At Immigration Hearing, Lodi Imam Admits to Anti-American Speeches

June 25, 2005

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

On June 25, 2005 the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "A Muslim cleric from Lodi, one of five members of the Pakistani community in the San Joaquin County city arrested by federal authorities this month, told an immigration judge Friday that he made anti-American speeches to crowds in Pakistan in the first months of the U.S.-led invasion of neighboring Afghanistan. A bail hearing in San Francisco for Shabbir Ahmed, facing deportation for allegedly overstaying his visa, provided a forum for the government to counter his supporters' claims that Ahmed is a peaceful clergyman victimized by anti- Islamic hysteria. As the imam of a mosque in the capital city of Islamabad in late 2001, 'you encouraged people in Pakistan at least five times to go to Afghanistan and kill Americans,' Paul Nishiie, assistant general counsel of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told Ahmed. The witness, speaking through an interpreter, at first denied the accusation, then said he urged his audiences to 'pressure Americans that they should stop the bombing,' and finally confirmed that he told the FBI he had encouraged attacks on American troops."