Seven men from the US state of North Carolina charged with plotting terror attacks in Israel and Jordan have been in court for a detention hearing.
The men are accused of conspiring to kill, kidnap and maim, but not of carrying out actual attacks.
Prosecutors say the alleged ringleader, Daniel Boyd, 39, trained in Afghanistan and fought there between 1989 and 1992.
Officials have also revealed that they are looking for an eighth suspect, who went missing in Pakistan last year.
The indictment against Mr Boyd accuses him of organising training and fundraising for overseas terrorist operations.
He even recruited his own two sons to his organisation, prosecutors allege.
Tuesday’s court hearing is being held to determine whether the US can continue to hold the men while they await trial.
David Kris US Department of Justice
At the hearing, prosecutors played a recording of Mr Boyd apparently telling his family that “Muslims must be protected at all costs”.
The indictment says he is a veteran of training camps for militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“Over the past three years, [he] has conspired with others in this country to recruit and help young men travel overseas in order to kill,” said David Kris, of the US Department of Justice.
According to the indictment, from late 2006 until July 2009, Mr Boyd and the other defendants engaged in a conspiracy to advance violent jihad abroad.
They arranged weapons training, funding and travel for others who wished to fight overseas, the indictment says.
It does not describe any specific attack plans, but says Mr Boyd and several other defendants travelled to Israel in June 2007 in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to engage in violent jihad.
Another defendant, Ziyad Yaghi, 21, is said to have travelled to Jordan in October 2006 to commit violent acts.
According to prosecutors, the defendants practised military tactics in North Carolina in June and July 2009.
There has been no reported response from the defendants.
On Monday, officials announced that they were looking for an eighth suspect, Jude Kenan Mohammad of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Mr Mohammed was arrested in Pakistan in October 2008 after trying to enter a part of the country that is dominated by militants and off-limits to foreigners.
He was charged with weapons possession, but disappeared after being granted bail.
Officials said Mr Mohammed was also involved in Mr Boyd’s operation.
The North Carolina case is not the first of its kind in the US. In May this year, five men were convicted of conspiring to blow up the Sears tower in Chicago.
In January 2008, Muslim convert Jose Padilla was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for plotting to kill people overseas and of supporting terrorism.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/08/04 17:09:08 GMT