Four Ohio men have been charged with plotting to travel to Yemen and provide thousands of dollars to former al Qaeda propagandist Anwar Al-Awlaki.
Their goal, prosecutors say, was to support violent jihad against American military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The four — Yahya Farooq Mohammad, age 37, Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, 36, Asif Ahmed Salim, 35, and Sultane Room Salim, 40 — face terrorism charges.
The FBI says Farooq Mohammad, a citizen of India, was an engineering student at Ohio State University between 2002 and 2004. His brother, Ibrahim, studied engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from 2001 through 2005, moved to Toledo, got married, and became a lawful permanent resident.
Authorities say Asif Salim was a US citizen who studied at Ohio State University between 2000 and 2005. His brother, Sultane, is also a US citizen.
Court documents say the men made a series of financial transactions in 2008 and 2009 and discussed raising money for a trip to the Middle East.
In July of 2009, the FBI says, Farooq Mohammad traveled to Yemen with two other people, not identified by authorities, to meet Alawki.
Due to the presence of Yemeni government soldiers in the village where Awlaki was living, they were unable to meet him. So Awlaki told them to travel to Yemen's capital, Sana'a, and give the money — $22,000 — to one of Alawki's associates, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.
The indictment said Mohammad e-mailed his brother, "Couldn't meet with him, but delivered the goods to a relative."