An Ohio court sentenced two men, including an India-born American citizen to prison on Monday, for conspiring to murder US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Federal Judge James Carr in the Northern District of Ohio sentenced Khaleel Ahmed to eight years, four months and his cousin Zubair Ahmed to 10 years in prison. The two had pleaded guilty in January 2009 to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.
Khaleel Ahmed is a naturalised US citizen born in India. His cousin is a US citizen born in Chicago. "US attorneys say the two were training to kill American soldiers in Iraq as part of a plot organised by three men in Toledo," the Columbus Dispatch said.
According to court records, the criminal conspiracy involving Zubair and Khaleel Ahmed began in April 1, 2004 and continued until their arrests on February 21, 2007. As part of the conspiracy, the two made preparations to travel overseas to murder and maim US military forces in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
They had once travelled to Egypt to carry out violent acts. They had also discussed, sought and received instruction on firearms from another individual in Cleveland, the court records said. The cousins had sought training in counter-surveillance techniques and sniper rifles.
Specifically, Zubair Ahmed was keen on learning how to use and move with a 50-caliber machine gun. The two communicated with each other using code words and in a foreign language to disguise their preparations.