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Federal Judge To Hear Plea In North Carolina Terror Assistance Case

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Prosecutors say Basit Sheikh was planning to go to Syria to fight in that country's civil war. (Getty Images)

Prosecutors say Basit Sheikh was planning to go to Syria to fight in that country’s civil war. (Getty Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man accused of seeking to join an al-Qaida-linked militant group is scheduled to appear in court to officially hear the federal government’s case against him.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle has scheduled an arraignment Thursday for 29-year-old Basit Sheikh of Cary. He’s expected to enter a plea on the criminal charge. Boyle is allowing some government motions to stay secret.

Sheikh was arrested in November at Raleigh-Durham International Airport at the start of what prosecutors say was a trek to fight in Syria’s civil war with Jabhat al-Nusra, also called the Nusra Front.

The FBI has been on the lookout for Americans expressing interest in joining the Syrian war, where they could become radicalized by al-Qaida-linked militant groups and return to the U.S. as battle-hardened security risks.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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