Al Qaeda's Zawahiri Linked to California Terror Cell

Did al Qaeda's #2 man make a trip to Lodi, California? Strange days indeed, most peculiar momma.

As you know, we've followed the Lodi terrorism trial fairly closely (see below). From the beginning, leaks have indicated that the terror ring was connected to al Qaeda and that the investigation was much larger than was being reported in the press. In fact, except for the Sac Bee, there has been virtually no national media about this case. Could the Zawahiri connection have been known to the FBI since the start of the investigation?

At first, I found the notion hard to swallow. But there are now unrelated accusations that Zawahiri did make several trips to the U.S. during the 1990s and is believed to have had a temporary residence in California's Central Valley.

That's right, Zawahiri was here. Via AJ Strata this from the AP:

An FBI informant testified today that Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man lived in the Central Valley town of Lodi before the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Via Captain Ed this from Fox News:
He may have lived in the Sacramento area for an undetermined period in or around 1995 while visiting area mosques, according to an FBI agent in Washington, D.C., who spoke Monday on condition he not be named.
The informant, though, puts the date between 1998-1999. Via Michelle this from the L.A. Times:
"Every time I would go to the mosque, [Zawahiri] would be coming or going," Khan said, according to the Sacramento Bee on Monday on its website. Khan, who said he lived in Lodi at the time, testified that he spoke to Zawahiri, but never had a conversation with him.

"He would quietly come to the mosque and leave," Khan said.

If Zawahiri was in the U.S. in any capacity and for any period of time, then the FBI, the 9/11 Commission, and the Clinton Administration have a lot of 'splainin to do.

California Conservative has also been covering this from the start.

Previous articles:
Terror Trial Begins for U.S. Citizens in Lodi, FBI Investigating Newspaper Leak
Bail Denied in Lodi Terror Case
Lodi Terror Suspect Makes Bail
Indictment in Lodi Islamic Terror Probe
Lodi Terror Suspects Face Bail Hearing
Lodi Muslims Suspect Government Mole
Lodi Terror Ring Connected to Bin Laden
A Modest Proposal to Congress: End assylum for Islamsit exiles and make "religious worker" visas predicated on reciprocity of host nations
Lodi Terror Investigation Grows
Two in Lodi al Qaeda Plot Indicted
TerrorCamp Director with Ties to Lodi al Qaeda Cell Goes Into Hiding
“Camp al-Lodi”: Just The Tip Of The Iceberg
Fifth Man Detained in CA al Qaeda Case, More Arrests to Come
Al Qaeda in California Arrests: Ties to Radical Mosques, Jihadis and Religious Schools Revealed

Posted by: Rusty at 12:04 PM


1 Well Zawahiri wasn't wanted by the U.S in 1995 so nobody was looking for him. He was indicted in 1998.

Posted by: Derek Falkan at March 14, 2006 12:07 PM

2 damn, did i pick a bad time to stop blogging... i haven't been following this too closely since the end o de blog, so i'll have to look at it a little bit. but it would explain the whole "all the evidence is classified" line that the prosecution was using.

Posted by: KG at March 14, 2006 12:13 PM

3 He might not have been wanted, but he was the head of "Egyptian Islamic Jihad" [which later became Al-Qaeda] since the 80's, which is a terrorist organization and that is a valid reason to deny a visa.

Posted by: davec at March 14, 2006 12:18 PM

4 From the State Department:
Al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad)
Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization on 1/24/1995

State department FTO

So there really is no defense to him being in the U.S if indeed that is a fact.

Posted by: davec at March 14, 2006 12:43 PM

5 Zawahiri apparently did not 'rise to the level of Jamie Gorelick's CIA/FBI Justice Dept. "wall"'...another Clinton failure.

Can anything save us from these people?

Posted by: hitechgi at March 14, 2006 01:38 PM

6 Jesus?

Posted by: Derek Falkan at March 14, 2006 01:59 PM

7 Anyway, I'm not making an excuse. I'm just saying the U.S didn't consider him much of a threat to have his picture on the FBI's most wanted list. The U.S screwed up big time on Bin Laden and Zawahiri.

Posted by: Derek Falkan at March 14, 2006 02:01 PM

8 Derek does have a point. Ollie North was called a nut job for being the only one who considered even bin Laden a serious threat. And we all know how long ago that was.

Posted by: Oyster at March 14, 2006 02:18 PM

9 Well Bill Clinton invited Gerry Adams to dinner at the Whitehouse so, why not a visa for the head of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad?

Posted by: davec at March 14, 2006 02:43 PM

10 How many are based in the hell hole BERKELEY?

Posted by: sandpiper at March 14, 2006 03:31 PM

11 When he visited in 1995, he stayed with Ali Mohammed.

He travelled under an alias and had a fake passport.

Posted by: Ross at March 14, 2006 06:35 PM

12 wow! a fake passport and an alias, that explains it then, no wonder he was able to defeat the whole of the INS, and United States law enforcement.

To be fair however, all he would have to do these days is travel into Mexico, and walk across the border.

Posted by: davec at March 14, 2006 10:57 PM

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