Published — Saturday 8 December 2012
Last update 7 December 2012 9:58 pm
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida: Two Pakistani-born brothers charged in an alleged terrorism conspiracy are due in federal court for arraignment and a bail hearing.
The men arrested last week are 30-year-old Sheheryar Alam Qazi and 20-year-old Raees Alam Qazi. They are accused of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and of attempting to obtain a weapon of mass destruction for use within the US.
The two have not yet entered pleas but family members say they are innocent.
Prosecutors are likely to reveal some details about the alleged plot during the hearing. Few specifics were contained in a grand jury indictment and it’s not clear how far along any plot was.
Federal authorities said the investigation was still very active. But they offered few details about the plot, and information was scant in the three-page grand jury indictment released Friday. Authorities said the case was not an FBI undercover sting operation but declined further comment.
The indictment alleges that the two provided money, property, lodging, communications equipment and other support for a conspiracy to obtain a weapon of mass destruction between July 2011 and this week.
It wasn’t clear whether the conspirators actually did obtain explosives or what their potential targets might have been.
The brothers’ arrest shocked residents in the community, where about a dozen two-story apartment complexes surround a pool and fitness center. Several residents walked their dogs along the tree-lined street Saturday, and a handful of children played outside.
Neighbors said residents of the apartment complex had to submit to a detailed background check before moving in. The entrance has a security gate with a guard house and video surveillance around the pool clubhouse.
Neighbor Martica Albu, who has lived in the complex for about seven years, said the brothers seemed nice and always greeted her warmly, but said she didn’t know them well.
“It’s terrifying. It’s right here, right where you’re living in your condo complex,” 41-year-old Lano Tice said as he was taking out the trash.