US seeks to de-naturalise Khaleel Ahmed, Indian-origin man convicted of terrorism in 2009

Washington: The US has filed a lawsuit in a federal court in the northern district of Illinois seeking to revoke the American citizenship of a 37-year-old Indian-origin man convicted of terrorism.

 US seeks to de-naturalise Khaleel Ahmed, Indian-origin man convicted of terrorism in 2009

Representational image. Reuters

In 2009, Khaleel Ahmed pleaded guilty to charges of providing material support to terrorists through his efforts to travel abroad in order to murder or maim US military forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. He was sentenced to eight years and four months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release in 2010.

"Civil de-naturalisation is one important tool in our anti-terrorism efforts. We will continue to zealously seek out and prosecute individuals like Mr. Ahmed," acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio said after filing a lawsuit to de-naturalise Ahmed in a court in the northern district of Illinois on Tuesday.

Ahmed obtained US citizenship in 2004.

The civil de-naturalisation complaint alleges that Ahmed concealed and affirmatively misrepresented his criminal conduct throughout his naturalisation proceedings, and that his application would have been denied had immigration authorities known about his provision of material support to terrorists.

"The US will never be a safe haven for those seeking to support terrorists," Special Agent in-charge James Gibbons said. "When individuals lie to obtain immigration benefits, the system is severely undermined and the security of our nation is put at risk," he said. Khaleel Ahmed's conviction and the conduct on which it was based require revocation of his naturalisation on several independent grounds, he further added.

Between 2004 and 2007, Khaleel Ahmed and his cousin, Zubair Ahmed, made preparations to travel abroad, and did in fact travel to Egypt with the intent of engaging in acts that would result in the murder or maiming of US military forces, he conceded in the guilty plea.

After returning from Cairo, the cousins discussed, sought, and received instruction on the use of firearms, including sniper rifles, and in counter-surveillance techniques. They also collected and distributed videos of attacks on US military forces overseas, manuals on military tactics and military manuals on weaponry.

In 2009, the US District Court for the northern district of Ohio accepted the cousins' guilty pleas, and in 2010, sentenced Khaleel Ahmed to eight years.

Born in India in 1980, Ahmed was a beneficiary of chain immigration. He arrived in US on 16 August, 1998, as a lawful permanent resident (as a child of a brother or sister of a United States citizen). He became a US citizen on 31 March, 2004.

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Updated Date: Jul 04, 2018 14:23:50 IST