Metro Terror Sting Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Art Lien
    Sketch of Farooque Ahmed appearing in U.S. District Judge John F. Anderson's courtroom.

    A Pakistani-born U.S. citizen has pleaded not guilty to charges that he attempted to help al-Qaida bomb the Metro system.

    Farooque Ahmed, 34, was arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Ahmed entered wearing a green prison jumpsuit, shook hands with his attorney and briefly answered a series of routine court questions. His attorney requested a jury trial, which was scheduled for April 11.

    Ahmed waived his right to a speedy trial because his counsel needed more time to prepare for trial. Once it starts, the trial is expected to last four days.

    Ahmed was arrested last month after being targeted in a federal sting operation. Authorities say he plotted with people he thought were al-Qaida members to conduct bombings at D.C. Metrorail stations.

    The people he allegedly believed were al-Qaida members were actually undercover law enforcement operatives.

    Court documents released Tuesday show that authorities seized a pistol, a shotgun and two rifles and a large amount of ammunition from Ahmed's Ashburn home as well as a CD recording of a lecture from radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Investigators also seized a pamphlet entitled "What Does Islam Say About Terrorism?"