TOLEDO, Ohio (WKBN) – A Toledo man pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide terrorists with money and soliciting the murder of a federal judge.
Yahya Mohammad, 39, admitted to traveling to Yemen with two associates to deliver $22,000 to Anwar Al-Awlaki in 2009. Al-Awlaki was designated as a global terrorist in 2010 and identified as a “key leader” of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, according to court documents.
Investigators said Mohammad supported Al-Awlaki’s violent jihad against U.S. military personnel in Iraq. Investigators said the three were unable to meet Al-Awlaki in person, but they made sure he received the money through a courier.
Mohammad’s co-defendants, including his brother, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Mohammad also admitted that he solicited an undercover FBI employee, who was posing as a “hitman,” to kill a judge in April of 2016 while serving time at the Lucas County Corrections Center in Toledo. He got in touch with the FBI employee after he told another inmate he wanted Judge Jack Zouhary kidnapped and murdered. Zouhary was assigned Mohammad’s terrorism case in court.
On about April 26, 2016, Mohammad called the undercover FBI employee from the corrections center, using an agreed upon code provided by the inmate. Mohammad told him he wanted Zouhary murdered and “sooner would be good”. He arranged for a family member to meet with the undercover employee to deliver a $1,000 down payment for the murder.
Under the terms of his plea agreement, Mohammad is expected to be sentenced to 27 and a half years in federal prison. Mohammad will be deported from the U.S. after serving his sentence.
Mohammad is an Indian citizen who was an engineering student at Ohio State University between 2002 and 2004. He married a U.S. citizen in 2008.