Feds Say Two Local Men Wanted to Fight Alongside Taliban

A Houston man and a Pakistani citizen living here illegally are accused of training to fight with the Taliban against American forces in the Middle East. As Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams reports, federal authorities say the men practiced with guns in the Houston-area and conspired to join what they called a "battlefield jihad."

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A four-count federal indictment accuses 33-year-old Houston resident Kobie Williams and 29-year-old Pakistani Adnan Mirza of conspiracy. Williams pleaded guilty to count one of the indictment and could face five years in prison when he's sentenced next year. Mirza could spend 35 years in prison if he's convicted. U-S Attorney Don DeGabrielle says it wasn't a sophisticated plan.

"Nothing nearly approaching the sophistication of 9-11, nevertheless, it was serious enough conduct that these individuals were talking about, or alleged as it applies to Mr. Mirza, that we have filed the charges and the grand jury agreed with the charges that were filed."

Mirza had overstayed a student visa that expired last year and also faces firearms violations. Williams is a student at the University of Houston-Downtown. His attorney, John Floyd, says he made a mistake.

"He has expressed to us that this all began as a frustration with the current war that's going on in Iraq and in Afghanistan, that this was something that due to his frustration that he acted out in a way that now he sees was improper."

Authorities say neither of the men had actually made travel plans or had actual contact with terrorist groups. Williams is accused of giving $350 to a source he thought would give the money to the Taliban organization.

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