RALEIGH (AP) - A federal judge wants a North Carolina man charged with seeking to join an al-Qaida-linked militant group to face trial this summer, months earlier than prosecutors say they need to give defense lawyers everything U.S. intelligence agencies might have collected.
U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle told prosecutors their proposed September trial date was too long for Basit Sheikh (SHAYK) of Cary to wait. He was arrested two months ago in Raleigh's airport at the start of what prosecutors say would have been a trek to join the civil war in Syria.
The FBI says he planned to fight against government forces on the side of Jabhat al-Nusra, which the U.S. government has declared a terrorist group. The FBI says Sheikh expressed a desire to fight in online messages they were monitoring.
A North Carolina man is facing federal charges that he sought to join an al-Qaida-linked militant group fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
A federal criminal indictment says 29-year-old Basit Javed Sheikh of Cary is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. He was arrested before boarding a flight to Lebanon.
An FBI agent said in a sworn affidavit that Sheikh told an informant he was going to join the group called the Nusrah Front in Syria.
The Pakistan native first appeared in court last week, and had two federal public defenders assigned to represent him. The defense attorneys could not be reached Monday because their office was closed for Veterans Day. Messages to phone numbers listed for Sheikh were not returned.
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