Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 18, 2024

Teen convicted for terrorist activity

By SARI AMIEL | April 24, 2014

A criminal case that was launched against 20-year-old Mohammad Hassan Khalid two years ago drew to a close on April 17. Khalid was charged with aiding convicted terrorist Colleen R. LaRose, who is known online as Jihad Jane, in a plot to kill Lars Vilks, a cartoonist from Sweden. The members of the terror cell considered Vilks’ depictions of Mohammad, the Muslim prophet, to be offensive. In May 2012, Khalid pleaded guilty to collaborating with the group on plans to murder Vilks. Khalid had put together a package with false identity documents for the other members of the terror cell. Khalid’s case was unusual due to his young age, which caused his hearing at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to command special attention.

“All my life, whatever is left of it, was wasted in a few years,” Khalid told the Baltimore Sun. Khalid went to Mount Hebron High School, and was admitted to the Hopkins class of 2015. The judges sentenced Khalid to a five-year prison term, but gave him credit for the three years he has already spent in jail. Because he is a Pakistani citizen, Khalid may be deported when he is released. LaRose, the notorious terrorist that Khalid had worked under, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in January. Khalid had also translated terrorist propaganda into English. The FBI, after noticing Khalid’s presence on suspicious online sites, requested that he curb his involvement on the sites. However, Khalid refused, and was subsequently arrested in 2011.

Jeffrey M. Lindy, one of the lawyers who was defending Khalid, pointed out that his client’s Asperger’s syndrome and depression made it hard for Khalid to relate to others. Liddy also said that Khalid grew in jail by getting a GED and teaching other inmates.

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