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Atlanta college student faces terror charge


Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Atlanta (Georgia)

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A Georgia Tech student has been indicted for material support of terrorism, and another Atlanta-area man has been arrested in Bangladesh in connection with the case, authorities said Thursday.

Though the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta on Thursday unsealed an indictment against Syed Ahmed, 21, details remained sealed. A grand jury indicted him March 23, the same day he was arrested.

"The charge against Mr. Ahmed is serious and involves national security and will be prosecuted with that in mind," U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said in a news release.

Ahmed is not accused of committing a terrorist act; he is charged only with providing material support, the federal prosecutor said.

At a Wednesday court appearance, Ahmed entered a plea of not guilty, and a magistrate ordered him held until trial, authorities said. A trial date was not given.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko earlier declined to provide specifics on the case, but insisted there is "no imminent threat."

Ahmed's attorney, Jack Martin, declined to comment.

Ahmed's sister, Samia Ahmed, 18, said her brother told her that federal authorities found a video of a building on the Internet and traced the video to him, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was unknown where the building was or when it was taped.

One agent familiar with the case, however, said Ahmed's arrest stemmed from "much more than a video."

On Monday, Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, 19, was arrested in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, according to his sisters. He was handed over to the FBI and put on a plane to New York on Thursday, the federal source said.

He is expected to face charges in the eastern district of New York.

Sadequee's sisters said they were shocked by the news and that their brother has no ties to terrorism. Sharmin Sadequee said her brother works for the Atlanta-based non-profit group, Raksha.

The organization's Web site states that Raksha, founded in 1995, "addresses social issues within our South Asian community such as family violence and divorce, as well as issues concerning children, senior citizens and new immigrants."

"We are very shocked and startled and hurt," said Sharmin Sadequee, who lives in Michigan. "We still don't know why he was taken by the Bangladeshi government and the FBI."

The two men, both U.S. citizens, knew each other through the Atlanta Muslim community, a Sadequee family member said.

U.S. law enforcement sources confirmed Thursday that Sadequee's arrest was linked to Ahmed's arrest by the FBI last month.

Sharmin Sadequee told the Journal-Constitution that her brother was detained in August at Kennedy International Airport in New York as he was preparing to fly to Bangladesh to get married.

The Sadequee family has since been questioned several times by state and federal authorities, she told the newspaper.

A Sadequee family member said Ahmed called last month, before he was arrested, and said he had been questioned by the FBI. Ahmed told the family that the FBI was claiming it already had arrested Ehsanul Sadequee, the family said.

CNN's Henry Schuster contributed to this report.

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