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American, Pakistani charged with Taliban links

india Updated: Nov 29, 2006 08:26 IST
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An American man and a Pakistani living illegally in the US have been arrested on charges of conspiring to train and prepare to join the Taliban and fight against US forces, federal prosecutors announced.

US Attorney Donald J DeGabrielle Jr said on Tuesday a four-count indictment charges Kobie Diallo Williams, of Houston, also known as Abdul Kabir, and Adnan Babar Mirza with conspiracy. Mirza, a 29-year-old Pakistani who overstayed his student visa, also is charged with three counts of violating federal firearms laws.

Williams, 33, a US citizen living in Houston, surrendered on Tuesday to members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. Mirza was already in custody on immigration violations.

"While these subjects did not operate at a high level of sophistication in comparison with the 9-11 hijackers, the expressed goal was to aid the Taliban by training to carry out jihad against coalition troops in the Middle East," said Roderick Beverly, the head of the FBI's local office.

Federal prosecutors also allege that Williams provided approximately $350 to Taliban members or their families.

Williams and Mirza are being held without bond. Williams faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. Mirza faces up to 35 years in prison.

The indictment says Williams and Mirza viewed US and coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq as "invaders" and agreed in April 2005 that they should travel to the Middle East to fight with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The two then underwent at least eight sessions of firearms and/or reconnaissance training around Harris County, which surrounds Houston, and other area counties.