Portland city worker charged in Pakistan terrorist bombing - KPTV - FOX 12

Judge rules for pretrial release of local man in terrorism case

Posted: Updated:
Reaz Khan Reaz Khan

A Portland city worker accused of assisting a deadly terrorist bombing in Pakistan has worked in wastewater operations for seven years and remains a city employee.

Reaz Qadir Khan was arrested Tuesday and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Investigators said Khan, a naturalized U.S. citizen, gave money and advice to a man who participated in a May 27, 2009 suicide bombing at the headquarters of Pakistan's intelligence service in Lahore. The attack killed 30 people and injured 300 more.

During a detention hearing Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that Khan can be released if he posts $25,000 bond and his lawyers disclose the location of all his money.

Khan will remain in custody through at least Thursday, when he has another hearing set for 2:30 p.m. to finalize the terms of his possible release.

Khan's lawyers describe him as a respected husband, father and city worker.

Dana Haynes, communications director for Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, released details of Khan's employment with the city Wednesday.

He was hired in November 2005 as a wastewater operator, which is the only position he has held with the city. He most recently worked graveyard and swing shifts at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant.

His annual salary as a full-time employee was $60,091, not including overtime.

His duties included operating plant equipment and making decisions about whether to bring equipment online or take it offline. He was also responsible for troubleshooting equipment failures and identifying maintenance needs.

City staff addressed concerns, should the accusations be proven true against Khan, about his work with the city and its equipment.

"The Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant is highly automated and highly visible to all staff on site," according to a statement from the city of Portland. "Any attempts to counter act the normal operation of the treatment systems would be immediately met with several alarms and would be easily seen by other staff who could take the appropriate remedial action. It is very unlikely that such an act could be successfully carried out."

The city conducts criminal record checks for all new employees, a policy that was in place in 2005. However, Haynes said it's not clear if the policy was followed for Khan when he was hired.

The background check would also not uncover international actions that are alleged in this case, according to city staff.

As of Wednesday, Khan has not been fired from his job. The city said there is not enough information yet to determine just cause to fire him, but placing him on paid administrative leave is a possibility until deciding on the next steps in regards to his employment.

Kahn is accused of providing financial assistance to Ali Jaleel, a Maldivian national living outside the U.S., and his family, along with advice on how to travel undetected and use coded language.

Federal investigators said Jaleel died in the 2009 suicide bombing.

Kahn could face life in prison if convicted.

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