A Chicago man accused of plotting terrorist attacks against overseas targets including a Danish newspaper that printed inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was charged Wednesday with providing support for terrorism — doubling the amount of time he might spend in prison.
Prosecutors added the charge of providing material support for terrorist acts Wednesday morning against 48-year-old Tahawwur Hussain Rana, hours before they argued he shouldn't be freed on bond.
He already had been charged with conspiring to provide material support for terrorism.
The second terror support charge means Rana could face more prison time — 30 years instead of 15, as each carries a maximum 15-year penalty — if he is convicted.
Later Wednesday prosecutors argued that Rana, one of two Chicago men accused in the alleged plot, is a serious flight risk and should stay behind bars without bond.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Collins told federal Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan that Rana was a danger to the community and should not be released.
But his lawyer denied that his client might be planning to flee and said he could have been the innocent dupe of an alleged coconspirator.
Nolan said she needed more information and set another hearing in the case for Tuesday, although she said she wouldn't decide the matter then, either.
The husky, full-bearded Rana appeared at the hearing wearing the bright orange jumpsuit of a federal prisoner but did not say anything to the judge.
The complaint says Rana — a Canadian national who was born in Pakistan and owns a grocery store and immigration service in Chicago — provided travel services and other help to another man charged in the case, David Coleman Headley, as Headley scouted out the offices of Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper for a possible terrorist attack.
The newspaper published twelve cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in 2005 that triggered outrage throughout the Muslim world. One cartoon showed Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban. Any depiction of the prophet, even a favorable one, is forbidden by Islamic law as likely to lead to idolatry.
Rana's attorney, Patrick Blegen, told Nolan the evidence in an FBI affidavit outlining allegations against his client could easily support the notion that he was merely an innocent dupe of Headley and knew nothing about any plan to attack the Danish newspaper.
Prosecutors say Headley, whose former name was Daood Gilani, envisioned a plan to murder the cartoonist and the newspaper's former cultural editor.
Headley's attorney, David Theis, has said he would have comment. Headley's bond hearing is set for Dec. 4 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys.
Blegen said the new charge against Rana upped the possible sentence to 30 years in prison from 15.
Rana is to remain at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Blegen said two of Rana's brothers in New Jersey were willing to post their homes as bond and relatives in Canada would post "what amounts to their life savings" to get him out of federal custody pending resolution of the case.
Nolan said requiring numerous relatives to post their homes and savings would be helpful because it "puts more eyes on the street" to watch Rana and make certain he would not flee and leave them without their assets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.