SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — An Orange County man has plead not guilty to charges of supporting al-Qaida, the FBI said.
Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, 24, was arrested around 7:30 a.m. Friday at a Santa Ana bus station.
The Garden Grove resident, also known as “Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum”, was about to board a bus for Mexico at the time of his arrest, Laura Eimiller of the FBI said.
Nguyen, a United States citizen, has been charged in a two-count federal indictment which includes knowingly attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida and making false statements in a application for a passport.
“The indictment alleges that Nguyen made the false statements in order to facilitate an act of international terrorism,” said Eimiller. “Investigators do not believe Nguyen was traveling with others, nor are they aware of a continuing threat to the public at this time, based on his alleged activities.”
FBI agents served a search warrant at the Nguyen family’s home, where they seized a cell phone and computer, among other things.
Nguyen was raised Catholic and recently converted to Islam, according to the suspect’s younger brother. He was training to be a truck driver.
Nguyen’s younger brother told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Michele Gile that he wasn’t shocked by the arrest but insists that his brother is not a member of al-Qaida.
The Garden Grove resident is due back in a Los Angeles courtroom next week for a status hearing.
The FBI says the investigation will be continued by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.