National Security

Dallas teen in terrorism case makes first court appearance

DALLAS — A Jordanian teenager accused of plotting to commit jihad by blowing up a 60-story Dallas landmark was polite, soft-spoken and stoic Friday as he appeared before a federal magistrate.

Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, 19, waived his right to a detention hearing and was assigned a court-appointed attorney during the 20-minute hearing before U.S. Magistrate Irma C. Ramirez.

The short, slightly-built defendant was dressed all in black and, at one point, bowed to the judge when she asked him to speak up. He is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Attorney Richard Anderson of Dallas was appointed to represent Smadi, who is scheduled to return to court Oct. 5 for a probable cause hearing.

Undercover agents with the FBI tricked Smadi, 19, into thinking he was detonating a bomb placed in an SUV parked beneath the Fountain Place skyscraper on Thursday before they arrested him, according to court documents. The detonating device was inert, the Justice Department said in a news release.

"The identification and apprehension of this defendant, who was acting alone, is a sobering reminder that there are people among us who want to do us grave harm," U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks said in the news release.

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