Federal terror prosecution may re-define “danger to community” standard for bail hearings

The Sacramento Bee reports:

Should a California man who poses little threat to his neighbors remain behind bars because of his alleged ties to a terrorist group that threatens lives halfway around the world?

Federal prosecutors say yes. They argue Rahmat Abdhir, accused of helping extremists associated with al-Qaida in the Philippines, represents a “danger to the community” – even though that community is 7,500 miles away. They’ve asked a judge to keep him in a San Jose jail pending trial.

Legal experts are watching the federal case, which could set precedent for other terrorism suspects being held without bail by greatly expanding the legal definition of community. U.S. courts have traditionally defined a community as people within close geographic proximity.

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel said he would decide next week whether to release Abdhir on bail pending his trial. Abdhir, 43, is accused of sending more than $10,000 and military gear to his brother, thought to be a high-ranking member of al-Qaida affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah.

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