Oakland Park Brothers Plead Not Guilty to Terrorist Charges
Sheheryar Alam Qazi and Raees Alam Qazi (Broward Sheriff's Office)
Sheheryar Alam Qazi, and Raees Alam Qazi, two Pakistani-born brothers charged by the FBI with conspiring to funnel "material support" to terrorists planning to explode a weapon of mass destruction somewhere in the United States, pleaded not guilty at a hearing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale on Friday morning.
The Qazis (affectionately known 'round these parts as The Jihad Bros), both U.S. citizens, were arrested last week and will remain locked up at the Broward County Main Jail without bond.
Raees Alam, 20, is scheduled for a bond hearing on December 14, per a request from public defender Danial Ecarius. Ronald Chapman, the lawyer for Sheheryar Alam, 30, will likely seek a bond hearing for a later date.
But because of the seriousness of the charges, it's doubtful either man will be released before a trial.
As we reported earlier this week, the Jihad Bros peddled an X-Box, a random assortment of videogames, and bicycles on Craigslist back in April 2010.
Sheheryar Qazi also worked as a valet for the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and as a Dunkin' Donuts manager.
During the hearing on Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ted Bandstra asked the Jihad Bros if they spoke English. Both responded with a simple "Yes."
Not much else has been revealed by federal authorities as to the brothers' charges, other than to say it's an ongoing investigation and the result of a sting operation.
So far, the FBI has not revealed the exact kind of weapon the Qazi's were allegedly working for or the terrorist group they are or were allegedly involved with.
According to filed court documents, some of the evidence in the case was obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which most likely means that phone and other electronic surveillance was used in nabbing the two.
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