying to the FBI less than a week after the younger Hayat was detained aboard a San Francisco-bound plane from the Far East when authorities discovered he was on a "no-fly" list of suspected Islamic extremists.
"We fully anticipate there will be further developments in the hours and days ahead," McGregor Scott, U.S. attorney for the eastern district of California, said at a news conference here.
Although the initial investigation appeared to be focusing on the Hayats and their immediate circle in Lodi, a source told The Chronicle that federal agents also were questioning people living in the Bay Area who have associated with the two suspects.
Federal officials at the news conference confirmed that men associated with two Muslim groups in Lodi -- Muhammad Adil Khan and Shabbir Ahmed -- were being detained on alleged immigration violations. They did not say whether there was any connection between the two men and the Hayats.
Late Wednesday, federal authorities detained another person, Mohammad Hassan Adil, 19, of Lodi, on alleged immigration violations, FBI spokesman John Cauthen said. Adil is Khan's son.
According to a seven-page FBI affidavit, Hamid Hayat, after failing a lie- detector test, admitted that he had spent six months in an al Qaeda-run camp in Pakistan where he trained to "kill Americans," using photos of high-ranking U.S. officials, including President Bush, as target practice.
The affidavit says Hayat, a U.S. citizen, told interrogators that he wanted to carry out his attacks in the United States.
Scott, however, stressed Wednesday that federal officials had not uncovered evidence of a specific plot or targets.
"They were not caught in the process of planning any attack on the United States," Scott said of the Hayats. "We did not find these guys in the middle of a plot or executing an attack."
The FBI affidavit released to reporters Wednesday, signed by Agent Pedro Tenoch Aguilar, deleted a number of details that the agency had included in a version released Tuesday. For example, the first affidavit included the sentence, "Potential targets for attack would include hospitals and large food stores," which was removed from Wednesday's version.
An FBI statement released Wednesday said the agency "has no information about specific threats to hospitals or food stores."
Also deleted from the second affidavit was a paragraph saying that Hamid Hayat had seen "hundreds of attendees from various parts of the world" at the Pakistani camp.
The first affidavit said the camp was run by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, identified as a friend of Umer Hayat's father-in-law. The reference is believed to be to Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, a well-known training-camp leader in Pakistan. In the updated affidavit, his name was removed.
Cauthen said the information had been deleted as part of a normal review to ensure the government was presenting the "most accurate" evidence possible.
According to the FBI affidavit, Umer Hayat said his son became interested in attending a terrorist training camp as a teenager after being influenced by a classmate in Pakistan and an uncle who had fought with the mujahedeen in Afghanistan.
Hamid Hayat left Pakistan on May 27, the affidavit says. Federal agents found his name on a no-fly list after his plane left South Korea two days later, and they had the flight diverted to Japan, where he was questioned and let go.
On June 3, Hamid Hayat was interviewed by the FBI in the United States and denied attending terrorist training, saying "he would never be involved with anything related to terrorism," the affidavit said.
But a day later, the affidavit added, after two hours of questioning and failing the lie detector test, Hamid Hayat "admitted that he had, in fact, attended a jihadist training camp in Pakistan" for about six months.
His father, after initially denying his son's involvement in the camp, said after viewing a videotape of his son's alleged confession that he knew his son had attended the camp and that he had given him an allowance of $100 a month, the affidavit said.
FBI Special Agent Keith Slotter said Hamid Hayat had been under investigation "for an extended period of time" but would not be more specific.
The Hayats were being held in Sacramento County Jail and declined to be interviewed by The Chronicle.
Lawyers for the father and son pointed out that the charges did not involve allegations that they engaged in terrorist activity, only that they made false statements to a federal agent -- in their initial denials.
Wazhma Mojaddidi, a lawyer for Hamid Hayat, said the suggestion that he was engaged in terrorism is a "false statement."
Neither Mojaddidi nor Johnny Griffin III, a lawyer for Umer Hayat, would comment on the affidavit's assertions that their clients had ties to a terrorist training camp.
In Lodi, neighbors of the Hayats were stunned to learn of the allegations. Along Acacia Street, a street of small, weathered homes with wood or stucco siding, everyone knew Umer Hayat as the friendly driver of a tan ice cream van.
Karina Murill, 21, said her 3-year-old daughter and other kids in the area all referred to Umer as "el barbon," which means "the bearded man" in Spanish. Murill rents a home owned by Umer Hayat and said Hayat learned some Spanish so he could speak with customers in the mixed neighborhood of Pakistanis, Latinos and Caucasians.
