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A second brother of accused al-Qaida conspirator Shawqi Omar was charged with bank fraud and money laundering on Thursday.
Bassam Omar appeared in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City eight days after being arrested at his home in Southern California.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges, but withheld further comment.
"I have been advised not to speak," he said before the hearing.
Omar's brother, Sharif, made a similar plea earlier in the week. FBI officials said Thursday that the bureau's Joint Terrorism Task Force remains the lead investigative agency in the case even though no charges related to terrorist support or activities have been filed. Supporters of the Omar family have questioned the FBI's intentions, saying that the case appears to be intended to prompt family members to turn against Shawqi Omar.
Shawqi Omar, a former Salt Lake City refrigerator repairman, has been held without charge in a U.S. military prison in Iraq since his arrest there 18 months ago. He has had limited contact with his attorneys, who have suggested the government doesn't have enough evidence to convict him and is desperately seeking more.
Sharif Omar was released from custody earlier this week after forfeiting his passport. Bassam Omar, who has family and a business in Utah, also was released after posting a $500,000 bond, guaranteed by two homes he owns in southern California.
A third relative who was expected in court Thursday apparently was still in custody in California. Prosecutors said there had been a delay in Ahmad Abudan's release after family members scraped together a $100,000 cash-only bond. Abudan is married to one of the Omar's sisters, though his family members say the 35-year-old man is not particularly close with that side of his family.
Prosecutor Robert Lunnen said Abudan would be due in court on May 11. Meanwhile, Lunnen said, officials are waiting to hear when Alaa Ramadan, another accused co-conspirator in the case, would arrive to hear the charges against him in Utah.
FBI agents had been waiting for months for Ramadan, also related by marriage to the Omar family, to return from Jordan so they could sweep up all those indicted in the case. Described as a key player in the alleged fraud, he was not granted opportunity to post a bond to secure his release. The U.S. Marshals Service will transfer Ramadan to face charges in Utah, but Lunnen said it could take weeks for the 29-year-old defendant to arrive.
Also this week, Ramadan's brother, Ihab, was issued a summons to appear to in Utah to hear the charges against him. Ihab Ramadan initially had faced a warrant of arrest, but FBI agents said they realized, when they came to pick him up, that he suffered from advanced multiple sclerosis and decided he was not a flight risk.
Three other individuals, Rebecca Benson, Teri Hansen and James Gibbons, all of Salt Lake County, also have been charged in the case. None are known to investigators to be related to the Omar family. Benson and Hansen - who are said to be cooperating with investigators - have been summoned to appear in court. Gibbons, already in custody on unrelated charges, also has received a summons.
FBI officials believe the defendants were involved in a "criminal enterprise," which generated "hundreds of thousands of dollars, including mortgage, loan, credit card, wire and mail frauds and money laundering."
At least $50,000 of the allegedly stolen money was transferred to a bank account in Jordan, where many of the defendants have family and Shawqi Omar has been charged with helping plot a bombing. Counterterrorism agents say they are still trying to find out where the money went.
Gus Omar, a brother who has not been implicated in the alleged conspiracy, has insisted that any transfers of money were simply intended to support family members. And Gil Athay, who represents Bassam and Sharif Omar, said the Utah case has "nothing to do" with terrorism.
Athay said Thursday that he is still waiting documents detailing the case against his clients. However, he said, "I don't think the discovery will give us any clue as to why the Joint Terrorism Task Force is looking at this case."