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Father says US falsely charged NC man with seeking to join al-Qaida-linked group in Syria war

A North Carolina father says federal prosecutors have falsely accused his son of planning to join an al-Qaida-linked militant group trying to topple Syria's Bashar Assad in that country's civil war.

Javed Sheikh of Cary on Tuesday rejected FBI statements that his 29-year-old son planned to travel from Raleigh to Lebanon, where he'd connect with members of the group Jabhat al-Nusra. The U.S. government considers the radical Islamic group a terrorist organization.

Javed Sheikh says he has confidence that U.S. courts will handle the case against Basit Javed Sheikh. Court documents describe Basit Sheikh as a Pakistan native with permanent, legal residency in the U.S.

Basit Sheikh was assigned two federal public defenders to represent him. They did not return messages seeking comment Tuesday.

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