The Justice Department on Tuesday filed court papers to revoke the naturalized citizenship of a man who pleaded guilty in 2009 after he traveled overseas to kill U.S. soldiers in the name of the Islamic State.
Prosecutors say Khaleel Ahmed, 37, was a supporter of the Islamic State, better known by its acronym ISIS, since 2004, when he became a naturalized U.S. citizen. They argue in court papers had Ahmed lied about his ties to the terrorist organization and was participating in the plot before he became a naturalized citizen.
“Since at least January 1, 2004, Defendant engaged in acts that he knew constituted preparations and plans to engage in acts outside the United States that would result in the murder or maiming of United States military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan,” federal prosecutors wrote in a compliant filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Ahmed, a native of India, admitted in his guilty plea that between 2004 and 2007, he and his cousin Zubair Ahmed, traveled to Cairo Egypt, with the intent to murder or injure U.S. soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan. Upon returning to Cairo, the pair sought and received instructions on the use of firearms and sniper rifles, the Justice Department said. They also collected and distributed videos of attacks on U.S. military forces overseas along with manuals on military tactics and weaponry, according to court documents.
In 2010, Ahmed was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison and three years of probation.
“The United States will use every available law enforcement tool to combat terrorism,” said acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio. “Those who are naturalized in the United States swear to support and defend our Constitution and laws against all enemies. Those who have actively supported terrorism and concealed that fact cannot take that oath in good faith and should not have the benefit of continued citizenship. Civil denaturalization is thus one important tool in our anti-terrorism efforts. We will continue to zealously seek out and prosecute individuals like Mr. Ahmed.”
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