(CBS/AP) PHILADELPHIA - A Pakistani high school student pleaded not guilty Monday to allegedly helping plot a terrorist attack in Europe and South Asia.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that last week, 18-year-old Ellicott City resident Mohammad Hassan Khalid became the youngest terrorism suspect indicted in the United States. This is Khalid's first public court appearance since his arrest in July.
The two-count indictment opened Thursday said the Maryland resident conspired with others, most notably Colleen R. LaRose, known as "Jihad Jane," to plan terrorist attacks overseas. LaRose has pleaded guilty to charges earlier in the year. The indictment states the two met in an internet chat room over two years ago. At the time, he was supposedly attempting to acquire donations for a jihad.
Khalid's attorneys explain the student and his family are hardworking immigrants and say the government is misinterpreting his emails, which mention the donations. In a correspondence from 2009 he writes, "I want to make sure that everything is true so that the money reaches the banks for brothers who are true to their intentions and are REAL mujahids not some fbi agents."
"I dispute that he's a terrorist," his lawyer is quoted saying.
They propose the young man's mental and emotional health may tie into the case.
This online community never managed to complete an attack. The Inquirer says officials describe this case illustrating a new category of terrorism, where terrorists recruit white American suburban women who may not stand out.
Khalid's trial is tentatively scheduled for December 13th.