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Georgia man convicted on terror-related charges

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Georgia man, 23, could face sentence of up to 60 years in prison
  • Ehsanul Islam Sadequee convicted on terrorism-related charges in Atlanta
  • Co-conspirator, ex-Georgia Tech student, convicted in June, faces similar sentence
  • Authorities: Two men made "casing videos" of landmarks in Washington area
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A jury convicted a 23-year-old Georgia man on terrorism-related charges Wednesday after deliberating for about five hours, prosecutors said.

Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, of the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, was found guilty of four counts of supporting terrorists and a foreign terrorist organization after a seven-day trial, said Patrick Crosby, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in a news release.

In June, a federal judge convicted Sadequee's accused co-conspirator, Syed Haris Ahmed, of conspiring to provide material support to terrorism in the United States and abroad. Ahmed had been a student at Georgia Tech.

Sentencing for both Ahmed and Sadequee is scheduled for October 15, authorities said. Both could be sentenced to up to 60 years in prison, Crosby said.

"With this guilty verdict, a long and successful international counterterrorism investigation comes to a close," said David Nahmias, U.S attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said in the news release.

"Defendants in the United States, the United Kingdom, Bosnia and elsewhere -- all of whom conspired together to provide material support to violent jihad -- are now safely behind bars. For that, we can be thankful."

Sadequee, a native of Virginia who is of Bangladeshi descent, was living in Bangladesh in 2001, said prosecutors. They said he sent an e-mail seeking to join the Taliban and their fight against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Several years later, in late 2004 and 2005, Sadequee had returned to his family home in Roswell and "entered an illegal agreement -- a conspiracy -- with others to provide material support to terrorists engaged in violent jihad," prosecutors said in the news release.

Ahmed and Sadequee were charged in the same indictment. Authorities alleged the two traveled to Canada in March 2005 to meet with three other co-conspirators they met online.

"While in Canada, Sadequee and his co-conspirators discussed their plans to travel to Pakistan in an effort to attend a paramilitary training camp operated by a terrorist organization, such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LET), as preparation for engaging in violent jihad abroad or in the United States," the prosecutors' statement said.

"They also discussed potential targets for terrorist attacks in the United States."

In addition, authorities contended Ahmed and Sadequee made "casing videos" of landmarks in the Washington area, such as the U.S. Capitol, the World Bank Building and a Masonic temple.

The videos were found on the hard drives of at least two men who were convicted on terrorism charges in the United Kingdom. According to prosecutors, those two men were found to possess a large quantity of "violent jihad materials."

Ahmed traveled to Pakistan in July 2005 in an attempt to enter a training camp, but his family and others convinced him to postpone that effort, according to Nahmias' statement.

The day before Ahmed returned to Atlanta, however, Sadequee departed for Bangladesh, carrying items hidden in the liner of his suitcase, including an encrypted CD and a map of Washington that included all of the targets he and Ahmed had cased, authorities said.

While in Bangladesh, Sadequee conspired with members of a "violent jihadist organization known as al Qaeda in northern Europe," prosecutors said. One of the men later was convicted of terrorism offenses in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is in prison there.

Meanwhile, the FBI was investigating Ahmed, who then was at Georgia Tech, in connection with the international terrorism investigation. Ahmed "made increasingly incriminating statements" during questioning, prosecutors said, and "efforts by the FBI to obtain Ahmed's cooperation in the ongoing international terrorism investigation ended after the FBI discovered that Ahmed was surreptitiously contacting Sadequee, who was still in Bangladesh, to advise him of the FBI investigation and warn him not to return to the United States."

Sadequee was arrested in April 2006 in Bangladesh on charges arising out of false statements he made in an April 2005 interview with the FBI at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, authorities said. He was indicted in Georgia in July 2006 and brought back to Atlanta in August of that year.

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