Indian Engineer Pleads Guilty to Supporting Terrorism in U.S.
Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad is set to receive a prison sentence of 60 months, and will be deported to India.
An Indian engineer who was accused of sending funds to a leader of the al-Qaida terrorist organization pleaded guilty on April 11 to concealment of funding terrorism in a federal court in Toledo in the United States.
Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, 38, has lived in Toledo since 2006. He is to receive a prison sentence of 60 months. Mohammad, however, would get credit for the 30 months he has already stayed in the Lucas County jail, waiting for trial, the Blade reported.
As a consequence of his plea and conviction, Mohammad would be sent back to India, U.S. district judge Jeffrey Helmick said. “You ultimately will be removed from this country and told you are not welcome to come back,” Helmick said.
The four original charges that were brought by a federal grand jury in 2015 are set to be dismissed during the time of sentencing, as part of the plea agreement. A date for the sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
Mohammad is one of the four persons accused in the case, while the others are Yahya Farooq Mohammad, who is also an Indian citizen, and American citizens Asif Ahmed Salim and Sultane Room Salim. All four of them were indicted on one count of conspiracy to provide and conceal material support and resources to terrorists. They were also charged one count of providing material support and resources to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice in November 2015. Farooq Mohammad and Ibrahim Mohammad both faced an additional count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Farooq Mohammad was sentenced in November 2017 to 27-and-a-half years in prison after he pleaded guilty for supporting terrorism. He also pleaded guilty for trying to hire a hit man to kill federal judge Jack Zouhary, who was presiding over the case. He was also ordered to be sent back to India after completion of his prison term.
Asif Salim and his brother Sultane Salim are scheduled for change-of-plea hearings on April 12.
Assistant U.S. attorney Michael Freeman said that Ibrahim Mohammad’s brother, whom he called “Farooq,” along with others raised funds in 2009 in the United Arab Emirates so they could give it to Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Al-Awlaki was labelled as a terrorist and killed by a U.S. drone in 2011.
Some funds raised by Farooq were via credit card fraud. He also asked others he knew for funds and enlisted his brother in the United States for help. “Among the methods used to transfer funds to Farooq was for Mohammad to pay expenses, including tuition and the purchase of a car, for a relative attending the University of Toledo,” Freeman said.
“The relative’s father then repaid the amounts of those expenses to Farooq in the UAE. The effect of this method of transferring the funds to Farooq was to conceal the source of the funds received by Farooq,” Freeman added.