Brother says, charges are "false"
(Reuters) – Two Pakistan-born brothers living in Florida have been arrested on charges of providing support to terrorists and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction within the United States, authorities said on Friday.
The men were charged in a grand jury indictment announced by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Federal prosecutors allege the men, both U.S. citizens, provided money, housing, communications equipment and transportation as part of a conspiracy.
A statement from prosecutors said the brothers’ alleged goal was “to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against persons and property within the United States”. It did not elaborate and U.S. officials declined to go into details but said the arrests were not the result of a sting operation.
“The investigation is continuing and we just won’t be able to give those specific details at this time,” said Alicia Valle, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami.
“Any potential threat posed by these two individuals has been disrupted,” U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said in a statement.
The accused were identified as Raees Alam Qazi, 20, and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 30. They were arrested on Thursday in Fort Lauderdale and made an initial appearance in federal court on Friday.
Family denies, of course
The family of two brothers arrested by the FBI's South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Face is reacting to accusations the men were participating in a terrorism conspiracy.
More than a dozen agents arrested Raees Alam Qazi, 20, and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 30, at an apartment complex in Oakland Park on Thursday. Both are naturalized U.S. citizens from Pakistan.
The men's brother said accusations that the men were supporting a conspiracy to obtain a weapon of mass destruction are false.
"You don't know what my family's going through... what he's going through," the brother said.
The man said he is watching his brother's four-year-old boy while the men are in the Broward County Jail.
"He drives taxi, plays with his son," he said. "What the hell is going on?"
Weapons of Mass Destruction? This is just another one of the small inconveniences we have to put up with for the pleasure of living with all the nice moderate Muslims who enrich our lives so much here in the Western world.