Fremont man accused of attempting to join terrorist group denied bail

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- A Fremont man accused of aiding terrorists appeared in court for a bail hearing on Tuesday.

Adam Shafi supporters said he's innocent and that he actually wanted to help the refugees in Syria and not the terrorists. Prosecutors on the other hand said he's a flight risk and a danger to the community.

About 40 to 50 family, friends and other supporters packed a courtroom when Shafi appeared in court.

The prosecutor argued that the 22 year old should not be granted bail because he was committed to joining an al-Qaeda affiliated group called the al-Nusra Front.

Shafi's New York Attorney Joshua Dartel asked that his client be confined to his parents home in Fremont.

Dartel argued saying: "Religious rhetoric doesn't always translate into actual conduct."

A federal grand jury indicted Shafi for attempting to join the terror group.

In 2014, Shafi's own father notified the U.S. Embassy in Cairo when Shafi disappeared during a family vacation in Egypt.

The FBI affidavit read: "Adam sent a text message to relative one that said that he had gone to protect Muslims."

Shafi had gone to Istanbul and then returned home to the Bay Area.

Last June, the FBI began listening to Shafi's phone conversations with investigators saying he wanted to fight with extremists. "How can I meet Allah when my face has no scars on it?"

In late June, Shafi booked a one way ticket from San Francisco International Airport to Istanbul.

The FBI intervened at the airport and put him on BART back to Fremont.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the judge denied bail.

"He's not a risk for anybody. He's a young guy. Maybe he said something foolish," Shafi supporter Adel Elkadihe said.

"Obviously we're disappointed, but we plan to take it to the district judge on appeal, which is the next step in the process," Dartel said.

Shafi is expected to be back in court next month.

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