Pakistani Pleads Not Guilty to US Terrorism Charges

Posted October 24th, 2011 at 1:25 pm (UTC-5)
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An 18-year-old Pakistani resident of the United States has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conspiring to help terrorists in collaboration with an American woman who called herself “Jihad Jane.”

Mohammad Hassan Khalid entered the plea Monday in a Philadelphia court. It was the first public-court appearance by the Pakistani citizen and legal U.S. resident since his July arrest.

Prosecutors accuse Khalid of using the Internet to try to raise money and recruit men and women to join a Muslim holy war in Europe and South Asia. They say Khalid met the middle-aged American woman, Colleen LaRose, in an Internet chat room when he was 15.

LaRose has pleaded guilty to plotting to kill a Swedish artist whose cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad outraged Muslims. She was arrested in the United States in 2009 and entered her guilty plea in a U.S. court earlier this year. LaRose also was accused of conspiring with other Islamists to support acts of terrorism overseas.

Prosecutors have used Internet comments made by Khalid to build their case against him. Defense lawyer Jeffrey Lindy says the prosecutors are misinterpreting those comments.