The Justice Department is charging four men in Ohio with allegedly conspiring to travel to Yemen to provide money to Anwar Al-Awlaki in support of jihad against the U.S.
Two of the men charged with providing material support to Al Qaeda were approved for admission to the U.S. from abroad.
Yahya Farooq Mohammad, Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, Asif Ahmed Salim, and Sultane Room Salim were charged in an indictment unsealed Thursday in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio. Each were indicted on “one count of conspiracy to provide and conceal material support and resources to terrorists, one count of providing material support and resources to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.”
Farooq Mohammad, Ibrahim Mohammad were also charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
While brothers Asif Salim and Sultane Salim are U.S. citizens, Farooq Mohammad and Ibrahim Mohammad also brothers, are not. According to the Justice Department Farooq Mohammad and Ibrahim Mohammad are from India.
“Farooq Mohammad was an Indian citizen who was an engineering student at Ohio State University between 2002 and 2004. In or around March 2008, he married a U.S. citizen. His brother, Ibrahim Mohammad, was also an Indian citizen who 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,” a Justice Department press release reads.
The indictment alleges that from January 2005 through January 2012, the four defendants conspired to provide financial and other support for Al Qaeda terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki in support of jihad against the U.S. Al-Awlaki was killed by a drone strike on September 2011.
Additionally the indictment charges that Farooq Mohammad travelled to Yemen with two people to meet with Awlaki. When they were unable to meet with Awlaki, they met and delivered $22,000 to one of Awlaki’s associates.
The indictment further alleges that on July 22, 2009, Farooq Mohammad travelled with two other people to Yemen to meet Awlaki. They were unable to meet with Awlaki, so instead travelled 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.
The revelation that two individuals, admitted as immigrants to the U.S., were later indicted for terrorist activities comes as lawmakers raise concerns about the national security implications of admitting hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern refugees from terrorist hotspots in the U.S.