Two jailed in US for helping Taliban

Two alleged members of a US "terror cell" have been jailed for 18 years for plotting to help Afghanistan's Taliban regime wage war against the United States.

    Six Americans have been charged with collaborating with Taliban

    Judge Robert Jones, sitting in the northwest US city of Portland, Oregon, branded on Monday Jeffrey Battle, 32, and Patrice Lumumba Ford, 33, "first class traitors" after they admitted to conspiring to help the Taliban fight US forces, prosecutors said.

    "They are traitors," Assistant US Attorney Charles Gorder told AFP after the pair admitted to a single charge of seditious conspiracy under a plea bargain deal. 

    "It was what the judge called them: first class traitors," Gorder said.   

    'Portland terror cell'

    The pleas by the pair, both Muslims and US citizens, brought to six the number of members of the so-called "Portland terror cell" who have admitted to charges in connection with helping the hardline Taliban. 

    "It was what the judge called them: first class traitors" 

    Charles Gorder,
    Assistant US Attorney

    Two brothers, Muhammad Bilal and Ahmad Bilal, admitted in September to conspiring to help the Taliban and to possess weapons in connection with that plot. They are due to be sentenced to up to 14 years in jail on 9 February,  Gorder said. 

    Intel computer engineer Mike Hawash admitted in August to
    conspiring to provide material support and resources to al-Qaida and conspiracy to contribute services to al-Qaida and the Taliban. He will also be sentenced on 9 February.

    Battle's ex-wife, October Lewis, is due to be sentenced soon after admitting to money laundering charges in connection with the plot.

    A seventh alleged member of the Portland cell, Jordanian Habis Abullah al-Saoub, remains at large.

    SOURCE: AFP


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