Judge sides in part with Huntsville terror suspect, sets the stage for his conditional release
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Judge Schuyler Richardson found that Aziz Sayyed, the Huntsville man accused of plotting a terrorist attack in Madison County, is eligible for release by posting bond, but that finding does not take effect immediately.
The judge also ruled that the court must set conditions for Sayyed’s release to ensure he comes back to court and to protect the public “to the greatest extent possible.”
The court order sets a preliminary hearing for July 19 to hear testimony from both the state and the defendant in order to determine the conditions of release.
While both sides have argued before the court, neither has presented any formal evidence, instead offering summaries of what the investigation into Sayyed has found so far.
Prosecutors say that Sayyed had watched ISIS videos and then begun practicing for beheadings with a knife. They say he planned to build a TATP bomb, like the one used in a recent terror attack in Manchester, England that killed 22 people. The state told the court that Sayyed had already collected all the necessary supplies for the bomb he planned to build, and that he intended to detonate it in a law enforcement center in June.
The prosecution argued a tragedy had barely been averted.
However, Sayyed’s defense attorney argued that Sayyed had not actually done any of the things he’s accused of plotting. In fact, the charge he was arrested for, Providing or Soliciting Support for Terrorism in the 2nd Degree, is only a Class C felony. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 1 to 10 years and requires a bond be set for the defendant.
The prosecution in the case argued that while the Constitution may provide for bond, it is not a “suicide pact” and public safety must be taken into account.