British Citizens Imprisoned in Connecticut for Supporting Terrorism to Be Sentenced Soon

Jul 14, 2014

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

Two British citizens imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism are to be sentenced in federal court in New Haven this week.

Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan have pleaded guilty to raising funds for terrorists through a Connecticut-based Web company that was unaware of it’s clients’ business practices.

Court documents say the men provided material support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the Chechen mujahideen. They have admitted to operating a group of websites called Azzam Publications which promoted violent jihad. They also recruited individuals to travel to Afghanistan for training. Court documents show that Ahmad solicited Kevlar helmets, night vision goggles and camouflage combat suits, and the men acknowledge that they intended their efforts to be used to kill U.S. nationals who were outside the U.S.

The feds are urging a 25-year prison term for Babar Ahmad, who they say led an covert cell in London. His sentencing is set for Wednesday.

Ahmad's attorney argues that the ten years his client has already spent in prison are enough punishment, saying he was trying to help Muslims under attack in Bosnia and Chechnya and he regrets his support for the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Prosecutors are calling for a 15-year sentence for Ahsan, who is to be sentenced Thursday.

Ahmad'’s attorney says the case is being closely watched in the Muslim world to see if the men will receive fair sentences.