International Herald Tribune

Judge: No bail for San Jose man charged with aiding terror plot

SAN JOSE, California: A judge agreed with federal prosecutors Tuesday that a California man with alleged ties to terrorists in the Philippines must remain jailed pending his trial.

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled that San Jose resident Rahmat Abdhir poses a threat to the community where he has spent 17 years with a wife and four children who are all U.S. citizens because he knowingly sent money and military gear to his brother, a high-ranking member of an al-Qaida off-shoot.

"There are no conditions or combinations of conditions that reasonably will assure the safety of the community" if Abdhir is released on bail, Fogel wrote in a 5-page ruling.

Abdhir, 43, a computer engineer, was arrested Aug. 2 after a federal grand jury indicted him for allegedly sending his brother weapons, camouflage clothing and nearly 30 radios — parts of which were discovered to be timing devices for a bomb that killed five people in the Philippines last year.

His brother, Zulkifli Abdhir, 41, is considered a "specially designated global terrorist" by the U.S. government for his role with Jemaah Islamiyah, an al-Qaida affiliate in the Philippines'. he remains at large and a $5 million (€3.53 million) reward has been offered for his arrest.

Rahmat Abdhir has pleaded not guilty to 16 terrorism-related charges.

Legal experts have been watching the San Jose-based brother's case to see if it would provide a precedent for other terrorism suspects being held without bail by greatly expanding the legal definition of community.

Fogel said e-mail exchanges between the two brothers showed that Rahmat Abdhir knew of his brother's activities in the Philippines and condoned them through his actions.

"It defies common sense to believe that defendant did not know that such assistance was illegal and exposed him to severe criminal penalties," the judge wrote.

Cynthia Lie, Abdhir's federal public defender, could not be reached for comment, but can appeal Fogel's bail ruling.

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