Former Alabama Resident Charged by Criminal Complaint with Attempting to Provide Material Support and Resources to a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Alaa Mohd Abusaad was charged today by criminal complaint in Birmingham, Alabama with attempting to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and aiding and abetting others, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2339B and 2. Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, United States Attorney Jay E. Town of the Northern District of Alabama, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. of the Birmingham Division made the announcement today.
As set forth in the complaint, Abusaad instructed an FBI undercover employee (UCE) about how to send money to the mujahedeen—fighters engaged in jihad. Abusaad told the UCE that money “is always needed. You can’t have a war without weapons. You can’t prepare a soldier without equipment.” Abusaad also advised the UCE on how to send money in a manner that would avoid detection by law enforcement, including by using fake names and addresses when conducting electronic money transfers. Subsequently, Abusaad introduced the UCE to a financial facilitator who could route the UCE’s money to “brothers that work with aq” (meaning al Qaeda).
If convicted, Abusaad faces a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to a life term supervised release. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the assigned judge.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the FBI, including FBI offices in Birmingham, Alabama and Cleveland, and Toledo, Ohio. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Henry Cornelius and Manu Balachandran, and Trial Attorney Jennifer Levy of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
The charges contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.