Judge denies bond for terrorism suspect for third time


While a co-defendant is scheduled to get out of jail Friday, a Texas man charged with supporting terrorism was denied release for a third time on Wednesday.


U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Helmick denied a motion for release filed by Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, concluding that his continued detention some 2½ years after his arrest does not violate his due process rights.

Mr. Mohammad, 38, and brothers Sultane Roome Salim, 43, and Asif Ahmed Salim, 37, are scheduled to go to trial April 16 on charges alleging they provided financial support and resources to terrorists. They are accused of raising and delivering $22,000 to Yemen in 2009 for Anwar al-Awlaki, who was later designated a terrorist, then killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011.

Sultane Salim has been free on a $500,000 property bond since November, 2015, although he is confined to his mother's home in Cambridge, Ohio. Judge Helmick agreed last month to release Asif Salim on similar conditions, although his release was delayed while federal prosecutors appealed. On March 2, the judge granted a temporary stay on Asif Salim's release until Friday.

Toledo attorney Dave Klucas, who represents Mr. Mohammad, said he was disappointed his client was not granted bond and said he believes the conduct of Mr. Mohammad's brother played a part in his remaining behind bars.

Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 39, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to provide and conceal material support or resources to terrorists as well as solicitation to commit a crime of violence for a separate case in which he tried to hire a hitman to kill Judge Jack Zouhary, who was presiding over the terrorism support case. He was sentenced to 27½ years in prison and ordered deported to India once he completes his prison term.

“The conduct of the brother has clearly extended Ibrahim's detention,” Mr. Klucas said. “There's no doubt about it.”

Judge Helmick said in his ruling that he found the accusations against Mr. Mohammad “grave.”

“Mohammad is accused of conspiring to contribute and contributing funds to Al-Awlaki for use in preparing for and carrying out ‘violent jihad’ against the United States and the United States military,” his opinion states. “Mohammad also is accused of conspiring to obstruct justice by deleting emails and making false statements to the FBI in an effort to impair the investigation into his and his co-defendants’ alleged crimes.”

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.