TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday ruled against allowing a man to leave jail for home detention until he goes to trial on charges of raising money for a former al-Qaida leader.
The judge said Ibrahim Mohammad’s request to live with his wife and father-in-law in Toledo while on electronic monitoring wasn’t enough to guarantee that he’d show up for trial.
Mohammad is one of four men with Ohio ties accused of sending money to an al-Qaida leader linked to the planning of several attacks against American interests before he was killed in a drone strike. Prosecutors have said that most of the cash was delivered to an associate of Anwar al-Awlaki just months before the failed 2009 Christmas Day bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound airliner.
The U.S. Department of Justice linked al-Awlaki to the attempted bombing but said in court documents that it’s unknown whether the money was used in the planning.
Mohammad, his brother and two other men were charged last fall with raising $29,000 for Awlaki, considered an inspirational leader of al-Qaida. Attorneys for all four men have denied the charges.
Mohammad’s attorney argued on Tuesday that he isn’t a danger to the community or a flight risk because he has few contacts overseas. He argued for home detention.
Mohammad spent 10 years working as an engineer in Toledo before moving with his wife and four children to the Dallas area last year.
U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary wrote in his decision on the bond request that he wasn’t convinced that Mohammad’s wife or father-in-law would take steps to control him or his activities. The judge also noted that Mohammad and his wife did not put up any of their own money for the proposed cash bond, instead relying on friends and relatives for the money.
One of the men charged already is out on bond while another was denied a release in January.
Court documents filed by the government said the men used fake credit card transactions to get the money and took steps to hide transfers of the funds.