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U.S. Muslim Suspected of Al Qaeda Ties Denied Bail

Courts: Magistrate says James Ujaama, accused of supporting terrorism, is seen as a flight risk.

October 02, 2002|From Associated Press

SEATTLE — A federal magistrate Tuesday ordered an American Muslim held without bail on charges of trying to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon, saying it was the only way to ensure his appearance at trial.

Magistrate John Weinberg added that the U.S. had presented persuasive evidence that James Ujaama, who grew up in Seattle, had been an advocate of terrorism.

Ujaama was arrested July 22 in Denver. He was held as a material witness until Aug. 29, when a grand jury indicted him on one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources for the Al Qaeda terrorist network, and another count of using, carrying, possessing and discharging firearms during a crime.

Although Ujaama's mother and aunt had offered to put up their houses as collateral, that would not ensure that Ujaama would stay in this country to face trial, Weinberg said. The trial is set for November.

Prosecutors say Ujaama, 36, tried to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore., in 1999. He denies the charges.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Andrew Hamilton argued that Ujaama has become a close associate of Abu Hamza al-Masri.

The U.S. froze Al-Masri's funds for his alleged membership in the Islamic Army of Aden, the group that claimed responsibility for the October 2000 bombing of the destroyer Cole in Yemen.

Al-Masri provided Ujaama with a letter of introduction that enabled him to attend a terrorist camp in Afghanistan, Hamilton said.

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