Saturday, February 21, 2009

FBI arrests Afghan, Ahmadullah Sais Niazi, accused of al-Qaida links in Tustin CA, Same Place as a Prior FBI, ICE, DOD Joint Investigation.

Sat., 2/21/09. SANTA ANA, CA. - The brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden's former bodyguard was arrested Friday on charges that he lied about ties to terrorist groups on passport papers, authorities said.

An anti-terrorism task force comprised of federal and local law enforcement agents arrested Ahmadullah Sais Niazi, 34, at his home in Tustin early Friday, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Niazi has lived in the U.S. since 1998 and became a citizen in 2004. Niazi was taken into custody by agents of the Orange County Joint Terrorism Task Force about 7 a.m. at his home at 13121 Charloma Drive, and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Arthur Nakazato in a Santa Ana courtroom Friday afternoon. Also listed at the arrest address is
Company Name: T & A Trading Group, Computers and Computer Peripheral Equipment and Software run by Ahmad Niazi (same person arrested). This business appears to be not registered with the State of California, No results matched the search term : "T & A Trading Group.

A grand jury indictment unsealed Friday charged Niazi with perjury, procurement of naturalization unlawfully, passport fraud and making a false statement. He could face up to 35 years in prison if convicted of all charges. A search warrant unsealed Friday afternoon alleges that Niazi and his wife, according to documents seized, used a "hawala," an unlicensed money transfer system often used by people from Afghanistan and Pakistan to transfer money from one country to another. Investigators traced $48,000 in transfers by Niazi and his wife over nine years, according to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Thomas J. Ropel III. The report also mentioned $364,000 in remittances by relatives of Niazi's wife to their family abroad through a Cambodian bank.

According to search warrant affidavits, Niazi's sister, Hafiza, is married to Amin al-Haq, who prosecutors say is a high-ranking al-Qaida member. Al-Haq was named a "specially designated global terrorist" by the United Nations Security Council and U.S. officials in 2001, according to the indictment, see click here.

Niazi is also accused of associating with the Taliban and a terrorist organization called Hezb-e-Islami that fights international and U.S. troops in Afghanistan. According to the indictment, Niazi lied when he wrote on his naturalization papers that he had never been a member of or associated with a terrorist organization.

He allegedly traveled to Pakistan in 2005, where he met with al-Haq. Upon his return from the trip he allegedly told authorities he had been visiting family in Qatar. Shakeel Syed, executive director of Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, said he gave a workshop last year at a mosque in Orange County to teach people about their civil rights.

Syed said Niazi approached him afterward and said federal agents had asked him to become an informant at mosques in Orange County (remember Adam Gadahn) . Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice said prosecutors will seek to have Niazi's citizenship revoked, something that can be done if it was obtained fraudulently. If that happens, he would be subject to deportation.

Bill Warner
private investigator