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Six Charged in Terrorism Probes

BY Admin  August 28, 2002 at 6:30 PM EST

The indictment accused Ujaama of attending meetings in 1999 to discuss the need for “training in order to be able to attend violent jihad-training camps in Afghanistan, the commission of armed robbery, the building of underground bunkers to hide ammunition and weapons, the creation of poisonous materials for public consumption, and the firebombing of vehicles.”

In a two-count indictment, the government also charged Earnest James Ujaama with using, carrying, possessing and discharging firearms during a crime.

The indictment accused Ujaama of attending meetings in 1999 to discuss the need for “training in order to be able to attend violent jihad-training camps in Afghanistan, the commission of armed robbery, the building of underground bunkers to hide ammunition and weapons, the creation of poisonous materials for public consumption, and the firebombing of vehicles.”

Ujaama, a Muslim who was born James Ernest Thompson, has maintained his innocence, claiming in a written statement that the U.S. government had violated his civil rights.

“Should it be the policy of this government to convict innocent people before any hearing or before any trial?” Ujaama wrote. “My constitutional rights, my civil liberties and my future have been grossly violated in a bid to seek political gain, not justice or truth.”

Ujaama’s attorney, Daniel Sears, told the Associated Press his client was arrested July 22 and has been jailed in Alexandria, Virginia since then. Sears said he believed the government was holding Ujaama as a material witness until they could develop charges against him.

Word of the charges against Ujaama came just hours after a Detroit court indicted five men allegedly part of a “sleeper cell” linked to a factional Islamic religious movement called Salafiyya. The men were charged with conspiring to provide assistance and materials to individuals or groups planning violent attacks in the U.S. and elsewhere, the indictment read.

Police have had four of the suspects in custody for months since a raid on their apartment yielded documents related to potential attacks on a U.S. military base and other violent acts. A fifth remains at-large, the Associated Press reported.

The indictment alleged the men operated “as a covert underground support unit for terrorist attacks within and outside the United States, as well as a ‘sleeper’ operational combat cell.”