Accused homegrown extremist indicted

AP News
Posted: Jul 14, 2011 2:03 PM
Accused homegrown extremist indicted

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted a man in a terrorism case for allegedly using the Internet to promote violence against Americans.

A moderator of a popular, internationally known Islamic extremist web forum, 22-year-old Emerson Winfield Begolly was accused of posting notes encouraging attacks in the U.S. targeting public buildings and military facilities, transportation systems, cell phone towers and water plants.

The case underscores the threat posed by homegrown extremists seeking to incite violence using the Internet, said Lisa Monaco, the Justice Department's assistant attorney general for national security.

Begolly was under investigation early this year when he allegedly bit two FBI agents who approached him and Begolly allegedly tried to grab a loaded 9 mm pistol in his jacket. He was indicted for allegedly assaulting federal agents and firearms-related charges and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of those charges.

In January, an FBI agent in Pittsburgh testified in court that Begolly had contact with a man who has pleaded guilty to threatening the creators of the animated "South Park" TV show for perceived insults to the prophet Muhammad.

According to the latest indictment, Begolly posted a comment online that praised the shootings at the Pentagon and the Marine Corps Museum in October 2010.

The indictment also alleged that Begolly posted links to a 101-page document on how to set up a laboratory and manufacture explosives.

Begolly, who is from New Bethlehem, Pa., was indicted in Alexandria, Va. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if convicted of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and 20 years in prison if convicted of distributing information about explosives and weapons of mass destruction.