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Suspect in deputy's killing wants murder trial moved
The Fresno Bee ^ | Friday, October 31, 2003, 5:02 AM | Michael Baker

Posted on 10/31/2003 9:54:35 AM PST by Clovis_Skeptic

Edited on 04/12/2004 2:10:33 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

The man accused of murdering sheriff's deputy Erik Telen would not receive a fair trial in Fresno County because of the victim's hero status and the media's false vilification of the defendant as a terrorist group member, a defense attorney said in a motion filed Thursday. Ramadan Abdur-Rauf Abdullah's trial should take place outside Fresno County, where pretrial publicity has been pervasive and prejudicial to the defendant, attorney Peter Jones says in the change of venue motion.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; US: California; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alfuqra
I was unable to find the original article that provides the background on this story. Maybe, someone can find and post a link to "Why is there an Islamic Village in the foothills above Fresno""
1 posted on 10/31/2003 9:54:36 AM PST by Clovis_Skeptic
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To: Grampa Dave; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ladyinred; jimrob; Mama_Bear; chadsworth
2 posted on 10/31/2003 9:56:04 AM PST by Clovis_Skeptic
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To: Clovis_Skeptic
Well the guy is insane since it is hard to figure a sane man joining the cult of Mad Mo without being born into it. But fry him anyway.
3 posted on 10/31/2003 9:57:21 AM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: Clovis_Skeptic
Where does he want the trial moved to, Damascus?
4 posted on 10/31/2003 10:13:59 AM PST by Redbob
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To: Clovis_Skeptic
Here is one article that contains most of the background info regarding this now abandonded Islamic village called Baladullah, where this guy was living. Also Sheik Jilani, is the terrorist that Daniel Pearl (the murdered WSJ reporter) was on his way to interview.

Authorities Suspect Terror Links In Muslim Enclave

by Sean Webby, Karen de Sa and Brandon Bailey
Knight Ridder Newspapers
December 25, 2001

BADGER -- Behind a stretch of barbed wire in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, a small community of Muslims is drawing the attention of federal investigators who suspect the group may have ties to an extremist group believed responsible for a string of firebombings and assassinations across the United States.

Officials confirmed last week that the FBI is investigating connections between the community, called Baladullah, and an organization known as Jamaat Al-Fuqra, which the U.S. State Department has listed as a terrorist group operating in both Pakistan and North America.

Authorities said they are looking into allegations forwarded by other law-enforcement agencies, including the Fresno County sheriff's department, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Marshal's office, that have encountered Baladullah or residents of it in their own investigations.

Those investigations, all pursued separately, came across evidence, for example, that the man accused of murdering a Fresno sheriff's deputy Aug. 21 was familiar with the work of Al-Fuqra's founder, and that the community had connections to other organizations associated with Al-Fuqra. Residents of Baladullah, which means "City of God" in Arabic, defend the enclave as a group of families who have come together to live in peace, away from the inner-city ravages of drugs and violence.

"They're American citizens," said Khadijah Ghafur, a founder of the community and president of the nonprofit group that owns the Baladullah property, who insisted nothing sinister is going on.

She has said that the recent scrutiny of Baladullah is inspired by ignorance, racism or anti-Muslim sentiment in a time when even mainstream Muslims have been questioned about terrorism. Baladullah's residents are African-American.

U.S. Marshals encountered Baladullah in March, when they arrested a Baladullah resident, James Hobson, on a warrant for smuggling firearms between South Carolina and New York.

Detectives from the Fresno County sheriff's department searched the Baladullah trailer of another resident, Ramadan Abdullah, who was charged with killing a deputy who had caught him breaking into a home outside the community, possibly to steal guns.

Detectives reported seeing a small landing strip and firing range on the Baladullah property. In Abdullah's trailer, they found a book by Sheikh Mubarik Ali Jilani, Sgt. Toby Rien said. The State Department says Jilani, a Pakistani cleric, founded Al-Fuqra more than 20 years ago.

Authorities also said that Abdullah had come from a similar Muslim community in Binghamton, N.Y.

While at Baladullah, detectives also observed near the front gate a sign for the International Qur'anic Open University, the educational arm of another Jilani organization. The sign has since been removed.

ATF agents say they have looked into Baladullah as part of their investigation into Al-Fuqra activities at a similar remote settlement in Virginia, where a man was convicted last month on federal firearms violations.

"They are all connected," said Bart McEntire, resident agent in charge of the ATF in Virginia. "And I'm aware that there is this faction near Fresno."

The FBI is also looking into the operations of a charter school run by Ghafur, the Baladullah leader, that Fresno school officials say may have violated state law by teaching a religious-based curriculum in a state-funded program.

Baladullah representatives dispute any connections with Al-Fuqra organizations.

Residents declined to discuss the subject with the San Jose Mercury News, referring questions to a lawyer, who also declined to be interviewed. The lawyer, Douglas Hurt of Visalia, has told a Fresno television station that the community has no affiliation with Sheikh Jilani or his movement, despite the sign for the university or Baladullah's being listed as the address for a publishing house linked with Jilani's movement.

Followers of Sheikh Jilani deny that Al-Fuqra exists. They say "Zionists" and other outsiders have taken a common Arabic phrase, which refers to poverty, and conjured up a terrorist organization.

They credit Jilani with founding a religious and charitable group called Muslims of the Americas, and its educational arm, the International Qur'anic Open University. A series of missives posted on a Web site for the two groups complains of a Zionist conspiracy to manipulate American society and wipe out Muslims.

But a U.S. State Department report identifies Al-Fuqra as a militant group that seeks to purify Islam through violence. Law-enforcement officials suspect the group's members are responsible for a series of crimes including a 1993 bombing of a Portland, Ore., hotel, a 1984 bombing of a Hare Krishna temple in Denver and an alleged plot to bomb a Hindu temple and theater in Toronto.

In 1993, Al-Fuqra members in Colorado were convicted of participating in a conspiracy resulting in the murder of a Muslim cleric in Arizona.

Authorities have linked a number of communities that resemble Baladullah to Al-Fuqra.

The communities, according to experts, are all close-knit enclaves in relatively remote areas. Members share property and study the Koran. As in Baladullah, access is limited and security tight.

"This is just mind-boggling," Ashraf, the Central Valley Muslim leader, said of the suggestion that Baladullah was a sinister place.

"These are poor, black people trying to get on their feet."
5 posted on 10/31/2003 10:18:56 AM PST by Clovis_Skeptic
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To: Clovis_Skeptic
Why is there an Islamic Village in the foothills above Fresno""

Because we have no methods in place and effective enough to keep such persons out who would build and maintain such a location. Fresno is a hotbed of these compounds and the sheriff dept is way understaffed wo deal with the problems leaking out of same. Real easy to hide in the woods, and the large marijuana grow acreages busted every day are proving the same. They can hide all too easily.

Any Freeper from Fresno that can fill us all in a little more?
6 posted on 10/31/2003 10:44:51 AM PST by ridesthemiles (ridesthemiles)
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To: ridesthemiles
Actually, there isn't a village there anymore. It was abandonded after the California tax-payer funded Charter School was closed by the Fresno County School District.

This is a very involved story that involves international terrorism, fraud, murder, illegal weapons name it.

7 posted on 10/31/2003 10:56:02 AM PST by Clovis_Skeptic
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