Hassan Abujihaad, 31, of Phoenix, is accused in a case that began in Connecticut and followed a suspected terrorist network across the country and into Europe and the Middle East.
He was arrested in Phoenix on charges of supporting terrorism with an intent to kill U.S. citizens and transmitting classified information to unauthorized people.
Abujihaad, who is also known as Paul R. Hall, 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 scheduled to be extradited to the U.S. to face trial.
In those e-mails, Abujihaad discussed naval military briefings and praised those who attacked the USS Cole in 2000, according to the affidavit by FBI Agent David Dillon.
The documents retrieved from Ahmad show drawings of Navy battle groups and discuss upcoming missions. They also say the battle group could be attacked using small weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades. The ships were never attacked.
Authorities discovered Abujihaad’s military e-mail address among the computer files, and he had a secret security clearance that would have allowed him access to that material, according to the affidavit.
Ahmad was arrested in 2004 but the case against Abujihaad apparently received a boost in December following the arrest of Derrick Shareef, 22, of Genoa, Ill., near Chicago, who was accused of planning to use hand grenades to attack holiday shoppers at a mall.
[Editors Note: PDFs of documents Abujihaad transmitted and some of his e-mails can be downloaded or read on-line can be read here.]
In federal documents obtained by 3TV, Hassan Abujihaad is accused of conspiring to kill Americans and disclosing classified information.
The Department of Homeland Security reportedly discovered several e-mail exchanges between late 2000 and fall of 2001 between Hassan Abujihaad and Azzam Publications.
Azzam Publications are Web sites that sell videos and CD roms that promote a “violent jihad.”
The following e-mails allegedly occurred while Abujihaad was a sailor in the United States Navy aboard the USS Benfold.
In July of 2001, referring to the attack on the USS Cole, Abujihaad writes in an e-mail: “I am a Muslim station on board a U.S. warship currently operating deployed to the Arabian Gulf. It shall be noted before Osama’s latest video was viewed by massive people all over the world. That psychological anxiety had already set in on the America’s forces everywhere. All this is due to the martyrdom operation against the USS Cole.”
He continues …
“I want to let it be known that I have been in the Middle East for almost a total of three months. For these three months, you can truly see the effects of this psychological war fare taking a toll on junior and high-ranking officers.
But after the latest video supporting Palestine, the top brass and American officials were running around like headless chickens very afraid, wondering if there is a possible threat.”
The response from Azzam Publications was …
“I trust that you are doing your best to make sure that the other brothers and sisters in uniform are reminder that their sole purpose of existence in this Dunya and is purely to worship our Lord and master, Allah.”