UK Man Sentenced for Taliban Support

Jul 16, 2014

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

A British citizen imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism was sentenced in federal court in New Haven today.

Babar Ahmad was given 12 and half years in prison, with credit for the ten years he’s already served.

Babar Ahmad addressed the court, saying he wanted to explain how he began operating a group of websites that provided material support to the Chechen mujahideen and the Taliban, crimes to which he’s pleaded guilty. He was charged in Connecticut, because the websites ran through a web company in the state that was unaware of its client’s business practices.

Ahmad described traveling to Bosnia 20 years ago at age 18, where he spoke to people about the atrocities there. Then he set up the websites as a way to try and prevent another massacre like the one at Srebrenica. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, he says he sees how naïve or stupid he was to have supported the Taliban regime in Afghanistan at a time when it was protecting Osama bin Laden.

Federal prosecutors were seeking a 25 year prison term. U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall said at the time Ahmad supported the Taliban he did not know that bin Laden was plotting the September 11th attacks, and she made the distinction between Ahmad and criminals who seek to harm other people.

Babar Ahmad has served ten years prison– 8 in Britain, and 2 years in solitary confinement in Connecticut. His current sentence leaves him with 2 ½ years to serve, minus time for good behavior. He’s expected to be moved to a prison in New York City..and his lawyer believes he could be released in about 8 months.