Bloomberg shakes hands with terrorism associate

AP News
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Posted: Nov 12, 2009 3:07 PM

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he would not have shaken the hand of a character witness for a convicted terrorist if he had known about his history.

Brooklyn imam Siraj Wahhaj (sur-AWJ' wah'-HAHJ) was among clergy members invited to meet the mayor Wednesday.

Wahhaj was a witness for Omar Abdel-Rahman (AHB'-del RAKH'-men), who was convicted in 1995 of plotting to blow up city landmarks. Wahhaj was never charged in the case.

Bloomberg says he will in general continue to reach out to every group as mayor. He says he believes he was doing that while meeting with Wahhaj, the leader of a large mosque.