2 Ala. men arrested on federal terrorism charges

December 11, 2012 - 3:33 PM

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Two Alabama men who allegedly wanted to wage violent jihad overseas have been arrested in Georgia on terrorism charges, federal authorities said Tuesday.

Mohammad Abdul Rahman Abukhdair and Randy "Rasheed" Wilson, both 25 and from Mobile, were named in terrorism charges filed Monday, according to Kenyen R. Brown, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.

Prosecutors said Abukhdair was arrested at a bus terminal in Augusta, Ga., and Wilson was stopped in Atlanta while attempting to board a flight for Morocco.

A sworn statement from an FBI agent said Wilson is a close friend and former roommate of Alabama native Omar Hammami, who was recently added to the list of the FBI's most-wanted terror suspects.

Abukhdair was among a group of people arrested in Egypt in 2010 on suspicion of being involved with a terror group there, according to the document, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Mobile. He was held for two months in Egypt before being deported to the United States, the statement said. Abukhdair is a native of Syracuse, N.Y., and had lived in South Carolina and Ohio before moving to south Alabama in October 2011, officials said.

Authorities say the men met online in 2010. Wilson allegedly told an FBI employee that he and the other man planned to travel overseas to participate in violent jihad.

Court records did not show whether either man has an attorney.

Both men are charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists with plans to kill people outside the United States. Abukhdair also is charged with passport fraud for allegedly lying to obtain a new passport since his old one contained immigration stamps from Egypt.

Hammami, the son of a Christian mother and an Islamic father, grew up near Mobile and attended college at the University of South Alabama. Officials believe Hammami is a now senior leader in the Somalia-based terror group al-Shabab, which has links to al-Qaida.

Hammami faces charges in Alabama of providing material support to terrorists.