Court: Man in terrorism case was going to Pakistan

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Associated Press

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 7:36 PM

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California man charged with attempting to join al-Qaida and lying on a U.S. passport application to aid international terrorism was planning to travel to Pakistan before he was arrested, a court document showed on Thursday.

A federal court order to detain Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, 24, of Garden Grove states that arresting agents said he was due to travel to Mexico City by bus and then board a flight to Pakistan.

The order, which was made available online Thursday, also states Nguyen was holding a fake passport and had recently traveled to Lebanon and Syria to help the Free Syrian Army.

Nguyen, who is a U.S. citizen, was arrested last week in Santa Ana while waiting to board a bus to Mexico. He has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court Monday.

A message seeking comment from his attorney, Yasmin Cader, was not immediately returned.

Nguyen, who is also known as Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum, attempted to work under the direction of al-Qaida, according to an indictment returned last week. The four-page document provides no details about the alleged terrorism act.

Nguyen's family has said he recently converted to Islam. He had a license to work as a security guard, though it was set to expire last month.

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