Round Rock Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to Terrorists
In Austin this morning, 23-year-old Rahatul Ashikim Khan (a.k.a. “Rahat Khan,” “Authentic Tauheed 19,” and “AT19”) pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support and resources to terrorists, announced Robert Pitman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas, Christopher Combs, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge of the San Antonio Division, and John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. He faces up to 15 years in federal prison for the offense. Appearing before United States Magistrate Judge Mark Lane, Khan admitted that from March 2011 to January 2012, he conspired to provide material support to terrorists.
During the plea hearing Khan acknowledged that he intended to provide to a co-conspirator a confidential human source (CHS), whom Khan believed to be a person interested in participating in violent jihad overseas. The co-conspirator told Khan about a contact who could facilitate travel to Somalia, where persons would then engage in violent jihad. The co-conspirator asked Khan to identify individuals who would be good candidates to travel to Somalia to participate in violent jihad. Khan identified the CHS as a worthy candidate for violent jihad in Somalia and communicated this information and the CHS’s identity to the co-conspirator. The coconspirator subsequently contacted the CHS and further assessed the CHS’s suitability to fight overseas. The co-conspirator informed the CHS that he trusted the CHS because of Khan’s recommendation. After determining that the CHS was a good candidate for fighting in Somalia, the co-conspirator passed the CHS to a contact in Africa who then communicated with the CHS about the logistics of traveling to Africa in support of violent jihad.
“Rahatul Khan’s admissions during this morning’s guilty plea should serve as a sobering reminder that we need to remain vigilant in our efforts to detect and root out terrorism, even in our own back yard,” stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman. “Great credit is due to the dedicated law enforcement professionals whose tireless efforts contributed to the apprehension of Khan and Michael Wolfe, who pled last week in a separate case to similar charges. National security is, and will remain, the first priority of this office and our law enforcement partners.”
Khan remains in federal custody pending sentencing before United States District Judge Sam Sparks in Austin. No sentencing date has been scheduled.
This case resulted from a Central Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, United States Army Intelligence, Austin Police Department, Round Rock Police Department, Killeen Police Department, University of Texas Police Department, Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Office of the Texas Attorney General and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Assistant United States Attorneys Gregg N. Sofer and Michael Galdo, together with Department of Justice National Security Division trial attorneys Josh Parecki and Michael Dittoe, are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.