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Lodi Cleric Accused Of Ties To Terrorism

Sacramento, CA — A Pakistani cleric facing deportation is being accused during an immigration hearing of trying to incite followers to defend Osama bin Laden and kill Americans.

Shabbir Ahmed is seeking bail on a charge of overstaying his visa to head a Lodi mosque in the Central Valley. He denied Friday that he had made any speech against the United States.

Counsel for the Department of Justice says Ahmed is linked to a terrorist group in Pakistan, and had preached about attacking Americans a few months after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Ahmed is one of five men arrested during a terrorism investigation in Lodi.