A Woodbridge man was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for providing material support to the foreign terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, also known as LeT, according to federal authorities in Virginia.
The 24-year-old Jubair Ahmad, a native of Pakistan, pleaded guilty in December in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to producing a violent jihadist video.
Ahmad admitted that he had communicated with Talha Saeed, the son of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, authorities said. Talha Saeed instructed Ahmad to make a propaganda video to include a prayer calling for the support of jihad and Islamic freedom fighters playing in the background.
“Talha Saeed directed Ahmad to begin the [Lashkar-e-Tayyiba] video with a number of pictures of Hafiz Saeed, then show scenes where atrocities have been inflicted on Muslims, followed by the activities of the mujahideen conducting attacks in Kashmir,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia said in a press release.
Saeed told Ahmad not to include footage of the 2008 Mumbai bombings for which Lashkar-e-Tayyiba took credit, and that the video would be popular in Pakistan and would run continuously on significant media programs and presentations, authorities said.
Ahmad uploaded the finished video to a YouTube account on Sept. 25, 2010 and later told another person overseas that Talha Saeed had asked him to create the video, authorities said. They said an FBI investigation of Ahmad’s computer later confirmed he had created the video.
Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (meaning “Army of the Pure”) is the military arm of the Markaz al-Dawa wal-Irshad political movement in Pakistan, with a mission “to conduct and promote violent jihad against those considered to be the enemies of Islam,” federal officials said. The State Department has recognized the group as a terrorist organization since 2001.
Ahmad attended Lashkar-e-Tayyiba training camps as a teenager, according to court records. He moved to the U.S. with his family in 2007.
Officials said Ahmad’s case provides insight into how terrorist organizations produce propaganda and will continue to hunt those who support them.
“We’ve seen a sharp increase in terrorists’ use of social networking services like YouTube to reach a worldwide audience,” Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement. “Jubair Ahmad was deeply committed to LeT’s violent aims, which he promoted through online propaganda, recruiting others, and fundraising for the terrorist organization responsible for the deadly 2008 attack in Mumbai, India, which killed 160 people, including two Virginians.”