Raleigh, N.C. — A federal magistrate on Monday denied bond for a Holly Springs man facing charges in an alleged international terrorism plot.
Anes Subasic, 33, a Bosnian refugee and a naturalized U.S. citizen, one of eight men charged in the case, faces one count each of conspiring to provide resources to terrorists and conspiring to murder, kidnap and injure persons abroad.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Cowley said Monday that Subasic attended a sniper training camp in Las Vegas that included instruction on how to escape captivity.
"The risk of danger and the risk of flight is simply too strong to let this defendant out," Crowley said.
Subasic appeared in court last week for with six of his co-defendants, but his case was postponed because his court-appointed attorney and Yugoslavian interpreter asked to be removed from the case.
His attorney blamed existing court obligations and personal matters, while the interpreter cited a conflict of interest since she had previously worked with the Subasic family.
Subasic's new court-appointed attorney, Keat Wiles, told the court Monday that his client "chose to be a U.S. citizen" and that the training in Las Vegas was not "evidence of terrorist training."
During last week's hearing, as well as Monday, the FBI also presented evidence, including surveillance audio, that Subasic associated with the suspected ringleader, Daniel Patrick Boyd.
In part of an April 18, 2008, conversation, according to the FBI, Boyd tells Subasic he needs his help to make a plan for his two sons. "I'm being very specific and very frank with you," Boyd says.
In another part of the April 18 recording, Boyd and Subasic talk in code, referring to men as cars – one a Porsche, the other a Land Rover.
"But, do you think they are able, with such speed, to drive to that distance and they are able to do so?" Subasic asks.
"One of them I will say I am, I, I am sure," Boyd says. "The other one I am 95 percent sure."
Wiles argued that his client was being "polite and courteous … to get along" because the conversations took place in Boyd's store.
"I felt like he was being polite but not necessarily agreeing with what Mr. Boyd said," Wiles said.
U.S. Magistrate William Webb said the federal government's evidence was too strong and agreed with the prosecution that with a possible life sentence looming, the risk of flight is high.
"These are men discussing a conspiracy to go overseas and commit terrorist acts," he said, adding that there were "shocking bits of information of acts of domestic terrorism," if they couldn't make it happen overseas.
Webb, last week, ordered the other six defendants – Daniel Boyd, 39, and his sons, Dylan Boyd, 22, and Zakariya "Zak" Boyd, 20; Hysen Sherifi, 24, Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, 22, and Ziyad Yaghi, 21 – held without bond until trial, saying they present a flight risk and danger to the community.
They were transferred to Piedmont Regional Jail in Farmville, Va., according to federal authorities.
It was not immediately clear Monday afternoon where Subasic will be detained. Deputy U.S. Marshal Bryan Konig said that for security reasons, that information would not be released until Subasic arrives there.
An eighth suspect, Jude Kenan Mohammad, 20, of Wake County, is still at large and believed to be in Pakistan. Prosecutors have said that they hope to have him in custody soon.
During testimony last week, an FBI agent said authorities did not know of specific targets of the alleged terror plots and said he had no information about any intent to harm people in the U.S.
Prosecutors argued that the men were dangerous, noting Subasic's alleged sniper training and that two others had been arrested together twice on assault charges.