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Terror Suspects Released on Bond

Posted Apr 25, 2007 1:39 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Two cousins accused of plotting to recruit and train terrorists have been released on bond.

Zubair A. Ahmed and Khaleel Ahmed pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges yesterday in a federal courtroom in Toledo, Ohio, the Toledo Blade reports.

A federal prosecutor claimed in yesterday’s hearing that the cousins were part of a terrorist cell that trained in sniper tactics and weapons. He said the plot was uncovered when the men spoke of a five-year plan for action to an undercover agent at a Muslim convention, the Associated Press reports.

Judge James Carr ordered electronic monitoring for the men and placed them in the custody of their families. He said the men had known they were being investigated for more than a year but did not try to flee.

Charges against the cousins were revealed in February in an indictment that also added charges against three Ohio men already in custody. All three, as well as Zubair Ahmed, entered not guilty pleas yesterday; Khaleel Ahmed had already done so.

The Blade quotes attorney Terry Gilbert of Cleveland, who is representing Zubair Ahmed, as saying the case has “a lot of smoke and no fire."

"Yeah, they were talking about guns,” he said. “Is that a crime? But there was no talk about jihad, no talk about killing Americans, no talk about going overseas."

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