"I have nothing bad to say about them; they were so nice," she said.
A relative of the Hayats said the father and son had simply told federal agents what they wanted to hear after two days of interrogation.
"It's a bunch of B.S., that is what it is, it's all lies," said Usama Ismail, 19, who is Hamid Hayat's cousin.
Hamid Hayat had spent much of his youth in Pakistan studying the Quran and never graduated from high school, Ismail said. Hayat had just returned after spending two years in Pakistan, where he was married last fall, and had started work Monday picking cherries for a Lodi company, he said. Hayat's wife is still in Pakistan.
"There are no terrorist training camps in Pakistan, and even if there was, Hamid would not go to anything like that," Ismail said. "The only thing the FBI has, after two days of investigation, is statements. But they told them what they wanted to hear."
The connection, if any, between the Hayats and the three men detained on immigration charges was unclear.
Members of the Lodi Muslim Mosque, a few blocks from the Hayats' home, said father and son worshiped there. Khan, one of the men detained on immigration charges, has been described as a onetime imam at the mosque, but in recent months there apparently was a falling-out.
Joe Rishwain Jr., a lawyer for the Lodi Muslim Mosque, said Khan came to the United States three years ago and arranged with mosque trustees to create a school. The mosque came up with $200,000 for land and other start-up costs, he said, but the deal ran into complications.
Rishwain said Khan put the land in the name of a group called the Farooqia Islamic Center. He said the group was "named for a group in Pakistan that is anti-America."
The Lodi mosque sued the Farooqia group in March, he said, seeking its cash back or title to the property.
Rishwain said Hamid Hayat had ties to the Farooqia organization. "I understand the son was over at the center -- he's been in and out of there," he said.
Gary Nelson, civil attorney for Khan and others named in the civil suit, said, "My clients who are involved in Farooqia are anything but anti-American. They are all business people from Lodi, basically upstanding people, American citizens, family people."
He said his clients had never heard of the Hayats.
Khan is being held by federal authorities in the Santa Clara County Jail, while Ahmed, an administrator of the Farooqia Islamic Center and imam at the Lodi Muslim Mosque, was being held at an unknown facility in Sacramento, according to their immigration lawyer, Saad Ahmad. It was unclear where Khan's son was being held.
The lawyer predicted they would be cleared of all immigration violations.
"Let me say for sure: They are not terrorists. They are not involved in terrorism," Ahmad said.
Ahmad had met with Khan in jail Wednesday and said, "He's doing well. He's very eager to show that he is completely innocent."
Khan and Ahmed were both present at a community meeting in October with Scott, the U.S. attorney, and Slotter, the FBI agent, a Muslim activist said Wednesday.
The meeting was set up by the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and dealt with the FBI's pre-election plan to heighten security in the area as well as other issues, including racial profiling in the Islamic community.
Basim Elkarra, executive director for the group that set up the meeting, said Khan and Ahmed "had a relationship with the FBI, they had spoken to the FBI and cooperated. For all of a sudden this to happen, people are really disappointed."
Hamid Hayat was arrested in Lodi, where he had just taken a job picking cherries after spending two years in Pakistan. According to an FBI affidavit, he admitted that he had received terrorist training at an al Qaeda camp in Pakistan, using the images of high-ranking U.S. officials, including President Bush, as target practice..
The investigation: key figures
Hamid Hayat, 22, admitted to the FBI that he had spent six months in a Pakistani camp where he trained to "kill Americans," according to an FBI affidavit.
Shabbir Ahmed and Muhammad Adil Khan, who have ties to Muslim groups in Lodi, are accused of immigration violations. So is Khan's son, Mohammad Hassan Adil.
Here is a list of the people arrested in the United States on terror- related charges and the status of their cases after Sept. 11, 2001:
Zacarias Moussaoui: Indicted December 2001 by a federal grand jury on six conspiracy counts, including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, destroy aircraft and murder U.S. employees. He is the only person who has been charged in an American courtroom for direct involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks. He was arrested after taking flight lessons that were deemed suspicious. Lawyers for Moussaoui petitioned the Supreme Court in January for permission to interview detained al Qaeda captives they believe can help his case.
Suspected Detroit sleeper cell: Karim Koubriti, 26, and Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi, 38, were arrested in September 2001 and charged with ID fraud and providing material support to terrorists. The two accused men were found guilty in 2003, but the judge dismissed the convictions after discovering that prosecutors had kept some evidence from the defense.
