Washington: An Indian citizen in the US has pleaded guilty to funnelling thousands of dollars to an Al Qaeda leader in Yemen and trying to orchestrate the killing of a judge, federal prosecutors said.
Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide and conceal material support or resources to terrorists and one count of solicitation to commit a crime of violence, the Justice Department said in a statement on Monday.
Mohammad, who married an American citizen in 2008, faces over 27 years in prison and deportation if convicted, the statement said.
“He is a dangerous criminal who deserves a long prison sentence,” said David A. Sierleja, the Acting US Attorney for northern Ohio.
Mohammad, who studied engineering at Ohio State University from 2002 to 2004, was one of four people arrested in 2015 and charged with plotting to travel to Yemen to provide $22,000 to former Al Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki years earlier, NBC News reported.
Al-Awlaki, a New Mexico-born cleric, was killed by a US drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
Mohammad also admitted offering $15,000 to an undercover Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) agent to kidnap and kill US District Judge Jack Zouhary, who was overseeing his terrorism case, the Justice Department said.
He had been introduced to the undercover agent by another inmate at the Lucas County Corrections Centre in Toledo.
Mohammad allegedly arranged for the money to be paid to the undercover FBI agent through his wife in Chicago. She gave the agent an envelope containing a $1,000 cash down payment in April 2016, the indictment said.
The undercover employee in May 2016 showed Mohammad’s wife a photo of what was purported to be the judge’s dead body and informed her that “the photograph was the matter that he was to conduct for her husband”.
The other men arrested with Mohammad in 2015 were awaiting trial.