Alleged FBI Informant Claims South Coast Plaza Threatened

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Craig Montielh, a 46-year-old father of three, said Thursday that he worked as an FBI informant uncovering suspected terrorist plots.

The Irvine man came forward saying he fears for his life because people may think he is a terrorist. He says his four-year investigation led to one arrest and seven others are pending, under sealed indictments.

"If they wanted to kill me, it's not hard to do," Monteilh said.

Last week, Ahmed Niazi was arrested on charges of passport and immigration fraud.

"Ahmad Niazi is a gentleman, a scholar, a devoted father. But make no mistake, he is also a terrorist," Montielh said.

Montielh also claims Niazi threatened to blow up shopping centers like South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island, to "fight the infidel," meaning the United States.

"If malls are attacked and bombs are exploding, people won't go spend their money," Monteilh said. "People will remain in fear and stay home."


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Monteilh said he alerted the FBI to Niazi, 34, after meeting him at the Islamic Center of Irvine in November 2006 and spending eight months with him, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is outraged about the case against Niazi, saying the FBI is profiling mosques by placing undercover agents in their midst.

The FBI says it will not comment about the case involving Montiehl.

Niazi is scheduled to be arraigned March 2 on a five-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying on his naturalization application, procuring naturalization unlawfully, using a passport procured by fraud and making a false statement.

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