On Friday, I blogged about two stories – one regarding Mahmoud Maawad, the 29 year old University of Memphis student (in the US illegally) who was arrested and held without bond after he was found to be in posseseion of the following: a pilot’s uniform, chart of Memphis International Airport and a DVD titled “How an Airline Captain Should Look and Act” in his apartment.
The other story I mentioned briefly was that of a Maryland man who has been charged with conspiracy to aid a terrorist organization that has been called the “Virginia jihad network”. The man’s name is Ali Asad Chandia and we now know more about him:
A local Muslim elementary school teacher and University of Maryland, University College graduate accused of aiding two terrorist groups was released on bond yesterday and will return to home on the condition that he won’t leave the country.
Prosecutors in a U.S. district court in Alexandria, Va., objected yesterday in a detention hearing to releasing Ali Asad Chandia, a 28-year-old College Park resident, fearing he would obtain a passport and flee the country.
Chandia will stay with his wife at the home and will be electronically tracked by a GPS bracelet. His mother will put up her home in Gaithersburg as collateral, U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Carroll Buchanan decided. Chandia’s arraignment is scheduled for Friday in Alexandria.
Chandia graduated from the University of Maryland University College with a bachelor’s in information systems management in May. He also attended Montgomery College from fall 1995 to spring 2000. There, he served as the president of the Muslim Students Association from 1998 to 1999, according to the MSA national organization’s website.
Chandia is accused of providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, and serving as the personal assistant to Ali al-Timimi, the convicted spiritual leader of another terrorist group dubbed the “Virginia Jihad network” by federal prosecutors.
Chandia’s attorney, Marvin Miller, said prosecutors rushed to indict Chandia because they thought he would depart the country. Federal authorities searched Chandia’s Gaithersburg home in May 2003 after finding evidence of his involvement with these groups in previous years.
“The federal government decided suddenly and miraculously overnight he became a flight risk” Miller said.
Chandia is a third-grade teacher at Al-Huda School in College Park, a leading Muslim institution that instructs students from kindergarten through eighth grade in Arabic and the Quran. The Washington Post reported Saturday that Chandia attended the University of Maryland. There are no university records to confirm his enrollment at this university.
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip: LGF