Asif Ahmed Salim is a U.S. citizen who, between 2005 and 2012, conspired to provide money, equipment, and other assistance to now-deceased terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki, a key leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was designated a global terrorist in 2010.Scott Shane, “The Lessons of Anwar al-Awlaki,” New York Times, August 27, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/magazine/the-lessons-of-anwar-al-awlaki.html. Asif acted with three other men including his brother Sultane Room Salim, as well as Indian brothers Yahya Farooq Mohammad and Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad.“Four Men Charged with Providing Material Support to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” U.S. Department of Justice, November 5, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/four-men-charged-providing-material-support-al-qaeda-arabian-peninsula.
In July 2009, Asif’s co-conspirator Farooq Mohammad reportedly traveled to Yemen and gave $22,000 to one of al-Awlaki’s associates. According to the indictment, the four men “agreed to provide and did provide funds, equipment, and expert advice and assistance to Anwar Al-Awlaki to be used in furtherance of ‘violent jihad’ against the United States and the United States military in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the world.”“United States of America v. Yahya Farooq Mohammad, Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, Asif Ahmed Salim, and Sultane Roome Salim,” United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, September 30, 2015, 13, http://www.justice.gov/opa/file/790971/download.
Salim studied at Ohio State University between 2000 and 2005, and became a resident of Overland Park, Kansas, in 2007. In 2011, he became a resident of the United Arab Emirates.“United States of America v. Yahya Farooq Mohammad, Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, Asif Ahmed Salim, and Sultane Roome Salim,” United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, September 30, 2015, 13, http://www.justice.gov/opa/file/790971/download. Salim allegedly lived in the United Arab Emirates for four years.“United States of America v. Asif Ahmed Salim, et al.,” United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Western Division, March 2, 2018, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCOURTS-ohnd-3_15-cr-00358/pdf/USCOURTS-ohnd-3_15-cr-00358-8.pdf. It is uncertain when Salim returned to the United States, but on September 30, 2015, Salim and his brother were arrested and on November 5, 2015, the two were indicted in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio on charges for conspiracy to provide and conceal material support and resources to terrorists, for providing material support and resources to terrorists, and for conspiracy to obstruct justice.“Ohio State Attack Bears Hallmarks of Islamic Extremist Propaganda,” Anti-Defamation League, November 29, 2016, https://www.adl.org/blog/ohio-state-attack-bears-hallmarks-of-islamic-extremist-propaganda; “United States v. Mohammad,” Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, February 24, 2021, https://www.clearinghouse.net/detail.php?id=15775.
In April 2018, Salim pled guilty to concealment of financing of terrorism.Jennifer Feehan, “2 Plead Guilty in Terrorism Case,” Toledo Blade, https://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2018/04/12/2-plead-guilty-in-terrorism-case.html. On October 26, 2018, Salim was sentenced in federal court to six years in prison with a life term of supervision.Allison Dunn, “Man Funding Terrorism Sentenced to Six Years in Prison,” Toledo Blade, https://www.toledoblade.com/local/courts/2018/10/26/Man-funding-terrorism-sentenced-to-six-years-in-prison/stories/20181026093.
- Extremist entity
- Type(s) of Organization:
- Insurgent, non-state actor, religious, terrorist, transnational, violent
- Ideologies and Affiliations:
- Al-Qaeda affiliated group, Islamist, jihadist, Qutbist, Salafist, Sunni, takfiri
- Financier, facilitator
AQAP is the union of al-Qaeda’s affiliated branches in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. AQAP has claimed responsibility for terror attacks and plots worldwide, including the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.
On October 27, 2018, domestic terrorist Robert D. Bowers carried out an anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. He fired on congregants as they gathered for worship, killing 11 people and wounding six others.