Sixteen months after his arrest on charges of supporting terrorism, one of four co-defendants in the federal case is again asking the court to release him on bond.
Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, 37, was denied bond about a year ago by Judge Jack Zouhary.
Dave Klucas, attorney for Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, 37, said in a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court that his client previously was denied bond even after supporters offered to post a cash bond — a fact that smacks of anti-Muslim sentiment.
“In any other context, the banding together of friends and family to help one of theirs in need would be championed and congratulated,” the motion states. “Here, because it is Muslims trying to post a bond, it is insidious and indicative of a risk of flight.”
Mike Tobin, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, rejected that assertion.
“We don’t make bond requests based on someone’s religion,” Mr. Tobin said. “We make them based on the facts of the case, and in this case we will continue to seek pretrial detention and we’ll do that based on the facts of the case.”
Mr. Mohammad and three others are accused of conspiring in 2009 to send $22,000 to Anwar al-Awlaki to commit terrorist acts. Al-Awlaki, who was subsequently designated a terrorist, was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011.
Mr. Mohammad’s wife, father-in-law, and two longtime friends again are offering to post a $150,000 cash bond as well as a $100,000 property bond for real estate in Sugarland, Texas. The motion states that he would live with his wife, children, and father-in-law in the Toledo area, be subject to home confinement and electronic monitoring, and seek employment as a civil engineer — the field he worked in for 10 years in Toledo before taking an engineering job in Dallas in 2015 just before his indictment.
A year ago, Judge Jack Zouhary denied Mr. Mohammad’s request for bond saying he was not convinced Mr. Mohammad would appear for future court hearings “based on the nature of the charges, his loose ties to this district, and his demonstrated ability to raise funds in a short period of time.”
Judge Zouhary recused himself from the case last July after Mr. Mohammad’s co-defendant and brother, Yahya Farooq Mohammad, was indicted for attempted first-degree murder of a federal officer and other charges stemming from an alleged plot to hire a hitman to kill Judge Zouhary.
Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr., chief judge of the Southern District of Ohio, was then appointed to preside over both cases.
Yahya Farooq Mohammad’s trial on the attempted murder charges and the terrorism support charges is scheduled for June 26. Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad along with Asif Ahmed Salim and Sultane Roome Salim are to go to trial Aug. 21.
In asking Judge Sargus for a bond hearing, Mr. Klucas said the government’s case against his client is weak, that he has been held in the Lucas County jail for 16 months and will have been locked up for 22 months by the time the case goes to trial in August.
“Mr. Mohammad has no criminal history,” the motion states. “The indictment alleges conduct that occurred eight or more years ago, and the allegations are less than convincing.”
Mr. Klucas acknowledged the gravity of the charges.
“In today’s atmosphere, it does not get any more grave than Islamic terrorism, and an indictment is probable cause that the defendant committed the offenses,” the motion states. “However, the substance of the indictment here fails to deliver any gravity or terrorism. The indictment is long on government disapprobation of protected speech and short on any identified acts of terror at any stage.”
Yahya Farooq Mohammad and Asif Ahmed Salim also remain in custody, while Sultane Roome Salim was released in November, 2015, on a $500,000 property bond posted by his mother.
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: email@example.com or 419-213-2134.
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