- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 24, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A mentally ill North Carolina man charged with trying to join al-Qaida-linked fighters in Syria has had his trial delayed until next year.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle rescheduled the trial of Basit Sheikh until February. It had been set to start next week, but attorneys for both sides requested the delay.

Sheikh was among the first Americans arrested as part of the FBI’s effort to find people before they could join terrorist groups fighting in Syria and perhaps later return home full of anti-American ideology. The Cary man was arrested in 2013 as he prepared to board a flight to the Middle East.

Sheikh has schizophrenia and was forcibly medicated starting last year to make him competent to stand trial. Boyle this week ordered an independent psychiatric report of Sheikh’s condition sealed from public disclosure.

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