A Georgia man has been found guilty of conspiring to provide material support for terrorists. Ehsanul Islam Sadequee faces up to 60 years in prison. He is the second person convicted in the conspiracy to aid to the Pakistani-based Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Sadequee and Sayid Haris Ahmed traveled to Canada to meet with other potential jihadis about plotting terrorist attacks, prosecutors say, and they presented video clips of the two men scouting sites for a possible attack in Washington, D.C.
Sadequee, 23, represented himself during the six day trial. He told jurors he and his friends were "immature young guys who had imaginations that run wild" but were not terrorists.
But two friends testified against him. One, Omer Kamal told jurors that the plans for jihad grew so intense that he wrote a note telling Sadequee and Ahmed he wanted nothing to do with it.
Ahmed testified for the government after being convicted on the same charges in June. The two were serious about joining the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, Ahmed said, and wanted to wage domestic attacks to "disrupt the U.S. economy."
In a statement, Gregory Jones, the FBI's Special Agent in Charge in Atlanta, said:
"The FBI continues to investigate a growing number of cases involving U.S. citizens providing material support to terrorists. However, as we move further away from the tragic events of September 11, 2001, there also seems to be a growing public perception that such conduct is harmless, especially since no bombs were exploded and no one was killed. This defendant, like many others we have investigated, tried to argue that his criminal conduct and activities were protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The FBI does not buy that argument and today the jury agreed."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has details about Sadequee's conviction here.