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Lashkar-e-Taiba RULE Connections in the United States

Posted: January 26, 2009

Origins and Organizational Structure
Terrorism and Violence
LET and Anti-Semitism
Connections in the United States

Several American citizens have been charged with providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), including some Americans that have worked directly with LET to plan terrorist attacks.


American citizen David Coleman Headley was charged in December 2009 with helping LET plan a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 that killed more than 170 people.  Headley allegedly conducted reconnaissance of a number of the targeted locations, including the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, the Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident hotels, the Leopold Café and the Nariman House, the Mumbai headquarters of the Chabad Lubavitch movement.  Headley has also been implicated in a plot to attack Jewish locations in India, including Chabad houses and other Jewish centers in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Pushkar.


Headley and Tahawwur Rana, a Pakistani-born Canadian citizen residing in Chicago who was also implicated in the Mumbai attacks, were charged in October 2009 for a foiled plot to attack the offices and employees of a Danish newspaper that had previously printed controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.  Headley allegedly discussed the plot with at least three people in Pakistan, including an unnamed member of LET.


Both men have also been implicated in foiled attacks against the U.S. and Indian embassies in Dhaka, Bangladesh that were reportedly planned for November 26, 2009, the one-year anniversary of the Mumbai attacks.


The involvement of American citizen 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. 


  • Jubair Ahmad, a legal permanent resident from Pakistan was arrested in September 2011 for providing material support to LET. He had received religious and military training at LET camps in Pakistan prior to moving to the U.S., where he produced a propaganda video for the group on YouTube. 

  • 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 Ali al-Timimi, an American-born Muslim cleric, 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.  One member of the "Virginia Jihad Network," Randall Todd Royer, set up an Internet-based newsletter for LET while he was at the camp, which included several anti-Semitic sections, including a section about U.S. Jews titled "Who is ruling the USA today?"

Several family members of LET leader, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, moved to the U.S. in the past couple of decades and have been arrested for various charges.  Saeed's brother, Muhammad Masood, and his brother-in-law, Abdul Hannan, reportedly moved to the U.S. in the late 1980s and late 1990s, respectively, and worked as imams in Rhode Island and Boston before they were arrested on visa fraud charges in November 2006.


Another one of Saeed's brothers, Hafiz Muhammad Hamid, an imam at the Islamic Centre of Greater Worcester, Massachusetts, was deported to Pakistan in June 2007 on visa irregularity.  One of the reasons he was deported was because of his alleged former involvement in running a LET safe house in Moon Chowk, Lahore.


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