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Lawyers for Lackawanna Six Present Arguments for Bail

Six Suspects in Alleged Terror Cell/
Six Suspects in Alleged Terror Cell/

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Lawyers for all six Lackawanna men accused of operating a local terror cell wrapped up their cases at a bail hearing Thursday night. Several new pieces of information about the defendants were presented.

Attorney John Molloy says his client, Mukhtar al-Bakri, was at an al Qaida training camp, but was duped into attending.

Molloy also says al-Bakri admits to sending an e-mail called the "Big Meal." The government says that e-mail referred to a planned attack on America. But Molloy says his client obtained the information from an old man and cab driver while he was visiting his sister in Saudi Arabia. Molloy calls it hearsay.

"One evening while he and his friends went out after a lecture, they were eating and heard from an old man, about an upcoming, or possible action by Bin Laden," Molloy said. "That was related to them by a cab driver."

Some of the attorneys disputed claims from FBI interviews with Sahim Alwan that places the co-defendants at training camps. Attorney James Harrington, who represents Alwan, says his client attended the al Qaida camp, but was not allowed to leave until after Osama bin Laden visited. Harrington says his client pleaded to leave the camp because he was scared and didn't like the "radical mentality."

"The rhetoric against the United States, the inflammatory language, the things they were proposing, the type of treatment and training he had to undergo -- he didn't like anything about it," Harrington said.

Attorney Joseph Latona, who represents Faysal Galab, proposed to the judge that his client be released and monitored in his home by video cameras.

"They could have the entirety of the common areas of my client's home, subjected to visual surveillance," Latona offered. "The only exclusion would be the bedrooms and bathrooms."

Each lawyer told the judge their client does not pose a flight risk and should be released on bail.

They also said family and friends of the suspects are willing to put their assets on the line to help post bail bonds.

The bail hearing will resume at 1:00pm Friday in Federal Court.