Ibrahim Zubair Mohammed, an Indian citizen pleaded guilty in US court for having funded the dreaded Al Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Zubair was a former student of University of Illinois (2001-05). He had been living in the US (Toledo, Texas) since 2006.
Ibrahim has been awarded 60 months prison. Yahya Farooq Mohammad had also pleaded guilty last year and was awarded 27½ years in prison. Anwar al- Awlaki was killed in a drone strike in 2011.
Ibrahim has spent 30 months in prison during the trial (that period will be deducted from 60-month punishment). Both Ibrahim and Yahya Farooq Mohammad will be deported to India after completing their prison sentence. Other two accused in the case are Sultane Roome Salim and Asif Ahmed Salim who are still undergoing trial. Sultane and Asif are US citizens.
As per reports, Michael Freeman, an assistant U.S. attorney explained the method used for the crime as below.
- Among the methods used to transfer funds to Farooq was for Ibrahim to pay expenses, including tuition and the purchase of a car, for a relative attending the University of Toledo. 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 further added:
- Ibrahim knew that Farooq had willfully provided the funds to Awlaki, including the funds that Ibrahim assisted in transferring to Farooq, with the knowledge that, at least in part, the funds would be used to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian
The judge reportedly remarked, “You ultimately will be removed from this country and told you are not welcome to come back“, to Zubair Ibrahim Mohammad. Ibrahim had lied to the FBI when he was questioned in 2011. After the questioning, he had deleted all emails that had the words Awlaki, jihad, Taliban, and Yemen from his email account.