SANTA ANA – Ahmadullah Sais Niazi, a Tustin man accused of lying about possible terrorist ties, including having a brother-in-law suspected of being the security coordinator for Osama bin Laden, is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court this morning.
Niazi faces several immigration-related charges, such as lying to obtain citizenship and a U.S. passport, and lying about a 2005 trip to Pakistan during which he met with Dr. Amin al-Haq, who has been identified as a terrorist. Niazi doesn't face any terrorism-related charges, but allegations that he was recorded talking about blowing up empty buildings and referred to bin Laden as "an angel" have dominated his case.
Last week, U.S. Magistrate Arthur Nakazato set bail at $500,000 for the 34-year-old Niazi. Nakazato also said he wanted at least two relatives to be financially responsible for Niazi's bail. Family members posted bail Friday.
Since Niazi's arrest, the case has reverberated in the Muslim community in Orange County because FBI used an undercover informant to build a case against Niazi.
Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Niazi came to him because the FBI was trying to recruit him as an informant. The case built against him, he said, was in retaliation for his refusal. (MORE)