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    Dec 2009

    Default Pak-origin man held for plotting terror attack in US

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    A US citizen of Pakistan origin was arrested on Wednesday on charges of plotting to attack a rail transit system in Washington, authorities said.
    Farooque Ahmed, 34, has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a known terrorist organisation and gathering information to assist in an attack, the justice department said.
    The justice department said Ahmed was interacting with individuals "whom he believed to be members of Al Qaeda" in planning multiple bombings on metro rail stations just outside Washington.
    The justice department said the plot was never materialised.
    "Today's case underscores the need for continued vigilance against terrorist threats and demonstrates how the government can neutralise such threats before they come to fruition," Assistant Attorney General David Kris said.
    Ahmed faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted and was due to appear later on Wednesday in federal court. He was suspected in a plot to carry out simultaneous attacks on several stations some time in 2011.
    The justice department alleged that from April to October, Ahmed accepted documents from a courier he believed was affiliated with Al Qaeda. The documents outlined potential targets in Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington.
    On several occasions, Ahmed gathered video footage of metro rail stations in Arlington and provided the purported Al Qaeda operatives with a digital recording of the footage, the justice department alleged.
    Further, Ahmed is suspected of drawing diagrams of three metro rail stations in Arlington and providing suggestions to an individual he believed to be an Al Qaeda agent as to where to plant explosives to kill the most number of people.
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