Skip to comments.Supporters Rally for Muslim Leader
Posted on 09/11/2002 1:44:22 AM PDT by kattracks
PORTLAND, Ore., Sep 11, 2002 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- Nearly 200 people from mosques in the Northwest gathered at a courthouse to show support for an Islamic leader who was arrested and charged with document fraud.
Sheik Mohamed Abdirahman was ordered held without bail at a detention hearing Tuesday. Federal Agents searched his apartment the same day.
Only 25 people were allowed into the hearing, while the rest crowded the hall and the courthouse steps. Kariye, who was arrested Sunday, serves as an imam, or prayer leader, at the Islamic Center of Portland-Masjed As-Saber.
"If it can happen to him, nobody is safe. He was our leader," said Musse Olol, who has known Kariye for 18 years. "The stress of worrying about who is watching you is like having a magnifying glass on you."
Kariye is accused of using false information - including a changed name - while applying for and receiving three different Social Security cards between 1983 and 1995. The federal indictment also alleges Kariye used an altered birth date in a 1998 asylum application.
He has pleaded innocent to felony charges of unlawful use of a Social Security number and unlawful possession of a U.S. government document. A trial is scheduled for Nov. 5.
FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele wouldn't disclose details of the search of Kariye's apartment.
Kariye, 41, was arrested at Portland International Airport as he tried to board a flight en route to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with his brother and four children.
Federal investigators said explosives residue was detected on two pieces of luggage they confiscated from Kariye. He has not been charged with a crime related to the residue.
Attorney Philip Lewis said his client's bags could have been contaminated by other bags or clothing.
"What we have is a positive test here for something so minute it boggles the mind," Lewis said. "We have no idea when the item was contaminated, how long ago and in what amount."
Robert Ramos, senior inspector for the U.S. Customs Service, testified at Tuesday's hearing that he has never had a bag test positive for explosives residue.
"We test hundreds and hundreds of bags, and this is the first time I've come across a positive result," Ramos said in federal court.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Gorder said Kariye had "several thousand" dollars in his possession when he was arrested and had told his ex-wife he did not plan to return.
Lewis said Kariye, who was born in Somalia and became a U.S. citizen in 1998, was going to Dubai to take a teaching job. Alaa Abunijem, president of the Islamic Center, said he had given Kariye $2,000 for his trip.
Gorder said he could not comment on whether Kariye's arrest is related to investigations into the terrorist attacks last September.
By GILLIAN FLACCUS Associated Press WriterCopyright 2002 Associated Press, All rights reserved
Why do I get the impression that a time bomb is ticking somewhere ready to go off?
So 200 people march from the mosques to defend a guy who is suspected of being a bomb terrorist. I bet they will march in honor of the dead 3,000 today too, right? /sarcasm.
How about this title:
200 Islamics Rally Behind Bomb Terrorist Suspect.
That is more to the point.
Hope we got pictures of all of those marchers to compare to the known terrorist database...
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