Ali S.K. al-Marri: The Qatari student was arrested at his home in Peoria, Ill., in December 2001 on suspicion of being a sleeper agent. He was declared an enemy combatant in 2003, and is being held without charge in a naval brig.
Richard Reid: British citizen arrested for attempting to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami on Dec. 22, 2001, with explosives hidden in his shoe. Reid pleaded guilty to eight charges on Oct. 4, 2002, including: attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction; attempted homicide; placing an explosive device on an aircraft; attempted murder; two counts of interference with flight crew and attendants; attempted destruction of an aircraft; and using a destructive device during a crime of violence. He was sentenced to life in prison on Jan. 30, 2003.
Jose Padilla: Arrested on May 8, 2002, he is accused of training with al Qaeda and plotting to detonate a "dirty" bomb. He is being held as an enemy combatant, but he continues to challenge his status.
James Ujaama: Born James Earnest Thompson in Seattle, he was indicted on Aug. 29, 2002, by a federal grand jury in Seattle on one charge of conspiracy to provide material support and resources for al Qaeda by plotting to establish a jihadi training camp in Bly, Ore., and another charge of using, carrying, possessing and discharging firearms during a crime. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, and has since been released from prison on probation with time served.
Lackawanna Six: Six U.S. citizens of Yemeni descent, Shafal Mosed, 25; Mukhtar al-Bakri, 23; Faysal Galab, 27; Sahim Alwan, 30; Yahya Goba, 26; and Yasein Taher, 25, were arrested in September 2002 after a series of raids in Lackawanna, N.Y. They were accused of traveling to Afghanistan in May 2001 to train with al Qaeda. In plea bargain deals, they admitted receiving weapons training at an Afghanistan camp. All six pleaded guilty and were given prison sentences ranging from seven to 10 years.
Portland Seven: In October 2002, seven Muslims from Portland, Ore., were indicted on charges of conspiring to wage war against the United States by trying to join the Taliban shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. Patrice Ford, 32, and Jeffrey Leon Battle, 33, were each sentenced to 18 years in prison. Maher Hawash, 39, received seven years, while brothers Ahmed Bilal, 25, and Muhammad Bilal, 23, received 10 and eight years respectively. Martinique Lewis was sentenced to three years in prison after she pleaded guilty to providing money to help the group.
Lyman Faris: In May 2003, Faris, an Ohio truck driver, pleaded guilty to training with Osama bin Laden and plotting to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge. He had been arrested after being named by captured al Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and was sentenced to 20 years in jail.
The paintball jihad: In June 2003, 11 men were indicted for training -- sometimes with paintball sessions in Virginia -- to fight with Islamists in Kashmir. Six of the men pleaded guilty; three were convicted; two were acquitted on all charges. The guilty received sentences ranging from four years to life in prison.
Nuradin Abdi: A Somali native charged in November 2003 with conspiring to strike an unnamed Columbus, Ohio-area mall. According to the FBI, the plot was devised shortly after Abdi returned to the United States after attending an al Qaeda training camp in 1999. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial in an Ohio jail.
Mohammad Hossain, Yassin Aref: After a yearlong FBI sting operation, the two men were arrested in August 2004 in Albany, N.Y., on charges of money laundering and attempting to conceal material support for a terrorist organization. A federal magistrate set bail for the two mosque leaders, saying the case against the men is not as strong as it once looked.
Hamid Hayat, Umer Hayat: The father and son were arrested by FBI agents in Lodi this week after the son allegedly admitted attending al Qaeda training camps in Pakistan that taught participants "how to kill Americans."
Source: Chronicle research
Chronicle staff writers Demian Bulwa, Alan Gathright, Suzanne Herel and Michael Taylor contributed to this report.E-mail the writers at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
MIM: In 'Lodistan' the foxes guarding the henhouse also carry guns .
This 2004 article quotes the Lodi chief of police proudly stating that he has two Pakistani Muslim agents ready to go to events in the Pakastani community. And that the community of which as many as 40% speak no english, feel much more comfortable talking to fellow Muslims who speak their Pashtun dialect. Which begs the question of why the Muslim agents seemed unaware that the son of the local Imam was spending his summer vacation training with Al Qaeda .
Pakistani police officers in Lodi bridge cultural gaps
By Nicholas Grudin
News-Sentinel staff writer
The Lodi Police Department is one of the few police departments statewide that provide officers fluent in Punjabi —a Pakistani language — bonus bilingual pay.
