FRESNO, Calif., (AP) -A California man accused of trying to supply stolen U.S. military equipment and defense secrets to Yemen was denied bail Friday after a prosecutor said he had ties to a terrorist financier who plotted to help al-Qaida and Hamas.
The allegations emerged at a hearing for Amen Ahmed Ali, 56.
Defense attorney David A. Torres said his client was surprised by the charges.
“But he’s also strong. He looks forward to his day in court,” Torres said.
In pressing to keep Ali behind bars, prosecutors said that a search of Ali’s house turned up contact information for Sheik Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad in Ali’s address book.
Al-Moayad, a Yemeni cleric serving a 75-year prison sentence, was convicted in New York last year of conspiring to support and attempting to support al-Qaida and the Palestinian extremist group Hamas, and of actually supporting Hamas.
Ali was arrested Sept. 7 at his cigarette shop in Bakersfield. He and two other men, all Yemeni-born U.S. citizens, were charged in the case.
Prosecutors said Ali planned to send chemical suits and body armor to Yemen without State Department authorization.
Ali pleaded not guilty last week to conspiracy to possess and transmit defense information, unlawfully export defense articles, possess stolen government property and attempted unlawful export of defense articles. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.