Woman accused of supplying terrorists to remain jailed
Feb. 18, 2015
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Bosnian immigrant accused of funneling money and military supplies to terror groups in Iraq and Syria will remain in federal custody, after her lawyer told a judge Wednesday that he wants clarity on her immigration status before seeking bond.
Sedina Hodzic, 35, is among six people named in a federal indictment earlier this month. Her husband, Ramiz Hodzic, and another man were also named, along with two people from Illinois and one from New York State.
Sedina Hodzic's attorney, Paul D'Agrosa, waived her request to be released on bond during a brief court appearance, but said he will revisit the request once her immigration status is made clear.
Afterward, D'Agrosa said that immigration authorities would detain Hodzic if she were freed, so she would simply move from one jail to another.
"I don't want to say she's an illegal immigrant because I don't believe that's true," D'Agrosa said of his client, who has been in the U.S. 18 years. But, "There are too many uncertainties."
The indictment says that the Hodzics have been living in the U.S. as refugees. A message seeking comment Wednesday from a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesman was not immediately returned.
D'Agrosa said there is concern about Hodzic's three children, ages 16, 12 and not quite 2. The children are staying with a friend while both parents are jailed.
Ramiz Hodzic, 40, faces a detention hearing Friday.
All six suspects are Bosnian immigrants accused of using Facebook, PayPal, Western Union and the U.S. Postal Service to coordinate shipments of money and supplies to terror groups, including one affiliated with al-Qaida.
The indictment accuses Ramiz Hodzic of making 10 wire transfers totaling $8,850, and arranging two shipments of military supplies valued at $2,451. Sedina Hodzic is accused of aiding one of those transfers and shipping six boxes of military supplies to an intermediary in Turkey.
The indictment alleges that the Hodzics were helped by Abdullah Ramo Pazara, another Bosnian immigrant who left St. Louis in May 2013 to fight in Syria. Authorities say he died in Syria.
About 70,000 Bosnian immigrants live in the St. Louis area, the largest population of Bosnian refugees in the U.S. Most are Muslim and arrived after the war that broke out in the early 1990s.
Leaders of the St. Louis Bosnian community have distanced themselves from the suspects, saying immigrants in St. Louis have worked tirelessly to embrace their adopted home.