SAN FRANCISCO — A lead FBI agent on Tuesday linked two local Muslim clerics to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, contending the two were planning to set up a school near Lodi that would breed anti-American terrorism.
The agent testified that Lodi clerics Shabbir Ahmed and Mohammed Adil Khan were prepared to relay information on terrorist plots from sources close to bin Laden.
The allegations were dismissed by Ahmed’s lawyer, who said the FBI and federal prosecutors have “made the whole thing up.”
The striking allegations came during an immigration hearing for Ahmed at which Immigration Judge Anthony Murry declined to set bail for him as he fights charges he stayed here after his visa expired.
“I am compelled to find you are both a flight risk and a danger to the community,” Murry told Ahmed.
Ahmed, 39, has been jailed since the beginning of June when federal agents conducting a terror investigation detained him on immigration charges. Two other Lodi men face criminal charges of lying to FBI agents, and Adil Khan and his son are expected to leave the country in about a week.
At the second part of Ahmed’s bond hearing in immigration court in San Francisco, the shackled Lodi man listened as prosecutors attempted to tie him to Osama bin Laden.
FBI Agent Gary Schaaf, lead case agent in charge of the Lodi terror investigation, went over a flow chart of names and photos allegedly connected to bin Laden, the man accused of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks and other terrorist actions. Ultimately, Schaaf accused Ahmed of planning to relay terror orders from Taliban leaders to people in Lodi.