A trial date has been scheduled for Hassan Abujihaad, formerly Paul R. Hall, who is accused of passing classified information to terrorists. The trial is set to begin in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on February 25, 2008, according to the East Valley Tribune of Mesa, Arizona.
The trial is of interest in Arizona because Abujihaad was living and working in Phoenix when he was arrested in March, following the arrest and subsequent interrogation of Derrick Shareef.
Shareef was accused of violating laws against weapons of mass destruction after he traded a pair of stereo speakers for a box containing what he thought was four grenades, a handgun and some ammunition.
Shareef was recorded by his FBI informant (read: agent provocateur) saying he wanted to detonate the grenades in garbage cans at the Cherry Vale Mall in Rockford Illinois on the weekend before Christmas, 2006.
According to investigators, Abujihaad (whose chosen name means "father of the holy war") and Shareef used to live together, and Shareef was with Abujihaad when the latter learned of the arrest of his former terrorist contact, Babar Ahmad.
"I think this is about me," Abujihaad allegedly told Shareef, when he read that Babar Ahmad was in trouble. Abujihaad had bought a couple of videos from Azzam Productions, once accidentally overpaying by $5 and then telling Babar Ahmad to keep the extra money as a tip.
Abujihaad was in the US Navy at the time, stationed on the USS Benfold. He even had a jihad video shipped to him aboard the ship.
Federal investigators also allege that classified US Navy information was found on the computers of Babar Ahmad and Azzam Productions; that Hassan Abujihaad had access to that information; and that therefore Abujihaad passed the information to Azzam.
The classified information allegedly concerned the formation in which the Benfold's battle group would be passing through the Strait of Hormuz and what would be the best way to attack it.
No attack was launched on the battle group when it passed through the strait, and more to the point, investigators have recently admitted that they have found no forensic footprint linking the data found on the Azzam computers to Abujihaad himself.
Azzam Productions formerly used computer servers in Connecticut, so that's where the legal proceedings are happening.
Abujihaad has been held there without bail ever since he was arrested, and that's where his trial is scheduled to begin, three months from now.
It has always seemed strange to me that no progress was made in the hunt for Hassan Abujihaad until Derrick Shareef allegedly told investigators where he was. After all, as documented here previously, Hassan Abujihaad was living and working openly under that name.
How many fathers of the holy war can there be?
How much information would the federales need to find someone who was suspected of assisting terrorists?
And how much information do they have?
You don't have to answer these questions.
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