The lawyer for a San Diego man accused of co-conspiring with the suspect in a foiled New York City bomb plot is skeptical about the allegations that his client is involved.
Attorney Stephen P. White said there is nothing more than speculation linking his client, Howard Willie Carter II, to the man arrested for allegedly trying to detonate a van filled with what he believed were explosives in front of the Federal Reserve Bank.
The primary suspect in the case is 21-year-old Bangladeshi national Quazi Nafis. Carter was arrested on unrelated charges, but sources told NBC news and NBC 7 San Diego that he may have been a co-conspirator.
Carter currently faces charges of child pornography and appeared in court Thursday for his arraignment.
Prosecutors did not mention the bomb plot in court, but instead discussed the disturbing images found on a hard drive they believe belongs to Carter.
Former federal prosecutor John Kirby said it was likely that Carter was arrested child pornography charges in order to prevent him from fleeing.
“It’s normal, if you have someone you’re trying to make a connection to a larger case, to find something you can hold them on,” he said.
Still, White maintains that the case is exclusively a child pornography case.
“I would like people to reserve judgment and use common sense and judge my client on what evidence, if any, they have here in San Diego,” White said.
Federal authorities in San Diego did not comment on Carter’s link to Nafis. However, earlier this week, FBI agents raided Carter’s apartment on Winona Ave in City Heights. Carter's roommate Curtis Morehead told NBC 7 that agents asked him to identify Carter, who also went by "Yaqueen," on a terrorist watch list.
A man named "Yaqueen" was identified as a co-conspirator of Nafis in federal documents.
"They showed me a single sheet of legal copy paper with his picture, several different angles and views," Morehead said.
Carter wasn't home and agents spent hours combing through his room.