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By Andrew Blankstein and Dennis Romero
An Arizona man has been charged with distributing instructions on how to make explosives after he traveled from Tucson to Las Vegas in order to help undercover FBI agents construct a bomb, according to a federal complaint unsealed Monday.
Ahmad Suhad Ahmad, born in 1988, was scheduled to appear in federal court for a preliminary hearing Wednesday. His attorneys requested a two day continuance.
NBC News reached out to Ahmad’s federal public defender but did receive an immediate response.
In late 2016, the filing in U.S. District Court in Arizona alleges, the suspect told an FBI informant that “he knew how to detonate a bomb by using a cellular phone with a removable cellular battery.”
The suspect told the informant he learned the detonation technique during “the war in Iraq,” according to the complaint, which does not specify whether Ahmad, a U.S. citizen, ever served in the U.S. military.
The informant asked Ahmad in the spring of 2017 if he could “show him how to make a car bomb for a target in Mexico,” the complaint reads. The suspect allegedly said he could.
Days later Ahmad showed the informant “an image of explosive materials and instructions on his cellphone” that were in Arabic, the complaint states.
Later, the FBI alleges, the suspect sent a text message with “a bomb recipe written in Arabic.” The filing said that the result would have been a land mine or improvised explosive device (IED).
Ahmad agreed to travel to Las Vegas to help undercover agents build the device described in the text message, the FBI said.
On April 26, 2017, the filing alleges, the suspect brought a circuit tester, electrical tape, and Permatex Epoxy to a Las Vegas meeting with the agents, who brought the rest of the ingredients, the complaint said.
“Over the course of several hours Ahmad built the device and described what he was doing to one of the undercover agents,” the filing states. “Ahmad told one of the agents how to connect the blasting caps and where to place the C-4.”
Ahmad also allegedly helped the agent build a second device and explained how both explosives operated.
The complaint, signed by FBI Special Agent Christopher T. Barrett, requested that Ahmad be detained.