Man, 19, traveled to Middle East, talked of jihad, feds say

Florida man, 19, traveled to Middle East, talked of jihad, feds say

JACKSONVILLE - A 19-year-old Florida man accused of traveling to the Middle East to train with terrorists raised the suspicions of people at a mosque when he started talking to other teens about jihad.

Parvez Ahmed, the board secretary at the Islamic Center in Jacksonville, said Friday that Shelton Thomas Bell talked to other kids about jihad and the civil war in Syria. The other kids' parents became concerned.

Ahmed says mosque leaders consulted their attorney and then notified law enforcement because they were concerned about Bell's statements.

A federal grand jury indicted Bell on charges of conspiring and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. He is accused of training with terrorists from May to September 2012. Federal prosecutors say he and a minor traveled to Jordan to make contact with someone who could get them into Yemen, where they planned to join a wing of al-Qaeda.

Bell was being held at the county jail in Jacksonville on unrelated state charges. He faces up to 15 years for each of the two federal charges.

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