Two Pakistani brothers arrested for conspiring attack in United States


Two Pakistani brothers living in Florida were arrested on charges of providing support to terrorists and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction within the United States (US), authorities said. The men were charged in a grand jury indictment announced by the US Attorney for the southern district of Florida. Federal prosecutors alleged the men, who are US citizens, provided money, housing, communications equipment and transportation as part of a conspiracy. A statement from prosecutors said the brothers’ alleged goal was “to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against persons and property within the United States”. The plan did not materialise and US officials declined to go into details but said the arrests were not the result of a sting operation. “The investigation is continuing and we just won’t be able to give those specific details at this time,” said Alicia Valle, a spokeswoman for the US Attorney office in Miami. “Any potential threat posed by these two individuals has been disrupted,” US Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said in a statement. The accused were identified as Raees Alam Qazi, 20, and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 30. They were arrested on Thursday in Fort Lauderdale and made an initial appearance in the federal court on Friday. If convicted, each could face a potential sentence of 15 years in prison on the charge of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The charge of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction can result in a maximum life sentence.