Many departments consider Spanish a language worthy of the perk, but the Lodi force knows that its Pakistani population needs the same type of attention, said Nick Rafiq, a Pakistani traffic officer.
"You want the police department to be as reflective of the community that it serves as possible," Police Chief Jerry Adams said. "We have a Pakistani community in Lodi and, therefore, we feel that it's important to have Pakistani officers, and we offer language incentives."
Rafiq gets 5 percent tacked on to his gross income, he said.
"Both Bobby (Amin) and Nick are always available to go to incidents in the Pakistani community," Adams said.
Rafiq, along with the department's computer technician Officer Bobby Amin, are Lodi's two Pakistani police officers. For Rafiq, the job has added importance because of his role as a diplomat to the Pakistani community in Lodi.
"One of the things that I notice is that right away the Pakistani population feels a rapport with me," Rafiq said.
Rafiq, who was born and raised in Pakistan, came to Lodi when he was 12 without knowing any English. He attended Lodi Middle School, Tokay High and then earned an associate's degree at San Joaquin Delta College.
Rafiq understands that good communication between police and Pakistani Americans is difficult for many reasons, and he has made it his job to change that.
"In Pakistan, people don't trust the authorities," Rafiq said. "There is a lot of corruption. Many Pakistanis here believe that it will be the same way, and therefore don't trust police.
"The culture and language differences make it even more difficult."
But with his ability to relate to the Muslim culture and speak the language, Rafiq is especially helpful in breaking down walls between police and Pakistanis.
Especially in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, having Muslim officers around was irreplaceable for the Lodi community, Adams said.
"It was very reassuring to the Pakistani people here."
Although the crime rate in the Pakistani community is lower than the general populace, there are still many issues to attend to, Rafiq said.
"We tend work out our problems privately," he said.
But sometimes the cultural differences between what is OK and not OK in America can cause problems, he said.
"A man can hit his wife in Pakistan, but that is not OK here. We have to educate them of that."
But before such education is possible, Rafiq knows that he has to build the trust of the Pakistani community.
"When word gets out here that the police are fair and not brutal, they start to trust us."
It would be far more difficult for that trust to be built with officers who are ignorant to the culture and language, Rafiq said.
He recently traveled to San Diego in order to help deal with that very issue. The officer was one of a panel of Muslims to help with a training video designed for police departments in California on how to prepare officers to interact with the Muslim culture.
Consternation over alleged Lodi terror connection
Associated Press A man shields his face as he leaves the house of Hamid Hayat and his father, Umer Hayat, in Lodi on Wednesday. Federal authorities arrested the father and son after the younger man allegedly acknowledged that he attended an al-Qaida camp in Pakistan to learn "how to kill Americans."
Umer Hayat cheerfully sold treats to children from his battered ice cream van and his son, Hamid, packed cherries grown in the surrounding orchards. And it's here that authorities say 22-year-old Hamid Hayat returned last year after training in an al-Qaeda terrorist camp, with plans to attack hospitals and supermarkets in the United States.
His father is alleged to have paid for his son's training at the clandestine Pakistani camp. Both are charged with lying to investigators, while two leaders of Lodi's Islamic community are being held on immigration complaints.
The son of one of the imams, 19-year-old Mohammad Hassan Adil, was also detained Wednesday on immigration violations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice said. His father, Mohammed Adil Khan, and Shabbir Ahmed had already been detained.
Keith Slotter, who heads the FBI's central California office, alleged a number of people committed to al-Qaeda have been operating in and around Lodi, about 30 miles south of Sacramento.
Perhaps 90 percent of Lodi's Muslims hail from Pakistan, drawn to a region where they could continue using their traditional agricultural skills, said Mumtaz Qasmi, imam of the Sacramento Mosque, the oldest mosque on the West Coast. Once established, they invited friends and relatives as well.
Lodi celebrates Pakistani Independence Day as well as "diversity day," where religious leaders of all faiths signed a "declaration of peace" in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks.
Pakistanis "have been a very vibrant, healthy part of the community," said Mayor John Beckman, accounting for about 2,500 of the more than 62,000 residents in a city that in recent years has been gentrifying thanks to a burgeoning wine industry.
"We don't want the new slogan to be, 'Come to Lodi and taste our wines and meet our terrorists,'" Beckman said. Still, the idea of a terrorist cell in his midst didn't surprise him: "We're not on anybody's radar screen. This would be an ideal place for them to hide."
