Mohammed Zubair Ibrahim
NEW DELHI: A 40-year-old civil engineering graduate from Osmania University in Hyderabad who had moved to the US for further studies but got involved in terror financing Al Qaeda, has been deported by the United States to India after completing his prison term there.
Mohammed Zubair Ibrahim (40), son of a Mohd Ahmed Shaker and resident of Toledo, Ohio, USA, and his brother Yahya Farooq Mohammad were influenced by Anwar Al Awlaki, leader of Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula, who was designated as terrorist by the US in 2009 and later killed in a drone strike in 2011 in Yemen. Yahya had handed over $22,000 to Awlaki’s associates in Yemen in 2009, contributed via cheques by his university friend Asif Ahmed Salim and his brother Sultane Salim.
Yahya pleaded guilty after being detained by FBI in 2015 and is incarcerated ever since. He was sentenced to over 27 years in prison. Zubair, an Indian passport holder, on the other hand has completed his sentence and was deported by the US to India a couple of days ago by a special flight. He is presently serving quarantine at Amritsar and will be questioned exhaustively by the Indian agencies.
“He is not charged in India…not yet,” an officer in the Central security establishment told TOI.
Zubair had got admission to do his Masters in Structural Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His brother, Yahya, who also did his Masters from Ohio University in 2004, had shifted to UAE and started living with his mother. He became a permanent US Citizen in 2007.
Both brothers used to share literature/speeches of Anwar Al Awlaki.
Yahya also shared videos of Taliban and Chechen militants. Yahya used to attach such mails to his university friend, one Asif Ahmed Salim, resident of Kansas, US who was a US citizen but had family origins in Pakistan.
In January and July 2009, Yahya visited Yemen to meet Awlaki along with his two friends from UAE, namely, Jawed Tahir and Madin (originally from India). Jawed, who owned fishing business and made business trips to Yemen often, facilitated the meeting of Yahya and Awlaki. Yahya would receive cheques from Asif Ahmed Salim and his brother Sultane Salim, meant for further donation to be given to Awlaki. During the July visit Yahya handed over $22,000 to an associate of Awlaki. He couldn’t meet Awlaki in person as the village where Awlaki was staying had presence of Yemenese Army persons.
In October, 2011 after death of Awlaki, Ibrahim deleted his emails with keywords “Awlaki”, “AA”, “jihad”, “Taliban”, and “Yemen”. On December 8, 2011 he was was questioned by FBI regarding monetary help to Awlaki through Asif and Sultane. He was detained by FBI on November 5, 2015.
Yahya pleaded guilty to providing and concealing material support to terrorists. In 2009, his two associates delivered $7,000 to Awlaki while in July, 2009 he himself travelled to Yemen and gave $22,000 dollars to Al Awlaki’s associate. He was also charged with attempt to hire a contract killer to kill one of the judges assigned to their case. He was sentenced to jail for over 27 years in 2017.
Awlaki was designated as terrorist by US in July, 2010 after he claimed responsibility for Fort Hood Attack and Christmas bombing in December 2009.