US man admits urging attacks through militant websites

Emerson Begolly had asked others to engage in violent acts, particularly in the United States.

Reuters August 10, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA, US: A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges he encouraged attacks on US targets through an extremist militant website, the US Attorney's office said.

Prosecutors said Emerson Begolly, 22, accused of being an active moderator on an English-language forum on the Ansar al-Mujahideen website, had asked others to engage in violent acts, particularly in the United States.

Begolly was accused of suggesting the use of firearms, explosives and propane tanks in attacks on police stations, post offices, synagogues, military facilities, train lines and other targets.

"Today's guilty plea underscores the need for continued vigilance against home-grown extremism and use of the Internet to incite violence," Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement.

The indictment described the Ansar al-Mujahideen site as a "popular, internationally known Islamic extremist web forum used by its members to translate, promote and distribute jihadist propaganda."

It was reported to have English and German forums in addition to an Arabic forum.

Begolly also pleaded guilty to being armed during a struggle in which he was accused of biting two FBI agents, a charge that could carry a life sentence.

Sentencing was scheduled for November 29. The various charges could bring him 10 years to life in prison, a spokeswoman for the US Attorney's office said.

Begolly's attorney was not immediately available to comment. Authorities gave little information on Begolly including how he may have become involved with the militant forum.