Rivlas Accuse Each Other of Being Terrorists

The Justice Department’s decision to give cash rewards to individuals for information about terrorists linked to Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network is prompting FBI action against scores of innocent individuals, leaders of Arab and Muslim communities here say.

Recent raids on the residences of Muslim and Arab families in Brooklyn and other parts of New York City suggest that in many cases such actions were the result of tips from individuals who wanted to settle personal scores with their opponents.

Recently, a US district judge sentenced Jack Parry, a 38 year-old Brooklyn resident, to a two year imprisonment for providing false information about his wife’s boss, who is an Arab immigrant. Parry portrayed him as a terrorist involved in the planning of the September 11 attacks.

Parry admitted his guilt before the federal judge who, following the guidelines from the Justice Department, announced the sentence would be three times harsher than in the past.

Last Saturday night, in a similar incident in Queens, a Pakistani immigrant led a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) team to raid the house of a religious leader and a local mosque where he led religious congregations. After having a dispute with the Imam of Khizra Mosque in Elmhurst, Chishti, a Pakistani immigrant and member of the mosque committee, told the FBI that the imam had stored explosives and weapons in the mosque and that he had links with terrorists.

Receiving the alleged tip on terrorist activities, the FBI agents stormed the residence of the Imam and detained his two young daughters for several hours. The FBI agents also raided the mosque and used dogs, but failed to find any objectionable material.

The FBI also raided the residence of Syed Mehmood, another Pakistani immigrant, who was involved in the affairs of the mosque. Mehmood claimed his house was searched by the FBI because of Chishti’s complaint. He said Chishti misled the FBI because he wanted a leadership role in the affairs of the mosque.

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