A former Navy sailor pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal charges alleging he supported terrorism by disclosing secret information about the locations of Navy ships and ways to attack them.Just a quick heads-up to regular readers: this is a very interesting case and I will have more about it as soon as possible.
Hassan Abujihaad, 31, has been held without bail since his arrest last month in Phoenix.
He is charged with providing material support to terrorists with intent to kill U.S. citizens and disclosing classified information relating to the national defense. Prosecutors say the case started with an Internet service provider in Connecticut and followed a suspected terrorist network across the country and into Europe and the Middle East.
A British computer specialist arrested in 2004, Babar Ahmad, is also charged, accused of running Web sites to raise money for terrorism.
Investigators say Abujihaad exchanged e-mails with Ahmad while on active duty on the guided missile destroyer USS Benfold in 2000 and 2001, according to an FBI affidavit. In those e-mails, the affidavit says, Abujihaad discussed naval briefings and praised Osama bin Laden and the people who attacked the USS Cole in 2000.
During a search of Ahmad's computers, investigators discovered files containing classified information about the positions of Navy ships and discussing their susceptibility to attack, officials said.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that Ahmad might be extradited to the United States in a matter of months, and the two men might be tried together.
Abujihaad, who received an honorable discharge from the Navy in 2002, could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
His attorney, Dan LaBelle, filed a motion Tuesday asking that Abujihaad be released from prison, saying his client has a job and two small children. A hearing is scheduled April 11 on the request.
Want a hint?