Seattle Imam To Be Charged With Immigration Violations

23 January 2006: Abu Abrahim Sheik Mohamed, the imam of the Abu-Bakr mosque who was arrested by Seattle FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force on November 14, 2005, will appear before an immigration judge this morning. He will be charged with giving false information to immigration officials in order to gain entry to the United States. He was arrested as he stepped off of a plane at Sea-Tac Airport and has been held at a federal jail at SeaTac since his arrest. According to his attorney Hilary Han, Mohamed is “shocked to be in this situation.”

Investigation by the Northeast Intelligence Network notes that the Abu Bakr Mosque appeared on the radar screen of federal authorities in November of 2004. At that time, the Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested 14 people at several Seattle area locations, including one business situated in close proximity to the original location of the Abu-Bakr Mosque. Some of those arrested had connections to the mosque.

Mohamed is a native of Somalia and has been the imam of the Abu-Bakr Mosque for the past five years. Initially opened six years ago on Rainier Avenue South, the mosque moved earlier this year to Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, catering to a large Somalia population in the area.

Reaction by Somalia Community

News reports cite Apdifatah Mohamed, a member of the Seattle Somali community who has attended the Abu-Bakr Mosque stated “I don’t understand why they arrested him,” adding that he never heard the imam preach about terrorism or jihad.

Another member of Seattle’s Somali community who refused to be identified said that Mohamed is the victim of slander by tribal opponents (of the imam) and motivated by long-standing tribal differences transplanted to Seattle from Somalia. The unidentified source stated: “Do not use my name because I will be a target. We killed each other in Somalia, and then we came here. It was tribalism there. What makes me sad is tribalism is still working in America, too. Sheik Abrahim is a victim of tribalism. We don’t want anyone arrested because of tribalism.”

He added: “He is a very peaceful man. He is not a terrorist. What we think is that some people gave the wrong information (to federal agents). We think people of one tribe, they make propaganda against Sheik Abrahim.”

The Northeast Intelligence Network will continue to following this developing story.