Pakistani American indicted for supporting al Qaeda suicide bomber
Ali Jaleel, the al Qaeda suicide bomber who was aided by Reaz Qadir Khan, an American citizen. Image from the SITE Intelligence Group.
A naturalized American citizen who is originally from Pakistan has been indicted by the US government for providing material support to a Maldivian suicide bomber who attacked a Pakistani intelligence headquarters in Lahore on May 27, 2009.
Thirty-three people were killed in the suicide assault, which was executed by three heavily armed al Qaeda suicide bombers [see LWJ report, Terror assault team targets police and intelligence officials in Lahore].
Reaz Qadir Khan was arrested two days ago by the FBI in Portland, Ore., and charged with "conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists," the FBI stated in a press release. "If convicted, he faces a potential maximum sentence of life in prison."
Khan allegedly provided support to Ali Jaleel, a Maldivian who was eulogized by al Qaeda in a videotape released in September 2009 that celebrated the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the US. Al Qaeda showed footage of Jaleel, who was also known as Musab Sayyid, and another suicide bomber who was also involved in the Lahore attack. In the tape, Jaleel is seen training at a terrorist camp.
The FBI claimed that Khan "conspired with an individual named Ali Jaleel and others to provide material support and resources and to conceal the nature of such support and resources, knowing they would be used in a conspiracy to kill, maim, or kidnap persons abroad" from December 2005 to June 2009. The "others" who conspired with Khan and Jaleel were not named in the indictment.
In 2006, Khan attempted to assist Jaleel "and a small group from the Maldives ... travel to Pakistan to train for violent jihad in Iraq or Afghanistan, but they were detained and returned to the Maldives, where Jaleel was placed under house arrest."
Undeterred by his house arrest, Jaleel continued to communicate with Khan and worked to travel to Pakistan.
"Khan provided advice to Jaleel on how to avoid detection and offered to arrange for money to be sent to Jaleel," the FBI stated. "In October 2008, Jaleel allegedly told Khan he needed '$2,500 for everything' and asked that Khan take care of his family and educate his children."
"Khan later instructed Jaleel to pick up the money he needed to enter the training camp from an individual in Karachi, Pakistan," the FBI stated. "To arrange for this transfer, Khan allegedly contacted an individual in Los Angeles whom he knew could quickly arrange for Jaleel to pick up money in Pakistan. According to indictment, the individual in Los Angeles then arranged for the money to be available for pick-up from the individual in Karachi."
It is unclear how Jaleel left the Maldives and entered Pakistan, but he is thought to have attended a terrorist training camp "in what is believed to be the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan."
Maldives nationals have been detained in Pakistan's tribal agencies in the past. In April 2009, "nine Maldives-based jihadists" were arrested in "Waziristan," according to The Hindu. Al Qaeda and allied groups are known to operate suicide training camps in the Taliban-controlled tribal agencies of North and South Waziristan.