[Ed. – He’s ‘seen the light.’]
A one-time Maryland high school honors student who admitted aiding Muslim extremists overseas and helped the U.S. pursue terrorists after his 2011 arrest is a U.S. citizen, a federal appeals panel said Thursday as it erased a pending deportation order.
The ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan means 24-year-old Mohammad Hassan Khalid can continue his studies at a Maryland college.
His Philadelphia lawyer, Wayne Sachs, called the decision a “very satisfying victory for a well-deserving young man with a bright future.”
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He said the three-judge appeals panel, unlike four earlier courts, “properly focused on the law rather than the petitioner’s ‘notoriety.’”
The U.S. government did not immediately say if it planned to appeal.
Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs wrote that he cannot congratulate Khalid, given that he “plotted sneaking violence against Americans.”
“He cooperated with the authorities only when, having been caught, he found himself needing another kind of refuge,” Jacobs said.
Circuit Judge Christopher F. Droney, who wrote the main opinion, explained that Khalid was entitled to citizenship because he was under age 18 when his father gained citizenship.