Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Man faces charges after attempting to join al-Qaeda

12 November 2013, 14:21

Raleigh - A Pakistani native living in the US is facing federal charges that he sought to join an al-Qaeda-linked militant group fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Basit Javed Sheikh, aged 29, of Cary, is charged in a federal criminal indictment with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation. He was arrested on 2 November before boarding the first of a series of flights that would take him to Lebanon.

Sheikh told an FBI informant he was going to join the group called the Nusrah Front in Syria, an FBI agent said in a sworn affidavit obtained by The Associated Press.

Sheikh was assigned two federal public defenders to represent him during a court hearing last week. The defence attorneys could not be reached on Monday because their office was closed for the Veterans Day holiday. Messages to phone numbers listed for Sheikh were not returned on Monday.

FBI informant

For five months this year, Sheikh, also known as Abdul Basit, posted messages and videos on Facebook expressing support for jihadi militants fighting Assad's forces in the bloody, 3-year-old Syrian civil war that has killed more than 100 000 people, said the affidavit signed by FBI Special Agent Jason Maslow.

In August, Sheikh began an online relationship with an FBI informant who used a Facebook page promoting Islamic extremism, the affidavit said.

Sheikh told the informant in early September that he'd bought a one-way ticket to travel to Turkey in hopes of making contact with people who would get him to Syria. Sheikh said he backed out because "he could not muster the strength to leave his parents," the affidavit said. Sheikh said he had travelled to Turkey last year hoping to join the fight in Syria, but became dispirited by his experience with people who claimed to be part of the US-backed Free Syrian Army.

Four years ago, eight Raleigh-area Muslims were arrested on charges they were behind a home-grown terror plot to attack the US Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia, and perceived overseas enemies of Islam. Seven either pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges or were convicted at trial. The last, Jude Kenan Mohammad, was among four Americans confirmed as being killed by drones in either Pakistan or Yemen since 2009, the Obama administration said in May.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Types of men that are a waste of ...

Most women end up heartbroken because they were trying to convince the wrong man to be in a relationship/ marriage. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Cheating is hardwork!

Cheating, although enjoyable by the person doing it initially, it gets to a point they start realizing that it was never even worth it. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Dating that one person that socie...

Works at a massage parlour. Works at Millionaires Club (that one on Baricho road) - you know the ones I am talking about. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM rebels sweat in Kisii as Oran...

ODM rebels are sweating in Kisii after the Orange Party won by elections despite concerted efforts by the ruling Jubilee Party to win the elections. Read more...