(Updates with comment from Khalid’s attorney in sixth paragraph.)
Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Two people were indicted in Philadelphia on charges they supported terrorists in the “Jihad Jane” terror plot.
Ali Charaf Damache, 46, an Algerian man who resided in Ireland, and Mohammad Hassan Khalid, 18, a Pakistani citizen residing in Maryland, with one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Damache was also charged with one count of attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism, Philadelphia U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger said today in a statement.
“Today’s indictment, which alleges a terrorist conspiracy involving individuals around the globe who connected via the Internet -- including a teenager and two women living in America -- underscores the evolving nature of violent extremism,” Lisa Monaco, assistant U.S. attorney general for national security, said in the statement.
Damache, also known as “theblackflag” and Khalid allegedly helped Colleen LaRose, also known as Jihad Jane, provide logistical and financial support and recruitment services in a plot to kill overseas. LaRose pleaded guilty in February on charges she plotted to recruit terrorists and murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. She is awaiting sentencing with another woman, Jamie Paulin Ramirez, who pleaded guilty in March to charges she conspired with LaRose to support and train terrorists.
Extradition From Ireland
Prosecutors intend to seek Damache’s extradition from Ireland where he was arrested in March last year on unrelated charges. Khalid, who was arrested in Ellicott City, Maryland, in July, will make his first court appearance next week. If convicted Damache faces as much as 45 years in prison and Khalid faces a potential sentence of 15 years, prosecutors said.
Khalid will plead not guilty to the charges, attorney Jeffrey Lindy said in a phone interview.
“We’re very disappointed and we’re going to vigorously fight this,” Lindy said about the indictment.
According to the indictment, Damache and Khalid helped devise and coordinate a “jihad” organization of men and women from Europe and the U.S. The group was divided into teams for planning, research, action, recruitment and finance, prosecutors said in the statement. Some traveled to South Asia for explosives training and returned to Europe to “wage violent jihad,” prosecutors said. The group allegedly sought women who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe.
The case is U.S. v. Ali Charaf Damache, Mohammad Hassan Khalid, 11-420, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).
--Editors: Mary Romano, Glenn Holdcraft
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