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Tucson terrorism suspect denied bail

Posted at 1:10 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 02:57:53-04
PHOENIX (AP) - A judge has ruled a Tucson man charged with plotting a terrorist attack on a motor vehicle office in metro Phoenix will remain jailed until his trial because he poses a danger to the community.
 
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sam Myers said Wednesday that no conditions could be imposed on releasing Mahin Khan that could ensure the public is protected.
 
Authorities say Khan wanted to attack a motor vehicle office in Mesa and instructed an undercover FBI employee to start building homemade grenades.
 
Prosecutor Blaine Gadow says the FBI and Khan's parents took steps to steer him away from his radical viewpoint, but he kept making statements about wanting to attack targets.
 
Defense attorneys argued that Khan should be released from jail and electronically monitored.
 
In day two of a bond hearing for Mahin Khan, the FBI's investigation on the terror suspect continued to unfold. An agent testified in court saying they used an undercover agent to communicate with Khan over the last few months using a cell phone they had given him. Khan thought that undercover agent was a member of ISIS.
 
"He wanted the undercover to assist him in constructing these devices because he did not know how to work small electronics and didn't want to blow himself up," said agent Benjamin Trentledge."
 
Those devices included a pressure cooker bomb, a pipe bomb and a molotov cocktail. Khan revealed many of his plans with that undercover agent. He would often send details on his planned attacks including links to Inspire Magazine, a publication run by Al Qaeda.
 
"He identified the pages with the pipe bomb instructions as the instructions he intended to use to create the improvised explosive device," said Trentledge.
 
Federal agents served a search warrant at Khan's Tucson home on July 1st.
 
"We did not find any guns or ammunition. We located three pressure cookers, we located a glass bottle and a sock inside a camoflauge bag in his bedroom which looked like the precursors to a crude molotov cocktail. And we located attack plans written on hand-written notes."
 
His targets included an MVD in Mesa, FBI offices in California, a Peter Piper Pizza, an LA Fitness, Raytheon, an Air Force Recruitment Center and the Jewish Community Center in Tucson.
 
According to agents, Khan said if his parents tried to stop him he would kill them.  Although they've been following Khan since 2013 the FBI waited until he turned 18 to arrest him.
 
"As an adult, Mr. Khan had a greater capability to carry out the attacks which he had been planning," said Trentledge.
 
Khan is due back in court in September.