World

Man in US pleads guilty to financing terror

WASHINGTON: One of four men arrested for sending thousands of dollars to the late Al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki pleaded guilty on Monday to supporting terrorists and plotting to kill the US judge in the case.

Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 39, is one of two India-born brothers who went to the US to study engineering in Ohio but formed a small cell to support terrorist activities, the indictment said.

He and his brother, Ibrahim Mohammad, joined with two US citizens, brothers Asif Ahmed Salim and Sultane Room Salim, to raise funds for Awlaki, a US-born imam who was killed in a 2011 US drone strike in Yemen.

A leader of Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch, he was credited with inspiring hundreds to join the cause.

Yahya Farooq travelled to Yemen in July 2009 where he handed over $22,000 to a courier for Al-Qaeda. Neither he nor other members of the group ever met Awlaki.

The four were arrested in 2015.

A year later, Yahya Farooq was also charged with offering an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent US$15,000 (S$20,000) to kidnap and kill US District Judge Jack Zouhary.

In a plea deal, Yahya Farooq is expected to receive a prison sentence of 17½ years. The other three have pleaded not guilty.- AFP

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