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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ex-U.S. Sailor Charged With Aiding Terrorists

WASHINGTON -- A former U.S. Navy sailor was arrested on terrorism charges for allegedly releasing classified information that ended up in the hands of a suspected terrorism financier.

Hassan Abujihaad, 31, from Arizona, was arrested Wednesday in a case that began in Connecticut and followed a suspected terrorist network across the country and into Europe and the Middle East.

Abujihaad was charged with supporting terror with an intent to kill U.S. citizens and transmitting classified information to unauthorized people.

Abujihaad, also known as Paul Hall, is charged in the same case as Babar Ahmad, a British computer specialist arrested in 2004 and accused of running web sites to raise money for terrorists. Ahmad is scheduled to be extradited to the United States to face trial.

During a search of Ahmad's computers, investigators discovered files containing classified information about the positions of U.S. Navy ships and discussing their susceptibility to attack.

Abujihaad, a former enlisted man, exchanged e-mails with Ahmad while on active duty on the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold in 2000 and 2001, an affidavit released Wednesday said.

In those e-mails, Abujihaad discussed naval military briefings and praised those who attacked the USS Cole in 2000, the affidavit said.

The documents retrieved from Ahmad show drawings of U.S. Navy battle groups and discuss coming missions. They also say the battle group could be attacked using small weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades. The ships never were attacked.

Abujihaad had a secret security clearance that would have allowed him access to that material, the affidavit said.