Source AP ©

Former Navy sailor charged with supporting terrorism

Hassan Abujihaad was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, and is accused of providing classified documents to a suspected terrorism financier. He has been charged with providing material support to terrorists with intent to kill U.S. citizens and disclosing classified information relating to the national defense.

He is charged in the same case as Babar Ahmad, a British computer specialist arrested in 2004 and accused of running Web sites to raise money for terrorism. Ahmad is to be extradited to the U.S.

Abujihaad, 31, has been held without bail since his arrest last month in Phoenix, where he was working as a package delivery person.

His attorney, Dan LaBelle, filed a motion Tuesday asking that Abujihaad be released from prison based on conditions determined at a hearing. LaBelle has said his client has a job and two small children.

A hearing is scheduled April 11 on LaBelle's request.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that Ahmad might be extradited in a matter of months, and that the defendants might be tried together if the timing makes that possible.

During a search of Ahmad's computers, investigators discovered files containing classified information about the positions of U.S. Navy ships and discussing their susceptibility to attack, officials said.

Abujihaad exchanged e-mails with Ahmad while on active duty on the USS Benfold, a guided-missile destroyer, in 2000 and 2001, according to an FBI affidavit. In those e-mails, Abujihaad discussed naval briefings and praised Osama bin Laden and those who attacked the USS Cole in 2000, according to the affidavit.

Abujihaad, who received an honorable discharge from the Navy in 2002, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors said Wednesday they plan to submit evidence including computer data seized from various locations, search warrants, subpoenas for records, hard drives and and computer discs seized from Britain.

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