Huntsville Terrorism Suspect Could Be Back On the Streets
After weeks of arguments from both sides, a Madison County judge has set a $250,000 bond for a Huntsville terrorism suspect. Aziz Sayyed has been held without bond since his arrest on June 15. Sayyed (22) was charged with “soliciting or providing support for terrorism in the 2nd degree,” a Class-C felony. If charged, Sayyed could face up to 10 years in prison.
Sayyed’s arrest was a result of a months-long FBI investigation that uncovered a plot to bomb a Huntsville law enforcement center. Officials say Sayyed was in possession of enough materials to build a bomb similar to the one used in the Manchester, England attack that resulted in 22 deaths. The FBI also discovered information that ties Sayyed to the terror group, ISIS.
Judge Schuyler Richardson’s decision ended weeks of speculation about Sayyed’s fate between now and his trial. Madison County Assistant District Attorney Jay Town argued that no Alabama court has been faced with a case such as this one. While the Alabama Constitution guarantees a person’s right to bond in all but capital murder cases, Town claimed that Sayyed’s ties to ISIS present a serious danger to the public if he is released. Sayyed’s attorneys claimed that this was a gross misreading of the law, and that Sayyed was still entitled to receive bond.
Judge Richardson’s ruling was much higher than the $150,000 bond prosecutors requested. In his order, Richardson wrote:
“Having determined that the defendant has an absolute constitutional right to release on bail, the court is presented with the question of the amount of bail to be set. The court is required to consider the likelihood of the defendant’s appearance as required, the defendant’s financial situation, the nature of the offense alleged, and the likelihood of danger to the public. Based upon testimony, the court finds that the defendant would pose a grave risk of harm to the public if released. Taking all of the above into consideration, the court sets the defendant’s pretrial release bond at $250,000, cash only.”
Setting a cash-only bond prevents Sayyed from using a bonding company to post the money. Sayyed will have to pay the full $250,000 to be released.
Sayyed’s preliminary hearing is set for August 2, 2017. If he posts bail, he will remain under house arrest and be required to wear an ankle monitor.