Neighbors said the elder Hayat, 47, known as "the bearded man" to the Hispanic family who rents an apartment in his home, was always friendly, laughing and talking with the children who bought his treats. He and his son are both U.S. citizens.
Les Kolb, 67, who lives across the street in the working class neighborhood of single-story homes, said he talked with Hayat a few days ago about the violence in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"Your people over there are killing each other off," Kolb recalled saying. "He said, 'I know, it's crazy.'"
The allegations have triggered distrust in both the Islamic and larger Lodi community.
Karina Murillo, 21, who lives in Hayat's apartment, worries her cheerful landlord could have poisoned the ice cream he sold to her 3-year-old daughter. Kolb blamed Pakistani service station owners for driving up local gasoline prices. Beckman said he saw four white men harassing a Pakistani boy the day the federal investigation was announced; he's meeting with religious leaders to try to discourage any hate crimes.
Pamela Parvez, a spokeswoman for the Farooquia Islamic Center and Muhammed Adil Khan, one of the two imams detained on immigration charges, worries about the effect on her communities. But she also blames members of the Lodi Muslim Mosque for triggering the federal investigation because of opposition to the Islamic center, a dispute that in March brought a civil lawsuit from the mosque.
Umer Hayat's nephew, 19-year-old Usama Ismail, blames feuds brought over from Pakistani villages for stirring investigators' interest, but denies his cousin was involved in any terror training.
"It's been a really nice neighborhood, even after Sept. 11," said Ismail. "Now they're going to be saying, 'Terrorists are in Lodi.'"
The family's neighbor, Kolb, said he's disturbed by the allegations.
"But it does tell you, if it can happen here, it could happen anyplace."
Father, son charged with lying about son's training with al-Qaeda
By Don Thompson ASSOCIATED PRESS 7:35 p.m. June 8, 2005
His portrayal in a federal affidavit is much different: a U.S. citizen drawn as a teenager to jihadist ideology who trained in an al-Qaeda camp to attack hospitals and supermarkets in the U.S.
"That's all untrue," said his cousin, 19-year-old Usama Ismail, who lives down the street in a working-class section of this San Joaquin County farming town.
He said Hayat, 22, was married a year ago, but his wife remains in Pakistan. The cousins were inseparable while they were in Pakistan, he said.
"We were always together," Ismail said. "He never went anywhere. He was always in the village."
An affidavit filed by federal authorities, however, said Hayat attended terrorist training in 2003 and 2004. Hayat and his father were arrested this week and charged with lying to federal agents about the son's training at an al-Qaeda camp.
Federal investigators on Wednesday said they believe a number of people committed to al-Qaeda has been operating in and around Lodi, nestled in a quiet, wine-growing region about 30 miles south of Sacramento. FBI Agent Keith Slotter would not elaborate other than to say some had received terrorism training abroad.
Slotter added that investigators did not have information about any specific plans for an attack. Three other people have been detained on immigration violations, including 19-year-old Mohammad Hassan Adil, who was taken into custody Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice said.
"We did not find these guys in the middle of executing a plan. That did not happen," said McGregor Scott, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California.
Scott declined to answer questions about whether the Lodi men were part of an active terrorist cell or the extent of any al Qaeda activity in the region.
Hamid Hayat was interviewed by the FBI last Friday and at first denied any link to terror camps. But the next day he was given a polygraph test and admitted he attended the camp in 2003 and 2004, according to an affidavit by FBI Agent Pedro Aguilar.
Hayat said photographs of President Bush and other American political figures were pasted onto targets used for weapons training, the affidavit said. At the end of training, participants were given the opportunity to choose the nation in which their attacks would be carried out.
"Hamid advised that he specifically requested to come to the United States to carry out his jihadi mission," according to the affidavit released through the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. "Potential targets for attack included hospitals and large food stores."
An affidavit by Aguilar released in Sacramento did not include the reference to hospitals and grocery stores.
In the affidavits, Hayat described the camp as providing paramilitary training and classroom instruction that "included ideological rhetoric detailing opposition towards the United States and other non-Muslim countries."
But Ismail, the cousin, said he was in Pakistan with him and that the younger Hayat never had terrorist training.
He said his cousin went to Pakistan to marry and "never got into politics. All he talked about was cricket." Ismail said the two recently had been working together at a Lodi plant packing cherries.
