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Georgia terrorism suspect says jihad chatter was 'empty talk'

ATLANTA — A 23-year-old man representing himself in court on charges of aiding overseas terror groups said in his opening statement Tuesday that his online remarks about joining a jihad were "empty talk."

"There was a lot of talk about doing a lot of things," Ehsanul Islam Sadequee said. "But no one in fact did anything." He told jurors during his 14-minute opening that he "became very close online" to Web contacts, but never met them in person.

Sadequee faces up to 60 years in prison on four counts that he conspired to aid overseas terror groups, sent videos of Washington landmarks to overseas contacts and went to Bangladesh to pursue "violent jihad."

Sadequee's alleged cohort, Syed Haris Ahmed, was convicted in June and faces 15 years in prison on charges that he helped film the landmarks with Sadequee and went to Pakistan to try to join a terror group there. Both men are U.S. citizens.

Love of jihad: Federal authorities said Tuesday that Daniel Boyd, the accused ringleader of a group of eight North Carolina terrorism suspects, talked about loving jihad, fighting for Allah and loathing a U.S. military presence at Muslim holy sites. During a hearing in Raleigh, officials played recordings made in June of Boyd, 39, talking about what authorities called plans to carry out attacks overseas. Seven men were arrested and charged last week. An eighth is being sought.

Torture investigation: The British government has refused to answer questions about whether its spies were complicit in the torture of terrorism suspects, and an independent inquiry is needed, Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights said Tuesday.

Arrests in Australia: Four men, Australian citizens of Somali and Lebanese descent aged from 22 to 26 and suspected of having links to a radical Islamic group from Somalia, were arrested Tuesday for what authorities said was a plot to storm a military base in the Sydney suburbs and shoot as many soldiers as possible.

American's murder: A Mauritanian judge said Tuesday that three men with al-Qaida ties were charged with murder in the slaying of Christopher Ervin Leggett, 39, of Cleveland, Tenn.

Georgia terrorism suspect says jihad chatter was 'empty talk' 08/04/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 11:42pm]
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