Terror suspect named names
• Court papers tell how Leon Battle implicated fellow Portland Seven suspects
After he was arrested on federal terrorism charges, Portland Seven defendant Jeffrey Leon Battle told investigators 'that his intentions were to go fight in the jihad against American and coalition troops' and named other defendants as taking part in the alleged plot, according to recently filed court documents.
Battle's comments were detailed at length in a motion filed with the U.S. District Court by attorney Andrew Bates requesting that his client, Muhammad Ibrahim Bilal, be tried separately from the other defendants.
In the motion, which was filed Wednesday, Bates alleges that Battle told a federal informant that he wanted to:
• Attack synagogues and kill 100 to 1,000 Jews
• Become an assassin and search out FBI agents to kill
• Obtain large tanks of gasoline to make flame throwers and attack domestic military bases
• Die for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden because of his high regard for him.
Battle's attorney, Kristen Winemiller, could not be reached for comment.
Although the motion says Battle specifically implicated all of the other defendants in his discussions with investigators, it is not clear whether that includes former Intel Corp. employee Maher Mofeid Hawash, who was arraigned on the charges Monday. Hawash pleaded not guilty.
The motion filed by Bates also alleged that co-defendant Patrice Lumumba Ford discussed his efforts to reach Afghanistan with informant Khalid Mustafa.
Bates argues in his request that Bilal cannot receive a fair trial because of the statements made by Battle and Ford. Bates said the statements are so 'inflammatory as to create a 'spillover' effect that will prejudice the jury against Muhammad Bilal.'
According to Bates' motion, except for the statements by Battle and Ford, the government has no evidence to prove that Bilal intended to support terrorism.
Bates wrote: 'In contrast to the case against some of the co-defendants, the government has no statements made by Muhammad Bilal to its informant Khalid Mustafa; no evidence of Muhammad Bilal possessing or discharging firearms in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy; no incriminating physical evidence such as 'jihad' material produced as a result of the search of his residence; and no conclusive e-mail or other writings authored by Muhammad Bilal indicating anything other than a legitimate purpose for his travel abroad.'
The attorney representing co-defendant October Martinique Lewis also has requested that she be tried separately for similar reasons.
U.S. District Judge Robert Jones will rule on both motions before the trial starts. Scheduled to begin this fall, the trial could be postponed because of the charges filed recently against Hawash.
The other defendants are Bilal's brother Ahmed and Habis Abdulla Al Saoub, who remains at large.
All have been charged with conspiring to wage war against the United States and to provide material support to the al-Qaida terrorist organization and former Taliban government of Afghanistan.