Round Rock man pleads guilty to terrorist charges

AUSTIN (AP/KXAN) — Federal prosecutors say a Round Rock man has pleaded guilty to attempting to support terrorists overseas and faces up to 15 years in prison.

Rahatul Khan, a 23-year-old University of Texas student, entered his plea Tuesday morning in Austin.

Khan on Monday waived his right to a hearing.

Khan was arrested last month on charges of attempting to provide material support to terrorists. Prosecutors say Khan was recruiting fighters to go to Somalia for “jihad” — an Arabic term sometimes used to mean a Muslim holy war.

Prosecutors say Khan told undercover FBI agents or informants about a desire to join Muslim insurgents, and discussed guns, training and preparing for a Third World War.

According to federal records, Khan is a Bangladesh-born American citizen who lived with his family in Round Rock.

Meanwhile, Khan was arrested in an operation in June that also nabbed 23-year-old Michael Wolfe, of Austin.

In-Depth: Austin man pleads guilty to supporting terrorism

An Austin man pleaded guilty Friday to charges he attempted to provide material support and resources to a terrorist organization.

Michael Wolfe, 23, was arrested on the jetway at Houston’s Intercontinental airport as he prepared to leave the country and join up with ISIS to engage in jihad in Syria. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he was preparing to fly to Canada, then to Iceland and on to Denmark where he would eventually make his way to Turkey to meet an undercover FBI agent who promised to take him to Syria.

“What you want to try to rule out is any individual coming from the United States to a foreign country to carry out an act of terrorism,” said Fred Burton, vice president of intelligence at Stratfor.

Burton, a counter-terrorism expert, went on to say, “Usually in these kinds of cases your defense attorney is going to take two paths. They’re either going to plead not guilty or they’re going to try to arrange for some sort of cooperation with the government.”

In Friday’s hearing, Wolfe acknowledged that he got a passport, began working out and practiced “military maneuvers” in preparation for his trip to Syria.

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