Police arrest Canadians tied to controversial U.S. mosque
Canwest News Service
October 31, 2009
WINDSOR, Ont. — Two Canadian men linked to a fundamentalist Islamic leader who was gunned down in a shootout with FBI agents this past week were arrested Saturday in southern Ontario.
Yassir Ali Khan, 30, and Mohammad Philistine, 33 – also known as Mohammad Al-Sahli and Mohammad Palestine – were arrested around 8 a.m. Saturday in simultaneous early-morning raids in Windsor, according to local police and the FBI.
“They were arrested without incident,” said Windsor police Staff Sgt. Dave Kigar.
Authorities have been searching for the men following the death this past week of the leader of a fundamentalist Islamic group, who was killed in a shootout with FBI agents after a raid on a warehouse in Dearborn, Mich.
Authorities allege the two men have links to a radical mosque in Detroit.
Both men were being held until an immigration and extradition hearing could take place. The FBI said that hearing was scheduled for Monday.
Their arrests come days after the police in Windsor also arrested 30-year-old Mujahid Carswell, also known as Mujahid Abdullah, a third man wanted in connection to Detroit mosque.
It was Carswell's father, Luqman Ameen Abdullah, who was killed in the shootout with FBI agents.
U.S. authorities allege Abdullah and his followers were part of a Sunni Muslim group with the mission of establishing a separate Islamic nation within the United States.
The FBI has charged 11 people with various federal felonies, none of which is tied to terrorism.
“The 11 defendants are members of a group that is alleged to have engaged in violent activity over a period of many years, and known to be armed,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in an earlier news release.
The two newly arrested men were considered fugitives by the FBI, but Windsor lawyer Patrick Ducharme emphasized earlier the pair wasn't on the run or in hiding and that “they live here in this community, they are citizens of Canada and I expect them to be treated within the parameters of the law no matter what anybody thinks they've done.”
The lawyer has reportedly said his clients plan to fight extradition.
Kigar said arrest warrants for the men were issued Friday night.
He said the city's police tactical squad made the arrest, assisted by members of the RCMP's immigration task force and the Canada Border Services Agency.
With files from Windsor Star