Hayat and his father, Umer Hayat, also a U.S. citizens, were detained over the weekend, FBI Agent John Cauthen said. The elder Hayat lied about his son's involvement and money he sent for the son's training, the affidavit said.
Umer Hayat, 47, said his son was drawn to jihadist training camps in his early teenage years while attending a madrassah, or religious school, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, according to the affidavit. The document said the religious school was operated by Umer Hayat's father-in-law.
Neighbors described the elder Hayat as a nice man who sold ice cream during summer months from a Dodge van.
"They are good people," said Karina Murillo, whose family rented part of Hayat's house, which had been divided into two residences. "We never had any problems with them."
Both men were being held at the Sacramento County Jail. Umer Hayat's attorney, Johnny Griffin III, said his client "is charged with nothing more than lying to an agent."
U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter A. Nowinski denied a bail request for the elder Hayat on Tuesday, saying he was a flight risk and a danger to the community.
Hamid Hayat's attorney wasn't in court, and Nowinski set the son's bail hearing for Friday. A telephone message left Wednesday with Hamid Hayat's lawyer, Wazhna Mojaddidi, was not immediately returned.
In Washington, President Bush said he had been briefed on the matter.
"I can assure the American people that we're following every lead," he said in an interview on Fox News. "The best way to protect America is to keep on the offense and bust up these terrorist networks overseas by doing two things: one, committing our troops and intelligence services to the task, and also spreading freedom."
Hamid Hayat was trying to return to the U.S. on May 29 when the FBI told its Sacramento office that he was on the federal "no-fly" list.
The plane was diverted to Japan, where Hayat was interviewed by the FBI and denied any connection to terrorism. He was allowed to fly to California, but was interviewed again on Friday and Saturday.
He voluntarily took a lie detector test, which the affidavit said indicated he was not telling the truth. Hayat then acknowledged spending time at the training camp, the affidavit said.
The two other men detained on alleged immigration violations were identified as Shabbir Ahmed and Mohammed Adil Khan, who is the father of Mohammad Hassan Adil, Kice said. The Web site for the Farooqia Islamic Center in Lodi identifies the two older men as imams.
A local Islamic leader defended the community Wednesday as reporters descended on Lodi, a tight-knit San Joaquin County town of about 62,000.
"We are a peace-loving people," said Taj Kahn, of the Islamic Cultural Center. "We have never done anything to violate the laws of the United States, and we don't intend to."
MIM :The website of the Al Farooqui Mosque makes no secret of it's radical Islamist ties. The mosque itself was embroiled in a dispute with it's namesake in Pakistan, known as a hotbed of anti Americanism. Which begs the question as if the mosque was being monitored from it's inception and why they were allowed to build . To add insult to injury the Islamic Center has a federal tax exemption,
MIM: It is worth noting that CAIR official Siraj Wahhaj was also a guest speaker at the Seerah Conference at the Farooqia Islamic Center. With the Arrest of Imam Adil Khah it looks like a job vacancy has just opened up.
Farooqia Islamic Center
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam
Assalam-u-Alaikum Warahmat-u-Allah Wa Barakatuh
Farooqia Islamic Center is pleased to present the June 2003 issue of our newsletter,
the latest since Ramadhan 2002. This newsletter is to update you with the to-date
progress of Farooqia Islamic Center and how much successful we have been in our
Alhamdolillah, the following tasks have been completed as a result of the efforts of
the Farooqia Islamic Center since last year:
Let's take the next few pages to give you more details about the above eleven points
1. Building the library:
The original Farooqia site was planted with huge vineyards and the place was in use for agricultural needs. There was an immediate need for a place that could be used as center and offices. Hence, a tractor garage was remodeled for this purpose. The 2650 square feet space is now serving as the center office and library. The building is now used for women's weekly program, Arabic class and Farooqia board meetings. Allah has blessed this place and a huge library has been established. The library is stocked with thousands of books on Tafseer, Usul-e-Tafseer, Hadith, Usul-e-Hadith, Fiqh, Usul-e-Fiqh. Fatawa, Ilim-ul-Kalam, Lughat, Seerah, etc. in Arabic, Urdu and English. People are invited to use the facility for their reading.
Our next project will be the establishment of even a bigger and better library. We appreciate your support in this project. You can also contact us if you want to contribute books to the Library.
