Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Staten Island; jihadist found guilty of lying about going to Pakistan to join other jihadists

Abdel Hameed Shehadeh believed he could go to Pakistan and learn to wage war against the infidel.  He tried to join both Al-Qaeda and the Taliban but was unable to get into Pakistan proper.  Other attempts to join other jihadists were also thwarted, and he was finally arrested at the end of 2010 in Hawaii.  Now he faces up to 21 years when sentenced.

No virgins for him!

From Staten Island Live March 25 by Frank Donnelly

Former Staten Islander convicted of lying to conceal attempts to join jihadist groups

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A former Staten Island resident, who wanted to die as a "martyr" fighting against his native United States, was convicted Monday of lying to the FBI regarding a trip to Pakistan in which he tried to join terrorists, said federal prosecutors.

Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, 23, was found guilty of making false statements in a matter involving international terrorism, said a spokesman for Loretta E. Lynch, United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Shehadeh, more recently a resident of Hawaii, faces up to 21 years in prison when sentenced by District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano, a Staten Island resident. A date has not been set.

Shehadeh was charged with three counts of making false statements to the FBI regarding a trip to Pakistan during which he allegedly attempted to join the Taliban or al Qaeda. Shehadeh tried to cover his tracks by telling federal agents he was journeying abroad to visit a university, said Ms. Lynch's spokesman.

A one-time Tottenville High School student, Shehadeh so wanted to join a jihadist group that he flew on a one-way ticket to Islamabad, Pakistan in June 2008, but Pakistani officials turned him away. The U.S. citizen also tried, unsuccessfully, that year to enlist in the U.S. Army at the Times Square recruiting station in Manhattan. Prosecutors said he hoped to deploy to Iraq, where he intended to commit "treason" and kill U.S. soldiers.

Undeterred, Shehadeh, in June 2009, bought an airline ticket from Hawaii to Dubai, but was intercepted by FBI agents who told him he was on a "no fly" list, said prosecutors.

In subsequent interviews, he allegedly admitted he had hoped to join the Taliban and receive training in "guerrilla warfare" and "bomb-making," according to court records.

Shehadeh wanted to die as a "martyr," waging war against his native United States, said prosecutors. He believed he would receive 72 virgins as a reward for giving his life for the jihadist cause...

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