MOBILE, Ala. – Randy Wilson, aka “Rasheed Wilson,” 25, a U.S. citizen living in Mobile, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in connection with his plans to travel to Mauritania to wage violent jihad overseas, announced U.S. Attorney Kenyen R. Brown of the Southern District of Alabama and Stephen E. Richardson, Special Agent in Charge of the Mobile Division of the FBI.
At a hearing today before U.S. District Judge Kristi K. DuBose in Mobile, Wilson entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, knowing or intending that it be used in preparation for, or in carrying out a conspiracy to kill persons or damage property outside the United States. Wilson faces a maximum potential sentence of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing.
Wilson and co-defendant Mohammad Abdul Rahman Abukhdair were the subjects of an investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the Mobile Division of the FBI. Wilson was arrested on a criminal complaint on Dec. 11, 2012 in Atlanta as he attempted to board a flight that would ultimately take him to Morocco. Abukhdair was arrested in Augusta, Ga., at a bus terminal. According to court documents, Abukhdair was scheduled to fly to Morocco from outside the United States on Dec 13, 2012.
Both defendants were later charged in a federal indictment returned by a grand jury in the Southern District of Alabama on Dec. 20, 2012. Abukhdair has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and passport fraud. As in all cases, a defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.
According to Wilson’s plea agreement and other court documents, Wilson and Abukhdair met online in 2010. On Aug. 27, 2011, an FBI undercover employee met Wilson, and Wilson told the FBI employee that he and Abukhdair had previously formulated a plan to travel together overseas for the purpose of waging violent jihad.
In July of 2012, Wilson and Abukhdair began meeting with a confidential source working for the FBI and, according to court documents, they brought that FBI source into their plans to travel overseas to wage violent jihad. According to court documents, Wilson and Abukhdair planned to travel to Casablanca, Morocco, and from there to Mauritania, where they expected to be in a position to wage violent jihad in a nearby country or conflict. Both defendants were arrested before they could leave the country.
U.S. Attorney Brown stated, “Mr. Wilson’s criminal actions, subsequent indictment and conviction are proof that there are those in our midst, even in small town America, who are willing to injure, maim and kill others in the name of violent jihad. Mr. Wilson’s plea to terrorism charges today are a stark reminder to all Americans that they should remain vigilant against the terror threats in our community and in the nation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and all elements of Federal, state and local law enforcement remain committed to disrupting terrorist plots, protecting our communities and bringing violent wrong doers to justice. I could not be prouder of both our local FBI office and the dedicated Assistant United States Attorneys in my office for the countless hours they invested into this case in order to arrive at this successful conclusion.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Richardson stated: “The admission of guilt by this defendant represents the fine work being done by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Acts of terrorism and the support of terrorism is a significant investigative priority for the FBI and we must all be vigilant protecting our communities from those who desire to cause us harm. These acts have no place in our society.”
The investigation was conducted by the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the Mobile division of the FBI.
The prosecution is being handled by Sean P. Costello, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama, and Trial Attorneys Clement McGovern and Annamartine Salick from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.