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Police investigate acid bomb blasts

A man links the blasts at his home to the immigration case of a Palestinian-American.

©Associated Press
January 7, 2003

ORLANDO -- Police are investigating the detonation of three acid bombs at the home of a man whose friend is an informer in an immigration case against a Palestinian-American businessman.

The bombs exploded outside John Reedy's Orlando apartment early Sunday.

Reedy, 18, is a friend of an informer involved in an investigation of Jesse Maali, an International Drive gift shop magnate awaiting trial on immigration and money laundering charges.

Last week, Maali Fuad Maali, 22, Jesse Maali's nephew, surrendered on a warrant charging him with assaulting Reedy at gunpoint two days before Christmas. Investigators said the younger Maali threatened Reedy with a gun and asked where the informer was.

About 12:45 a.m. Sunday, Reedy heard an explosion outside the front door, he said. Seconds later, there were two more explosions on his back porch.

Reedy thinks the bombs are "scare tactics to get to my friend."

Reedysaid his apartment complex has asked him to move because of the incident.

Jesse Maali and five associates were arrested in November on 53 charges of illegally hiring foreigners and two charges of laundering money to pay those workers at his retail stores and gift shops.

One man, Saeedullah Awan, 43, pleaded guilty last month and agreed to testify against the others, who have pleaded not guilty to all charges. Awan faces up to nearly three years in prison.

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