US air base ex-guard convicted of hiding Muslim name

A Southeast Washington man who did not disclose his Muslim name on an application for a job as a private security guard at Andrews Air Force Base was convicted yesterday of making a false statement. Darrick Jackson, 38, left his Muslim name off the application, prosecutors said, to conceal his ties to a local imam known for inflammatory comments.

Jackson, whose first trial ended last year with a hung jury, was tried again this week in federal court in Greenbelt. After deliberating for about a day and a half, the jury found Jackson guilty. He faces up to five years in prison.

Jackson was trying to avoid being linked to Abdul Alim Musa, prosecutors said. Musa has led a mosque in Southeast for almost 20 years and is known for his provocative comments about the United States, Israel and other subjects.

In an interview last night, Musa said the prosecution was “hassling Muslims.” “We regard all of this as just harassment, just the federal government playing around,” Musa said.

Washington Post, 28 June 2008