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Hassan Abu-Jihad -How a Muslim convert and US Navy sailor became a terror suspect

February 26, 2008

The 'Unremarkable' Life Of A Sailor Turned Terror Suspect

February 24, 2008

Dec. 24, 1975: Hassan Abu-jihaad, then named Paul R. Hall, is born.

1995: Hall converts to Islam, legally changing his name to Abu-jihaad, which means "father of jihad."

December 1997: Abu-jihaad enlists in the Navy.

Jan. 6, 1998: Abu-jihaad gains "secret" security clearance.

Late 2000: Abu-jihaad allegedly begins an e-mail correspondence with those at a collection of websites in London run by Azzam Publications. Some e-mail allegedly originates aboard his ship, the USS Benfold, which becomes part of the Constellation Battle Group.

March 2001: Classified Navy ship movements, eventually dubbed the battle group document, allegedly are transmitted by Abu-jihaad to Azzam.

Spring 2001: The Constellation Battle Group leaves San Diego for the Persian Gulf. The group is scheduled to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, leading from the Indian Ocean into the Persian Gulf, on or about April 29.

July 2001: Abu-jihaad allegedly e-mails Azzam regarding the military reaction to the October 2000 terror attack on the USS Cole. The e-mail says the attack has caused "psychological anxiety" to "set in on America's forces everywhere."

Jan 25, 2002: Abu-jihaad is discharged from the Navy and settles in Phoenix.

2003: Abu-jihaad befriends Derrick Shareef at the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix. Shareef lives in Abu-jihaad's Phoenix home for about seven months. The FBI says they began discussing "the terms and justification for jihad."

December 2003: British officials find the battle group document while searching a London house belonging to the parents of Babar Ahmad, one of two men who run Azzam.

Oct. 6, 2004: A federal grand jury in Bridgeport indicts Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan, both British citizens, along with Azzam Publications, on charges of providing support to terrorists.

Late 2004: Shareef moves to the Chicago area but remains in telephone contact with Abu-jihaad. Among other things, they allegedly discuss ways to maximize casualties during an attack on a military base near San Diego.

September 2006: Shareef befriends Muslim convert William Chrisman in suburban Chicago. Unbeknownst to Shareef, Chrisman is an FBI informant. Shareef introduces Chrisman to Abu-jihaad. Authorities say they then link Abu-jihaad, through recorded conversations, to the battle group document and plans to mount terror attacks.

Nov. 22, 2006: The FBI records Abu-jihaad and an "associate" discussing a video depicting an Iraqi insurgent known as the "Juba sniper" killing U.S. military personnel.

Dec. 6, 2006: Shareef is arrested and charged with conspiring to attack Christmas shoppers with hand grenades at a suburban Chicago shopping mall.

March 7, 2007: Abu-jihaad is arrested in Phoenix and charged with supporting terrorism with an intent to kill U.S. citizens and transmitting classified information to unauthorized people.

Feb. 25, 2008: Abu-jihaad's trial in U.S. District Court scheduled to begin.,0,3693365.story

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at