Muslims in Chicago Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Murder, Maim US Soldiers
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
Zubair Ahmed, 29, and Khaleel Ahmed, 28, both residents of Chicago, pleaded guilty last Thursday in the Northern District of Ohio to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in connection with their efforts to travel abroad in order to murder or maim U.S. military forces in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Zubair Ahmed and his cousin Khaleel Ahmed each pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge James G. Carr in Toledo, Ohio, to a one-count, superseding information charging them with conspiracy to provide material support and resources, including the defendants themselves as personnel, to terrorists in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 2339A. At sentencing, each defendant faces a statutory maximum of 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, followed by three years of supervised release.
According to law enforcement reports and other information entered into the court record today: the criminal conspiracy involving Zubair and Khaleel Ahmed began no later than April 1, 2004, and continued until their arrests on Feb. 21, 2007. As part of the conspiracy, the defendants made preparations to travel overseas in order to engage in acts that would result in the murder or maiming of U.S. military forces in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
On or about May 21, 2004, the defendants traveled to Cairo, Egypt, with the intent of engaging in acts that would result in the murder or maiming of U.S. military forces in Iraq or Afghanistan.
After their return from Egypt, on or about July 4, 2004, Zubair and Khaleel Ahmed discussed, sought and received instruction on firearms use from another individual in Cleveland. The defendants also sought and discussed training in counter-surveillance techniques and sniper rifles with this individual. Specifically, defendant Zubair Ahmed discussed his desire to learn how to use a .50-caliber machine gun.
As part of the conspiracy, the defendants also communicated with each other using code words and in a foreign language to disguise their preparations and plans to engage in acts abroad that would result in the murder or wounding of U.S. military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Furthermore, Zubair and Khaleel Ahmed researched the purchase of firearms, methods of obtaining firearms instruction (including at least one visit to a firing range) and methods of obtaining instruction in gunsmithing. In addition, the defendants collected and distributed videos of attacks on U.S. military forces overseas, manuals on military tactics and military manuals on weaponry.
â€œTodayâ€™s guilty pleas should send a strong message to individuals who would use this country as a platform to plot attacks against U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan,â€ said Matthew Olsen, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for National Security. â€œThis case also underscores the need for continued vigilance in identifying and dismantling extremist plots that develop within our nation.â€
William J. Edwards, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said: â€œThese guilty pleas are testament to the hard work and dedication of all the federal, state and local law enforcement officials who have spent years investigating this case and to the tireless efforts and perseverance of an extremely talented team of federal prosecutors who, with their law enforcement partners, keep this country safe from terrorists.â€
C. Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge, Cleveland Division, FBI, said: â€œThis case is an example of our continued efforts to detect terrorist planning and to prevent acts of terrorism before they occur. Through close cooperation with our law enforcement partners in Illinois and Ohio, this case resulted in the successful prosecution of these individuals.â€
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Chicago, Illinois and Toledo, Ohio, with the assistance of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the Chicago Police Department; the Illinois State Police; the Ohio Highway Patrol; the Toledo Police Department; and the Lucas and Wood County Sheriffâ€™s Departments.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas E. Getz and Justin E. Herdman of the National Security Unit of the U.S Attorneyâ€™s Office in Cleveland; as well Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg N. Sofer of the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office in Austin, Texas (formerly of the Justice Departmentâ€™s Counterterrorism Section); and Trial Attorneys Jerome J. Teresinski and Jolie F. Zimmerman of the Justice Departmentâ€™s Counterterrorism Section. The U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office in Chicago also provided assistance in this case.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s the new editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.