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Homeland Security

Washington File

27 June 2003

Federal Grand Jury Charges Eleven with Planning to Join in Jihad

(Indictment on 41 counts issued in Alexandria, Virginia) (540)
A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, issued a 41-count
indictment June 27 against 11 men, mainly U.S. citizens, charging them
with conspiracy to train for and participate in violent jihad.
"It was part of the conspiracy that the defendants and their
conspirators prepared to become mujahedeen and die 'shaheed' -- that
is, as martyrs in furtherance of violent jihad," the indictment said.
Six of the men were arrested the morning of June 27 in Maryland,
Pennsylvania and Virginia, said Paul McNulty, U.S. attorney for the
Eastern District of Virginia, at a news conference.
Two others were already in custody, he said, and three others,
believed to be in Saudi Arabia, are being sought.
"Right here, in this community, 10 miles from Capitol Hill, in the
streets of Northern Virginia, American citizens allegedly met and
plotted and recruited for violent jihad," McNulty said.
The indictment alleges, among other things, that the men were
preparing to take part in military activities against a nation
friendly to the United States, that they purchased, transported and
received firearms to be used in a felony, used and attempted to use
false and altered passports, and provided false statements to law
enforcement investigators, McNulty said.
The group of organizers and recruits allegedly met in secret in
private homes in the Northern Virginia suburbs and in an Islamic
center in Falls Church, Virginia, "to hear lectures and review tapes
of mujahedeen engaged in violent jihad," he said.
McNulty said the men also trained at firing ranges in Virginia and
Pennsylvania.
Following is a text released June 27 by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation on the arrests.
(begin text)
Federal Bureau of Investigation
www.fbi.gov
[June 27, 2003]
On Friday, June 27, 2003, FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge,
Michael Rolince of the Bureau's Washington Field Office, and U.S.
Attorney Paul McNulty of the Eastern District of Virginia, as well as
members of the law enforcement community held a press conference
regarding the investigation of at least 11 men suspected of having
ties with terrorism.
In accordance with an indictment handed down by a federal grand jury,
the arrests took place at various locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland
and Virginia. The defendants are believed to be associated with an
extremist Muslim organization known as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), meaning
"The Army of the Pure."
Since 2001, LET has been listed among the U.S. Department of State's
'Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations'; accused by the Indian
government of having committed numerous acts of violence against
officials and innocent civilians. Operating out of Afghanistan,
Chechnya, Kosovo, Bosnia, Kashmir, and the Philippines, the defendants
are accused of having sought to recruit soldiers in a "violent Jihad";
a war on the United States and other countries.
In a related investigation, five of the men named in the indictment
were found to be in possession of a variety of weapons, including AK
47's, telescopic lenses and hundreds of rounds of ammunition,
including tracer bullets. In addition, the defendants were harboring
various documents, including a copy of the 'Terrorist Handbook,'
featuring information regarding the manufacturing of explosives and
related weaponry.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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