An Indian-origin man was sentenced to 27 years of prison on Monday in the United States for sending funds to Al-Qaeda and plotting to kill the federal judge in his trial. The man had reportedly come to the US to study.
Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 39, was among four men who were arrested in September 2016, and were charged for sending $22,000 to US-born cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, who is a leader of Yemen-based Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and is one of the most influential recuiters for the terror group.
Mohammad's brother was also among the people arrested. Mohammad came to the US to study at Ohio State University in 2002. He later married a US citizen in 2008.
Reports state that Mohammad and two others travelled to Yemen in 2009, hoping to deliver the money to Awlaki. They, however, did not meet him and eventually delivered the money to him through a third party.
The US Justice Department said that after the suspects were arrested in 2015, Mohammad also attempted to hire a person to kill the judge in his case.
"He threatened the safety of our citizens, a judge and the independent judiciary. Now he is being held accountable," said US Attorney Justin Herdman.
Mohammad, nearly a year after his arrest, offered a fellow inmate in the Lucas County, Ohio jail $15,000 to kidnap and kill US District Judge Jack Zouhary, according to reports.
The inmate, in turn, connected Mohammad with an assassin who was an undercover FBI agent. Reports state that a member of Mohammad's family paid $1,000 down payment to the agent for the job.
He later pleaded guilty in US federal court in Toledo, Ohio on count of providing resources to terrorists and also of solicitation to commit a crime of violence.