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California man on way to Mexico arrested in al Qaeda probe

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California man was arrested at a bus stop on his way to Mexico on Friday and charged with attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda and making a false statement on a passport application, the FBI said.

Authorities arrested Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, 24, in Garden Grove, 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles. A U.S. citizen, Nguyen is accused of providing a false name on a passport application and offering to help the militant network, according to a federal indictment.

He was seeking "to work under the direction and control" of al Qaeda, said the indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Nguyen is accused of making the false statement on the passport application "to facilitate an act of international terrorism," an FBI spokeswoman said in a statement.

He went by the alias Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum, the document said. He pleaded not guilty in an initial appearance in court in Santa Ana on Friday and was put in federal custody, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in an email. Nguyen is due back in court on October 18, she said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney)

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