Updated: 11:22 a.m. June 10, 2009
Ex-Tech student found guilty on terrorism charge
Father: Ahmed ‘not guilty of any crimes in the eyes of Allah’
By BILL RANKIN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The guilty verdict on the terrorism conspiracy charge against his son was expected, Syed Riaz Ahmed said Wednesday. But Ahmed said his son, Syed Haris Ahmed, never harmed anyone and only expressed thoughts that he never acted upon.
“You think something and you’re guilty,” Syed Riaz Ahmed said, standing outside a federal courtroom shortly after hearing his son pronounced guilty. “He’s not guilty of any crimes in the eyes of Allah. He’s guilty of U.S. laws.” Syed Haris Ahmed was misled into his extremist thoughts by propagandist Web sites, his father said, adding that he believed his son never would have followed though on any plans to engage in terrorism.
Ahmed, a 24-year-old former Georgia Tech student, was convicted of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. During his trial last week, prosecutors introduced into evidence e-mails and Internet chats during which Ahmed said he wanted to engage in violent jihad.
In the summer of 2005, Ahmed went to Pakistan to join a terrorist training camp, but changed his mind and returned to Atlanta, re-enrolling at Georgia Tech. Federal prosecutors said that after Ahmed returned, he regretted not joining the camp and considered returning to Pakistan to follow through with his plans.