Man held for threatening White House

June 20, 2002 at 4:44 PM
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MIAMI, June 20 (UPI) -- A federal magistrate ordered a man charged with sending e-mail messages threatening the White House and a south Florida power plant held without bond Thursday, pending a psychiatric evaluation.

Safraz Jehaludi, 21, is accused of sending the threats from an Art Institute where he was taking classes and his job at Kemper Risk Management Services, both near Fort Lauderdale.

He allegedly posed as a tipster and warned he was planning to blow up the White House and the power plant.

Jehaludi sat and cried through the proceedings before U.S. Magistrate Ted Bandstra while his family looked on.

"He's very nervous and upset," said his attorney, Henry Bell, an assistant public defender. "It doesn't help that he's been kept up there in solitary confinement in the detention center."

Bell denied his client had any intention of hurting anyone.

"My client's family wants everyone to know that he is not dangerous. He's not a terrorist. The FBI and Secret Service agents have admitted they don't know him, and they have no evidence that he has associated with any kind of terrorist or dangerous person," Bell said.

The FBI said it received the first tip from Kemper May 31, and the other from the art institute June 20. He was caught on tape sending the second warning.

The e-mail said he was planning to start his attacks last Friday. He was arrested Monday. Jehaludi works as a data entry technician at Kemper.

Bell said it could be several weeks before the evaluation is completed.

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