VIRGINIA TERROR NETWORK
Virginia terror network was a cell of 11 members, some of them from Pakistani descent and other converters to Islam, 9 of them USA citizens, which was connected to the Pakistani terror organization, supported by ISI, Lashkar-e-Toiba. Members of the network planned, in US, to attack Indian targets abroad using their US passports in order to travel more easily. Some of the suspects allegedly bought weapons, including AK-47-style rifles, in 01/2000, to improve their weapons skills
Lashkar-e-Toiba was designated by USA authority, in 12/2001, as an Islamic terror organization in which even membership is a violation of USA law.
In order to carry out their plans, some members of Virginia network went to Pakistan in 08/2002 for 4 days training. Most members of the Virginia terror network were arrested in 06/2003 in Washington and Maryland before carrying out any attack.
The Virginia terror network is also called the ‘Paintball cell’ because the members of the network used to train playing paintball every weekend in the woods or open fields of Northern Virginia. The Virginia terror network detainees are:
* Yong Ki Kwon, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in 1976 in South Korea, pleaded guilty in 08/2003. On 11/07/2003, Yong Ki Kwon was sentenced to 11.5 years. Prior to his arrest Yong Ki Kwon was an informant for the FBI in the case. On 01/13/2009 Yong Ki Kwon testified by video link in the Sydney Cell trial of five men accused of planning a terrorist attack in Australia.
* Khwaja Mahmood Hasan, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in 1976 in Pakistan, pleaded guilty in 08/2003. On 11/07/2003 Khwaja Mahmood Hasan was sentenced to 11.5 years. Prior to his arrest Khwaja Mahmood Hasan was an informant for the FBI in the case.
* Donald Thomas Surratt, born in 1973, who was honorably discharged from the Marines in 1994, pleaded guilty in 08/2003. Donald Thomas Surratt, who did not travel to Pakistan, received only 4 years in jail.
* On 09/22/2003 Muhammed Aatique, a Pakistani citizen born in 1973, who was arrested in Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm during a crime of violence at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan and to helping alleged co-conspirators “in preparing for and beginning a military expedition to be carried out from the United States against India,”. Muhammed Aatique was sentenced on 12/12/2003 for 10 years imprisonment.
* On 01/16/2004 Randall Todd Royer (who goes by the name of Ismail), born in 1973 and converted to Islam, pleaded guilty to using and discharging a firearm during, and in relation to, a crime of violence. Randall Todd Royer also admitted to visiting Pakistan already in 02/2000, aiding and abetting some of the co-defendants in gaining entry to a terrorist training camp in Pakistan operated by Lashkar-e-Toiba. He was sentenced on 01/31/2004 for 20 years. He was considered to be the ringleader of the network.
* Ibrahim Al-Hamdi, born in 1978, pleaded guilty to using and discharging a firearm during, and in relation to, a crime of violence. Ibrahim Al-Hamdi was called by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on 12/16/2004, to testify in the committal hearing of the accused Sydney terrorist Faheem Khalid Lodhi. . Ibrahim Al-Hamdi was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
* Masoud Ahmad Khan, was born in 1970 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. On 06/15/2004 Masoud Ahmad Khan was convicted of the most serious charges, including conspiracy to levy war against the United States and conspiracy to contribute services to the Taliban. He was sentenced for life imprisonment. Masoud Ahmad Khan was recruited to the network by Randall Todd Royer.
* Sabri Benkhala, U.S. citizens born in 1976. On 03/09/2004 the court found Sabri Benkhala not guilty and he was released. The US prosecution found other articles to charge him under the 2001 terror act. He was recharged on one count of perjury before grand jury, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of making false statements to FBI. On 07/25/2007 Sabri Benkhala was send for 15 years in jail.
* Ali Asad Chandia was sentenced, on 08/25/2006, to 15 years in prison for providing material support to Lashkar-e-Toiba in Pakistan.
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