PORTLAND - Five defendants accused of conspiring to support al-Qaida and the Taliban are entitled to every piece of information the government has collected about them, defense attorneys are expected to argue in a hearing Tuesday.
That includes files from two dozen American intelligence gathering organizations, and such wide-ranging data as a list of all detainees at the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the government is holding suspected terrorists caught overseas.
Prosecutors called the request extremely broad and a "shotgun" approach to the discovery process.
Two days of pretrial motions are scheduled to begin Tuesday in U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones' courtroom in Portland, in the first substantial hearings in the case since the suspects were arrested last October.
Also Tuesday and Wednesday, one of the defendants, October Martinique Lewis, will argue for a separate trial.
Lewis, the ex-wife of defendant Jeffrey Leon Battle, said she would face prejudice from the jury if the judge allowed "emotional" evidence against Battle at her trial. Prosecutors say they recorded Battle discussing, but then dismissing, an idea to attack a Portland-area synagogue with assault rifles and cause hundreds of casualties.
Lewis, Battle, Patrice Lumumba Ford and brothers Ahmed Ibrahim Bilal and Muhammad Ibrahim Bilal were arrested last October.
Battle, Ford and Ahmed Bilal also currently face a gun charge.
A sixth suspect, Habis Abdulla al Saoub, remains at large.
All except Lewis are accused of traveling to China in late 2001 with the intent of getting to Afghanistan to join the Taliban and al-Qaida in the fight against U.S. troops. Lewis is accused of wiring money to her ex-husband, Battle, to support the effort.
The case built slowly beginning shortly after Sept. 11, when several men were spotted wearing robes and turbans and target practicing in a gravel pit in Skamania County, Wash.
That prompted round-the-clock surveillance by FBI teams, in part using 36 ultra-secret warrants handed down by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, or "spy court," in Washington, D.C.
Defense attorneys are expected to lay the groundwork this week to a challenge to some of the methods used to build a case against their clients.