Toledo man of Indian origin sentenced for supporting al Qaeda

Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric linked to al Qaeda’s Yemen-based wing, gives a religious lecture in an unknown location in this still image taken from video released by on September 30, 2011. REUTERS/

A Toledo, Ohio man of Indian origin, was sentenced to five years in prison today (Jan. 18) for supporting al Qaeda. He is the final defendant sent to prison along with 3 others already sentenced for their roles in a conspiracy to provide thousands of dollars to al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki in his violent jihad against the U.S. Al Awlaki was a U.S.-born Islamist militant killed in 2011 in a CIA drone strike.

Ibrahim Zubar Mohammad, 39, who previously pleaded guilty to concealing the financing of terrorism, the latest to be sentenced to five years, will be deported to India upon completion of the sentence, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Ohio,

The longest sentence was handed down earlier to Ibrahim Mohammad’s brother, Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 40, who is currently serving a sentence of more than 27 years in prison. He previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and to soliciting the murder of a United States District Judge.

Sultane Room Salim, 43, was sentenced to five years in prison earlier this week. He previously pleaded guilty to concealing the financing of terrorism. His country of origin is not mentioned in the press release.

Asif Ahmed Salim, 38, is serving six years in prison. He previously pleaded guilty to concealing the financing of terrorism.

Farooq Mohammad was an Indian citizen who was an engineering student at Ohio State University between 2002 and 2004.  He married a U.S. citizen around March 2008.

His brother, Ibrahim Mohammad, sentenced today, was also an Indian citizen. He studied engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from 2001 through 2005.  In or around 2006, he moved to Toledo, Ohio, and married a U.S. citizen.  He became a lawful permanent resident of the United States in or around 2007, the press release said.

The two Salim brothers are U.S. citizens. Asif Salim studied at Ohio State University between 2000 and 2005.  He became a resident of Overland Park, Kansas, in 2007.  His brother, Sultane Salim, lived in the Chicago area from 2006 through 2012, until he moved to the Columbus area.

The four defendants conspired to provide money, equipment and other assistance to Anwar Al-Awlaki, the key leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, who was designated a global terrorist in 2010 by the U.S. Government.  The defendants’ support was to be used in furtherance of violent jihad against the U.S. and U.S. military in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world, according to court documents, the press release said.

The defendants made various financial transactions in 2008 and 2009, and communicated about raising funds for a trip to the Middle East, authorities noted. Farooq Mohammad and Ibrahim Mohammad procured the money by opening credit cards and withdrawing money with no intention of repaying, investigations showed.

On July 22, 2009, Farooq Mohammad traveled with two other people to Yemen to meet Awlaki.  They were unable to meet with Awlaki, so instead traveled to Sana’a, Yemen, to meet with one of his associates.  Farooq Mohammad and his two fellow travelers gave the associate approximately $22,000 to be given to Awlaki, according to court documents.

In addition to pleading guilty to conspiring to provide and conceal material support to terrorists, Yahya Farooq Mohammad also admitted to soliciting an undercover FBI employee (UCE) in a sting operation, where the FBI employee posed as a “hitman,” to kidnap and murder U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary, in or about April 2016 – after he was arrested on the terrorism charge and while the case was pending and assigned to Judge Zouhary.




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