A Singapore man convicted of aiding the terrorist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers) has been sentenced to 37 months in prison.
Haniffa Bin Osman, 57, was sentenced on October 30, 2008, by a U.S. district court in Baltimore. Osman, who claimed he was not a member of the Tamil Tigers but was helping the group obtain weapons, pleaded guilty in April 2007, to conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and money laundering. Osman attempted to purchase surface to air missiles, night vision devices, machine guns and firearms for the Tamil Tigers, according to court documents.
Osman was arrested in Guam in September 2006, after he and co-conspirators met with undercover agents from Maryland to discuss the sales of weapons to the Tamil Tigers. Osman conspired with alleged Tamil Tigers members Thirunavukarasu Varatharasa, Haji Subandi and Erick Wotulo, according to the plea agreement. The conspirators contacted an undercover FBI business located in Maryland about the sale of weapons and later agreed to send money to an undercover FBI bank account in Maryland as payment for the arms.
Osman met with undercover agents in Baltimore in July 2006, where he inspected the weapons, ammunition and night vision devices. During the meeting Osman stated that the weapons were meant for the Tamil Tigers and he discussed different tactics of how to illegally transfer the arms, according to court documents.
Varatharasa, 38, of Sri Lanka, was sentenced in January 2008, to 57 months in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization (Tamil Tigers) and attempted exportation of arms and munitions.
Subandi, 71, of Indonesia, was sentenced in December 2007, to 37 months in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization (Tamil Tigers), money laundering and attempted exportation of arms and munitions.
Wotulo, 60, a retired Indonesian Marine Corps General, was sentenced in July 2008 to 30 months in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to a designation foreign terrorist organization (Tamil Tigers) and money laundering.
The Tamil Tigers, a pioneer in the use of suicide bombings, was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. in 1997.