3 suspects in court in alleged terror plot

Aug. 26, 2010 at 9:59 PM
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OTTAWA, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Three men have been accused in Canada of conspiring with others overseas to facilitate an act of terror linked to al-Qaida, authorities said Thursday.

One of the three was a former contestant on Canada's version of "American Idol," The Ottawa Citizen reported.

Hiva Alizadeh, 30, and Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, made a brief appearance in an Ottawa courthouse to face terrorism charges in connection with an alleged bomb plot. Citing court documents, the newspaper said Alizadeh, Misbahuddin and Khurram Syed Sher, 28, were accused of conspiring with at least three others in Canada, Iran, Afghanistan, Dubai and Pakistan.

The other alleged conspirators were identified in court documents as James Lara, Rizgar Alizadeh and Zakaria Mamosta. They and others, referred to in documents as "persons unknown," are accused of trying to facilitate a "terrorist activity" between February 2008 and Aug. 24, 2010.

Alizadeh was charged with conspiracy to facilitate terrorism, possession of explosives and committing an offense for a terrorism group, the report said. Ahmed was charged with conspiracy to facilitate a terrorist offense.

It was not clear if the alleged bomb plot had a specific target or targets or if it had matured to an operational stage, The National Post reported.

A Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesman said simply the accusations were "very serious."

The suspects' lawyers were given synopses of the government case but were ordered not to disclose the contents.

The suspects' next court appearance is set for Sept. 1.

Khurram Sher once moonwalked across a Montreal stage during a "Canadian Idol" audition.

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