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Shehadeh tried, unsuccessfully, that year to enlist in the US 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 US soldiers.
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US Citizen Convicted of
Attempting to Join Jihadist Groups

Staten Island Advance
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 US citizen also tried, unsuccessfully, that year to enlist in the US 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 US 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, federal court documents said.

Shehadeh was arrested in October 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii, by the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force, which had been investigating him and several others concerning a plot to travel overseas and wage violent jihad against the United States and other coalition military forces, according to the criminal complaint against Shehadeh.

After Shehadeh's capture, his former landlord on Seguine Avenue in Prince's Bay told the Advance the defendant never struck him as an extremist. The landlord said Shehadeh, who had lived there with his parents and four brothers, seemed like a typical American teenager, interested in basketball and video games.

However, prosecutors said that wasn't the case.


Editor's Note: Just your typical teenager, huh?!...

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