Revenge for his arrest. From the New York Times, :
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn claimed yesterday that a Yemeni cleric accused of major terrorism financing had issued a “public call for revenge against Americans for his arrest.”
The cleric, Sheik Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad, is in custody in Brooklyn awaiting trial Jan. 10 in federal court on charges of funneling money to Osama bin Laden.
A court document filed by the prosecutors quoted Mr. Moayad as denying what he called muddled American charges. “And the American side must be cautioned that it is not in their benefit to antagonize all the people,” the document quoted the sheik as saying.
“They will not be spared the revenge even if it is late in coming,” the quotation continued. “And as they showed us that they have power, we hope to see good manners from them. And God has destroyed uncounted people before them. And he will definitely revenge us.”
The terrorism financing charges were announced in March 2003 by Attorney General John Ashcroft. Officials said that the sheik had funneled millions of dollars to Al Qaeda, some of it raised in Brooklyn, and that he had boasted of personally delivering $20 million to Mr. bin Laden.
Mr. Moayad’s comments appeared to come from an interview he gave to a Yemeni news organization while he was held in Germany before being extradited to the United States in November.
His lawyer, Howard L. Jacobs, questioned the translation in an interview yesterday. He said he had not heard that his client had made such comments until he was told about the allegation by a reporter.
“I find it totally inconsistent with the behavior I’ve seen since I’ve been representing him,” Mr. Jacobs said, adding that his client had a peaceful and anti-terrorist record.
Don’t they always?