The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

December 11, 2012

2 Ala. men arrested on federal terrorism charges

— MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Two Alabama men who federal investigators say wanted to wage violent jihad overseas have been arrested in Georgia on terrorism charges, and one has close ties to another man previously identified as an Islamic terror leader, authorities said Tuesday.

Mohammad Abdul Rahman Abukhdair and Randy "Rasheed" Wilson, both 25 and from Mobile, were named in terrorism charges filed Monday, according to Kenyen R. Brown, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.

Prosecutors said Abukhdair was arrested at a bus terminal in Augusta, Ga., and Wilson was stopped in Atlanta while attempting to board a flight for the first leg of a trip to Morocco.

A sworn statement from an FBI agent said Wilson is a close friend and former roommate of Alabama native Omar Hammami, who was recently added to the list of the FBI's most-wanted terror suspects.

"The law enforcement actions of today should send a clear warning to those who would consider engaging in violent jihad, either at home or abroad, that their future is bleak: they may end up in a U.S. prison cell or a casualty on a foreign battlefield," Brown said in a statement.

Court records did not indicate whether Abukhdair or Wilson has an attorney.

Abukhdair was among a group of people arrested in Egypt in 2010, on suspicion of being involved with a terror group there, according to the sworn document, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Mobile. He was held for two months in Egypt before being deported to the United States, the statement said.

Abukhdair is a native of Syracuse, N.Y., and had lived in South Carolina and Ohio before moving to south Alabama in October 2011, court documents said.

Authorities say the men met online in 2010 while Wilson was in Alabama and Abukhdair was in Egypt. Later, Wilson allegedly told an undercover FBI employee that he and the other man planned to travel overseas to participate in violent jihad.

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