With a full math and science scholarship to the Johns Hopkins University and accolades for his writing, Howard County's Mohammad Hassan Khalid seemed ready to continue the American dream his father embarked on years ago when he brought the family from Pakistan.
But instead, on Friday the 18-year-old Khalid became one of the youngest people ever convicted in federal court of conspiracy to aid terrorists. He could receive up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at his sentencing, which has not been scheduled. He also faces deportation.
He pleaded guilty to the charges Friday, admitting that he had used the Internet to align with an Algerian man, who was indicted with him, and a suburban Pennsylvanian woman known as "Jihad Jane," starting in 2008 or 2009. He believed he would be part of a "professional organized team," prosecutors said Friday, trained by al-Qaida or other terrorist organizations to "kill, kidnap, maim or injure persons or damage property in a foreign country."