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'Homegrown extremist' charged in terror-related indictment

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Producer
  • Emerson Begolly,22, was indicted in Virginia
  • He is accused of solicitation to commit violence
  • He is also accused of posting bomb-making instructions on the Internet
  • He is detained in Pennsylvania

Washington (CNN) -- A Pennsylvania man faces federal terrorism-related charges in Virginia for allegedly using the Internet to solicit jihadists to kill Americans, Justice Department officials announced Thursday.

Emerson Begolly, 22, of New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was indicted in Alexandria, Virginia with solicitation to commit violence which carries a 10 year sentence, and posting bomb-making instructions on the Internet which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

"Today's case underscores the continuing threat posed by homegrown extremists seeking to use the Internet to incite violence," said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

Begolly previously faced federal charges in Pittsburgh for allegedly assaulting federal agents and for firearms-related charges, which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Authorities say that following shootings at the Pentagon and Marine Corps Museum last year, Begolly praised the shooter online and said he hoped the shooter had followed his previous postings encouraging similar acts of violence.

Justice Department officials say Begolly will be tried first in Pennsylvania where he is being detained pending trial.

No arraignment date has been scheduled in Virginia.