Brothers due in court in US terrorism case

Updated 07 December 2012
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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.


Protests across Spain as sexual abuse gang released on bail

Demonstrators shout slogans as they take part in a protest rally in Valencia on June 22, 2018, a day after a court ordered the release on bail of five men sentenced to nine years in prison for sexually abusing a young woman at Pamplona's bull-running festival. (AFP)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Protests across Spain as sexual abuse gang released on bail

  • All five, aged between 27 and 29, were convicted of sexual abuse in April but were acquitted of the more serious crime of sexual assault
  • Thousands of people had already protested in Pamplona, Bilbao, Barcelona and other cities on Thursday after the court issued its ruling

MADRID: Protesters hit the streets across Spain for the second day running on Friday, after five men sentenced to nine years in prison for sexually abusing a young woman at Pamplona’s bull-running festival were released on bail.
The men, who called themselves “The Pack” in a WhatsApp messaging group, had been accused of raping a woman, then 18, on July 7, 2016, at the start of the week-long San Fermin festival, which draws tens of thousands of visitors.
All five, aged between 27 and 29, were convicted of sexual abuse in April but were acquitted of the more serious crime of sexual assault — which includes rape — as the court did not consider the victim to have been subjected to intimidation or violence.
The men appealed their jail terms and a Pamplona court on Thursday ordered the five to be released on bail of 6,000 euros ($7,000) pending the outcome of the appeal.
Thousands of people of all ages demonstrated outside the justice ministry in central Madrid on Friday evening, shortly after the five men left jail after spending nearly two years in custody.
“I was stunned” by the court ruling, Aratz Beranoaguirre, a geologist, told AFP at the Madrid protest.
“Men have been educated with the idea that we can do anything, and with this ruling we have seen that you can rape and nothing happens.”
The crowd chanted: “They don’t believe us if they don’t kill us.”
Other protests were held in the southern city of Seville, the hometown of the five men, Pamplona — where the crowd held a large banner that read: “No is no. Justice!” outside of city hall — Granada, and elsewhere.
Thousands of people had already protested in Pamplona, Bilbao, Barcelona and other cities on Thursday after the court issued its ruling.
Women’s groups took to social media to call the protests with the slogan: “If the pack hits the streets, we will as well.”
Marches after the verdict in April brought tens of thousands of protesters out on to the streets.

“It is not fair that they are released with a sentence of nine years, and just a few days before San Fermin, they can even go there,” said Lucia Rodriguez, a 60-year-old protester in Madrid, referring to the upcoming running of the bulls festival which gets underway on July 6.
In its decision on Friday, the Navarre court said the five had been allowed out on bail because the social pressure on them made it “practically unthinkable” they would risk re-offending.
The men will remain under judicial monitoring. They have had their passports withdrawn and must report to court three times a week.
They are also banned from traveling to Madrid, where the victim lives.
One of the men is a policeman with the Guardia Civil — who is currently suspended — and another was once in the army. Several are “ultras” or hardcore fans of FC Sevilla.
The fact that the men videoed the attack on their smartphones and bragged about it within their WhatsApp group added to the outrage over the case.

The mayor of Pamplona, Joseba Asiron, said Friday his office would appeal the decision to release them, saying there was “a growing distance... between society itself and certain decisions taken by the courts.”
An online petition calling for the five to be kept behind bars had garnered 657,000 names by Friday night.
New socialist Justice Minister Dolores Delgado has not commented on the court decision, speaking only of a need to “change mentalities.”
The first step announced by the government of Pedro Sanchez, who took office earlier this month at the head of cabinet that includes 11 women, was to train magistrates in awareness about violence against women.
Noelia Garcia, 41, said she did not trust that the situation would change with a new government dominated by women.
“That is not enough. There needs to be a reform of the judicial system. Judges from another era need to be replaced,” she added at the Madrid protest.