Image: Shabbir Ahmed's attorney, Saad Ahmad.
John M. Harris  /  AP
Attorney Saad Ahmad speaks to reporters after an immigration hearing last Friday, in San Francisco, regarding his client Shabbir Ahmed, 39, who is accused of trying to incite followers to defend Osama bin Laden and kill Americans.
updated 6/29/2005 8:32:12 AM ET 2005-06-29T12:32:12

A mosque has fired a religious leader accused of speaking out against the United States and supporting Osama bin Laden in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Shabbir Ahmed, 39, is one of two imams detained on immigration charges as part of an FBI investigation into alleged terror activities in the Islamic community in Lodi, a wine-growing region about 30 miles south of Sacramento.

The mosque’s board of directors unanimously voted to fire Ahmed in a special session Sunday night, said Mohammed Shoaib, president of Lodi Muslim Mosque.

“We don’t want that kind of person who has spoken against the United States,” Shoaib said.

At a hearing on Friday, Ahmed denied making any speeches against the United States.

Justice Department attorney Paul Nishiie said Ahmed was linked to a terrorist group in Pakistan and had preached about attacking Americans a few months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Ahmed was one of five men arrested during the FBI’s terrorism investigation. He was brought to Lodi in 2002 by Muhammed Adil Khan, the second imam held on immigration complaints. His son, Mohammad Hassan Adil, also is being held pending an immigration hearing in August.

Two other Lodi residents also are facing charges. Hamid Hayat, 22, is charged with two counts of lying to the FBI earlier this month when he said he did not attend a terrorism camp in Pakistan in 2003 and 2004. His father, Umer Hayat, 47, was indicted on a single count of lying to investigators by denying his son attended the camp.

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