Lawyer: Huntsville terrorism suspect is being held illegally, without bond since June 15

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --  A Huntsville man facing a charge of providing support for an act of terrorism is being illegally held without bond, his attorney argues in a court filing Wednesday.

The attorney for Aziz Sayyed, 22, filed a habeas corpus petition arguing that the decision to hold Sayyed since June 15 without bond is a violation of Alabama law. The petition seeks to have Sayyed, a U.S. citizen born in North Carolina, brought to court as soon as possible for a hearing to set bond.

Sayyed’s attorney Bruce Gardner had already filed a motion on Monday asking for Sayyed's immediate release.  Failing that, Gardner asked that at least a bond hearing be held. Alabama District Court Judge Schuyler Richardson granted the motion for the hearing, setting it for the “next available docket.”

But the case still hasn’t been set, prompting Gardner’s motion today.

Law enforcement officials, both state and federal, held a news conference announcing Sayyed’s arrest, but gave no details about why he was arrested, other than to list the "support for terrorism" charge. Court records later revealed it was the second degree form of the charge, a Class C felony in Alabama. A Class C felony carries a sentencing range between 1 to 10 years in prison.

The officials said the arrest followed a tip they received and that the community was safe.

Court records last week provided a glimpse into the case against Sayyed, alleging that he was involved in the “procurement” of “materials for the manufacturing of explosive devices to be used against the United States, state of Alabama, and in furtherance of Terrorism.”

Today’s motion argues that the decision to hold Sayyed without bond began with a criminal warrant that was issued by Madison County Warrant Magistrate Lee Leggett.

Gardner’s filing also claims, “The criminal warrant is purported to have been approved for ‘No Bond’ by the Honorable Ruth Ann Hall, Circuit Judge of Madison County.”

The petition contends, “… by reason of his being held without bail upon said warrant for the aforesaid bailable offense, your Petitioner’s detention is not lawful and that he is being illegally restrained of his liberty and that he has been illegally committed and imprisoned.”

Gardner told WHNT News 19 he hopes Sayyed will be granted a court hearing as early as Thursday.

Gardner said Sayyed was attending Calhoun College with the hope of eventually transferring to the University of Alabama in Huntsville.  He has family here, Gardner said, including an uncle who works for NASA.

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