June 09, 2005

Fifth Man Detained in CA al Qaeda Case, More Arrests to Come

Multiple news agencies reporting that a fifth man has been detained in the Lodi, CA, al Qaeda cell investigation. Broadcast media is also reporting that the FBI expects to make more arrests. Further, search warrants have been executed on the Farooqia Islamic Center and the Lodi Muslim Mosque.

Reports also indicate that officials are backing off of earlier claims on the specificity of targets. Yesterday, an affidavit used to obtain the arrest warrant noted that potential targets included "hospitals and large food stores". The amended affidavit makes no such claim. Further, the FBI is backing off of the claim as to the location of the terrorist training camp and that photos of high-ranking US officials including President Bush were used for target practice.

Yesterday a number of pundits, including myself, questioned whether the fact that the US had intelligence reports indicating the location of jihadi training camps was evidence that Pakistan was being less than 100% cooperative in the Global War on Terror. Could pressure from the State Department, hoping to avoid a potential diplomatic fiasco with Pakistan, have forces the change?

Among the changes was the charge that one of the training camps was near Rawalpindi. Because Rawalpindi is the headquarters of the Pakistani military, it would be difficult to believe that the Pakistani military was not complicit in the camps.

I'm going to cross post this update here and in include it in my post from yesterday here. That earlier post will serve as an archive on this case.Fox News:

Five men, including two father and son pairs, have now been arrested as federal law enforcement officers try to determine whether they have uncovered a network of Al Qaeda (search) supporters in Northern California.

Father and son Umer and Hamid Hayat were arrested over the weekend in Lodi, Calif., on criminal charges. Three Pakistani citizens are also being held on immigration violations. Lodi is an agricultural community 40 miles south of Sacramento.

Two law enforcement sources have confirmed to FOX News that there is a connection between the Hayats and the Pakistani citizens....

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents also have arrested Mohammed Adil Khan, Shabbir Ahmed and Khan's 19-year-old son, Mohammad Hassan Adil, for immigration violations. All three are citizens of Pakistan and Khan is affiliated with the Farooqia Islamic Center near Lodi, Calif. Ahmed is a citizen of Pakistan who currently functions as the Imam of the Lodi mosque.

Those three men are expected to eventually appear before an immigration judge.

An FBI affidavit says Hamid Hayat first denied any link to terror camps, but then told agents he attended an Al Qaeda camp in Pakistan for six months.

A law enforcement source confirmed to FOX News that search warrants have been executed at two mosques, homes of the Hayats, as well as that of the Lodi Muslim Mosque's imam. The case is now described as "ongoing investigation by the JTTF," the joint terrorism task force. FOX News was told that the connection between the Hayat's and Khan Ahmed "is more than just a meeting, there are many connections, here and possibly Pakistan."

California Mafia seems to have noticed this last night as well as other late-night West Coasters.

Annika reports from CA: "The late local news on at least two of the tv stations here in Sacramento was very irritating. They seem much more concerned about the possibility of anti-muslim "hate-crimes" than they are about the possibility that some terrorists might have been PLANNING TO BLOW UP HOSPITALS AND SUPERMARKETS!

The media are on the side of the enemy. (That means you KCRA and News 10.)"

UPDATE: Evan Kohlmann has video of a jihadi training camp in Pakistan here.

UPDATE PM: From the Lodi News Sentinel:

One of two Lodi men suspected of having ties to an al-Qaida terrorist camp was once accused of attempted kidnapping in a case that ultimately led to a misdemeanor conviction and an order to attend anger management classes.

Umer Hayat, 47, was arrested in 2001 for allegedly assaulting two children. Hayat and his 22-year-old son, Hamid Hayat, are now behind bars, accused of lying to federal agents who were questioning them about their links to terror training camps in Pakistan.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:26 AM | Comments |