Indian engineer in US pleads guilty to raising money for top al-Qaeda leader
Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad and other co-accused raised money in 2009 in the UAE to deliver to al-Awlaki in Yemen. The accused reportedly raised funds through credit card fraud and sought money from others.Updated: Apr 12, 2018 15:49 IST
A 38-year-old Indian engineer in the US state of Ohio, accused of funding a top al-Qaeda leader, has pleaded guilty to concealing financing terrorism. Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad is accused of sending money to Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Al-Awlaki was later designated a terrorist and killed by a US drone in 2011.
Mohammad is to receive an agreed-upon prison sentence of 60 months, although he would receive credit for the 30 months he has already spent in the Lucas County jail awaiting trial, The Blade newspaper reported on Wednesday.
US District Judge Jeffrey Helmick told him that due to his plea and conviction, he would be deported to India. “You ultimately will be removed from this country and told you are not welcome back,” the judge said.
Mohammad had studied at the University of Illinois and lived in Toledo since 2006.
Two co-defendants, Sultane Roome Salim, 43, and his brother Asif Ahmed Salim, 37, are scheduled for a change of plea hearing before Judge Helmick later on Thursday.
Michael Freeman, an assistant US attorney, outlined the factual basis for the charge to which Ibrahim Mohammad pleaded guilty. Freeman said Mohammad’s brother and others raised money in 2009 in the United Arab Emirates to deliver to al-Awlaki in Yemen.
Freeman said Farooq raised some funds through credit card fraud, sought funds from others he knew, and enlisted his brother in the United States to help. Two associates of Farooq delivered $7,000 to an associate of al-Awlaki in Yemen in late January, 2009, Freeman said. In July, 2009, Farooq delivered $22,000 to an associate of al-Awlaki.
Ibrahim knew, Freeman said, that al-Awlaki had expressed support for the killing of 13 US service personnel at Fort Hood, Texas, by Nidal Hasan on November 5, 2009, and that al-Awlaki had been involved in the attempt to destroy an airliner over Detroit on December 25, 2009.