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The image shows an official associated with the FBI. — File Photo by Reuters

MIAMI: Two men of Pakistani descent have been charged with plotting to provide material support to terrorists and to use a weapon of mass destruction within the US, federal prosecutors said Friday.    

The men were identified as brothers Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 30, and 20-year-old Raees Alam Qazi.

Both are naturalised US citizens originally from Pakistan and both were arrested in the Fort Lauderdale area, prosecutors said.

Few details about the plot were provided by prosecutors or outlined in a brief, three-page grand jury indictment.

Authorities said the case was not an FBI sting operation but declined any additional comment.

''Any potential threat posed by these two individuals has been disrupted,'' said Miami US Attorney Wifredo Ferrer.

In Washington, Justice Department national security spokesman Dean Boyd called the case ''an ongoing, very active investigation'' but provided no specifics.

The indictment charges that the two provided money, property, lodging, communications equipment and other support for a conspiracy to obtain a weapon of mass destruction between July 2011 and this week.

The goal was to ''use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against persons and property within the United States,'' prosecutors said in a news release.

It wasn't clear whether the conspirators actually did obtain explosives or what their potential targets might have been.

The Qazi brothers had initial court appearances Friday, but court-appointed attorneys for the two did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

An arraignment and bail hearing is scheduled for Dec 7.

They are both charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, which carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence, and with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. The maximum is life in prison for that charge.

South Florida has seen several high-profile terrorism cases, including the conviction of Al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla and the convictions of five men accused of plotting to join forces with Al Qaeda to destroy a landmark Chicago skyscraper and bomb FBI offices in several cities.

More recently, a Miami Muslim cleric and one of his sons are facing trial on charges they provided thousands of dollars in financial support to the Pakistani Taliban.

Comments (6) Closed

Ragu Dec 02, 2012 12:39pm
Every three month we keep reading that Saudi student or a Bangladesh student or a Pakistani American is attempting it kill us citizens in large scale. It endangers those who live and work in the USA like myself. This occurs in many cases in the name of religion. We had three Somali youth fron the state of Virginia traveling and getting trained in Pakistan in bomb making two years ago. These crooks slander the name of a great religion and harm the reputation of millions of hardworking immigrants in the USA.
peddarowdy Dec 01, 2012 12:24pm
Not a single Terrorist attack since 9/11! Kudos!
akhtar Dec 01, 2012 11:39pm
They not only ruined their lives, but also put every muslin specially from Pakistan on watch list. Majority of Pakistani immigrants are law abiding citizen, who follow American Laws and respect the freedom and opportubities it provides It is a shame that few are spoiler in the name of what?????
muzammil ullah khan Dec 01, 2012 07:40am
What's the matter with these misguided guys . If they dont like the American policies then they should not live there . I cant understand the mentality of these fanatical people who first migrate to USA and then start plotting against the country which has been magnanimous to give them a right to live and earn their livelihood there. I call it being very ungrateful. Those who think that the American way is bad should stay put here and not beg to go to USA. I know many of my fellow Pakistanis would not like my views but I firmly believe in what I have written here.
Vgp Dec 01, 2012 03:51pm
Why is it that most of the people caught for terrorist acts turn out to be Pakistanis?
Observer Dec 01, 2012 06:24pm
These guys just ruined their whole lives!! They need to understand that US has a very strong internal security and intelligence.It is highly unlikely that you get through the cracks.No wonder muslims feel so alienated as they are always under watch!!Pakistan has now become synonymous with terrorism worldwide courtesy such people!!