ATLANTA – A federal grand jury has indicted a 21-year-old Georgia Tech student for material support of terrorism, U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said on Thursday.
Syed Haris Ahmed, a naturalized citizen from Atlanta, is being held by federal authorities at an undisclosed location, known only to his family, his attorney and the government. He waived his right to arraignment with the right to revoke the waiver at any time.
"This is the first internatinal terrorism charge filed in Georgia," Nahmias said. "The charge against Mr. Ahmet is serious and involved national security, and it will be prosecuted with that in mind."
The indictment was returned under seal on March 23 and wasn't unsealed by the court until Thursday.
The charge in the indictment carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
"The whole story of this case is going to come out where it should — in a court of law," Nahmias said.
"Let me assure you that at no time were we aware of an immediate dangers to the Atlanta area of the United States," said Gregory Jones, special agency in charge of the Atlanta FBI office.
The indictment said that on or before March 2005 until the date of the indictment Ahmed provided material support and resources for terrorism.
Ahmed was arrested on March 23 and later that day spoke by telephone with U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel M. Feldman, who advised him of his rights and determined he was eligible for appointed counsel. He appointed John R. "Jack" Martin to represent Ahmed.
Ahmed appeared before Feldman on Wednesday. Feldman ordered Ahmed be detained pending trial.
The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper for trial, but no other proceedings are currently scheduled.