Osama Haroon Satti
Jihad in Tyler, Texas? From Dallas/Fort Worth’s CBS-11, with thanks to El Colombiano:
TYLER, TX. — A virtually unnoticed federal arrest here this Spring of a well-educated Pakistani man caught trying to buy illegal silencers, firearms and C-4 explosives has set off a nationwide FBI counterterrorism investigation, CBS-11 has learned.
The investigation centers on whether Osama Haroon Satti, 35, came to Tyler on behalf of a terrorist cell hoping to arm for a plot to rob and murder wealthy Jews and other non-Muslims on the West Coast, sources familiar with the FBI investigation tell CBS-11. Satti is currently in federal custody on charges of buying an illegal silencer and handgun.
Federal prosecutors connected to the case have declined to comment.
Satti has remained tight-lipped so far with investigators who, sources tell CBS-11, are urgently seeking answers about his stated plans to buy explosives along with up to 20 more silencers capable of firing 100 bullets each before wearing out.
Satti, who currently lives in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Falls Church, Va., did not respond to a CBS-11 request for comment as he was being led away in chains after a recent court appearance in Tyler.
His public defender, Greg Waldron, declined interview requests, in deference to the continuing FBI investigation. He noted only that his client has pleaded not guilty.
The FBI’s investigation searching for any possible ties between Satti and foreign terror groups has expanded nationwide since a federal sting ensnared him March 8 inside a Tyler Hampton Inn Hotel room for buying an illegal handgun and silencer, CBS-11 News has learned.
Current and former FBI agents tell CBS-11 that the arrest of Satti justifies the aggressive national investigation based, at least in part, on the fact that Satti is so well-educated and from a country on the State Department’s terrorist watch list.
“You”re not dealing with some deadhead. You”re dealing with an educated individual who’s on the same playing field as the investigators,” said Tino Perez, who recently retired as a supervisor of the Dallas FBI”s International Terrorism squad. Perez has no direct knowledge about the investigation.
“I’d treat it as a serous thing. I would want to know foremost if he was part of a network, or if he was acting alone.”
Investigators, at least initially, were particularly interested in whether Satti might be connected to the Al-Quaeda-supported terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan. This summer, the government charged eleven reputed members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, two of them Pakistani nationals, with a variety of terrorist activities in the same suburb where Satti lives. …
According to an affidavit unsealed in connection to the firearms charge, Satti returned in March demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of weapons and carrying thousands of dollars in cash.
During a joint undercover ATF and FBI operation, Satti bought one silencer and one handgun and spoke of plans by unnamed but similar-minded Muslims to kill and rob Jews and non-Muslims, including gays, CBS-11 has learned. Experts say many Islamic extremists are as obsessed with gays as they are Jews.