Wednesday, March 15, 2006

LODI TENSIONS RISING

Ever since an FBI informant testified in a Sacramento courtroom that al-Qaida's #2 man lived in Lodi back in the late 1990s, many people, including experts, are beginning to say that it isn't very likely. Muslims in the Lodi community are voicing their opinions, too; they're not very happy with the courtroom revelation and its affect on them.

From the LA Times:

"But terrorism experts and even federal officials expressed serious doubts Tuesday about Naseem Khan's testimony, saying there is little aside from his statements to suggest that Egyptian terrorist Ayman Zawahiri spent time in the sleepy Central Valley farming community."

The RAND Corp has a comment, too:

"This is pretty far-fetched," said Rand Corp. terrorism specialist Brian Jenkins.

CAIR's Sacramento office had something to add:

"Basim Elkarra, Sacramento director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that none of the Lodi residents his group represents was asked by the FBI about Zawahiri's alleged attendance at the mosque."

Lodi locals made their anger known:

"After midday prayers at the low-slung Lodi mosque, several worshipers vented their frustration over the federal investigation that has cast a shadow over their community. Parents complained that their children are taunted at school as "terrorists."

And this:

Mosque President Mohammed Shoaib, no relation to the shopkeeper of the same name, said Khan's testimony has "divided the community and harmed the Muslim community."

I don't find it too far-fetched that Zawahiri spent time in Lodi. What I do find far-fetched, is 19 people hijacking 4 airliners and flying three of them into as many buildings and killing thousands of people. I'm having trouble feeling bad for the Lodi Muslim community. They should look around and decide who's side they're on, then stand up and make it known for all to hear.

The LA Times article is here (reg req).

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