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Ohio man pleads not guilty to plotting military base attack

The Justice Department says the 23-year-old trained with Islamic militants in Syria
The Justice Department says the 23-year-old t... 02:27

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio man accused of plotting to attack a military base or prison after returning to the U.S. from terrorist training in Syria has pleaded not guilty.

A federal indictment says Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud left the country a year ago to train and fight with terrorists in Syria.

Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, has been charge... 03:32

Mohamud is charged with supporting terrorism, supporting a terrorist group and making a false statement involving international terrorism. He pleaded not guilty at a hearing Friday.

Mohamud's attorney says the charges were expected.

The indictment says Mohamud weighed which extremist group in Syria was more effective before his travels.

The indictment also says Mohamud talked about going to a military base in Texas on his return to kill soldiers with a backup plan to attack a prison.

Former FBI agent and "Headgame" author Phillip Mudd said Mohamud's travels to Syria made him more of a threat than the typical homegrown terrorist, reports CBS News correspondent David Martin.

"The concern you got to have in this case is not only that somebody can come home again after traveling overseas to fight, but what kind of sophistication or training might people like this have received overseas?" Mudd said.

The indictment alleges Mohamud traveled to Syria one year ago -- flying to Turkey and then crossing the border to join his brother who was already fighting for the radical Islamic group al-Nusra Front, al Qaeda's branch in Syria.

There he received training in weapons, explosives, breaking and entering and hand-to-hand combat, but before he could get to the front lines, Mohamud was recruited by a cleric to return to the U.S. to carry out an attack.

"The intelligence game is halfway through now. That is the game that allowed us to find him and maybe map his network," Mudd said. "Here is a second half of this intelligence game we got to look at: Does he tell you something that gives you clues you weren't aware of before?"

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