PORTLAND – A man who works for the City of Portland has been accused of aiding a terrorist attack on a Pakistani government compound four years ago that killed 30 and injured 300.
Reaz Qadir Khan, 48, was arrested at his Portland home Tuesday morning on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, according to U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall.
He was ordered to be freed on a $25,000 bond on Thursday.
Thirty people were killed and around 300 hurt when suicide bombers hit the headquarters of Pakistan’s intelligence service in Lahore on May 27, 2009.
Officials said Khan conspired with one of the bombers, identified as Ali Jaleel, providing communication and arranging financing in the years leading up to the attack.
Prosecutors wanted him held, saying Khan has “significant ties overseas,” a Pakistani passport and he traveled to Yemen in 2009, where he has family. Khan learned of the investigation roughly a year or so ago, when he retained counsel, his attorneys said. He also has surrendered his passports, they said.
Khan works for the City of Portland as a waste water treatment plant operator, a spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services confirmed Tuesday.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said he was shocked to learn of the arrest.
“It certainly brings home the fact that Portland's not an island. We're part of a world in which there's a lot of trouble and turmoil," he said.
The indictment unsealed Tuesday said that Khan provided Jaleel with advice to help him in his efforts to travel undetected from the Maldives to commit violent jihad, and he used coded language when communicating with Jaleel to avoid detection. It also said that Khan provided financial assistance so Jaleel could attend a training camp to prepare for the deadly attack.
Jaleel died while participating in the suicide attack. According to the indictment, Khan also allegedly provided financial support and advice to Jaleel’s family after he died.
“Those who provide material support to terrorists are just as responsible for the deaths and destruction that follow as those who commit the violent acts,” said Greg Fowler, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “The FBI will continue to focus on cutting off the flow of funds that help terrorists train, travel, and launch their attacks.”
"The government has been aggressive in using these material support laws to prosecute people," said Tung Yin, professor at Lewis & Clark Law School.
“Dismantling terrorist networks continues to be a top priority for this office and the Department of Justice,” Marshall added. "We will find and prosecute those who use this country as a base to fund and support terrorists.
If convicted, Khan faces a potential maximum sentence of life in prison.