A U.S. citizen and former resident of Staten Island was convicted of making false statements in a matter involving international terrorism, United States Attorney Loretta Lynch announced.
Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, 23, will be sentenced at 4 p.m. Friday. His conviction came after a weeklong trial in a U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. He faces up to 21 years in prison.
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According to court documents, Shehadeh tried to go to Pakistan in 2008 to join al Qaeda or the Taliban. After flying one-way from JFK to Islamabad, he was denied entry by Pakistani officials at the airport.
Shahedeh reportedly told FBI investigators at that time that he was trying to visit a university in Pakistan.
He tried to enlist in the U.S. Army several weeks later at the recruiting station in Times Square, court documents showed. His application was denied because he concealed his trip to Pakistan.
Shehadeh reportedly told federal agents he was enlisting for career opportunities and benefits, and continued to stick to that story over the next several months in subsequent interviews. But in 2010, he told federal agents that his real motive was to get abroad to join a jihadist fighting group.
Shehadeh was arrested in Honolulu, Hawaii, in October 2010, Lynch said.
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