WASHINGTON – A former Navy sailor was arrested Wednesday on terrorism charges for allegedly mishandling classified information that ended up in the hands of a suspected terrorism financier.
Hassan Abujihaad, 31, of Phoenix, was arrested in a case that began in Connecticut and has stretched across the country and into Europe and the Middle East.
Abujihaad, who also is known as Paul R. Hall, is charged in the same case as Babar Ahmad, a British computer specialist accused of running Web sites to raise money for terrorism. Ahmad is schedule be extradited to the U.S. to face trial.
During the Ahmad investigation, investigators discovered computer 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 USS Benfold, a guided-missile destroyer, in 2000 and 2001, according to an affidavit released Wednesday. He allegedly purchased videos promoting violent jihad.
The documents retrieved from Ahmad show drawings of Navy battle groups and discuss upcoming missions. They also say the battle group could be attacked using small weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades. The ships were never attacked.
Abujihaad had a secret security clearance that would have allowed him access to that material, according to the affidavit.
The investigation was run out of Connecticut because Ahmad allegedly used an Internet service provider there to host one of his fundraising Web sites.