Suspect in alleged bomb plot ordered to psychiatric facility

A federal magistrate has ordered a Somali man charged in an alleged plot to blow up a shopping mall transferred to a psychiatric facility to determine whether he’s mentally competent.

The evidence US Magistrate Mark Abel based his decision on has been sealed.

Thirty-two-year-old Nuradin Abdi is charged with providing support to al-Qaida and document fraud.

Admitted al-Qaida operative Iyman Faris also has been implicated in the plan. Faris is serving a 20-year federal sentence after he pleaded guilty to scouting U-S targets for al-Qaida.

US Attorney Greg Lockhart says officials are watching a third person, although they haven’t arrested or charged him.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Somalis have gathered outside the courthouse in support of Abdi. Columbus has the second-largest Somali immigrant community in the country, after Minneapolis.