California Man Facing Terrorism Charges
Denied House Arrest
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[May 14, 2014]
By Jennifer Chaussee
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A California man
charged with attempting to travel to Syria to fight alongside an al
Qaeda splinter group was denied a request to be put under house arrest
while he awaits trial, a federal judge in California ruled on Tuesday.
Nicholas Teausant, a 20-year-old American citizen, was arrested on
terrorism charges in March as he approached the Canadian border.
In early May, a magistrate judge approved a request by Teausant's
lawyer Benjamin Galloway to put Teausant on house arrest while he
awaited trial, with bail set at $200,000. Teausant's paternal
grandparents, who are 66 and 71 years old, would have served as his
guardians under the plan.
But federal prosecutors requested that a district judge review the
In his ruling on Tuesday, District Judge John Mendez said Teausant
had a history of lying that could put the public at risk and
expressed his concern that Teausant's grandparents were ill-equipped
to act as the man's "jailors."
"It's unfair to put that burden on them," Mendez said. "He's never
lived with them and can easily take advantage of them."
Galloway argued that a psychiatric risk assessment proved Teausant
was not a danger to society, but Mendez said the assessment was
insufficient because it did not take into account Teausant's
tendency to lie.
Prosecutors contend Teausant said he wanted to join the Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and
the Levant, to fight the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, which is
battling the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's
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"I'm going to be a commander and I'm going to be on the front of
every single newspaper in the country," the criminal complaint
quoted Teausant as telling a paid FBI informant in February. "Like I
want my face on FBI's top 12 most wanted. Because that means I'm
doing something right."
Teausant, who faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if he is
convicted, also spoke of wanting to target the subway system in Los
Angeles on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, according to the
(Reporting by Jennifer Chaussee; Editing by Edith Honan and Lisa
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