An Ohio man accused of plotting to commit terrorism in the U.S. after traveling to Syria for terrorist training has pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Friday.
A federal indictment says Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, of Columbus, left the U.S. a year ago to train and fight with terrorists in Syria.
The indictment says Mohamud weighed which extremist group in Syria was more effective before his travels.
Mohamud traveled to Syria in April 2014, where he received training in "shooting weapons, breaking into houses, explosives and hand-to-hand combat," the indictment said.
But before using his training to engage in combat in Syria, the indictment said, Mohamud was instructed by a cleric to return to the United States and commit an act of terrorism.
“Mohamud sought and obtained terrorist training in Syria,” said U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart. “Upon his return to the United States, he discussed carrying out acts in the United States.”
The Justice Department said Mohamud intended to attack a military base in Texas and "kill three or four American soldiers execution style."
Somali-native Mohamud is a naturalized American citizen. His brother, Abdifatah Aden Mohamud, was killed fighting for the al-Nusra Front in Syria last June.
Mohamud was initially arrested on state terrorism and money-laundering charges in February. Now he will be transferred to federal custody.
Representative Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who is chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said Thursday, "This arrest highlights the grave threat we face from returning American jihadists."
Mohamud's indictment is one of several recent cases of involving U.S. citizens attempting to travel overseas to fight in Syria.
Some material for this report came from AP