Northern California man held
for alleged ties to al-Qaida
OAKLAND — A Pakistani native being held without bail for immigration violations has ties to a man convicted of a 1995 plot to blow up 11 U.S. airliners, immigration officials said.
Nasir Ali Mubarak, 34, came to the United States more than 10 years ago to attend flight school. Immigration and Naturalization Service officials say he has ties to Abdul Hakim Murad, a man said to have admitted having connections to Osama bin Laden.
Mubarak’s lawyer Marc Van Der Hout said Mubarak admits to having met Murad in 1991, but denies having any connections to terrorist organizations.
Mubarak lives in Corning, about 170 miles northeast of San Francisco, and was arrested by the FBI two weeks ago. Mubarak’s visa has expired, but no criminal charges have been filed against him.
The FBI did not immediately return calls from The AP Sunday seeking comment on Mubarak’s case.
INS officials filed a motion last week, seeking to deny Mubarak bail while his deportation case is pending.
Murad was Mubarak’s roommate at flight schools in New York, North Carolina, Texas and California from 1991 to 1992, but Mubarak said he didn’t know Murad was involved in terrorism until he read about his prosecution. He said he had not seen or talked to Murad since 1992.
Mubarak said the FBI came to his airplane repainting business hours after the Sept. 11 attacks to question him.
He told the San Francisco Chronicle that he had on several occasions voluntarily talked to the FBI and offered his language skills to the FBI and the CIA.
PACIFICA — Authorities released the identities Sunday of the woman and her 9-year-old son who both died a day earlier after their car crossed the dividing line on Highway 1 just north of Devil’s Slide.
Laurence Foucher, 38, of Pacifica, and her son Joseph Niland, 9, were both declared dead at the scene of the crash Saturday.
Police said Foucher’s sport utility vehicle rolled over after swerving out of her lane at about 10 a.m.
A second accident Saturday evening killed three members of a family and injured five others. The driver of the van went off Highway 680 near Benecia.
The van’s driver was later found with nitroglycerin pills in his pocket, sheriff’s deputies said.