Already charging discrimination, and there haven’t even been any arrests yet: “Muslims connected to the Fremont mosque are also concerned that the planned arrests may be supported by flimsy evidence.”
“Feds May Move On Local Mosques: A new FBI case against terror suspects could be set to rock the Bay Area,” by Najeeb Hasan in Metroactive:
After 23-year-old Lodi resident Hamid Hayat was convicted last year of training at a terrorist camp in Pakistan, government officials warned that terror investigations in Northern California were ongoing.
Now, members of the Bay Area’s Muslim community believe that the FBI is close to making additional high-profile arrests of one or more terror suspects who frequent mosques in Silicon Valley and the East Bay. According to a source informed about the investigation, one of the organizations targeted in the Bay Area terror probe is the Tablighi Jamaat, a conservative-leaning Muslim organization, founded in India during the 1920s, that boasts world-wide membership and whose primary focus is to persuade Muslims to recommit to their faith.
Last October, a South African Muslim scholar associated with the Tablighi Jamaat, Fazlur Rahman Azmi, was denied entry to the United States and detained at San Francisco International Airport by agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Azmi, who had successfully entered the United States to preach in both 1999 and earlier in 2006, was planning on teaching at various American mosques during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Nawaz Khan, a resident of Newark, Calif., and one of Azmi’s students, had arranged for Azmi to lecture at the Islamic Society of the East Bay in Fremont, one of the Bay Area’s largest and most diverse mosques.
Muslims are concerned that the ongoing terror probe in the East Bay is related to Azmi’s planned visit to the Fremont mosque.
A spokesperson said the FBI could neither confirm or deny the existence of such an investigation.
“There is of course not a lot I can say,” says FBI public information officer Joseph Schadler. “I did want to make clear that we don’t target mosques for investigation. We begin and end an investigation if they pose a threat based on credible information.”
Muslims connected to the Fremont mosque are also concerned that the planned arrests may be supported by flimsy evidence. One critic with ties to law enforcement agrees that current terror investigations can be motivated not by strong evidence, but by pressure on America’s counter-terrorism agencies to produce results.