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Virginian Charged with Propagating Violent Jihad

A Pakistani-born permanent legal resident from Virginia has been charged with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization by producing a video "glorifying violent jihad" on its behalf.

Twenty-four-year-old Jubair Ahmad, arrested on September 2, 2011, in Woodbridge, Virginia, is accused of providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), a Pakistani-based Islamic terrorist organization. Ahmad, a permanent resident, is also accused of making false statements in the course of a terrorism investigation by denying any knowledge of the video when initially questioned by the FBI in October, 2010.

According to an FBI affidavit, "terrorist organizations such as LET, and movements affiliated with them, use the Internet and other media as part of well orchestrated propaganda campaigns" that "seek to recruit individuals to participate in violent jihad and to promote the spread of terror." 

The video Ahmad allegedly created and uploaded to YouTube in September 2010 included an audio track of a prayer in Arabic with a slideshow of still pictures and videos. The prayer includes supplications for the mujahideen "who kill in the cause of Allah" in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, Palestine, and in all other locations. The pictures feature dead bodies and violent altercations between protesters and security services, as well as the notorious Abu Ghraib pictures, and videos of roadside bomb attacks.

According to Google records turned over to the FBI, an IP address associated with Ahmad's home computer matched the YouTube account in question when the video was uploaded.  

Federal authorities claim that Ahmad had been in contact with Talha Saeed, the son of LET's leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.  Talha allegedly instructed Ahmad on the content to be used in the video, including images of Palestinians and the jihad in Kashmir. Based on these instructions, a new version of the video was uploaded on October 16, 2010.

Prior to moving to the U.S. with his family in February 2007, Ahmad received religious and military training from LET as a teenager in Pakistan, according to the FBI affidavit, which includes transcripts of Ahmad's online conversations.  According to one of the conversations, Ahmad would "listen to lectures, offer… prayers, exercise, study guns, [and] fire them" before being told by LET told that he could not continue with more advanced commando training because of his age. 

An LET spokesman denied any connection with Ahmad and called the news reports "part of Indian propaganda… with an aim to malign Kashmir's freedom struggle and to hoodwink the international community."

Other American citizens and residents have been tied to Lashkar-e-Taiba, including David Coleman Headley, who admitted casing Mumbai targets in preparation for the November 2008 attacks, as for plotting an attack on Danish targets. 

If convicted of both charges, Ahmad faces up to 23 years in prison.

 

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UPDATE

April 23, 2012

On December 2, 2011, Jubair Ahmad pleaded guilty to providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba. On April 13, 2012, he was sentenced to 12-years in prison.

The video Ahmad allegedly created and uploaded to YouTube in September 2010 included an audio track of a prayer in Arabic with a slideshow of still pictures and videos. The prayer includes supplications for the mujahideen "who kill in the cause of Allah" in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, Palestine, and in all other locations.

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