By Jim Kouri
A Pakistani teenager may spend up to 15 years in federal prison for his participation in a terrorism conspiracy with other homegrown terrorists such as Colleen LaRose who became known in the media as “Jihad Jane” and “Fatima Rose,” according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police and the Law Enforcement Examiner on Friday.
Mohammad Hassan Khalid, a citizen of Pakistan as well as a lawful permanent U.S. resident residing in Maryland, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, stemming from his participation in a scheme to support, recruit and coordinate members of a conspiracy in their plan to wage violent jihad in and around Europe.
The 18-year old Khalid, aka “Abdul Ba’aree ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al-Hassan Al-Afghani Al-Junoobi W’at-Emiratee,” was charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in an indictment returned on October 20, 2011. Besides the likely sentence of 15 years in prison, he’s required to pay a $250,000 fine at his sentencing.
Khalid’s co-defendant, Ali Charaf Damache, aka “Theblackflag,” 46, an Algerian man who resided in Ireland, was charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism. Damache is in custody in Ireland and is being prosecuted there on an unrelated criminal charge, according to the Justice Department prosecutors.
“Today’s plea, which involved a radicalized teen in Maryland who connected with like-minded individuals around the globe via the Internet, underscores the evolving nature of violent extremism today,” said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “I thank the many agents, analysts and prosecutors who helped bring about this case.”
According to the plea memorandum, indictment and other court documents filed in the case, from about 2008 through July 2011, Khalid and Damache conspired with Colleen R. LaRose, Jamie Paulin Ramirez and others to provide material support and resources, including logistical support, recruitment services, financial support, identification documents and personnel, to a conspiracy to kill overseas.
LaRose, aka “Fatima LaRose,” aka “Jihad Jane,” pleaded guilty in February 2011 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, false statements and attempted identity theft. Ramirez pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in March 2011 to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists
Khalid, Damache and others devised and coordinated a violent jihad organization consisting of men and women from Europe and the United States divided into a planning team, a research team, an action team, a recruitment team and a finance team; some of whom would travel to South Asia for explosives training and return to Europe to wage violent jihad, according to court records.
As part of the conspiracy, Khalid, Damache, LaRose and others recruited men online to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe. In addition, Khalid, Damache, LaRose and others allegedly recruited women who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad. LaRose, Paulin-Ramirez and others traveled to and around Europe to participate in and support violent jihad. In addition, Khalid, LaRose and others also solicited funds online for terrorists, according to FBI Field Divisions in New York City and the District of Columbia.
For example, in July 2009, Khalid posted an online solicitation for funds to support terrorism on behalf of LaRose and later sent electronic communications to multiple online forums requesting the deletion of all posts by LaRose after she was questioned by the FBI. In August 2009, Khalid sent a questionnaire to LaRose in which he asked another potential female recruit about her beliefs and intentions with regard to violent jihad. In addition, Khalid received from LaRose and concealed the location of a U.S. passport that she had stolen from another individual.
Khalid’s case was investigated by the FBI Field Division in Baltimore, in conjunction with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Philadelphia and the FBI Field Divisions in New York and Washington, D.C. Authorities in Ireland also provided assistance in this matter by arresting Khalid’s partner Damache.