Correction to This Article
This article misstated some elements of the case presented by federal prosecutors. In the first trial, prosecutors contended that Darrick Jackson omitted his Muslim name from a job application to conceal his ties to a local imam. That trial ended in a hung jury. In the retrial, prosecutors did not specifically argue that Jackson was trying to conceal his tie to the imam.
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY

Air Base Ex-Guard Convicted of Hiding Muslim Name

By Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 28, 2008

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. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, who presided over the trial, is scheduled to sentence Jackson on Sept. 22.

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.

Jackson's attorney, John Chamble, has argued that his client misunderstood the question -- "Have you ever used or been known by another name?" -- thinking it referred to a woman's maiden name.

But assistant U.S. attorneys David I. Salem and Emily Glatfelter said the omission during a 2005 background investigation was a deliberate attempt to keep his ties to Musa and the mosque secret.

On the application, Jackson indicated that he had no other names. And in an interview with an investigator from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Jackson did not disclose any other names, prosecutors said. Jackson also is known as Abdul-Jalil Mohammad, prosecutors said. (In some prosecution filings, the last part of Jackson's Muslim name is spelled "Mohammed.")

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.

The U.S. attorney for Maryland, Rod J. Rosenstein, has defended the prosecution of Jackson, saying it is not about the defendant's religion but about ensuring the security of U.S. government installations.


© 2008 The Washington Post Company