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Oregon man charged with helping in Pakistan bombing granted bond

Reaz Qadir Khan, 48, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is seen in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Marshall Service. REUTERS/U.S. M
Reaz Qadir Khan, 48, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is seen in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Marshall Service. REUTERS/U.S. M

By Teresa Carson

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday granted bond to an Oregon man charged with conspiracy to provide material support to one of three Islamist militants who carried out a 2009 suicide bombing in Pakistan.

Reaz Khan, a 48-year-old wastewater treatment plant operator for the city of Portland, was arrested on Tuesday on an indictment charging him with providing advice and funds to a suicide bomber who participated in an attack in Lahore, Pakistan, in May 2009 that killed 30 people and injured 300.

Khan, who pleaded not guilty during an initial court appearance on Tuesday, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if he is convicted at trial.

During a bond hearing on Wednesday, federal prosecutors argued that Khan, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Pakistan, should be held without bail because he was a flight risk and a danger to the community.

But U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman granted his release on $25,000 bond, citing his job, family, ties to the community and lack of a criminal record.

Mosman also said that Khan, a married father of three, knew he was under investigation and had retained defense lawyers before his arrest but made no effort to flee despite having cash and valid U.S. and Pakistani passports.

The judge said that before Khan was released he was required to disclose all of his financial assets and submit to home detention with a monitoring device placed on his ankle. Under the conditions set by Mosman, Khan would be permitted to work, go to religious services and see his attorneys.

According to the indictment, Khan used email and intermediaries to consult with and provide financial support to a Maldivian national named Ali Jaleel and his family, making it possible for Jaleel to attend a training camp in Pakistan in preparation for the bomb attack.

The indictment says the conspiracy began in December 2005 and continued on through the attack on Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) headquarters in Lahore on May 27, 2009, and into the following month.

Jaleel and two others carried out the attack, the indictment says.

The indictment cites instances in which Khan is accused of helping Jaleel with travel arrangements and instructions on how to avoid detection.

The Pakistani government said at the time that the car bomb attack was carried out in apparent revenge for an army offensive against Taliban militants in that nation's northwestern Swat region.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Xavier Briand)

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