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2 Suspects in Oregon Terrorism Case Indicted

From Reuters

Two of the suspected terrorist cell members arrested last week on charges of trying to lend aid to Al Qaeda and Taliban forces were formally indicted Monday in Oregon on four federal counts, including one of conspiring to “levy war against the United States.”

Former Army Reserve member Jeffrey Leon Battle, 32, and October Martinique Lewis, 25, Battle’s former wife, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Dressed in blue prison garb, the two spoke only to say that they had understood the court’s instructions while their attorneys entered pleas on their behalf. Lewis appeared in the courtroom without the head scarf pictured in photographs released by the government last week.

A third suspect, Muhammad Ibrahim Bilal, 22, under arrest in Michigan, is expected to be brought to Portland to hear the charges against him.

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The fourth suspect, Patrice Lumumba Ford, 31, pleaded not guilty to charges at a hearing in Portland on Friday.

A fifth suspect, Ahmed Ibrahim Bilal, 24, has been arrested in Malaysia and faces deportation within days, an official said today in Kuala Lumpur.

Bilal had been in hiding but turned himself in on Sunday to security officials at an Islamic university where he had been studying, a police official told Associated Press.

The university turned him over to Malaysian authorities who were preparing to send him back to the United States, the official said, speaking only on condition he not be identified by name.

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Although Malaysian officials had said earlier that Bilal had not broken any laws here, they said the United States had revoked his passport, making him an illegal immigrant who could be easily deported.

The remaining suspect, Habis Abdulla Al Saoub, 36, a Jordanian citizen, remained at large. FBI officials have refused to discuss his whereabouts.

The six face charges that they conspired to fight against the United States, to provide material support and resources to Al Qaeda and to contribute services to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Battle, Ford, Al Saoub and Ahmed Bilal also face firearms charges.

The trial is expected to start in December.


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