ORLANDO, Fla. - WFTV has uncovered an Orange County
imam's past ties to the so-called Blind Sheik, whose extremist group is blamed for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
Federal prosecutors said Orange County Imam Abu Taubah, aka convicted felon Marcus Robertson, has murdered people, attempted assassinations, took hostages and tried to kill police officers, all to fund attacks on U.S. soil.
Last year, months before the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, prosecutors said Robertson planned an attack on U.S. military personnel overseas.
Authorities said Robertson was bodyguard to Omar Abdel Rahman, known as the Blind Sheik. Rahman's extremist Islamic group was blamed for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Authorities said Robertson led a band of thieves who robbed banks and the government in the 1990s. He was even accused of giving Rahman $300,000 for a much bigger New York attack on the Washington Bridge, tunnels and government buildings.
Rahman is in prison, and Robertson served four years, but federal prosecutors said he's training others to kill overseas.
They said Robertson and Jonathan Jimenez committed tax fraud to send Jimenez on a
The FBI said Jimenez was worried they'd all get caught, because he said Robertson wasn't just talking about the Quran here at the Masjid Al-Ihsaan mosque in East Orange County, he was talking about the military, and people were bringing weapons and ammunition.
The FBI said they worked on the plan in Robertson's East Orange County home and said phone taps and confidential informants show that just months before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Robertson taught Jimenez to kill officers first and to kill Marines, because they're "fighters and warriors on the battlefield."
The feds won't name the other suspects.
The FBI said Robertson was in a rush to get Jimenez to Mauritania last year, but he was arrested 19 days before Sept. 11, 2011.