The United States has charged four men with conspiring to travel to Yemen to provide thousands of dollars to the late U.S.-born al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki in an effort to support violent jihad against U.S. military personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world.
In a four-count indictment unsealed Thursday in Ohio, the U.S. charged Yahya Farooq Mohammad, Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, Asif Ahmed Salim and Sultane Room Salim with providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Farooq Mohammad and Ibrahim Mohammad both face an additional count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
The four "conspired to provide and did provide material support to Anwar al-Awlaki in response to his calls to support violent jihad,” said Assistant Attorney General John Carlin.
Two of the men were U.S. citizens and the other two were married to U.S. citizens.
According to the indictment, from January 2005 through January 2012 the defendants conspired to provide money, equipment and other assistance to Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki, a key leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, was designated a global terrorist in 2010 and killed by a U.S. drone airstrike in Yemen in 2011.
“The charges in this case outline a plan to send thousands of dollars to a known terrorist, a plan which came to fruition shortly before one of the most notorious attempted attacks in recent memory – an attack claimed by that same terrorist,” said U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach.
Allegations in the indictment charge that Farooq Mohammad and Ibrahim Mohammad obtained money by opening credit cards and withdrawing money with no intention of repaying the amounts obtained from various financial institutions.
The indictment further alleges that on July 22, 2009, Farooq Mohammad travelled with two other people to Yemen to meet al-Awlaki. They were unable to meet with him, so instead travelled to Sana’a, Yemen, to meet one of his associates.
Farooq Mohammad and his two fellow travelers gave the associate approximately $22,000 to be given to al-Awlaki.
“This indictment is a testament to the perseverance of those who stand watch over our nation and is a clear message to those who support terrorism – we will not forget and you will face justice,” Dettelbach said.