A WOMAN charged with plotting to pay a hit man to behead witnesses who testified against a homegrown terrorist will be released on house arrest with a $US1 million ($943,129) bond pending her trial.
Nevine Aly Elshiekh, 46, could be sent to prison for life if convicted. But Senior US District Judge W. Earl Britt has determined she is not a public threat and unlikely to flee to her father's native Egypt or elsewhere overseas.
"I am doing this out of respect for your mother and father and you must know if you violate the terms of your release you place their future in jeopardy," Judge Britt told Ms Elshiekh.
Her lawyers say it could be next week before her family can put up the cash or property needed to post her bond.
Ms Elshiekh was charged in January with helping arrange the beheading deaths of three witnesses who were not harmed.
The FBI says she was acting on behalf of a man convicted in January of plotting to attack the US Marine Corps base in Virginia and targets overseas.
Judge Britt has ordered Ms Elshiekh to cancel her missing passport and submit to house arrest with electronic monitoring.
She can leave her parents' home only for medical appointments approved in advance by her parole officers or to appear in court.
Prosecutors are concerned Ms Elshiekh, a US citizen, speaks fluent Arabic and has travelled overseas at least 20 times.
But defense attorneys say the family has deep roots in North Carolina, where they have lived since Ms Elshiekh was a child.
Nevine Elshiekh and Shkumbin Sherifi, 21, were arrested after an elaborate FBI sting operation into the alleged plot to kill the witnesses from the trial of Sherifi's older brother, Hysen Sherifi, who was sentenced in January to 45 years in prison.
Mr Sherifi allegedly plotted with his brother and Ms Elshiekh to pay a hit man to behead three witnesses who testified at Sherifi's trial.
Court records say an FBI informant accepted a $US5000 ($4715) payment and then provided faked photos appearing to show a beheaded corpse as confirmation.
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