WASHINGTON – A College Park man was arrested at home Thursday night on charges of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Ali Asad Chandia was indicted Wednesday on four counts related to providing support to Lashkar-e-Taiba by a federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, according to a statement released Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Lashkar-e-Taiba, also known as the Army of the Righteous, is the armed branch of the Pakistan-based anti-U.S. Sunni missionary organization, Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad.
According to the U.S. Department of State, Lashkar-e-Taiba has several thousand members and is one of the “three largest and best-trained groups” fighting against India in that country’s Kashmir region.
On Dec. 24, 2001, the United States designated Lashkar-e-Taiba as a foreign terrorist organization. This designation makes it illegal for people in the United States or subject to its laws to provide resources to the group.
Chandia and an alleged co-conspirator, Mohammed Ajmal Khan are accused of supporting Lashkar-e-Taiba both before and after the group was designated a foreign terrorist organization, said the Justice Department statement. Khan is in Great Britain in custody on terrorist charges.
The indictments and Chandia’s arrest are part of the ongoing “Virginia Jihad” investigations, which have so far led to 10 convictions, the Justice Department statement said.
The spiritual leader of the Virginia Jihad network, Ali Al-Timimi was sentenced to life in prison this year after being convicted April 26 on several counts, including counseling others to engage in a conspiracy to levy war against the United States.
Chandia’s arraignment was scheduled for Sept. 23. If convicted on all four counts, he could face a maximum of 60 years in prison.