Saturday, September 23, 2023
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Four Accused of Trying|to Fund Terrorists

(CN) - The government claims four men planned to help al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula by giving the group money for attacks against U.S. soldiers.

A 72-page indictment unsealed Thursday in Northern Ohio accuses the men of conspiring to go to Yemen to give thousands of dollars to Anwar Al-Awlaki, a leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

The U.S. Justice Department says the money would have been used to support violent jihad against U.S. military members around the world, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The four men - Yahya Farooq Mohammad, Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, Asif Ahmed Salim, and Sultane Room Salim - were indicted on charges of conspiracy to provide and conceal material support to terrorists, providing material support to terrorists, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Farooq Mohammad and Ibrahim Mohammad are also accused of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

The Mohammads are brothers who studied engineering at separate U.S. universities and married U.S. citizens, according to the Justice Department. The government says the Salims are also brothers.

The four men allegedly planned to give money, equipment and other resources to Al-Awlaki, a U.S.-designated terrorist, according to a government press release. They talked about traveling to the Middle East and opened credit cards with no intention of repaying borrowed money, the Justice Department says.

Farooq Mohammad traveled to Yemen to meet Al-Awlaki in 2009, but was unable to do so and instead gave an associate $22,000 to give to the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula leader, the press release states.

"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," Northern Ohio U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said in a statement.

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