Georgia Tech students arrested for plotting terror attacks in the United States - travelled to Canada to meet extremists
April 21, 2006
By GIOVANNA DELL'ORTO
Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, both U.S. citizens who grew up in the Atlanta area, met with at least three other targets of ongoing FBI terrorism investigations during a trip to Canada in March 2005, the FBI agent's affidavit said.
The affidavit said the men discussed attacks against oil refineries and military bases and planned to travel to Pakistan to get military training at a terrorist camp, which authorities said Ahmed then tried to do.
Ahmed, who was indicted on suspicion of giving material support of terrorism, was being held at an undisclosed location.
Sadequee, who is accused of making materially false statements in connection with an ongoing federal terrorism investigation, was arrested in Bangladesh and was en route to New York City to be arraigned.
"There is no imminent threat," said FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko, a spokesman in Washington.
To: National Desk
Contact: Patrick Crosby, 404-581-6016
ATLANTA, April 20 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A federal grand jury in Atlanta has indicted Syed Haris Ahmed, 21, of Atlanta, on a charge of material support of terrorism.
"This indictment is the first public result of an extensive and ongoing terrorism investigation led by the Atlanta Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF)," said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. "The agents of the JTTF have worked with great diligence and skill in developing the evidence that was presented to the grand jury. This is the first international terrorism charge filed in Georgia. The charge against Mr. Ahmed is serious and involves national security, and it will be prosecuted with that in mind."
The indictment was returned under seal on March 23, 2006. The only allegations or facts about the case that are currently in the public record are those in the indictment. The body of the indictment reads as follows:
From on or before March 2005 until the date of this indictment, in the Northern District of Georgia and elsewhere, the defendant, Syed Haris Ahmed, a person within the jurisdiction of the United States, did knowingly and unlawfully provide, attempt to provide, and conspire with others known and unknown to provide material support and resources, and to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, and ownership of material support and resources, knowing and intending that the material support and resources were to be used in preparation for and for carrying out a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 956 (conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim, or injure persons or damage property in a foreign country) and 2332b (acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries), all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339A(a).
"During the course of the investigation, the JTTF worked diligently with many different government agencies both here and abroad," Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Atlanta Office Gregory Jones said. "These partnerships along with a variety of investigative techniques enabled the FBI to effectively disrupt and prevent any potential threats whether here in the United States or internationally. The Atlanta JTTF, which is composed of local, state and Federal investigators, has been fully engaged over the past several months with this terrorism investigation. Let me assure you that at no time were we aware of an immediate danger to the Atlanta area or the United States."
According to United States Attorney Nahmias and documents presented in court:
Ahmed was arrested on the afternoon of March 23, after the indictment was returned. Later that day, he spoke by telephone with United States Magistrate Judge Joel M. Feldman, who advised him of his rights and determined he was eligible for appointed counsel. Magistrate Judge Feldman then appointed an experienced criminal defense lawyer, John R. (Jack) Martin, to represent Ahmed. On March 24, after meeting with his counsel, Ahmed signed a voluntary, written waiver of his right to an initial appearance and arraignment, including his right to a bond hearing; that waiver was filed with the court. The waiver was extended, in writing and with the advice of his counsel, on March 31 and April 7; each waiver was filed with the court. On April 13, counsel for the Government and for Ahmed met with Judge Feldman to request that the initial appearance and arraignment be scheduled for April 19. On April 19, Ahmed appeared before Judge Feldman and entered a plea of not guilty. Judge Feldman ordered Ahmed to be detained pending trial. Judge Feldman also entered an order declaring the case to be complex for speedy trial and discovery purposes, and the case was assigned to United States District Judge Clarence Cooper for trial. No other proceedings are currently scheduled.
Since his arrest, Ahmed has been detained in facilities regularly used by the United States Marshals Service to detain pre-trial federal defendants. From the day after his arrest, his location has been known to his lawyer and his family, who have been able to visit with him. The location is not being made public because of the nature of the case.
All of the documents and proceedings in this case were placed under seal by order of the court, at the joint request of the Government and Ahmed. The court unsealed the documents earlier today at the request of the Government, based upon the public reporting of Ahmed's arrest and developments in the ongoing investigation.
The charge in the indictment carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
This case is being investigated by agents of the Atlanta Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which is led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Atlanta Division.
United States Attorney David Nahmias and Assistant United States Attorneys Robert McBurney and Katherine Monahan are prosecuting the case.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
For further information please contact David E. Nahmias (pronounced NAH-me-us), United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is