British Man Charged With Helping Run Terrorism Fundraising Web Sites
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A British man was indicted Wednesday on charges he helped run terrorism fundraising Web sites, set up terrorists with temporary housing in England and possessed a classified U.S. Navy document revealing troop movements.
Syed Talha Ahsan was arrested at his home in London on a federal indictment in Connecticut charging him with conspiracy to support terrorists and conspiracy to kill or injure people abroad.
Ahsan is accused in the same case as Babar Ahmad, a British computer specialist who was indicted in Connecticut in October 2004. Both are accused of running several Web sites including Azzam.com, which investigators say was used to recruit members for the Al Qaeda network, Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime and Chechen rebels.
Click here to read the indictment (pdf).
Prosecutors allege that from 1998 until at least 2002, Ahsan and Ahmad operated Web sites encouraging people to donate money or equipment. The sites allegedly operated in Connecticut, Nevada, Britain, Ireland and Malaysia.
U.S. prosecutors said Ahsan helped terrorists find temporary residence in London and shuttled them into Afghanistan and Chechnya to participate in "jihad."
A few months before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Ahsan allegedly possessed classified documents discussing a U.S. Navy battle group's movements and vulnerability to attack.
The existence of that document became public with Ahmad's arrest in 2004 but authorities have not said how it was obtained. The battle group was not attacked.
A spokesman for Connecticut U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor said Ahsan was being held without bail in England. Extradition papers were being prepared, officials said.
Ahmad has been fighting extradition to the United States for nearly two years.