U.S. News

American man convicted of supporting terrorism

ATLANTA (Reuters) - An American man was found guilty on Wednesday by a federal jury in Atlanta of supporting terrorism as part of a small militant cell based in the southern U.S. city.

Ehsanul Sadequee, 23, was convicted on four counts of providing material support to terrorism and faces prison time at his sentencing scheduled in October. Another member of the cell was convicted in June on similar charges.

Prosecutors said during the trial that Sadequee went to Canada to meet other militants and also traveled to Bangladesh with the aim of joining a militant training camp.

Sadequee represented himself during the trial.

He acknowledged he had spent time discussing “jihad,” posting messages on Islamist militant websites and watching videos designed to curry support for militant violence. But he argued that the fact no violent acts were committed showed he was not serious.

Jihad is an Arabic word meaning “struggle” and often has a spiritual meaning but in Western countries is taken to mean “holy war.”

“There was a plan. There was a lot of talk about doing a lot of things. A lot of just empty talk,” Sadequee said in an opening statement.

Sentencing was set for October 15, said Patrick Crosby, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Reporting by Karen Jacobs and Matthew Bigg; Editing by Jim Loney and John O’Callaghan