The Latest: Mentally ill terror suspect deemed fit for trial
Posted April 13
RALEIGH, N.C. — The Latest on criminal proceedings against a mentally ill North Carolina man accused of trying to join al-Qaida-linked fighters in Syria after 10 months of forced medication (all times local):
A federal judge has declared a mentally ill man fit for trial on a terrorism charge after 10 months of being forcibly injected with drugs that made him competent to defend himself in court.
But a defense attorney is asking the government to drop the charge against the North Carolina man accused of trying to join al-Qaida-linked fighters in Syria.
U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle on Thursday declared 33-year-old Basit Sheikh fit to stand trial.
Federal Public Defender Robert Waters said he would seek to end the case because Sheikh suffers from schizophrenia. Waters said Sheikh could be released to his family in suburban Raleigh, which could report to probation officers if he refused to take anti-psychotic medications.
Sheikh has been held since 2013 on a charge of providing material support to a terrorist group.
A federal judge is checking whether a mentally ill North Carolina man accused of trying to join al-Qaida-linked fighters in Syria has improved after nearly a year of forced medication.
U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle wants to eyeball Basit Sheikh on Thursday. An appeals court ruled in June that Sheikh should be forcibly injected with anti-psychotic medication so he can be made competent to defend himself against prosecution.
Sheikh is from suburban Raleigh and has been described as suffering from schizophrenia.
He's charged with providing material support to a terrorist group for attempting to join Jabhat al-Nusra militants in 2013. He was detained in an FBI sting to find and arrest Americans before they left for Syria to fight in that country's civil war.