Federal agents arrested a Staten Island man who tried to enlist in the U.S. military with the alleged intention of being sent to Iraq where he hoped to join insurgents.
Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, 21, was arrested Friday in Hawaii and is awaiting transfer to Brooklyn where he faces charges of making false statements in a matter involving international terrorism. The charges were announced yesterday by Loretta Lynch, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
A U.S. citizen and Tottenville High School graduate, Shehadeh flew to Pakistan in June 2008, hoping to join the Taliban, but was denied entry, prosecutors say. Weeks later he went to the Army’s Times Square recruiting station and tried to enlist. He was rejected when it was discovered he had concealed his trip to Pakistan.
He also maintained websites “dedicated to spreading violent jihadist ideology,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
He faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.