Muslim Cleric Picked Up On Weapons Charge

Imam Umar Allegedly Pointed A Gun At A Tenant

CBS News, New York/January 7, 2006
By Ti-Hua Chang

A controversial Muslim cleric banned from the state prison system for allegedly calling the Sept. 11 hijackers martyrs now has been arrested for gun possession. Search warrants were executed at his homes in the Bronx and a suburb of Albany.

On Dec. 30, Imam Wariff Deen Umar, a former Black Panther and member of the Nation of Islam, said a tenant hit him while arguing about another apartment. The tenant says he did not.

"I pushed him away from my face," the tenant said.

Imam Umar admits he then aimed a shotgun at the larger man, who left. The Imam says he called police, who arrested him. At the police station the FBI interrogated him, according to the Imam, about Sept. 11 and terrorist connections. The police executed a search warrant on his Bronx apartment and took computer hard drives and legal papers.

"(They were) using this as a pretext to try to frighten the Muslims, to try to intimidate us, to try to take whatever material they think they can find," Umar said.

Police also confiscated from Imam Umar a shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle. On Friday, New York City police, accompanied by an FBI agent, went to Imam Umar's permanent home in Glenmont, a suburb of Albany, and confiscated his and his family's computer hard drive.

The NYPD confirmed that they executed the two search warrants here and in the Albany suburb. Police said the Imam has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon and menacing, and the courts issued an order of protection for the tenant against Umar.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.