Born in 1965, Maher Mofeid Hawash was a member of the Portland Seven, an Oregon-based cell of Islamic extremists charged with conspiracy to levy war against the United States, conspiracy to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda, and conspiracy to contribute services to al Qaeda and the Taliban. Hawash’s fellow Portland Seven members included Jeffrey Leon Battle, Habis Abdulla Al-Saoub, Patrice Lumumba Ford, Ahmed Abrahim Bilal, Muhammad Ibrahim Bilal, and October Martinique Lewis.
A Jordanian-born Palestinian who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1990, Hawash and his five male accomplices traveled to China and then Pakistan in October 2001, in hopes of gaining entry from there into Afghanistan, where they planned to join al Qaeda forces that were engaged militarily against American soldiers. Upon finding that they were unable to enter Afghanistan's sealed-off borders, however, all except Al-Saoub returned to the U.S. between December 2001 and February 2002.
A former software engineer for chipmaker Intel Corporation, Hawash was the last of the surviving Portland Seven suspects to be arrested. "He initially was held as a material witness," reported Associated Press, "but he later became the first to plead guilty [in August 2003] -- in exchange for a reduced sentence -- to conspiring to provide services to the Taliban."
In February 2004, Hawash was sentenced to seven years in prison.