Omar Shahin is one of the imams removed from a flight in Minneapolis. He was involved with Kind Hearts, which has been closed down for its connections to Hamas. He also acknowledged a connection to Osama bin Laden in the 1990s in a September 28, 2001 story in the Arizona Republic (thanks to Austin): "Arizona Was Home to bin Laden 'Sleeper Cell,'" by Dennis Wagner and Tom Zoellner. From that story:
Arizona appears to have been the home of a "sleeper cell" of Osama bin Laden's worldwide terrorist organization, with a select group of operatives living quietly in bland apartment complexes and obtaining flight training in preparation for the Sept. 11 attacks.
The organization's known history in the state goes back nine years and scholars say the activities of at least three part-time Arizona residents fits the pattern of the al-Qaeda terrorist group.
"We can only speculate at this point, but I'm convinced the FBI is operating under the assumption that Arizona was host to an al-Qaeda cell," said Jack Williams, a professor of law at Georgia State University who has studied the group's financing methods.
Omar Shahin of the Tucson Islamic Center said members of the Tucson mosque may have helped bin Laden in the early 1990s, when he was fighting against the Russians. But that was during the Cold War when U.S. intelligence agencies were encouraging support for bin Laden.
"They (the CIA) called him a 'freedom fighter,'" Sahin said. "Then they tell us he is involved in terrorist acts, and they stopped supporting him, and we stopped."
Shahin and Saadeddin expressed doubt that Muslims were responsible for the Sept. 11 attack. They also said they don't trust much of what the FBI has divulged - including the hijackers' identities.
Shahin of the Tucson Islamic Center said more than 1,200 Muslims died in the World Trade Center catastrophe, and no genuine member of Islam would do such a thing. Nor, he added, would Muslims have gone to strip joints prior to the attack, as several of the terrorists in Florida reportedly did. As for Al-Qaeda nests in America, Shahin said, "All of these, they make it up."