MASSACHUSETTS

Man pleads guilty to keeping documents

A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to keeping classified national defense documents at his home without proper authorization, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Ahmedelhadi Yassin Serageldin, 66, an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to willfully retaining national defense information, according to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office. He faces up to 10 years in prison at his sentencing scheduled for April.

Federal agents conducting a search warrant at his Sharon home found thousands of paper documents and electronic files belonging to Raytheon or the Department of Defense, many of which were marked as containing classified information, prosecutors said.

Five pertained to U.S. military programs involving missile defense and were classified “secret.”

Serageldin was a systems engineer at Raytheon from August 1997 until he was fired in May 2017. He had security clearance to complete assignments on several defense contracts involving radar technology.

Raytheon uncovered evidence that Serageldin had violated company security polices while investigating him for alleged time card fraud.

— Associated Press

TEXAS

Prisoner convicted in plot to recruit for ISIS

An East African man imprisoned in Texas for terrorism was convicted Friday of trying to recruit fellow prisoners to join the Islamic State group and plan attacks in the United States, federal prosecutors announced.

A jury found Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, 45, guilty of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and making a false statement to the FBI after a seven-day trial, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Texas.

In 2013, a federal judge in New York sentenced Ahmed, an Ethiopian national born in Eritrea, to more than nine years in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to support terrorism. Prosecutors said he attended an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in 1996 and was a member of a network that gave financial and logistical supported to other terrorist groups.

Ahmed has since been imprisoned at a federal facility in Beaumont, a city about 85 miles east of Houston. While there, he recruited at least five other prisoners to join the Islamic State group abroad or carry out domestic terrorist attacks after their release, prosecutors said.

The group allegedly discussed a plot to bomb a federal detention center in New York City, where Ahmed was held during his earlier case. Prosecutors said they exercised in the prison yard to “get them in shape to carry out the acts of terror” and studied a manual on how to conduct violent attacks.

Ahmed represented himself during the trial, delivering his own opening and closing statements and questioning witnesses. He is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and has not yet been scheduled for sentencing.

— Associated Press

Suspected cyberattack shuts down New Orleans government computers: A suspected cyberattack prompted a shutdown of city government computers in New Orleans on Friday. The city's website was down, but officials posted news of the shutdown on social media. Employees began noticing "suspicious activity" on computers around 11 a.m., officials said. The governor's office said in an email that the Louisiana National Guard and state police are helping the city gauge the effects of the suspected attack. Last week, a suspected cyberattack was reported in the city of Pensacola, Fla. Last month, the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles was hobbled by a cyberattack.

— Associated Press