Connecticut Terror Case: U.K. Suspect Charged in U.S. Warship Plot

Jul 19, 2006 3:15pm

Syed Talha Ahsan was arrested in London last night under a warrant and indictment in Connecticut for his alleged involvement with Babar Ahmad.

Ahmad was indicted in the U.S. in 2004 for allegedly providing material support to Chechen terrorist groups and the Taliban. Ahmad is currently battling his extradition to the United States in British courts. The British government has said that Ahmad can be extradited to  the United states to face trial.  Lawyers for Babar Ahmad have filed an appeal with Britain’s High Court.

From 1997 until his arrest in 2004, Ahmad allegedly ran websites for Azzam Publications, which used to carry propaganda for al Qaeda, including Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War against the U.S. The Azzam website is a key recruitment and propaganda tool for al Qaeda and mujaheddin. 

According to Ahsan’s indictment which was unsealed earlier today, "In or about April, 2001, the defendant Syed Talha Ahsan possessed, accessed, modified and re-saved a document containing then-classified United States Navy plans of a United States Naval Battle Group operating in the Straits of Hormuz and discussing the Naval Group’s vulnerabilities to terrorist attack."

According to the indictment, Ahsan allegedly helped run the websites with Ahmad.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut since some of the web servers they allegedly used were based in Connecticut. He is also charged with helping facilitate suspected terrorist travel to Chechnya and Afghanistan.

He has been charged in a three-count indictment with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy and conspiracy to kill and injure persons abroad.

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