RealNews

Ex-Intel engineer accused of aiding Al-Qaida

Federal prosecutors Monday charged former Intel engineer Maher “Mike” Hawash with conspiring to aid Al-Qaida and the Taliban, alleging he collaborated with a group of six Portland residents arrested on terrorism charges last year. Hawash, who had been held for more than a month without charge as a material witness in a secret government investigation, will be arraigned today in U.S. District Court in Portland. His detention has sparked sharp debate over the government’s use of the material-witness statute in terrorism investigations and over the civil rights of Arab-Americans following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Hawash is a U.S. citizen of Arab descent. The case of the 38-year-old former Intel employee also has sparked outrage among Hawash’s former colleagues, who have started a Web campaign to free him. The complaint filed Monday charged Hawash with attempting to contribute “material support and resources” to Al-Qaida and the Taliban and to “levy war” against the United States. The same charges were made last year against the group known as the “Portland Six,” who allegedly tried to travel to Afghanistan in October and November 2001, but never made it there. Their trial is set to begin in October. Full Story

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