Virginia: Pakistani national and legal permanent resident charged with terrorist support over ties to Lashkar-e-Taiba
Lashkar-e-Taiba stands out from the usual Baskin Robbins assortment of flavors of jihadist groups in the subcontinent due to its ties with and backing by Pakistani intelligence. That connection adds an additional complication to this story, not mentioned in the report below.
LeT has been reported to be aiming to expand its operations to include the U.S. and Europe. The presence of even a single LeT operative on American soil should pose a problem for Islamabad.
“US arrests Pakistani on terror support charges,” from Agence France-Presse, September 2:
A Pakistani man who received commando training from Islamist militants before moving to a Washington suburb has been arrested and charged with providing support to a terror group, US officials said Friday.
Jubair Ahmad, 24, stands accused of providing material support to the powerful Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, designated by the US government as a foreign terrorist organization, and then lying about his involvement to investigators.
“War is deceit.”
According to an unsealed affidavit by a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent, Ahmad produced and posted a propaganda video for LeT “glorifying violent jihad” in 2010, some three years after he arrived in the United States with his parents and two younger brothers.
“Terrorist organizations such as LeT, and movements affiliated with them, use the Internet and other media as part of well orchestrated propaganda campaigns,” the agent stated in the affidavit released by the US Justice Department.
“These campaigns seek to recruit individuals to participate in violent jihad and to promote the spread of terror.”
Ahmad faces up to 23 years in prison if convicted on the two charges.
The department said the FBI had been investigating Ahmad, a legal permanent resident living in the state of Virginia, since 2009, after receiving information that the man might be linked to LeT.
The FBI later learned that, as a teen, Ahmad received “indoctrination and training from LeT while he lived in Pakistan,” and that from the United States he communicated with the son of the extremist group’s founder Hafiz Saeed.
The affidavit also said Internet giant Google provided records which confirmed upload of the propaganda video to an account on video-sharing website YouTube from an IP address associated with Ahmad’s residence.
Revelation of the charges came on the same day the US State Department issued a worldwide travel alert ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
The department said it had not identified any “specific threats” about possible attacks but that Al-Qaeda and its affiliates had “demonstrated the intent and capability to carry out attacks” against the United States and US interests.
LeT is thought to have some ties to Al-Qaeda.