Attorney General Gregory White said Imam Fawaz Muhammad Damrah, who leads the Islamic Centre of Cleveland, Ohio's largest mosque, withheld the information on his membership or affiliation with several groups, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Damrah allegedly concealed the information while he applied for US citizenship.

"We are strictly dealing with issues, activities and incidents prior to his becoming a naturalised citizen and what he was required to disclose to gain citizenship," White said.

Damrah got his US citizenship in 1994.

Citizenship

He has been charged with obtaining US citizenship by providing false information. If convicted, he could lose his citizenship and face up to five years in prison and a $5000 fine.

Damrah denies the charge and is out on $160,000 bail.

His supporters blamed the charges on Israeli harassment. "It's an Israeli-Zionist plot," said one.