U.S. Seeks to Revoke Citizenship of Indian-Origin Terror Convict

The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit seeking to revoke the naturalized U.S. citizenship of Khaleel Ahmed, who was convicted on terrorism charges in 2010.


The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit seeking to revoke the naturalized U.S. citizenship of an Indian-origin man convicted on terrorism charges. Khaleel Ahmed was convicted following a guilty plea in 2009 of providing material support to terrorists, and sentenced to eight years and four months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release in 2010.

According to the civil complaint filed in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois, Ahmed allegedly concealed his criminal conduct during his naturalization proceedings.

“The United States will use every available law enforcement tool to combat terrorism,” Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio said in a statement on July 3. “Those who have actively supported terrorism and concealed that fact cannot take that oath in good faith and should not have the benefit of continued citizenship. Civil denaturalization is thus one important tool in our anti-terrorism efforts. We will continue to zealously seek out and prosecute individuals like Mr. Ahmed.”

The civil denaturalization complaint alleges that the naturalization application of Ahmed would have been denied had immigration authorities known about his provision of material support to terrorists.

“The United States will never be a safe haven for those seeking to support terrorists,” Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons, HSI Chicago said in the statement. “When individuals lie to obtain immigration benefits, the system is severely undermined and the security of our nation is put at risk.”

Ahmed, 37, admitted in his guilty plea that he and his cousin, Zubair Ahmed, made preparations to travel abroad between 2004 and 2007, and visited Cairo in Egypt, with the intent of participating in acts that would result in the murder or maiming of U.S. military forces. Upon their return to the United States, the cousins discussed, sought, and received instruction on the use of firearms, including sniper rifles, and in counter-surveillance techniques. They also collected and distributed videos of attacks on U.S. military forces overseas, as well as manuals on military tactics, and military manuals on weaponry. The two intended to travel abroad in order to murder or maim U.S. military forces in Iraq or Afghanistan, the statement added.

Ahmed came to the United States from India in 1998 as a family member of a naturalized U.S. citizen. He then became a U.S. citizen in 2004 through naturalization, taking advantage of a process called “chain migration” that the Trump administration wants to terminate.

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