By Jim Kouri
Two suspected accomplices of Colleen R. LaRose — better known as “Jihad Jane,” a convicted homegrown terrorist — face lengthy prison sentences for allegedly providing material support to radical Islamic terrorism.
An Algerian man who resided in Ireland, and a Pakistani citizen who is a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. residing in Maryland, were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in a superseding indictment returned Thursday in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Ali Charaf Damache, a/k/a “Theblackflag,” 46, is 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 was arrested by authorities in Ireland in March 2010 where he is currently being held on unrelated charges. The United States intends to seek his extradition from Ireland to stand trial in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. If convicted of the charges against him, Damache faces a potential sentence of 45 years in prison.
Mohammad Hassan Khalid, aka “Abdul Ba’aree ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al-Hassan Al-Afghani Al-Junoobi W’at-Emiratee,” 18, is charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Khalid was arrested in Ellicot City, Maryland, on July 6, 2011, and is currently in custody in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. If convicted of the charge against him, Khalid faces a potential sentence of 15 years in prison.
“Today’s indictment, which alleges a terrorist conspiracy involving individuals around the globe who connected via the Internet—including a teenager and two women living in America—underscores the evolving nature of violent extremism.” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security Lisa Monaco.
The indictment alleges that, from about 2008 through July 2011, Damache and Khalid 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.
According to the indictment, Damache, Khalid 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.
The indictment alleges that Damache, Khalid, LaRose, and others recruited men online to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe. In addition, Damache, Khalid, LaRose, and others allegedly recruited women who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad.
The indictment further alleges that LaRose, Paulin-Ramirez, and others traveled to and around Europe to participate in and support violent jihad; and that Khalid and LaRose and others solicited funds online for terrorists.
For example, the indictment alleges that in July 2009, Damache sent an electronic communication using the username “Theblackflag” to Khalid, asking Khalid to recruit online “some brothers that can travel freely . . . with European Union (EU) passports . . . .[A]nd I need some sisters too.”
Damache also allegedly advised Khalid that “sister Fatima will be charge of other sister care . . . . [W]e have already organized everything for her. . . .”
The indictment further alleges that Paulin-Ramirez married Damache on the day she arrived with her minor child in Europe to live and train with jihadists, even though she had never met Damache in person, and that, while living together in Europe, the couple began training Ramirez’s minor child in the ways of violent jihad.
Among other things, the indictment further alleges that, 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.