The FBI has arrested a 35-year-old Pakistani-American national, Waqar Ul-Hassan, on his arrival from Pakistan for being in contact with two UN-proscribed terror groups the ISIS and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
Hassan, a US citizen who moved to America at the age of 15, was arrested at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina on Tuesday.
Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar was designated as a global terrorist by the UN on May 1.
Hassan was arrested on two counts of making false statements in 2015 about his contacts with terrorist groups.If convicted, he faces up to eight years of imprisonment
During an interview with the FBI, he denied having any contacts with the terrorist groups or helping them. Later Hassan admitted that he had lied and was in contact with two terrorist groups — the ISIS and JeM.
The FBI said Hassan admitted to extensive contacts with a JeM recruiter, exchanging phone numbers with the recruiter and having several conversations about extremism with him.
Hassan admitted that he had not been truthful because he knew JeM was a terrorist group. “Between 2013 and 2014 I traveled… around the city of Gujrat (in Pakistan) and surrounding area collecting money and food for Jaish Mujahiden two or three times. In 2014, while staying with Jaish Mujahaideen they told me about an attack on Indian soldier they conducted the previous year. They showed me a news video of the attack,” Hassan said in a written statement to the FBI, according to court documents.
Hassan was born on February 10, 1984 in Uttam Gujrat, Pakistan. He moved with his family to Brooklyn, New York in 1999 at the age of fifteen. He became a naturalised United States citizen in 2002, but retained citizenship in Pakistan.
Hassan told investigators that he was in contact with ISIS as well. The complaint said because he was angry about what was happening to Muslims around the world, he was serious about sending USD 175 to Jihadists in Syria.