NYC man gets 13 years in terror training case - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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>>

  • Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:59 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:59:51 GMT
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me. It's like another language."Cory manages Greenpoint's Academy Records Annex, where they want you ...
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me. It's like another language."Cory manages Greenpoint's Academy Records Annex, where they want you ...
  • Brooklyn man charged in shooting that wounded teen bystander

    Brooklyn man charged in shooting that wounded teen bystander

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:35 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:35:59 GMT
    The NYPD has arrested and charged a suspect in the shooting of a teenaged bystander as well as another man in Brooklyn. Police on Friday charged Kareem Potomont, 21, with two counts of attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal use of a firearm, and reckless endangerment in connection with the shooting that took place near a bus stop on Flatbush Avenue on Monday, April 14.
    The NYPD has arrested and charged a suspect in the shooting of a teenaged bystander as well as another man in Brooklyn. Police on Friday charged Kareem Potomont, 21, with two counts of attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal use of a firearm, and reckless endangerment in connection with the shooting that took place near a bus stop on Flatbush Avenue on Monday, April 14.
  • Christians around world mark Good Friday

    Christians around world mark Good Friday

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:34 PM EDT2014-04-18 17:34:50 GMT
    From the Holy Land to the streets of New York City, Christians have commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Good Friday prayers and processions. Thousands of Christian pilgrims filled the cobblestone alleyways of the Old City on Friday along the Via Dolorosa, Latin for the "Way of Suffering." In NYC, Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio lead followers across the Brooklyn Bridge.
    From the Holy Land to the streets of New York City, Christians have commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Good Friday prayers and processions. Thousands of Christian pilgrims filled the cobblestone alleyways of the Old City on Friday along the Via Dolorosa, Latin for the "Way of Suffering." In NYC, Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio lead followers across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

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