RAWALPINDI, Pakistan “” A white-bearded cleric, tutor to hundreds of Islamic students at a Pakistani seminary near the capital, on Tuesday branded FBI allegations that his 22-year-old grandson received jihadist training while attending the school a “pack of lies.”
Qari Saeed-ur Rehman, leader of the Jamia Islamia madrassah in Rawalpindi, said his grandson Hamid Hayat and son-in-law Umer Hayat, 47, were wrongfully arrested in California last week, and he dismissed suggestions they were linked to an al-Qaida cell.
“Hamid Hayat never received religious education at my madrassah. There is no terrorist camp here. We reject such FBI allegations,” Rehman, a supporter of Afghanistan’s former Taliban regime, told The Associated Press in an interview at the school, which lies inside a grand mosque in a teeming commercial district of the city — also home to the headquarters of Pakistan’s army.
“All allegations leveled against them by the FBI are a pack of lies,” he said.
An FBI spokeswoman in Sacramento, Calif., said the agency stood by the allegations it made in court documents.
“Time will tell what we come up with,” spokeswoman Marcie Soligo said. “That’s his opinion and that’s fine. We stick by what was in the affidavit.”…
Oh, Mr. Bergen, call your office. You may want to interview Mr. Rehman. His views and yours mesh perfectly.