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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
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Terror Suspect Likely to Be Released

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A Portland city employee accused of giving money and advice to a suicide bomber in Pakistan will likely be released pending trial after a Wednesday detention hearing.

Reaz Qadir Khan was indicted on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Prosecutors claim Khan, a naturalized U.S. citizen, used email and intermediaries to give advice and financial assistance to Ali Jaleel, a Maldivian man who died in a 2009 suicide attack on Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Headquarters in Lahore.

The attack killed around 30 people and injured 300.

Khan, 48, works as a wastewater treatment operator for the City of Portland. He has no prior criminal history.

The United States accuses him of criminally conspiring between 2005 and 2009; the indictment was filed on Dec, 12, 2012.

He was arrested Tuesday and pleaded not guilty.

That timeline concerned U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman when attorneys met for Khan's detention hearing.

"Why was he charged in 2012 if he was dangerous in 2009?" the Judge Mosman asked. Mosman asked why there was a "two-and-a-half month period where a man they view as a danger to the community is not arrested."

Prosecutor Ethan Knight said the investigation was a "complicated process" that was delayed for "various operational reasons."

When Khan learned he was under investigation last year, he retained attorneys Lisa Baggio and Larry Matasar. Baggio said Khan asked them to reach out to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Khan's attorneys were vague about details, but acknowledged that Khan knew the investigation involved an incident in which people had died, and that someone he knew had been subpoenaed.

Baggio called Khan a "dedicated father and husband" who has been an "upstanding member of our community for many years."

Baggio said Khan did not flee when he learned he was being investigated, nor after he was indicted.

"He isn't any more a danger now than he was in December," Baggio said.

But prosecutor Knight told the judge that Khan had family ties to Pakistan that put him at risk of leaving the country.

"He would know how to get there and how to exist there," Knight said, calling Khan "sophisticated and intelligent."

Khan's attorneys noted that the suicide attack was against a government building in Pakistan, so it was "extremely unlikely" that Khan would try to go to that country.

As part of the pre-trial release conditions, Khan's attorneys agreed to have their client surrender his U.S. passport and have his computer monitored.

Mosman appeared to agree with Khan's attorneys that he could be released before trial, but expressed "lingering concern" about Khan's assets.

The judge ordered a $25,000 bond and asked Khan's attorneys to disclose his assets. He ordered a renewed detention hearing for today (Thursday), and if those conditions are met, he will release Khan.

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