Man pleads guilty to terrorism charges

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 20-year-old man has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.

Shelton Thomas Bell agreed and conspired with a juvenile and one other individual between May 2012 through July 18, 2012 to train and prepare themselves as combatants for overseas violent jihad, according to a Department of Justice press release. They were traveling to the Middle East to train with terrorists, including members of Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen, where they would engage in violent jihad against, and to kill, others in the country of Yemen and elsewhere.

"Stopping these threats from within is the grim reality we deal with today," said Special Agent in Charge Michelle S. Klimt, FBI - Jacksonville. "This case serves as a reminder that terrorist-related activities can occur anywhere. It also shows that we will use all the resources at our disposal to root out the individuals posing these threats to keep America safe."

In commenting on this case, United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III said, "Working with our law enforcement partners to prevent terrorism and promote national security is a top priority. We are thankful that this investigation was resolved without harm or injury to any citizens, at home or abroad."

Bell faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison. His sentencing date has not be scheduled at this time according to the release.


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