Members of "Jihad Network" Sentenced
Posted: June 18, 2004
Three Americans accused of conspiring to fight alongside a Pakistani-based terrorist group and of engaging in paramilitary training in the Virginia woods were sentenced to long prison terms in U.S. District Court.
One of the defendants, Masoud Khan, read a statement in court after being sentenced to life in prison on June 15, 2004. "Had I been a Zionist Jew or a Christian training to fight, I would never have been charged with violating the Neutrality Act," Khan said.
Khan, a 32-year-old Maryland native who prosecutors said traveled to Pakistan to train with Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, designated as a foreign terrorist group by the U.S., was convicted of the most serious charges, including conspiracy to levy war against the U.S. and providing material support to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
The two other members of what prosecutors called the "Virginia Jihad Network," Seifullah Chapman, 31, and Hammad Abdur-Raheem, 36, were sentenced to 85 and 8 years in prison respectively.
Chapman admitted attending the militant Pakistani training camp, although he said he did so for the physical challenge. Abdur-Raheem was convicted of providing military training to the other members by engaging in paint ball games in the Virginia woods.
Khan and Chapman received their lengthy prison terms as a result of mandatory minimum sentences for weapons convictions related to the conspiracy.
Since a federal grand jury indicted 11 people last June on conspiracy, firearms and other charges, six members have pleaded guilty and received prison sentences. Two others were acquitted of all charges. Khan, Chapman, and Abdur-Raheem were the only members to face trial.