2. Women's Program
Women are an important part of our society. Allah, the Greatest, has made our society with men and women. We mostly arrange programs for the education of children, young and elders but often ignore the education of women. Women have a prominent and respectable position in Islamic society. They are the mothers of our children, wives of our husbands and our daughters. Their education and training benefits a complete society. Considering the same objective, Farooqia Islamic Center has started a weekly program for women which is held every Sunday. The program is going on for a year now.
The program educates the women about good character, mutual love and care, respect and importance of Islam and responsibilities of the household and others.
3. Arabic Class:
The main goal of Farooqia Islamic Center is to spread the education of Quran and Sunnah. Due to space constraints, it was not possible to start a huge program at this time. Thus, it was found suitable to start an Arabic class to raise the awareness of the importance of Arabic language. This is very important to remember that our religious language is Arabic. Quran and Hadiths are in Arabic. Salat and all prayers are in Arabic. The Khutbas for the Friday prayer are in Arabic. But it is sad to know that we are not familiar with the Arabic language.
Every Imam should realize the importance of this need. Arabic classes need to be started in every mosque, especially four our new and young generation.
At Farooqia Islamic Center, Arabic classes are in progress. Our respected Qazi Shabbir Ahmed Sahib, Nazim Farroqia Islamic Center is continuing this work. (May Allah, the Greatest, use his abilities for the work of this religion, Ameen).
Those who are interested in this program can contact at (209) 333-2946.
4. Grant Deed
As all of you are aware, Farooqia Islamic Center has acquired 18.65 acres of land for the program on the Lower Sacramento Road, Lodi. Alhamdolillah, the ownership paper of this land (Grant Deed) was issued to Farooqia Islamic Center on January 23, 2002. The completion of this paper work is a great achievement. We are thankful to Allah that these steps have been resolved. We are grateful to Old Republic Title Company for their help in this regard.
5. Federal Tax Exemption
As many of you know, it is very important to secure a Federal tax ID for an organization to work in United States. The Federal Tax ID helps charitable organizations in fund raising and allows contributors to write off donations as tax deductibles.
Allah, the Greatest, eased the issuance of Federal Tax ID for Farooqia Islamic Center. With the efforts of Haji Ahsan Khan, Secretary of the Center, the letter was issued in a very short time. Farooqia Islamic Center is a non-profit registered organization now under Internal Revenue Service Section 501 (c) 3. The Federal ID number for the Center is DLN 602164085 and the employer identification number is 91-2108397.
All your donations now will be tax deductible and you will be able to benefit from this national
The First 2002 Seerah Conference
Spread and publication of the message of Islam has substantial importance in the establishment of Farooqia Islamic Center. In this regard, First Seerah Conference was held on June 22, 2002 in Lodi. The Conference was attended by famous personalities from all over United States and discussed different aspects of the Seerah of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). One important aspect of this conference was that non-Muslims were invited to listen the lectures. The Mayor of Lodi and people from various churches attended the Conference. Following are the names of the scholars who attended the conference:
· Imam Siraj Wahaj New York
· Imam Hafiz Sabir New York
· Imam Dr. Muhammad Adil Khan Lodi
· Imam Abdul Malik Oakland
· Imam Mulana Seed-ur-Rahman Stockton
· Imam Mulana Qazi Shabbir Ahmed Lodi
· Imam Usman Zareef Stockton
· Imam Mumtaz-ul-Haq Milpitas
· Imam Mumtaz Qasmi Sacramento
· Sheikh Muhammad Al Atoom Stockton
· Dr. Norman Mowry Lodi
Alhamdolillah, the Conference has good effects on the community. InshaAllah, the Center will organize such programs in the future.
Efforts for the Fund Raising
Last year, fund raising tours were arranged to many cities. These include New York, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Fresno, Madera, Modesto, Stockton, Sacramento, Folsom, Fremont, Fairfield, San Francisco, Milpitas etc. The scholars and administrators of various organizations cooperated in this effort and gave us a very warm welcome. May Allah, the Greatest, give them the best reward (Ameen).
Farooqia Islamic Center wished to thank all of them by mentioning their names and contributions but Alhamdolillah, the list is so long that it is not possible in this short newsletter. But we pray to Allah to bless them and reward them in hereafter (Ameen).
9. The Second Newsletter of 2002
The second newsletter for Farooqia Islamic Center was published last year in Ramadan 2002. The thought was that this issue will be sufficient for the whole year. But despite that 5000 copies were made and distributed, they were not enough. In addition, as the plans for the Farooqia Islamic center have been completed, it was important that all of you should be informed with the latest news at the earliest.
