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Pak national pleads guilty in US to aiding LeT militants

December 03, 2011 10:13 IST
A young Pakistani national living in a suburb of Washington has pleaded guilty to providing material support to terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba by making a propaganda video.

Sialkot-born Jubair Ahmad, 24, made and uploaded the video at the direction of his LeT handler in Pakistan, Talha Saeed who is the son of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the commander of the Pakistan-based militant group, with the purpose of propagating jihad, federal prosecutors said.

"Yes, I do plead guilty," Ahmad said before a Virginia court on Friday. He now faces a maximum sentence of 15 years of imprisonment, $ 250,000 in fine, three years of supervised release and deportation to his country. His sentencing is scheduled on April 13, 2012.

"Foreign terrorist organisations such as LeT use the internet as part of well-orchestrated propaganda campaigns to radicalise and recruit individuals to wage violent jihad and to promote the spread of terror," said US Attorney Neil H MacBride.

"Today's conviction of Jubair Ahmad demonstrates that we will aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who provides material support to a terrorist organisation in whatever form it takes," he said.

"By preparing and posting a graphic video that glorified violent extremism, Ahmad directly supported the mission of a designated terrorist organisation," said James W McJunkin, assistant director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Washington Field Office.

"The FBI will track down and disrupt those who communicate with terrorist groups for the purpose of recruiting others to inflict harm on the US and its interests overseas," McJunkin said.

Appearing before the court, in a dark green jumpsuit, with prisoner written in his back, Ahmed, admitted that in September 2010, while at his residence in Woodbridge, Virginia, he engaged in a series of communications with Talha Saeed in Pakistan.

Talha Saeed, Ahmad conceded before the US District Judge T S Ellis III, requested him to prepare a video that would contain a prayer by Hafiz Saeed calling for the support of jihad and the mujahideen.

In addition, Talha Saeed instructed Ahmad to present a variety of violent images on the video while Hafiz Saeed's prayer is heard in the background.

According to the plea document, Talha Saeed directed Ahmad to begin the LeT video with a number of pictures of Hafiz Saeed, then show scenes where atrocities have been inflicted on Muslims, followed by the activities of the mujahideen conducting attacks in Kashmir.

At one point, Ahmad asked Talha Saeed if he wanted to include an image of the Mumbai attack to show the power of LeT. This is a reference to LeT's operation against Mumbai on November 26, 2008, which resulted in the death of over 160 people, including six Americans.

Talha replied that he should not use anything referring to Mumbai.

Ahmad admitted that Talha Saeed told him to search for "Lashkar-e-Tayiba" on YouTube to find additional images of mujahideen operations to include in the video. Talha Saeed further stated that the video will be popular in Pakistan and will run continuously on significant media programs and presentations.

On September 25, 2010, Ahmad completed the LeT video and uploaded it to a YouTube account on the internet. The next day, Ahmad sent a communication to another person overseas in which he explained that "Hafiz Saeed's son Talha Saeed" had requested him to prepare the video.

Forensic examination by the FBI subsequently confirmed that Ahmad had constructed the LeT video on his computer, MacBride said.

 

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