Aziz Sayyed Practiced Knife Skills For Beheadings And Planned To Bomb Buildings In Huntsville, Prosecutors Say

A Huntsville, Alabama man arrested on a terrorism charge last month told people he wanted to practice beheadings and was learning how to make an explosive device to bomb public buildings, a prosecutor said in court this week.

Aziz Sayyed, 22, downloaded ISIS beheading videos in February and in April obtained plywood that he allegedly used to practice knife skills for beheadings, said Madison County Assistant District Attorney Jay Town at a bond hearing Wednesday. According to WHNT News 19, Town also said Sayyed made statements he watched videos to learn how to make an explosive similar to the one used in the May 22 attack at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in England, which killed 22 people and injured more than 200.

The prosecution alleges in court filings that Sayyed admitted he wanted to plant explosives in Madison County public buildings and had specific plans to bomb a law enforcement center in Huntsville. Authorities said materials to make bombs were found in his apartment after his arrest.

Investigators said after his arrest that Sayyed is a U.S. citizen born in North Carolina. His arrest came after a tip from a citizen.

A Madison County judge is still considering whether to set bond. Sayyed’s lawyer argued that it is unconstitutional that Sayyed had been held for nearly three weeks without a bond hearing. Lawyer Bruce Gardner said bond should be set between $2,500 and $30,000, the standard range for a Class C felony. The defense maintains that Sayyed hadn’t done anything yet and was only a perceived threat.

But the prosecution maintains that Sayyed is a danger to the public and might flee to join other ISIS members. Prosecutors asked in court filings for no bond or a bond of no less than $250,000. In court Wednesday, they said that if bond is to be set, it should be at least $100,000 cash.

Sayyed is charged with soliciting or providing support for terrorism in the second degree, a Class C felony in Alabama which carries a sentence of one to 10 years in prison. He has a preliminary hearing Aug. 2.

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