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Texas man pleads guilty to attempting to aid terrorists

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - A Texas man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to attempting to provide "material support to terrorists" in Somalia by recruiting people to join in fighting, U.S. prosecutors said.

Rahatul Ashikim Khan, 23, who faces up to 15 years in prison, admitted to an unnamed source in a federal undercover operation that he wanted to engage in violent jihad, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas said in a statement.

"Khan admitted that from March 2011 to January 2012, he conspired to provide material support to terrorists," prosecutors said. Khan appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane in Austin on Wednesday.

A lawyer for Khan was not immediately available for comment. No sentencing date has been set.

In a criminal complaint filed in federal court, U.S. prosecutors said Khan used an Internet chat room to recruit people for violent jihad overseas.

Prosecutors on June 18 said Austin-area residents Khan and Michael Wolfe had been arrested on separate charges of attempting to aid terrorists. Wolfe pleaded guilty to the charges last week.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Additional reporting by Jim Forsyth in San Antonio; Editing by Bill Trott and Eric Beech)

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