Bookmark this page on your mobile

QR Code image

What is this?

Daily Court Reporter - News Former Ohio man pleads guilty to providing money to Anwar al-Awlaki and soliciting the murder of a federal judge

 

Former Ohio man pleads guilty to providing money to Anwar al-Awlaki and soliciting the murder of a federal judge

Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 39, pleaded guilty today 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.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja for the Northern District of Ohio, Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony of the FBI’s Cleveland Field Division, and U.S. Marshal Peter J. Elliott of the Northern District of Ohio made the announcement. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Michigan supervised the prosecution of the solicitation to commit a crime of violence charge.

“The defendant conspired to provide and did provide material support to Anwar Al-Awlaki in response to his calls to support violent jihad,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is counterterrorism and we will continue to pursue justice against those who seek to provide material support to terrorists.”

“This defendant conspired to attack our service members abroad as well as a judge in Toledo,” Acting U.S. Attorney Sierleja said. “He threatened the hallmarks of our democracy. He is a dangerous criminal who deserves a long prison sentence.”

“Conspiring to have a judge killed is not the way to avoid being prosecuted – now Mohammad will be held accountable for additional serious federal charges,” said Special Agent in Charge Anthony. “The FBI will continue to work with our partners to ensure the safety of those that uphold the rule of law. “

“Protecting the federal judiciary is our highest priority,” said U.S. Marshal Elliott. “This is an example where we were able to work with our law enforcement partners to protect a judge and bring charges against a dangerous individual.”

Mohammad is an Indian citizen who was an engineering student at Ohio State University between 2002 and 2004. He married a U.S. citizen in 2008. He and three other defendants – his brother, Ibrahim Mohammad, Asif Ahmed Salim, and Sultane Room Salim – were indicted by a federal grand jury in September 2015. The case against the remaining three defendants is pending. They have pleaded not guilty.

Mohammad admitted to conspiring with his co-defendants to travel to Yemen to provide thousands of dollars, equipment, and other assistance to Anwar Al-Awlaki, in an effort to support violent jihad against U.S. military personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world. Al-Awlaki was later designated as a global terrorist in 2010 and identified as a “key leader” of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, according to court documents.

On July 22, 2009, Mohammad travelled with two associates to Yemen to meet Awlaki and deliver the $22,000 that they had raised. Although they were unable to meet Awlaki in person, Mohammad and his associates did ensure that Awlaki received the money through a courier.

In addition to pleading guilty to conspiring to provide and conceal material support to terrorists, Mohammad also admitted to soliciting an undercover FBI employee (UCE), posing as a “hitman,” to kidnap and murder U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary. In or about April 2016 – while the terrorism case was pending and assigned to Judge Zouhary – Mohammad told another inmate in the Lucas County Corrections Center in Toledo, Ohio that he wanted Zouhary kidnapped and murdered and that he was willing to pay $15,000 to have this carried out. The inmate provided Mohammad with the contact information for the UCE and stated that the UCE would need a $1,000 down payment before the murder could occur. The inmate also provided Mohammad with an agreed upon code to use when discussing the planned murder over the jail telephone.

On or about April 26, 2016, Mohammad called the UCE from the Lucas County Corrections Center. Using the agreed-upon code, Mohammad told the UCE he wanted to have Judge Zouhary killed. Mohammad agreed to provide the $1,000 down payment. When asked when he wanted the murder committed, Mohammad stated, “The sooner would be good, you know.” Over the ensuing days, Mohammad arranged to have a family member provide the $1,000 in cash to the UCE. On May 5, 2016, that family member met with the UCE and provided the UCE with $1,000 in cash. Mohammad later informed the inmate that the rest of the money for the murder was coming, according to court documents.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Mohammad is expected to be sentenced to 27 ½ years in federal prison. Mohammad will be deported from the U.S. upon completion of his sentence, under the terms of his plea agreement.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Freeman, Matthew Shepherd and Christos N. Georgalis of the Northern District of Ohio, and Trial Attorneys Gregory Gonzalez and David Smith of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, following an investigation by the FBI.

Date Published: July 25, 2017

 

The United States Department of Justice for the Northern District of Ohio

 

Task force seizes 400 pounds of marijuana, two arrested

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis, and members of the Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force announced recently the seizure of approximately 400 pounds of marijuana in connection with an investigation into a large-scale marijuana distribution organization operating between Dayton and Columbus.

