PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - An Oregon man was arrested on Tuesday on charges he gave advice and financial assistance to one of three Islamist militants who carried out a 2009 suicide bombing in Pakistan that killed 30 people and wounded 300 others, U.S. officials said.
Reaz Qadir Khan, 48, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was indicted on a single count of conspiracy to provide material support for terrorists, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Khan, whose country of origin was not disclosed, was arrested without incident in Portland, prosecutors said. His lawyer said Khan later pleaded not guilty at his first court appearance. He was scheduled to return to federal court on Wednesday for a detention hearing.
According to the indictment, Khan used email and intermediaries to consult with and provide financial support to a Maldivian national named Ali Jaleel and his family, making it possible for Jaleel to attend a training camp in Pakistan in preparation for the bomb attack.
The indictment says the conspiracy began in December 2005 and continued on through the attack on Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) headquarters in Lahore on May 27, 2009, and into the following month.
Approximately 30 people were killed and 300 more were wounded in the blast, federal prosecutors said.
The Pakistani government said at the time that the car bomb attack was carried out in apparent revenge for an army offensive against Taliban militants in that nation’s northwestern Swat region.
Pakistani officials had said that two intelligence officers and six lower-level officials from that nation’s spy agency were among those killed. In addition to damaging an ISI office, the bomb demolished a government ambulance service.
Jaleel and two others carried out the attack, the indictment says.
The indictment cites several instances in which Khan is accused of helping Jaleel with various travel arrangements and instructions on how to avoid detection.
In November 2008, it says, Jaleel wrote that he was about to gain admission to a training camp and would have money left over from funds that Khan had provided him. Khan, according to the indictment, advised Jaleel to keep the extra money so it could be sent back to Jaleel’s two wives in the Maldives.
Khan himself is accused of sending money to Jaleel’s family during his absence from home and after he died in the bombing.
In a video released by an al Qaeda media outlet after the attack, Jaleel was shown making a statement taking responsibility for the blast and preparing for the bombing at a training camp in Pakistan, prosecutors said.
Reporting by Teresa Carson; Editing by Steve Gorman, Cynthia Johnston, Bob Burgdorfer and Lisa Shumaker