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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

Friday, November 2, 2018

Alabama Woman Indicted for Attempting to Provide Material Support And Resources to a Foreign Terrorist Organization

BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury on Monday indicted a woman, who is a former resident of 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, announced Assistant Attorney General John Demers of the National Security Division, United States Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr.

According to court filings, Alaa Mohd 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 without getting caught, such as by using fake names and addresses.  Subsequently, Abusaad introduced the UCE to a financial facilitator who could route the UCE’s money to “brothers that work with aq (al Qaeda).”

“Federal agents and prosecutors are working tirelessly and using every available lawful tool to disrupt the evil schemes of those who would support foreign terrorist organizations to do harm to our troops, our allies, or our homeland”, Town said.  “The FBI did an excellent job investigating this matter, effectively engaging with other districts, and worked tirelessly to investigate this terrorist behavior.  I would like to extend my personal gratitude to our local FBI field office, FBI-Cleveland, FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, Northern District of Ohio U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman, and the entirety of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division for their diligent and enormous efforts in developing this case.  Our collective vigilance as law enforcement and in our community must resolve to continue to say something if you see something.”

The maximum penalty is 20 years in prison, up to a life term of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. 

FBI, including FBI offices in Birmingham and in Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio, investigated the case, which the Assistant United States Attorneys Henry Cornelius and Manu Balachandran, and Trial Attorney Jennifer Levy of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting.

An indictment contains only charges.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The complaint was announced in a press release on October 23, 2018.

Updated November 2, 2018