Arizona

Prosecutor: Man helped college student join Islamic State

A prosecutor has told jurors at the opening of a terrorism trial an Arizona man provided a "launching pad" for a New York college student to join the Islamic State group in Syria.

Prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis urged jurors to carefully listen to evidence against Ahmed Mohammed el-Gammal (ehl-gahm-AHL') before convicting the Avondale, Arizona, resident.

Defense attorney Annalisa Miron says the Manhattan federal court trial should end in acquittal because prosecutors have made her client a scapegoat.

Opening statements Tuesday concentrated on what happened to Samy el-Goarany (ehl-goh-AHR'-nee) before and after he went to Syria in January 2015. Prosecutors say his family was notified in fall 2015 he had died in Syria.

Miron says the 24-year-old Baruch (buh-ROOK') College student planned his own trip to Syria.