"Friends of the 23-year-old testified that he talked about waging violent jihad, or holy war, abroad against the U.S. military. The former Staten Island resident first drew the attention of the FBI in 2008 when he bought a one-way plane ticket to Pakistan. Prosecutors say he later lied by saying he was going to get religious training."
Actually, this devout Muslim wasn't lying when he said he going to get to Pakistan for religious training. He was going to wage violent jihad (holy war) against the US. That is religious training.The prosecutors sought 21 years, but the judge only gave this jihadist 13 years (of prison dawah) because the defendant "proved too immature and inept to pull it off." How does this lessen his crime? He wanted to kill US soldiers and destroy the US in the cause of Islam. He deserves a lesser sentence because he got caught? Seriously?
"NYC man gets 13 years in terror training case" By Associated Press | September 20, 2013
FILE - In this courtroom artist's rendering, Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, right, appears in Brooklyn federal court, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, in New York, on charges that he made false statements to U.S. authorities who were investigating international terrorism. From left are Assistant U.S. Attorney James Loonam, defense attorney Jeffrey Pittell. Shehadeh was sentenced Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, to 13 years in prison for lying to the FBI about efforts to team up with the Taliban or al-Qaida. At a trial earlier this year, friends of the 23-year-old testified that he talked about waging violent jihad, or holy war, abroad against the U.S. military. The former Staten Island resident first drew the attention of the FBI in 2008 when he bought a one-way plane ticket to Pakistan. Prosecutors say he later lied by saying he was going to get religious training.
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.