Chicago Men Helped Plan 2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks; Surveilled Jewish Targets for Pakistani Terror Group
Americans Linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba
Posted: December 10, 2009
Since the 1980s, the Pakistani-based terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) has worked to drive out Indian security forces from Jammu and Kashmir and has sought to establish an Islamic caliphate in the region. In recent years, the terrorist group has embraced an anti-Western ideology that demonizes the United States, Israel and India, and, in November 2008, targeted Western and Jewish tourists in Mumbai in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks that killed more than 170 people.
The involvement of American citizen David Coleman Headley in recent LET terror plots in India and Europe demonstrates the terrorist group's attempt to extend its reach in the West. In addition to Headley, several other American citizens have been arrested or convicted on terrorism charges relating to LET.
- Ahmad Abousamra, a U.S. citizen who currently remains at large, was charged in November 2009 with, among other things, providing material support to terrorists. He allegedly made two trips to Pakistan in 2002 to join the Taliban and LET, but failed in his attempt. Abousamra was charged in the same indictment as Tarek Mehanna, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Egypt who was arrested in Massachusetts in September 2009.
- Two Atlanta men, Syed Haris Ahmed, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, an American-born citizen, were convicted in 2009 for attempting to join the terrorist group LET and taking casing videos of targets in Washington, D.C. for potential terrorist attacks.
- Mahmud Faruq Brent, a U.S. citizen who was born in Akron, Ohio and later moved to Gwynn Oak, Maryland, was sentenced to 15 years in 2007 for conspiring to send aid to LET and attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan in 2002. Tariq Shah, an American-born Muslim convert who was sentenced in 2007 to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda, trained Brent in martial arts and urban warfare "as part of the conspiracy to provide material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba," according to court documents.
- A group of ten men, dubbed the "Virginia Jihad Network" by prosecutors, were convicted on terrorism charges related to LET in Alexandria, Virginia, between 2003 and 2005. The leader of the group, American-born Muslim cleric Ali al-Timimi, urged the men to train at LET terrorist camps in preparation to "go abroad to join the mujahideen engaged in violent jihad in Afghanistan," according to court documents. The men trained with weapons in Virginia and seven of the defendants traveled to Pakistan to train with LET.