Lawyers for St. Kate's Terror Suspect Ask for her Release from Jail

April 05, 2018 03:14 PM

The video above aired in February 2018.

Lawyers representing the woman accused of starting fires on the campus St. Catherine University in January filed a series of motions in U.S. District Court Thursday seeking, among other things, to allow her to be released with conditions to the custody of her mother and sister and to push back the start of her trial.


In early February, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced a three-count indictment of Tnuza Jamal Hassan, charging her with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, making a false statement to the FBI and arson.

RELATED: Terror Suspect Hassan Pleads Not Guilty, Remanded to Jail

She entered a plea of not guilty and the judge in the case ordered she remain in jail while awaiting trial.

Court documents show one of the motions filed Thursday asks that the order of detention be reconsidered, and for Hassan to be released into the custody of her mother and sister on the condition she remain on house arrest for the remainder of the case, and her whereabouts be monitored by GPS monitoring.

RELATED: Woman Accused in St. Kate's Arson Tried to Leave US to Join Terrorist Groups, Court Filing Says

Her lawyers also said she would be prohibited from accessing the internet in any fashion, and any furloughs from house arrest would need to be approved by the U.S. Probation Office.

Another motion seeks to push the start of the trial from May 21 to a date no earlier than July 23 "on the grounds that this is a complicated case, in which the government to date has provided defense counsel with thousands of pages of discovery in electronic format, and is continuing to provide defense counsel with discovery from search warrants of electronic devices."

The lawyers also filed a motion asking that evidence obtained by search warrants to Google for all Google accounts belonging to Hassan, as well as evidence obtained by a search warrant for a cell phone allegedly belonging to her, be suppressed. 

RELATED: Sources: FBI Investigating Woman Charged with Arson at St. Catherine

"If the evidence was seized pursuant to search warrants, the warrants were not supported by probable cause, were overly broad, and failed to specify the evidence to be seized with sufficient specificity as required under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," the motion read.

"If the evidence was seized pursuant to search warrants, the government seized and reviewed evidence that was outside the authority granted the government by the search warrants," it stated.

In another motion, the lawyers ask that prosecutors be made to provide the defense with a written summary of any expert testimony the government intends to use at trial. While another asks that law enforcement agents, "including any confidential reliable informants," retain and preserve all rough notes taken as part of their investigations, "whether or not the contents of such rough notes are incorporated in the official records."

RELATED: Suspect Identified Following Multiple Fires on St. Catherine Campus

Prosecutors allege Hassan attempted to recruit two St. Kate's students to join Al-Qaida in March 2017.

In September of last year, she reportedly tried to fly to Kabul, Afghanistan, to join the terrorist group, but was stopped in Dubai for lack of a visa. Three months later, she reportedly attempted to fly to Ethiopia with her mother using her sister's ID, but was stopped from boarding by authorities.

Her mother chose not to continue on the flight. 

She disappeared shortly after that until she was charged with setting the fires at St. Kate's, including one inside a building that housed a day care center in which 33 kids and eight adults were present. No one was hurt.

RELATED: St. Catherine says Arsonist Responsible for Multiple Fires on Campus; Former Student In Custody

Prosecutors claim Hassan set the fires on Jan. 17 as a way to wage "jihad," and her motivation was to burn the buildings down and kill people. 


Frank Rajkowski

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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