Brothers due in court in US terrorism case

Updated 07 December 2012

Brothers due in court in US terrorism case

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.

Suspects in Palestinian killing still in Malaysia, say police

Updated 10 min 21 sec ago

Suspects in Palestinian killing still in Malaysia, say police

  • The suspects gunned down Palestinian engineering lecturer Fadi Al-Batsh outside his apartment building in Kuala Lumpur on April 21
  • Family and friends of Al-Batsh believe Israel’s Mossad spy agency was behind the assassination

KUALA LUMPUR: Two men suspected of gunning down a Palestinian lecturer in Kuala Lumpur are still in the country, police said on Wednesday, as they released a fresh image of one of the men.

Two men on a high-powered motorcycle fired at least 14 shots at Fadi Al-Batsh, an engineering lecturer, outside his apartment building on Saturday, killing him on the spot.

A Kawasaki motorcycle was found abandoned near a lake about nine minutes from the scene, from which police were able to trace a photo of one of the suspects, said Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun.

The suspects were believed to have entered Malaysia in late January, but their nationalities and where they had traveled from, remain unknown, said Mohamad Fuzi.

“We believe the suspects are still in the country,” he said.

“We have yet to identify them, but we suspect that they used fake identification either when entering the country or when they were here.”

Authorities had originally released computer-generated photographs of the suspects, who witnesses described as well-built and light-skinned, possibly Middle Eastern or European.

A new photo of one of the suspects shows a light-skinned man with dark, wavy hair and a prominent goatee.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Saturday the suspects were believed to be Europeans with links to a foreign intelligence agency.

Body taken to Egypt

The body of the assassinated Palestinian scientist was on Wednesday driven through the Malaysian capital accompanied by a crowd shouting “God is greatest,” as mourners accused Israel of killing him.

Al-Batsh’s corpse was set to be flown to Egypt later in the day before being transported on to Gaza for burial.

Family and friends of the 35-year-old have accused Israel’s Mossad spy agency of carrying out the killing but the Jewish state has denied the claims.

Hundreds of mourners marched through the capital under Palestinian flags accompanying a van holding the body, as they carried placards showing the victim’s face.

The remains were taken to a mosque, where prayers for the dead were performed before about 500 mourners.

“Every Palestinian who has heard of this assassination is saddened and shocked,” Muslim Imran, chairman of the Palestinian Cultural Organization of Malaysia, told the crowd.

“This crime, I believe, is another reflection of the nature of the Israeli occupation. They carry out crimes, massacres, not only in Palestine but also in the rest of the world.”

Earlier Wednesday police said they believed the two suspects accused of carrying out the hit were still in the country, and released a photograph of one of them.

It showed a man with wavy black hair, glasses and a goatee beard. Police previously released two computer-generated images of the suspects, showing two light-skinned men with beards.

Mossad is believed to have assassinated Palestinian militants and scientists in the past, but rarely confirms such operations.

Batsh’s expertise in making weapons could have made him a target — militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza regularly fire rockets at southern Israel, usually without causing casualties.

But Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has denied claims of the Jewish state’s involvement, suggesting instead that it was a “settling of accounts” between factions of a terror group.