NYC man gets 13 years in terror training case - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

NYC man gets 13 years in terror training case

TOM HAYS | AP

NEW YORK (AP) - An American citizen was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Friday for lying to the FBI about his attempts to wage violent jihad against U.S. forces by joining the Taliban or al-Qaida.

Prosecutors in federal court in Brooklyn had sought the maximum 21 years behind bars for Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, arguing that he was following a proven formula of other would-be, homegrown terrorists who succeeded in aligning themselves with extremist groups by traveling to Pakistan's tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan.

But U.S. District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano imposed the lesser term after suggesting the defendant proved too immature and inept to pull it off.

Shehadeh, 23, appeared in court with his long hair pulled back in a ponytail. He spoke only briefly, telling the judge a letter he had written asking for leniency expressed his position.

His outlook on jihad "has matured over time," he wrote. "Jihad and terrorism are not synonymous, they are conflicting in my view." The letter portrayed a failed attempt to get to Pakistan as "an impulsive move" by a misguided young man.

Shehadeh also claimed that while under investigation, he had provided the FBI valuable information on other aspiring jihadists he knew from a Brooklyn mosque. Among them were Najibullah Zazi, Zarein Ahmedzay, and Adis Medunjanin, all convicted in a failed al-Qaida plot to attack the New York City subway system as suicide bombers in 2009.

He offered "information on persons who shortly thereafter were arrested on terrorism charges ... but I was never credited for my information," he wrote.

Prosecutors conceded in court papers that Shehadeh knew Medunjanin. But they also insisted his information didn't advance the investigation of the subway plot.

A jury convicted Shehadeh earlier this year after hearing his friends testify that he spoke of wanting to die while waging violent jihad, or holy war, abroad against the U.S. military. They said the former Staten Island resident had hoped to attend a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.

The defendant first drew the attention of the FBI in 2008 when he bought a one-way plane ticket to Islamabad. Once he arrived there, Pakistani officials wouldn't allow him into the country and he returned to New York.

Prosecutors alleged that when members of the joint FBI-NYPD terror task force interviewed him about the trip, he lied by saying he had tried to travel to Pakistan to "study Islamic law."

Four months later, Shehadeh showed up at a Times Square military recruiting station and tried to sign up, authorities said. A friend he had worshipped with later told investigators Shehadeh had hoped the Army would deploy him to Iraq, where he could desert and join insurgent forces.

Follow Hays on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APtomhays

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Brooklyn NewsBrooklyn NewsMore>>

  • Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:11 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:11:38 GMT
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
  • New MTA bus routes take effect

    New MTA bus routes take effect

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:51:36 GMT
    MTAMTA
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
  • 3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:47 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:47:41 GMT
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices