US judge orders NYC bomb plot suspect deported to Pakistan

[JURIST] A US immigration judge on Thursday ordered Times Square bombing suspect Aftab Ali Khan deported to his native Pakistan. Khan was arrested along with two other men earlier this month on immigration charges under the suspicion that they transferred money to Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad, but Khan told authorities that he had never heard of Shahzad [AFP report]. Authorities believe that Khan might not have known what the money was for, but Shahzad's phone number was found in Khan's cell phone and written on an envelope in his apartment. Khan's lawyer Saher Macarius [firm website] attempted to convince the court to let Khan leave the country voluntarily, rather than through a deportation order, but Judge Robin Feder rejected the request. Khan has 30 days to appeal the order before being deported. Shahzad, a Pakastani-born US citizen, was taken into custody on May 3 [JURIST report] after an SUV containing explosives was found parked in Times Square on May 1. He was charged [complaint, PDF] with five counts, including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to kill and maim people in the US, using and carrying a destructive device, transporting an explosive device, and attempting to damage buildings, vehicles and other property. He is scheduled for a hearing in a New York federal court on June 1.

Shahzad's arrest stirred up controversy [Capitolist report] over whether terrorism suspects should be read Miranda rights. Earlier this month, a group of US lawmakers introduced a bill [JURIST report] that would strip US citizenship rights from those suspected of engaging in acts of terrorism. The bill, known as the Terrorist Expatriation Act (TEA) [text, PDF], would give the State Department [official website] the power to revoke citizenship of a US national who provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization or engages in/supports hostilities against the US or its allies. The American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] came out against the bill [press release] finding it to be "unconstitutional and ineffective." Recent terrorism arrests have also created controversy over the proper venue in which to try those suspected of terrorism. In April, US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] stated that the government has not ruled out [JURIST report] prosecuting certain high-profile terror suspects, such as alleged 9/11 conspirator Khalid Sheikh Mohammad [JURIST news archive], in civilian court in New York City.

 

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