O.C. man charged with terrorist ties

SANTA ANA, Calif. Niazi pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Afghan native /*Ahmadullah Niazi*/, 34, was arrested Feb. 20, and held on $500,000 bail. Niazi made bail over the weekend.

Niazi's sister, Hafiza, is married to Amin al-Haq, identified in court papers as a high-ranking /*Al-Qaeda*/ member who was believed to have been /*Osama bin Laden*/'s bodyguard around Sept. 11, 2001.

/*FBI*/ Special Agent Thomas J. Ropel III testified at the at Niazi's detention hearing, that an FBI informant infiltrated Niazi's mosque -- the Islamic Center of Irvine, and several others in Orange County -- and befriended Niazi.

Ropel said the informant recorded Niazi on multiple occasions talking about blowing up buildings, acquiring weapons and sending money to the Afghan mujahadeen.

Neither Niazi, the mosque, nor any of its members have been charged with terrorism. But, the arrest has been met with backlash in the Muslim community in Orange County, who have demanded an inquiry in the case.

Muslim-American advocates believe Niazi was charged because he refused to become a government informant after telling the FBI in 2007 about a radicalized new Muslim convert.


MORE LOCAL HEADLINES FROM ORANGE COUNTY

USEFUL LINKS:
SEND TIP || REPORT TYPO || TWEET @abc7 ||  WIDGET

Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.