The 22-year-old Fremont web developer indicted for plotting to join a terrorist organization was denied bail during a court hearing Tuesday.
A federal judge said Adam Shafi is too much of a flight risk. About a group of 40 family and friends were at the federal courthouse to support Shafi.
"He's not a risk of flight and he's not a danger to the community," said Joshua Dratel, Shafi's lawyer.
Shafi is accused of plotting to join Al-Nusra Front, a designated terrorist organization by the United States.
Court paperwork show Shafi's father raised suspicions about him in 2014 by contacting the U.S. Embassy in Cairo during a family trip to Egypt after he went missing. Shafi returned days later, but his father at the time feared he was being recruited by extremists.
Shafi was arrested on July 3 after nearly a year of surveillance of surveillance by the FBI. The arrest came just days after after federal agents stopped him from boarding a one-way flight from San Francisco to Turkey.
FBI agents cited intercepted phone conversations between Shafi and friends back in June. Shafi in the conversations allegedly said "I am completely fine dying with these guys," referring to the possibility of joining the group, according to the FBI. Shafi also discussed possible entry points from Turkey into Syria in the conversations.
Shafi has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer said he was going to Syria to be around people like himself.
"The judge wasn't fair," said Adal Elkadi, a family friend. "There is not reason for him to stay in jail. He's not a risk for anybody. He's a very young guy who said something foolish."
Shafi's attorney said he will be appealing the judge's decision. In the meantime, Shafi will remain in federal custody. His next hearing is set for Jan. 14.