Aug 4, 2007

US indicts two Malaysians for supporting terror

AFP - The United States announced new indictments on Friday for a Malaysian national already designated as a terrorist and his US-resident brother, for their alleged support of radical Muslim activities in the Philippines.

The US Justice Department, Northern California District, released the 16 count indictment, dated August 2, against Zulkifli Abdhir, aka Zulkifli bin Hir, 41, who is in the Philippines, and his brother Rahmat Abdhir, aka Sean Kasem, 43, a US citizen living in San Jose, California.

According to a Justice Department statement, over 12 months to June 2007, Rahmat Abdhir shipped money, two-way radios, pistol bullet clips, binoculars, camouflage clothing and other items to Zulkifli at the latter's request, to be used in fighting Philippine troops.

Zulkifli Abdhir, who also goes by the names Marwan and Hulagu, was named a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" by the United States in 2003 and has a five million dollar reward on his head set by the US State Department.

The US says he has links to the radical Islamist groups Kumpulun Mujahidin Malaysia and Jemaah Islamiyah, has conducted bomb-making training for the Abu Sayyaf group, and is in the Philippines working with the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The indictment charges Zulkifli with providing material support to terrorists and related charges.

His brother Rahmat was arrested Thursday at his workplace in Sunnyvale, California, and was charged in the indictment with providing material support to terrorists, and related charges.

The charges say that between June 2006 and June 2007 Rahmat sent his brother more than 10,000 dollars using false names and addresses, as well as the equipment his brother requested.

"With yesterday's arrest and indictment, we have closed off a channel by which an American citizen was allegedly funding and supplying a fugitive designated terrorist with two-way radios and other materials for his operations overseas," Assistant Attorney General for National Security Kenneth Wainstein said in the statement.

* Checkout report by Malaysiakini

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