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FBI: Georgia men talked of U.S. terror plan

From Henry Schuster
CNN

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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
United States
Atlanta (Georgia)

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Two Atlanta-area men in federal custody as part of a terrorism probe discussed possible locations for a U.S. attack, including military bases and oil refineries, according court documents unsealed Friday.

The U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta on Thursday unsealed an indictment against Georgia Tech student Syed Ahmed, 21.

Ahmed was arrested last month in Atlanta and pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of material support for terrorism. (Watch as Ahmed's mother and sister say he's been wrongly accused -- 1:33)

Ahmed was denied bail. His attorney, Jack Martin, declined comment after hearing excerpts of the documents read.

Ehsanul Sadequee, 19, was arrested this week in Bangladesh and handed over to the FBI. He is expected to be arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, on a charge of making false statements during an interview with an FBI agent.

After reviewing the court documents, Sadequee's attorney, Shereef Akeel, said, "It is a very serious allegation. But it is out of character from the way this young man has lived his life."

Sadequee's sister Sharmin said Thursday night that her brother is not a terrorist and "we are very shocked and startled and hurt" by his arrest.

The two men, both U.S. citizens, knew each other through the Atlanta Muslim community, a Sadequee family member said.

An affidavit from FBI agent Michael Scherck says the duo traveled in March 2005 from Atlanta to Canada, where they met with three men who are the subject of an FBI international terrorism investigation.

Ahmed "explained that, during some of these meetings, he, Sadequee and the others discussed strategic locations in the United States suitable for a terrorist strike, to include oil refineries and military bases," the affidavit says.

"They also plotted how to disable the global positioning system in an effort to disrupt military and commercial communications and traffic."

The affidavit alleges the "assembled group developed a plan to receive military training at one of the several terrorist-sponsored training camps." It also says Ahmed traveled to Pakistan in an attempt to get such training.

The government says that Sadequee lied about the meetings when an FBI agent questioned him last year. He was traveling to Bangladesh to get married, according to his family.

At a news conference Thursday in Atlanta, U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said Ahmed was charged with providing material support for terrorism, not planning or carrying out terrorist acts.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said "no imminent threat" existed at any point during the investigation.

Court documents reveal the investigation included court-authorized wiretapping, recounting a conversation between Ahmed and Sadequee's sister.

The FBI affidavit also says agents found two CD-ROMs in the lining of Sadequee's suitcase when he was leaving the United States. One disc contained pornography and the other was encrypted with a code the FBI was unable to crack, according to the affidavit.

It also says Sadequee had maps of the Washington area with the discs.

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