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Indian arrested in US for providing financial support to al-Qaeda

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Washington: An Indian and another man among the four persons indicted by a federal American court on charges of providing financial support to slain al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki to aid violent jihad, have been arrested in the US, while the rest two are in the UAE.

The two Indians among the indicted are Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 37, and his brother Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, 36. The other two are Asif Ahmed Salim, 35, and his brother Sultane Room Salim, 40.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested Ibrahim in Texas ? where he lived — on Thursday, while Sultane was apprehended in Ohio.

All four men have been indicted on one count of conspiracy to provide and conceal material support and resources to terrorists, one count of providing material support and resources to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

While Ibrahim was arrested in Texas, where he lived, his brother Yahya lives in UAE. Sultane’s brother Asif also stays in the UAE.

Attorney Kadri Cherrefe, who represents Sultane, said he has pleaded not guilty.

“Salim has pleaded not guilty. The case has been filed against him and others. The onus is now on the federal prosecutors to produce documents and evidences to prove,” Cherrefe told PTI over phone.

Cherrefe said she is only representing Sultane Salim.

It is not known who is representing the other three men in federal court.

Officials from either the FBI or the Department of Justice did not respond to calls and emails on the case.

However, given the past precedence, the Department of Justice would try to get back the other two mentioned in the indictment to the US to face the charges.

Yahya, an Indian citizen, studied engineering at Ohio State University from 2002 to 2004. He married a US citizen in 2008, but has been a resident of the United Arab Emirates since 2004, according to local daily The Toledo Blade in Ohio.

Ibrahim, also an Indian citizen, studied engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from 2001 to 2005.

He moved to Toledo around 2006, married a US citizen, and became a permanent resident of the US around 2007, moving at some point to Texas, the daily reported.

IANS