Young man caught up in 'Jihad Jane' case gets 5 years for aiding terrorism

Mohammad Hassan Khalid, youngest person ever charged in the United States with providing support to terrorism, apologizes to parents during sentencing.
By Frances Burns  |  April 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, April 18 (UPI) -- A young man who admitted aiding the would-be terrorist nicknamed "Jihad Jane" apologized to his parents as he was sentenced to five years in a U.S. prison.

Mohammad Hassan Khalid, 20, cried during parts of the sentencing hearing Thursday in Philadelphia, while his parents, brother and sisters wept. Khalid was only 17 when he was formally charged with providing material support to terrorism, becoming the youngest person to face the charge in the United States.

Khalid, who lived in Ellicott City, Md., with his family until his arrest in 2011, was a legal resident of the United States. While his time in prison is likely to be short because he gets credit for almost three years incarceration since his arrest, Khalid is likely to be deported to Pakistan once he completes his sentence.

At the time of his arrest, he was about to enter Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore on a full scholarship.

"I stand before your honor humiliated," he told the judge. "Nothing I say today can excuse the mistakes of my past."

He also asked his parents to forgive him.

Khalid got to know Colleen LaRose or "Jihad Jane," through jihadist websites. LaRose, a Pennsburg, Pa., resident who converted to Islam after a difficult childhood and adult life and at least one suicide attempt, pleaded guilty in 2011 and received a 10-year sentence for a plan, never carried out, to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who had drawn Mohammad as a dog.

Jeffrey Lindy, Khalid's lawyer, described his client as a socially isolated teenager who became involved with LaRose online because of loneliness.

Lindy said all Khalid did was forward a box of false identity documents from LaRose to Ali Charafe Damache in Ireland. Damache, an Algerian national, is fighting extradition from Ireland to the United States.

"What Mohammad did, bad as it was, was not this international jihad the government keeps talking about," Lindy told U.S. District Judge Petrese Tucker.


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