BOISE, Idaho – Photographs in a computer used by a Saudi student arrested for alleged visa violations include shots of the World Trade Center before and after the 2001 terrorism attacks, an FBI agent testified Tuesday.
A detention hearing was to continue Wednesday in federal court to determine if Sami Omar Al-Hussayen should be released.
The University of Idaho student was arrested last month and has pleaded innocent to an 11-count federal indictment accusing him of visa fraud and making false statements on student visa applications to enter the country.
Al-Hussayen, 34, is a doctoral student studying computer security, and FBI agent Michael Gneckow said that gave him access to some classified information.
Gneckow said a computer regularly used by Al-Hussayen was seized at a university engineering laboratory.
A cursory look at the computer hard drive showed thousands of photographs, including shots of the trade center before and after the attacks, airplane crashes, drawings of planes hitting buildings, the Empire State Building and the Pentagon, Gneckow said.
"I can't begin to guess how many were of the World Trade Center," he said.
Al-Hussayen also is accused of helping set up Internet sites to gather money for violence against the United States.
"The computer not only is a tool for mass communications, but also a weapon," Gneckow said.
"This is purely to sensationalize," defense attorney David Nevin replied. "You're not going to hear that Sami met with Usama bin Laden."
Al-Hussayen allegedly supplied money and computer expertise to the Michigan-based Islamic Assembly of North America, and Gneckow said he is a registered agent of the assembly.
The government has said that Web sites operated by the Islamic Assembly praise suicide bombings.
The group's president, Mohammed Alahmari, told the Detroit Free Press after the Sept. 11 attacks that it was set up to provide information about Islam.
"We do not condone terrorism, we don't fund terrorism and we do not support Usama bin Laden," he said.
Al-Hussayen's brother, Dr. Abdul Al-Hussayen, testified over a telephone hookup, saying their family held no radical views.
He said Sami Al-Hussayen traveled to the Saudi-Kuwaiti border in 1990 to offer food and water to Kuwaitis fleeing invading Iraqi troops. He also held a blood drive among Muslim students at Idaho for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.