British Nationals Plead Guilty to Supporting Terrorists

Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan were in New Haven Federal Court Saturday Morning.

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013  |  Updated 3:22 PM EDT
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British Nationals Plead Guilty to Supporting Terrorists

Two British nationals have pleaded guilty to supporting terrorists through Web sites hosted in Trumbull, Connecticut.

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Two British nationals have pleaded guilty to supporting terrorists through Web sites hosted in Trumbull, Connecticut.  

Babar Ahmad, 39, and Syed Talha Ahsan, 34, pled guilty in New Haven Federal Court today to raising money, recruiting fighters and gathering military equipment for the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

Federal authorities said Ahmad and Ahsan were involved in the operation of, “Azzam Publications,” an entity in London that ran a series of Web sites that provided support to the Chechen mujahideen, the Taliban and associated terrorist groups. 

Authorities said Ahmad also tried to secure GPS devices, Kevlar helmets, night vision goggles, ballistic vests and camouflage combat suits and both suspects recruited and arranged for individuals to travel to Afghanistan to train for violent jihad.

“Today, Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan admitted that they supported terrorists,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Daly.  “They acknowledged that they solicited funds, recruited personnel and provided additional support for acts of terror, including efforts based out of the United States and solicitations for support that were specifically targeted at U.S. residents.”

Ahmad admitted that he ran the websites and “the purpose of Azzam Publications [was] to ‘Incite the believers’ and also secondly to raise some money for the brothers,” according to federal authorities.

Authorities said Ahsan also did not dispute that he traveled to Afghanistan, with Ahmad's help, fought there and attended terrorist training camps Al Quaeda ran, according to federal authorities.

John Sandweg, acting director of ICE, said these guilty pleas deal a significant blow to the financial infrastructure that supports terrorism.

The two men had fought extradition from Great Britain for several years after being indicted by two separate grand juries in the United States.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 4.

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