Ohio and U.S. Employment Situation (Seasonally Adjusted), June 2017

Ohio's unemployment rate was 5.0 percent in June 2017, up from 4.9 percent in May 2017. Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 11,500 over the month, from a revised 5,517,300 in May to 5,528,800 in June 2017.

Man sentenced to 200 months in prison for role in cocaine trafficking conspiracy

Oscar Collado-Rivera, 32, of New Albany, Ohio, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 200 months in prison for conspiring with others to distribute more than 150 kilograms of cocaine.

University of Cincinnati to study prevalence of human trafficking in Ohio

In collaboration with Gov. John R. Kasich’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, the Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) has awarded funding to the University of Cincinnati (UC) to assess the extent to which youth and children are exploited in Ohio.

Fact: Multiple 529 Plans work best for multiple kids

Families with more than one child may wonder if they need more than one 529 plan to save for their children’s future college costs. While it’s not necessary, the benefits of a 529 plan customarily can be amplified best if each child has their own 529 account. Why? Here are a few reasons.

When a loved one dies…who pays the bills?

Q: Who is responsible for paying the bills of a deceased person?

Attorney who misappropriated $363,000 permanently disbarred

A Columbus personal-injury attorney was permanently disbarred by the Ohio Supreme Court recently for misappropriating more than $363,000 in settlements funds, mostly by not paying parties, other than her clients, who were entitled to portions of the settlement.

OHFA announces 2017 Housing Tax Credit Program Recipients, awarding more than $25 million to create affordable housing options

At its July 19, 2017, meeting, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) Board announced the recipients of the 2017 Housing Tax Credit (HTC) program awards, used to fund the construction, acquisition and rehabilitation of affordable housing communities throughout Ohio. Over $27 million in federal housing tax credits was awarded to 33 developments to create 1,698 housing units serving families, seniors and individuals with disabilities:

5 investment strategies that can outlast market spikes

(BPT) You're familiar with the saying "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is"?

Staying healthy while traveling overseas

(BPT) Each year, travelers from the United States (U.S.) head to popular destinations. And while many have Zika on their mind while traveling, and are aware of the need to bring sunscreen, bug repellant and other travel necessities, many don't know that cholera may be a bigger threat than they thought and most don't take the necessary measures to protect themselves from it.

Survey: More Americans see less media bias — but why?

Attention you so-called "enemies of the people" and alleged purveyors of biased reporting: There's reason to think fewer people than last year might see you that way, despite the ongoing, politicized attacks from multiple quarters on the news media's credibility.

No rights warnings required to question intoxicated driver in police vehicle front seat

Placing a suspect in the front seat of a police cruiser during a traffic stop does not alone determine if the officer needs to read the suspect his rights before questioning, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled recently.

The PUCO answers your questions about budget billing

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) would like to remind consumers that in addition to energy conservation and energy choice, budget billing is another way to manage your utility bills.

Seven men from Cuyahoga County indicted for firearms offenses

Seven men from Cuyahoga County were indicted on federal firearms charges, said Acting U.S. Attorney David Sierleja and Trevor Velinor, ATF Special Agent in Charge for the Columbus Field Division.

Proposal would allow medical first responders to carry firearms

A Cincinnati emergency room physician has joined first responders from around the Buckeye State to back a proposed bill that would provide for firearms training for tactical medical professionals, who would be allowed to carry a firearm in a concealed manner while on duty.

Applications now available for $3 million in Ohio law enforcement grants to address opioid epidemic

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced recently the application process is now open for Ohio law enforcement teams to apply for $3 million in new state grant money that will replicate or expand Drug Abuse Response Teams (DARTs) and Quick Response Teams (QRTs) to address the opioid epidemic in Ohio.

Simplify Your 529 Withdrawal Process

NOTE: This is the process for CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan accounts only. The process is different for Guaranteed Plan accounts. Here is guidance for withdrawals from the Guaranteed Plan.

Proposal designed to shore up Ohio's school workers' health care fund

The annual 3 percent cost of living adjustment guaranteed to Ohio's retired public school workers through the School Employees Retirement System, or SERS, is at stake if current law and funding remain unchanged, according to a northwest Ohio lawmaker.

4 strategies to grow your finances in retirement

(BPT) Retirement is the time in your life when you can throw off the shackles of your daily responsibilities and truly enjoy the fruits of everything you spent years working toward. It's an empowering feeling and you've earned it. You've planned and you've saved, but now that you're here, don't make the mistake of believing your financial planning is over.

SCC baseball player named OCCAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Sinclair Community College and the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) announced June 21 that freshman baseball player Blaze Glenn is this year’s 2016-17 OCCAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.