Pete Seda of Ashland, Ore., was known as an arborist who tried to save trees and a defender of Islam, active in interfaith groups, says the Christian Science Monitor. Now, the man known as Pirouz Sedaghaty when he emigrated from Iran 30 years ago is suspected of helping a Saudi Arabia-based charity raise and launder thousands of dollars used to fund jihad (holy war).
The Monitor says the case is one in a series of terrorism-related events in the Pacific Northwest:
• Charges against National Guardsman Ryan Anderson for offering Al Qaeda information about U.S.weapons and military tactics.
• The conviction of several of the “Portland Seven” Muslims who tried to get to Afghanistan to fight Americans.
• The investigation Muslims associated with the University of Idaho and Washington State University, where Anderson had been a student and converted to Islam.
• The sentencing of Earnest James Ujaama of Seattle for conspiring to aid the Taliban, including plans to set up a remote terrorist training camp in the desert of Oregon.
The Pacific Northwest has many potential terrorist targets, including aircraft carriers and ballistic-missile submarines based in Puget Sound, plus 19 major hydropower dams. Still, there’s nothing that makes the Northwest interesting to federal officials hunting for terrorists and their supporters. Radical antigovernment types are otherwise engaged: white supremacists opposed to anything having to do with other races or religions, and their opposites – anarchists concerned with economic globalization and the evils of SUVs.