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Bail Hearing Resumes to Hear New Evidence

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – A bail hearing for the six Lackawanna suspect's accused of being part of an al Qaida terror cell reopens Thursday in U.S. District Court.

U.S. Magistrate Kenneth Schroeder was to issue a ruling on bail for the suspects Thursday, but instead granted a defense request to reopen the bail hearing.

Defense attorneys want a chance to respond to new evidence revealed in court papers by prosecutors last Friday. The U.S. Attorneys office says agents found documents and videotapes while raiding two homes of Yasein Taher. Prosecutors say documents referring to "suicide bombings" were recovered from his home as well as Arabic language video tapes.

President of the American Muslim Council of Western New York, Dr. Khalid Qazi says he believes defense attorneys will be able to offer an explanation to this latest round of government evidence.

"The prosecution will do what the prosecution has to do. The defense will do their piece," Qazi said. "The evidence that the prosecution has presented will be rebutted by the defense. My presumption is, an answer for that."

Qazi says he has not had any contact with the six men since their arrests on September 13, but remains in contact with their families. He says the family members want their loved ones released as soon as possible, but understand the legal process.

"They are very satisfied with the way the legal process is being pursued," he said. "They are very satisfied with the different attorneys and are certainly satisfied with the judge in how he is proceeding with the case."

Thursday's hearing resumes at noon. Defense attorneys have maintained throughout the bail hearing that they're clients would not pose a threat to society and are good family men and respected members of the Lackawanna community.