Judge Orders Man to Leave Irvine Mosque Alone

June 30, 2007

Author: H.G. Reza

Source: Los Angeles Times


At the beginning, worshipers at the Islamic Center of Irvine said, they thought Craig Monteilh was just an overzealous convert when he criticized U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. But when he started talking about jihad and dropped oblique references to violence, congregants contacted authorities.

On Friday, an Orange County judge issued a restraining order barring Monteilh from going near the mosque and its employees. Members of the mosque testified Friday in court that the FBI opened an investigation earlier this month.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to confirm or deny that an investigation was underway.

Monteilh, 44, has not responded to numerous telephone calls and e-mails seeking comment and did not appear at the hearing. He told mosque members he worked as a personal fitness trainer.

In interviews and testimony at Friday's hearing, four men said Monteilh appeared at the Islamic Center in September and said he wanted to convert.