[Guest post by DRJ]
Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi, 44, from Lebanon is being held in El Paso by immigration pending a deportation hearing. The Houston Chronicle reports the following government allegations regarding Mr. Elzahabi:
“Elzahabi came to the United States in May 1984 on a student visa, with plans to enroll in English as a second language classes at the University of Houston.”
He “entered into a sham marriage with a Houston exotic dancer and drug addict in 1984 to obtain legal permanent residency, also referred to as a green card. Officials say he promised Kathy Ann Glant, a waitress and dancer at the Pink Pussy Cat club, $5,000 to marry him.”
He has never faced charges of terrorism or committing violent acts but he was “arrested in May 2004 in Minnesota on a material witness warrant in a terrorism investigation. Before his arrest, he voluntarily underwent 17 days of questioning by FBI agents.”
He was convicted of possessing fraudulent immigration documents by a federal jury in August 2007 and turned over to ICE custody.
He has admitted “attending a jihad training camp, being a sniper in Afghanistan and helping train a group seeking to overthrow the Lebanese government.”
Elzahabi has already been convicted of possessing fraudulent immigration documents but we may have to wait to see if the remaining claims will be proved in an immigration hearing. (I think the standard of proof is lower than in a criminal proceeding — see, for instance, this article about Sami Al-Arian.) If this is representative, U.S. immigration courts could end up as the front line in the American legal war on terror.
Don’t you wonder how many Elzahabis there are in America … and how many more there may be after the GTMO detainees have their day in court?