Therefore we are releasing this newsletter In June 2003, in the middle of year. Hopefully, it will win your approval and you will continue your support and help.
10. Festival Ibrahim (pbuh) was held.
Today, Muslim Ummah is unaware of the importance of the relationship with non-Muslims and the effort of spreading the word of Islam though we have been established as the last and best Ummah of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
Alhamdolillah, Farooqia Islamic Center organized several programs last year in order to achieve this objective. These included programs in which non-Muslims were invited also. Some of these programs included visits to different churches and synagogues and lectures were delivered. Alhamdolillah, the programs were appreciated by all the community members and were widely covered in the press. Other programs were arranged at a common place and were attended by people from various communities with different religious backgrounds. This is an important responsibility of our scholars to arrange such programs where we can present our religious ideologies with dignity.
Muslims are living as strangers in United States today and one of the important reasons is that we have stopped to present our ideologies and beliefs in front of non-Muslims therefore they do not get a chance to know about our religion directly from us. Whatever they hear about us from wrong sources, their attitudes support those. Farooqia Islamic Center wishes to serve this cause with full potential and with confidence and sincerity.
The concept of Festival Ibrahim (pbuh) was presented by Farooqia Islamic Center. People from the three main religions of United States that is Islam, Christianity and Judaism were invited so that we can talk on the common aspects apart from the atmosphere of war. We should respect and tolerate others and learn from each other about their beliefs and thoughts. Thus, the hosting of the first program was given to Muslims and the program was organized at the Lodi Boys and Girls Club. Besides Recitation of Holy Quran, Naat, Call for prayers etc., description of Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) in Quran and the respect Quran and Islam has given to him, was presented with details.
Alhamdolillah, most of the participants have the impression that Islam is a living, progressive and true religion and this was our objective with respect to this program.
11. Blueprints for Farooqia
Considering our objectives, it was important to prepare for the construction of the building in the future besides the efforts for acquiring the land. Hence, work on the preparation of the blueprints for the center was started.
Alhamdolillah, Allah, the Greatest, blessed us with people who made the plans for us just for the sake of Allah. We are especially thankful to Mr. Syed Waheed Udeen and Mr. Ashraf Ibrahim, who spared their time for the sake of Allah, the Greatest, and prepared the detailed blueprints for the Farooqia Islamic Center. The following buildings are included in the Farooqia Islamic Center blueprints. A total of 63,000 SF will be built in different stages under the complete plan.
· Jamae Mosque 13,500 SF
· Madrassah Building (Class Room) 5,000 SF
· Madrassah Hostel 5,000 SF
· Administration Building and Central Library 5,000 SF
· School building (Three separate sections) 14,240 SF
· Multipurpose Hall 12,500 SF
· Teacher Residence Buildings 7,760 SF
Importance of giving in the path of Allah
Alhamdolillah, we as Muslims believe that we will receive the reward for all our deeds in the hereafter. Allah has divided the people in this world such that some are rich, others belong to a middle class and some are poor and insolvent. Then, Allah has made the system in such a way that rich should help the poor and needy brethren and their financial support will be greatly rewarded.
Allah's Subhanahu Wa Taala says in the Quran:
Alhamdolillah, the construction of Farooqia Islamic Center has started. We request you for the sake of Allah, the Greatest, to give in His path, from what He has given you. May Allah bless you all the reward that has been mentioned in the above verses. You can help Farooqia Islamic Center in several ways. Building a room, a wall or floor, contributing a door, a bag of cement or brick, building a part of the parking lot or in any other means will be helpful for this cause. May Allah, the Greatest, lists this as Sadqa-e-Jariah for you.
As you see, brothers and sisters in Islam, you all love Farooqia Islamic Center and want this project to be completed as soon as possible. The project is needed and is very beneficial to the whole community. We all can help and support as much as we can regardless of our capabilities. First, it is imperative that you continue your Dua' for its completion. Secondly, you set your yearly contribution to Farooqia Islamic Center as Sadqa-e-Jariah.
We request you to commit to one of the two options. First, is to give $ 1000 per year and to send it to us regularly on your responsibility.
Second is to commit $1 per day. This totals to $365 per year. InshaAllah, your contributions will be Sadqa-e-Jariah for you till the Day of Judgment.
Allah's reward is Jannah and Jannah is highest goal. Let's take this opportunity and spend for the sake of Allah and contribute in any way you can afford.
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/672